I am writing this from Cheshire Massachusetts (roughly mile 1560...or 614 to go). Today marks a pretty important day on the trail. It marks the last "easy" day I will probably have. I hiked a short day today and am purposely sucking the proverbial marrow out of this near-zero day. I have stuff to get at the post office so I had to stop for the day and wait until tomorrow morning. I got here about noon and am staying at a small B & B. Tomorrow I head out and up Mount Greylock....MA's highest peak. From there I head into Vermont and into tougher mountains again. After 100 miles in VT, I turn east and head into NH and finally get to tackle the White Mountains......arguably the toughest part of the entire trail. So like I said, today is my last day to enjoy taking it easy. Believe it or not, a lot of people quit the trail at this point because they see the elevation profiles for VT, NH, and ME...and lose hope. Again I will say that I have come too damn far to quit now (as tempting as it is....and oh man is it tempting). I know if I quit now, I would be sitting on my couch roughly one month from now saying to myself, "had I not quit, I'd be summiting Katahdin right now...DOH!" I have spent too many nights dreaming about what it will be like to summit Mt. Katahdin to give up.
I was talking to another hiker here about just how much faster the 2nd half seems to be going. We both agreed its because there's no Virginia. No state of 500 + miles. I remember hiking in Maryland right after my break and it seems like only a week ago. Yet North Carolina seems like last year. NJ, NY, CT, and MA have all gone by so fast.
I can't wait to be writing an update from Caratunk Maine, my last PO stop before Katahdin.
Thank you everyone for all your words of encouragement the last few weeks...it has certainly helped.
....next major stop will be Killington, VT. Right at the Maine Junction. (where the Long Trail and A.T. Split)
-a tired and sore, john.