Two weeks off trail and I decided to head back to Mt. Greylock in North Adams Massachusetts. I had backed off the peak last year, well Isis had lead me back down the trail to the car and when I realized it, I didn't bother to go back. Little did I also know at that first trip but, I was getting sick then. The trail a year ago was ice covered and seemed really hard for me (another clue that I was not myself). So, that's the back story. Today, it's POURING OUT. I'm more than a little concerned. Not really interested in hiking in the rain today. But I waited about a half hour and it did stop. At the third pull off on Notch Rd (Wilbur Clearning), where the AT crosses, I set out for Mt. Greylock.
My first thoughts heading up to Mt. Williams was that I can't believe I ever thought this was steep. It now seems really gradual to me. A couple of pitches but other than that, it's pretty decent. The rocks weren't even as bad as I thought they were. It took us no time to get up to Mt Williams which had a very small view. Looking at the trail, I realized that it's bascially a hairpin turn to keep going south to Mt. Greylock. Both Isis and myself missed it last year in the snow cover. Today, the trail leads to a really nice ridge walk. It's pretty level with a few dips and turns. Minimal mud which, I love. Ran into my first Thru hiker here Rocket Power who was grateful for the grapes and took a few oranges out of my pack, plus some powdered drink packs. She was followed by a Thru in his 70's GO and another guy who I didn't get his name. All were grateful for the little bit of fresh cheer. I'm also more than happy to fill them in on the trail ahead through New Hampshire.
Once you come to a junction, the AT is the Thunderbolt Ski trail up to the summit. I am not a fan of hiking ski trails and I also realized that throughout New England, I have climbed more ski mountains than I have skied. I also know I should learn how to ski. As we approached the summit, the people start coming out... You can drive up to the top, if you choose to. There's a great tower up there as well but it's closed right now for renovations. We checked out the view and enjoyed sitting by Bascom Lodge for a bit. Walked around the summit again on our way back to the now Northbound AT.
I took a week off to let my feet heal up from the LT but also to let myself process that trip. Of course, I've come to the conclusion that it will take me a while to process that trip. If I only ever do one long distance trail in my life, I'm happy. That trail was incredible and now that I'm on to other trails, I think I'll be making the AT a home as well as some trails closer to my home in Southern New Hampshire. I'm still planning on hitting some rugged trails but I believe those will be down south on the AT. I think it's time for myself and Isis to explore other regions. I may still hit the Whites every now and then but for now, I'll leave those trail to the peak baggers. I never would have guessed that this is what would make my heart sing but being out on a trail and coming to a vista or walking an open ridge and being able to look in every direction for miles does. I feel ten times stronger than I ever have and I'm more comfortable in my own skin than I have been in years. Hiking has finally brought me around to where I should have been years ago and I'm forever grateful.
Please feel free to check out the video I made for my entire Long Trail experience. May you find your trail as well.