The kids were still asleep when I ate a quick breakfast, broke camp, and hit the trail. Before leaving, I noticed a guy climbing out of the hammock and saw that it was the section hiker that had stayed with me at Vanessa’s place, so I gave him a goodbye wave. The day was muggy and overcast as I started the gentle climb up Mt Bushnell.
There wasn’t much to see on Mt Bushnell but after descending for a short distance there was an opening in the trees at a place called Jug End that gave up a nice view. Once I reached MA 12, except for a few short forays in the woods, the next five miles of trail were flat walks through farm fields and bogs. Nothing exciting to write about, but, nonetheless, it was a pretty walk.
After crossing Sheffield Egremont Road, the is a monument commemorating the last battle of Shays Rebellion. Daniel Shays was a Revolutionary War veteran that in 1787 lead a 4,000 man militia against the newly formed Massachusetts government in an uprising against aggressive tax and debt collection and political corruption. After taking part in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the US Armory in Springfield, MA, the rebels scattered and regrouped. This spot marks the site where Brigadier General John Ashley, with a force of 80 men, caught up with the rebels for the bloodiest and final encounter of the rebellion.
When I finally reached US 7, I was three miles from Great Barrington, MA, where I planned to get a room and take a much needed zero. There was plenty of traffic on the highway but after 20 minutes of unsuccessful hitching I put on my backpack and started walking to town with my thumb out. After walking about a mile, my trail angel finally pulled over to give me a ride.
Linda got her degree in art from Georgia State and then moved to New York City where she worked for 20 years painting background sets for TV shows. Most notably, she worked for years as the set painter for the show “Law and Order.” After getting tired of life in the city, she decided to escape the madness and moved to Great Barrington to pursue her passion of making pottery. As we drove through town, she made restaurant recommendations and pointed out resources that I might need such as the library (WiFi) and the hardware store. It turned out that the motel where I planned to stay was about a mile past downtown, and Linda drove me right up to the motel office. I had such a great time chatting with her and I must have made a favorable impression because she gave me a slip of paper with her name and phone number on it and told me not to hesitate to call her if I needed a ride to anywhere in town. That was about the nicest trail magic that I have ever received and it was so sweet of Linda to make me that offer.
After checking in, showering, and putting on my cleanest dirty clothes, I walked the mile back to town to get something to eat. I was in dire need of a new fuel canister for my cooking stove, so on the way I stopped at the hardware that Linda had suggested might carry them, but had no luck. I then went to a restaurant that Linda had suggested, that was ironically named Fuel, where I had a nice dinner and a couple of local craft beers. The walk back to the motel was all uphill, but I took a break at the halfway point to go into a store that had an astonishing selection of craft beers from which to choose. Because of the weight, I limited my purchase to canned options and continued my trudge back to the motel.
I’m feeling very tired so tonight I’m just going to relax and watch a movie. I’m so appreciative that trail angel Linda saved me from having to walk those extra miles to this motel.