I woke up early and stumbled in my camp shoes down the rocky path to Upper Goose Pond to get a sunrise picture. Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t rise in an ideal place this time of year, but I still think it was a pretty picture of the pond.

Appalachian Trail

Sunrise at Upper Goose Pond

Another popular feature of the Upper Goose Pond Cabin is that they serve free pancakes for breakfast, so I returned to the cabin to get in line. They weren’t the blueberry pancakes I was expecting but chocolate chip pancakes certainly do the trick. Thank you caretaker Bonnie for your hospitality!

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One Gallon and Rabbit

Appalachian Trail

Caretaker Bonnie

Shortly after leaving the cabin, I crossed the MA Turnpike I-90 on a overpass, and walked past a private pond before returning to the woods. So far, the trail through Massachusetts has become monotonous in its variety. There are hardly any hills and the trail meanders woods and pastures past ponds and bogs. Here are a few pictures to give you and idea of life on the trail in Massachusetts.

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I-90 Overpass

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Unnamed Pond

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Tall Trees

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Beaver Bog

What is lacking in abundance on this section of trail are sources of drinking water. I tend to avoid pond water, so when I reached Washington Mountain Road after hiking 11 miles, I was really thirsty. Fortunately, the Cookie Lady lives just a few feet down the road. On the way there, I passed One Gallon coming the other way and asked him if it was worth the walk. He said, “No! Turn around and go back!” I laughed and continued walking.

The “Cookie Lady” is an icon on the A.T. She and her husband Roy have been inviting hikers to visit their home for fresh baked cookies and other snacks for years. Unfortunately, it is also a working blueberry farm and, since it was late in the day, I got neither cookies nor an opportunity to meet the Cookie Lady because she was working in her garden. What I did get, however, was three liters of cold water and a nice rest in the shade of their porch.

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House of the Cookie Lady

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Cookie Lady in the Garden

A few miles further down the trail, I arrived at Warner Hill which provided something completely different. To begin with, the top of the hill was covered with a gorgeous stand of ferns like no other I have seen. The space was wide open and the ferns were everywhere. Additionally, there was a nice view on the top that was the only view of the day.

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Fern Garden

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View from Warner Hill

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Making Tracks

After continuing down the trail in the woods, I joined Groceries, One Gallon, and Rabbit at the Key Wood Shelter. This is a really nice shelter with some excellent tent sites overlooking a deep ravine. We all enjoyed a nice dinner together until, as is often the case, the dusk mosquito patrol drove us all into the bug free sanity zone of our tents. Still, it was a nice end to a nice day.

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Groceries and One Gallon

Appalachian Trail

Home for the Night