We have entered CT! Which means we knocked another state off the list!
Massachusetts was pretty good to us, especially for a state that never ranked high on our list. But the wilderness of Mass is something to talk about. Quite flat with a few notable climbs thrown in there from time to time. One day, we walked right by a blueberry farm and the lady who owns it gives 3 cookies to every thru hiker! We also picked blueberries!
We thought the trail in Mass was really well maintained and the shelters were also very nice! I always heard thru hikers talk about Upper Goose Pond Cabin and now I know why! It was free to stay there, but there are caretakers and they made us guacamole at dinner and blueberry pancakes for breakfast (with the blueberries we picked)!
Actually, we stayed in 2 other free places. One was in Cheshire, Mass. Our Catholic friends will be amused to know we slept on the floor of a Catholic church parish hall! It was a nice escape from the heat!!
The other free place was in Dalton, Mass. You walk right through the town and Deal was picking up his new backpack from a trail angel’s house. When we arrived at noon, the pack had not. So we went to lunch and it was there when we got back. But after we got all situated, the sky opened up and downpoured! The temptation was too much to just stay in town at the trail angel’s house … Fire Marshall, on the other hand, kept going. So we have been separated from him most of the way through Mass.
Of course, we did get caught in a torrential thunderstorm the next day, so I suppose we were due for it …
Here’s our summary of Massachusetts:
3 nights in a tent
1 night in a shelter
2 nights in a hostel
2 dig-a-hole poops in the woods for Deal
1 iPod day of hiking
120 Northbounders passed
2 bunnies (while we were on roads)
12 orange newts (which I found out are actually called red-spotted newts, or effs, and are the only salamander native to North America!)
On Sunday, we have greatness to look forward to! My sister is picking us up to clean and feed us for the night!! We can’t wait for the break and for family love!!
Rumor is, the team of hikers will be reunited, as I think I enticed Fire Marshall with mention of home cooking and he may wait for us to catch up and come to my sister’s with us!!
Mass is definitely a hidden gem. One of the better parts of the trail that no one really thinks about.
Not sure who told you the salamander thing, but there are definitely more than one native salamander species in N.A. But the red effs are one of the best things on the trail!
UGP….best 'shelter' on the trail! 😉
I really admire your adventure:) I bumped into Janice today @ Stop n Shop. She is very excited about your visit and was filling her cart with lots of yummy food for you and Justin. Enjoy your visit with the family!
HI J & P,
Kind of a weird message, but wanted to say Hi! Justin & I know each other from the World of Recreation.
Justin once told me about this dream that he and you had. I had heard that Justin had resigned from Hopkinton and I instantly knew….. it was on!
I am now following your blog and can't wait to see what kinds of adventures you have!
Good Vibes Your Way!
Town of Barrington, NH
I hope you and Fire Marshall (Mac) get reunited…he mentioned to us that he was slowing down to hopefully catch back up with you all! Enjoy your family time and when you get to us in VA we will be waiting!!! Take care…good weather and lots of trail magic being sent your way! -Katie (Mac's sister)