Journal 256-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Tuesday–November 2, 2021
Trail Day–256
Trail Mile–12.5/2560.4
Remaining Miles–57.3
Location–Undermountain Road (1502.9) to Mount Everett Road (1515.4), then to home of Mike & Carol Whalen and son, Chris, Otis, Massachusetts

If you’ve followed my adventures even the least you well know how difficult it is for me to say goodbye, especially when the parting is no doubt final. And so, this morning I bid farewell to Barbie & Dan–likely the last time I ever see either of them again. Photo ops, hugs, and a few tears and I’m down their driveway and gone.

Today will be the most challenging and difficult of the few days remaining to complete Odyssey 2021. Slim Jim, Kitchen Sink and I will be tackling Lions Head, Bear Mountain, Mount Race, and Mount Everett. In the process we’ll make ascents and descents totaling over a mile–3,600 feet of up, 2,000 down–through rock and boulder-strewn trail.

Another crisp autumn day, the chill of fall in the air. We start with a warmup on a gentle climb. My puffy and wind-break hoods up, my trekking poles dangling from my wrists, hands in pockets. But soon enough I’ve got to lean into it and dig my sticks in as the first ascent for the day begins–the steep climb to Lions Head. Fortunately, I’ve good energy and am of good spirit. This day is going to take plenty of both!

The day is practically haze-free, offering breathtaking vistas from every vantage, first from Lions Head, then Bear Mountain. Comes now the steep descent, down and down some more, to Sages Ravine–where we’re confronted with the fording of Sawmill Brook. Wet feet now and for the remainder of this day.

Of the 15 states through which my Bama to Baxter trek passes, I put #14 (Connecticut) behind me today–to cross into Massachusetts a little before two. It’s a great feeling to be standing by the “Welcome to Massachusetts” sign, with just a bit over 50 miles remaining to complete this Odyssey 2021!

Finally, down the steep descent off Mount Everett, we reach Mount Everett Road, our destination for today. It’s turning dark; I’m totally spent. What an incredible day…

 

What you get by achieving your goals
is not as important as what you become
by achieving your goals.
(Henry David Thoreau)

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