Saturday–October 30, 2021
Location–Dugway Road (1496.1) to Undermountain Road (1502.9), then to home of Barbie and Dan Howland, South Kent
What a grand home, that of Barbie and Dan Howland. They’ve opened their guest rooms to hikers. Barry, Slim Jim, Kitchen Sink and me, we’re the latest benefactors of their kindness and hospitality! To describe their place, the services they provide, I’d say they’re more closely aligned with a really classy B&B operation, certainty not a hiker hostel. Yet here they are and here we are–to be lavished and treated like family! I no sooner get settled in (my own private room and bath), than we’re called to supper in their lovely dining room, the finest of settings–to feast on out-of-this-world lasagna prepared by Dan!
Today comes in cold, windy, dark and rainy. These conditions have been forecast for days now. We were expecting it. So, plans, as far back as last Thursday, were to take a zero day today and just rest. Ahh, and what better way to spend my 83rd birthday!
But plans change. Radar shows a big gap in the storm; conditions are improving. For my remaining-days logistics plan to work, I need to try and get in a short six-plus mile day soon. Looking closely at the radar one more time, Kitchen Sink & I decide to go for it.
Slim Jim has invited his friend Milo and his two boys, Miles and Julian to hike a short distance with us this morning. A fun time climbing Mount Prospect together. Photo time, then Slim Jim hikes back down with them.
The rain comes and goes but remains gentle for the day. On the ridge we’re in the clouds. Here the trees collect moisture from the passing clouds and the wind shakes it loose to rain down on us. I don my poncho for a short time, but then the cloud-shroud moves on, providing us shutter-open, shutter-closed views down and across the Housatonic Valley. Continuing along the ridge past Mount Prospect, Raccoon Hill, and Wetauwanchu Mountain, here the tread is almost totally rock- and root-free, and Kitchen Sink and I are able to move out and make good time–just a couple of boulder fields, but the hike through them (one has a log ladder) is short and pleasant.
Descending to Salisbury, Barry hikes up to greet Kitchen Sink and me, then hikes back with us, a short roadwalk and a bit of open field–back to his van.
Evening, a wonderful birthday dinner provided and prepared for me by Barbie, Dan, Barry, Slim Jim & Kitchen Sink. A very special and amazing day with dear friends. Ahh, and many, many text and email messages wishing me a happy 83rd birthday…
Wise is the person who finds a reason
to make every day a special one.