“Every human mind is a great slumbering power until awakened by a keen desire and by definite resolution to do.” – Edgar F. Roberts
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Foxfire offered me her three leftover hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and I accepted. That brought my total to nine hard-boiled eggs eaten in twelve hours…tripling my previous personal record. I broke camp and headed north 9.5 miles to Dalton, Massachusetts. The highlight of my morning hike was spotting my first wild weasel climbing up a tree. As I approached the tree he was in, I started humming the first song I ever learned. I hoped he would slip and fall off a branch just as I went by so I could look at him and say “plop goes the weasel.”
In Dalton I checked in to the Shamrock Inn and showered and did laundry. Fun fact: Dalton’s largest employer, Crane and Company, is the only supplier of paper for the Federal Reserve Note, the United States’ paper money. Okay, so that fact isn’t very fun…I’ll try again later. I had a steak sandwich and salad at Angelina’s and then re-supplied across the street at Sav More. I spent the rest of the evening resting and catching up on news. A side benefit of being on the trail is not having to listen to the endless political banter of this election season and other bad news. After the trail, I hope to enjoy more sunrises, sunsets, and walks and take in less news and political rants. Before bashing either unpopular presidential candidate, maybe we need to drop to a knee and pray for the eventual winner. He or she is going to need it. Just a thought. Later I ordered some House Special fried rice and spring rolls and ate dinner in bed while leaning against a soft, fluffy pillow.
Today was a fairly easy day of hiking with gradual climbs and descents. Near The Cobbles, a marble outcropping with views of the Hoosic River Valley, I crossed paths with Hammer and another hiker. They were doing a southbound slack pack and we shared notes on our respective upcoming terrain.
At mile 1577.5 I arrived at Chesire, Massachusetts. Fun fact: in 1800 the town, known for its dairying and cheese, sent a 1,235-pound chunk of cheese, made of curds from every farmer in town, to President Jefferson. The big chunk of cheese, moved on a sled drawn by six horses and then on water, resulted in a thank you letter from President Jefferson to the Chesire farmers. Historians disagree on whether the President cut the cheese himself, or delegated the responsibility to the White House chef, Myron Toots.
My only stop in Chesire was a terrific ice cream place called Diane’s Twists. Upon arrival I noticed several hikers sitting at the picnic tables outside. Long Strider was finishing off a banana split. Gusteau (an LSU grad and science whiz) was sitting under a shade tree licking his ice cream cone. Other hikers had little globs of ice cream in their scraggly beards that didn’t bother them a bit. Suddenly a familiar looking hiker with a thick, German, Hans Gruber from Die Hard accent approached me and said, “Your son poop on trail.” While it’s common for parents to live vicariously through their children or to be known for their children’s accomplishments, it’s less common to be known by the inappropriate placement of a child’s bowel movement. Such is the trail life of a Fob W. Pot. I met and talked to the German hiker, Dream Catcher, at the Low Gap shelter a few months ago, and it was good to see him doing well and enjoying his great American hike. It was also good to eat a large Cookie Dough ice cream and wash it down with a cold Mountain Dew.
I spent the afternoon making the 2500-foot ascent of Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts, coming in at 3489 feet. The summit features a 93-foot-high Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower, Bascom Lodge, Thunderbolt Ski Shelter, and a television and radio tower. In addition to being on the National Register of Historic Places, Mount Greylock is the location of Ilvermorny, the North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the fictional world of Harry Potter. Now that is a fun fact!
After consuming a Coke and chips from the Bascom Lodge snack bar, I descended the mountain and ended my 20.5-mile day sleeping in the Wilbur Clearing Shelter. I met several section hikers and southbounders, including Mission, Raven, and Angel. My friend Foxfire was also there, and together we sat around a campfire sharing stories of life on the AT. Someone in the group reeked of hard boiled eggs and I couldn’t get away from them, regardless of where I sat.
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