Friday, June 27, 2014

Mt Greylock - Highest Summit in MA

At 3,491' and located in Lanesborough, Mt Greylock is the highest summit in the State of Massachusetts.  Our small group of friends get together once each year with the goal of hiking the high point in each of the six New England States.  We still have CT and RI to accomplish.  With RI being a small 800' elevation 'bump' as opposed to a more typical mountain we will probably accomplish it on the way to or on the return from the CT hike next year.  We all had a great laugh when relaxing after today's hike as we read a description of the climb up Jerimoth Hill in Rhode Island (from the closet road).  Yes, a full 10' of elevation gain will be our challenge (that is not a typo).  We all think we will bring full packs up that 10' of elevation just so it is legit.

As we've gained more knowledge of AT thru & section hikers, Leslie and I have been wanting to find opportunities to leave trail magic.  This hike gave us our first chance to do so.  Early in the morning of our hike we drove out to an area where the AT exits onto a road near the town of North Adams.  There we left a cooler of Snickers bars, Gatorade, sodas, and wet wipes.  We would return later in the day to see if we had any takers (see update near the end of this post).  Here is a picture of us leaving the cooler which Leslie had appropriately emblazoned with the AT symbol.

Inside the cooler Leslie had written the following note and as well she left paper and a pen so those who wanted could leave us their blog information or other notes.
Once our trail magic had been placed, we proceeded to the trailhead.  Here is a photo of our group just prior to departing.
  The trail commences at a farm with a beautiful barn and the mountains in the background (not Greylock).
Our first rest break along the trail.
Here we take our second break at a campground along the way. 
Three bumps on a log. 

A pretty little pond as we neared the summit.

Here we've reached the summit with the beautiful Bascom Lodge ahead of us.

Here is a shot of the summit view.  The town of North Adams is below us in the distance.

Sue is telling Phil that she believes we've not actually summited this peak until we get to the top of the Massachusetts war memorial.  Unfortunately, it is closed this year for renovations.

A group photo at the summit.  The handsome/good looking one who looks so fresh and ready to press on is Benny (the golden retriever).
"I think we are on the dashed trail", Phil says.  Russ responds, "That can't be, I think we are here on the dotted trail."  No GPS for these two more 'traditional' gents.  Which way is North?
 The Carson family sits near the bottom of a beautiful, tall waterfall we passed on our descent.  A mere 100 yd diversion brings one to these falls.  Beautiful indeed...

We followed the river emanating from the base of the falls for several miles on our descent.  Nothing like the soothing sound of water while hiking.

After our hike we returned by car to the spot where we had left our trail magic this morning.  All of the Gatorade was gone, most of the sodas were gone, 12 of the Snickers bars were gone, and about half the wipes were gone.  How cool is that!

Better still, two of the hikers left us notes and the URL's of their blogs.  I will religiously follow the rest of their adventures on the AT.  

Leslie and I were like kids in a candy store when we found this:  
 Several of our group took a refreshing dip in the pool on our return to our rental house.  We had rented this house for two nights and what a find it was.  The place was beautiful, huge and impeccably cared for.  There were fields all around and beyond that mountains on three sides; stunning to say the least.  It will be tough to beat this one.
As if all of that was not enough, we ended our evening with a gorgeous sunset with our firepit burning away in the foreground.  Every day should be like this!


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