I woke to a slow putt - putt of rain on my tent. I packed up as quickly as I could. My goal was to get to the bridge over the Housatonic River. Awhile back, a man named Sandy Rhoads offered me a shower and a good meal when I passed through. So, I was pushing to get there as quick as I could. The place where we decided to meet was the bridge over the Housatonic River. It started to really pour just 15 min into my hike, so I put my rain jacket on and I hiked faster. The bridge was about 7 miles from where I camped that night. I got there around 8:15 or about two hours after I had started hiking.
When I had crossed the bridge, I gave Mr. Rhoads a call; which was difficult due to the the fact my phone was wet and did not seem to want to unlock. When I called, he picked up and told me he would be there in 2 minutes. When he pulled up, I got in sopping wet. We headed back to his home. After showering off and starting a load of laundry, we went to a cool little coffee shop cafe for some breakfast.
There is so much I could tell you about Mr. Rhoads that I don't think it would fit into a blog post. He is an extremely nice man his late 70s, very active in Boy Scouting, involved in the Order of the Arrow on the national level. He was a professional magician for 30 plus years and was published in Boy's Life Magazine. He worked for a long time with Native Americans and has an impressive library with about 1,000 books about them.
After breakfast, we went to the grocery store so I could buy a few days worth of food. After groceries, we went to the hardware store to buy denatured alcohol and a swiss army knife, as I had lost my last one yesterday. After the shopping was done, it was back to the house for some lunch. We had some tasty homemade tamales that were great.
I stayed until 1:40ish when it was finally time to get back to the trail, although I did not want to leave. He took me back to the trailhead on the more scenic route past the most expensive private school in the US and a race track. After thanking him for his generosity and hospitality, I began hiking on the trail again.
It was cold and quiet on the trail. I only saw 2 others hiking today. After hiking for a while, I climbed up Heart Mountain Peak which was very beautiful, but cold. Today was the coldest day since the Great Smokies.
Two major milestones, I crossed into Massachusetts and I also hit 1,500 miles. Only about 690 miles to go!
I got to camp and was the only one there. I would have pushed further, but in MA you have to stay in a designated camp site or shelter. I set up camp as fast as I could, since it was cold and there was no one to talk to - no reason not to be in my warm sleeping bag.
Pine Swamp Shelter to Laurel Doing Camp Site.