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June Mountain, East Mountain, Tom Leonard Shelter, Egremont and Sheffield MA

10.9 Miles from Jug End road to Tom Leonard Shelter over the weekend. Massachusetts is known to be an easier state on the Appalachian Trail. In fact, the first half of my day finds me on a flat trail through woods and farm land. Starting out at a little after 9am, I was feeling confident that getting to the shelter would be well before 5pm. As we set out into the woods first, it feels cool. I know that the trail is very dry so I packed a 2L bladder and 2 1L bottles. I'd drink off the bladder and Isis could have a bottle of her own. I'm grateful for the flat trail to start the trek. I was smiling and looking all around. Isis was chasing chipmunks too. We came out to some farm land and felt the temps change. Suddenly, that sun was hot and I thought to myself how glad I was that I packed so much water, regardless of the weight and regardless of if I find any water on the trail. The trail would alternate between farm land, corn fields, board walks, a railroad crossing, and forest…
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Mount Everett, Mount Race, and Bear Mountain in Connecticut

This hike essentially concludes the backpacking trip I had planned for Labor Day weekend but had to cut it short due to weather. I headed back down to Mt. Everett and the Guilder Pond Picnic Area. This would be 13.2 miles round trip for us and from the map in my Guthooks ap, it looked a little steep in places. I set a turn around time for 2pm but I hoped to get out to Bear Mountain just over the Connecticut border. The morning was cool and I had a long sleeve layer on. Isis and I headed back up the trail to Mt. Everett. This took not a whole lot of effort for us and since we had been here before, we stuck around only briefly. From here on out, it's a new section of trail. 
I will say that coming off of Mt. Everett on this side is a lot steeper. There's plenty of rocks to deal with and 7 sets of stairs bolted into the rocks. Very reminiscent of The White Mountains but keep in mind that Mt. Everett is about half of a 4K... And it still gave me a run for my money. 


From here we …

Jug End Rd. to Mt. Everett, Egremont Massachusetts

Everything is new again. That's how it feels. I know I've hiked the AT in Massachusetts before but today was the farthest I've traveled in a long time. Heading in a new direction, down 91 and getting on the Mass Pike heading south this morning, I found myself in Egremont Massachusetts. I parked at the crossing on Jug End Rd. Today, I'd start here and hike as far as I can today by 2pm. This is a standard cut off time I have for day hikes. As I was heading up the trail with Isis, the first trail sign I saw indicated that Mt. Everett was 4.6 miles away. That seemed doable as an out and back. 
Heading up the trail, Isis and I hike a pretty steady incline at first. I laughed at this considering the state I just finished. I had thought I'd get a break in Massachusetts. The climb gets a little steeper as we encounter switchbacks, rock stairs, and eventually some ledges. The trail opens up and is rather exposed towards the top of Jug End. Coming up the ledges was easy but…

Mount Cube, Hexcuba Shelter, Smarts Mountain

This is it... The last 10.2 miles from 25A in New Hampshire to Smarts Mountain. The only thing I need to do is get out of bed! Saturday was a little rough. When the weather cools off, there's just this appeal to staying under the warm covers. Plus the dog.... So, I pushed it to almost 6am. Thankfully I am only traveling 2 hours away. But when I think of it, it might as well be a world away. The damage that 25A received from the storms earlier this summer was nonexistent. I parked at the pull off by the trail and get everything ready. There were other hikers milling around and some where finishing their journeys. This was the beginning of the end for me. Well, the end of New Hampshire. 
Just a short distance from the road is a pretty decent tenting area. The water source is flowing. This makes for a nice in-between for those that can't make it to Ore Hill or Hexcuba (depending on your direction). I said good morning as I passed on through. This trail starts out with a nice gra…