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AT 2017: Day 115, Glen Brook Shelter to Homes Road

You better duck down the alley way

Hike with Gravity

Several days ago, I received a message from some longtime friends, John and Sherri. They said they were planning a trip east from their home in Indiana and hoped to meet up with me on the trail.

Since then we’ve been trying to work out a plan. That hasn’t been easy because it’s hard to calculate more than a couple days ahead where I will be at a given time.

Eventually, we were able to settle on meeting at a road crossing near Great Barrington. Now, because I made an early stop yesterday, I needed to set a good pace to arrive there on time.

Date
Weather Mostly sunny, high temperature in the low 80s
Trail Conditions A few steep climbs and descents, but also stretches of flat trail
Today's Miles 10.7 miles
Trip Miles 1,523.4 miles

The morning air was cool after yesterday’s storm.

After leaving our campsite near Glen Brook Shelter, Stick and I headed up Mt. Bushnell. From a viewpoint on the mountain at about 1890 feet above sea level, it seemed as though we were looking over a sea of clouds.

On the descent from the summit I met a ridgerunner named Sarah. Ridgerunners patrol sections of the trail, looking for problems and helping out hikers. They work mostly in the South in the Spring, and many move north to continue their work as hikers move north.

The primary benefit of their job is being able to spend weeks outdoors while getting paid for it. They also have to pick up trash and do other unpleasant tasks, so I thanked Sarah for her work, as I have with all of the ridgerunners I've met.

At the end of the mountain was a spot called Jug End. By now the clouds that had been obscuring our view of the valley had burned off to reveal views to the north. We could see from here Mt. Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts and a peak we will climb in a few more days.

From Jug End the trail made a steep descent. Along the way I began to cross paths with several SOBO (southbound) hikers, including one with the trail name Train.

The trail flattened out at the bottom of the mountain, where the terrain became a series of pastures and swamps.

This area became a hotbed of conflict following the War of Independence when farmers claimed they hadn’t been paid what they were promised for helping fight the war.

A full-blown insurrection resulted. Named Shays’ Rebellion after one of the leaders, Daniel Shays, the farmers launched several attacks on courthouses and other government properties.

A large stone marker in a field near the trail marked one of the spots where the rebellion was fought.

After crossing a stream called Hubbard Brook the area surrounding the trail was more populated with homes and businesses. I was now just south of the city of Great Barrington.

Originally, my plan was to meet John and Sherri at U.S. Highway 7, but as I neared it I was able to text them and learned they were a little behind in their travel time. We revised our plan to meet instead at Homes Road. That would add about three more miles of walking for me and give them more time to arrive.

Once again, the trail crossed the Housatonic River. The trail was flat and I got to our planned meeting spot sooner than expected. Unfortunately, there were no more road crossings ahead that would provide an easy meeting point, so I decided to stop here to wait for John and Sherri.

Stick stopped here too because they had offered to not only put me up for a night in a hotel, but extended the offer to him, too.

Once they picked us up, we headed to a hotel in Lenox and I saw why they had been delayed. The traffic in the small towns we had to drive through was horrible.

Stick and I were given a large and comfortable room in a Hampton Inn, much nicer than we have been used to on the trail.

As I was getting cleaned up, Stick went down the hall to check out the laundry facility. To his surprise, he discovered Dory was there. She and Splat had been several miles ahead of us on the trail, but in a wild coincidence were staying tonight in the same hotel as us.

Stick brought Dory down to our room to surprise me and we had a nice reunion. Later, when I talked to John to make arrangements for going to dinner, he said we should bring along Dory and Splat.

As we drove to Olde Heritage Tavern, where we planned to eat, my stomach began to hurt. I thought the problem was due to not eating for several hours. Or maybe I was just dehydrated.

Later, though, as I ate dinner I was feeling worse, not better. Before long, I began to feel nauseous, so I excused myself and went to look for a restroom.

Not immediately finding one, I did the only thing I could think of doing. I went outside, hoping a little fresh air would help. Instead, I knew I was about to throw up.

Fortunately, I was able to get to an alley behind the restaurant, which is where I spewed most of my dinner.

I felt better by the time we returned to the hotel, but I was concerned about what might have caused this sudden sickness.

Perhaps it would be wise to figure this out before I get back on the trail.

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doing it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
A man in the coonskin cap, in the pig pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten

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