Journal 249-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Tuesday–October 26, 2021
Trail Day–249
Trail Mile–0.0/2482
Remaining Miles–135.8
Location–Home of Whitman & Anne (Peale) Groves, Williamstown, Massachusetts

A nor’easter has been churning off the coast the last couple of days. It came in last night, bringing wind and surging rain early this morning, lasting this entire day, Rain accumulation, three-plus inches in some places–flood warnings out up and down the coast. Whitman and Anne are happy to have us stay today, take a zero, then rest up another night. What great benefit to be out of it, dry and warm. Thanks dear friends!

Plans are to be up at five in the morning, straighten up, load, and hit the road for New York. It’s a two-hour drive down to SR-52 where I interrupted the northbound segment of my trek late last July. If we manage to get there early enough tomorrow morning, we’ll work at getting in a full hiking day. Forecast is a bit iffy, cloudy, windy, possible rain. We’ll see how it goes…


Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.

Journal 248-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Monday–October 25, 2021
Trail Day–248
Trail Mile–10.3/2482
Remaining Miles–135.8
Location–Home of Tom Levardi, Dalton, Mass. (621.1) to Outlook Ave., Cheshire (610.8), then to home of Whitman & Anne (Peale) Groves, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Another early start as we’ve 10+ miles remaining to complete the southbound portion of this trek, from Mount Katahdin, Maine, to Dalton, Massachusetts–at Tom Levardi’s place. His home is right on the trail in Dalton. Tom has befriended AT hikers for years, permitting them to pitch overnight in his backyard. I stayed at Tom’s in 1998 and we’ve been friends since.

So, the plan now is to end the southbound segment of Odyssey 2021 at Tom’s. From there, I’ll return to SR-52 in New York where I interrupted my northbound trek last July, and hike from there back to Tom’s, thus completing Odyssey 2021 on Tom’s front stoop.

Another moderate but steady climb, friendly tread, up to a rock pile called The Cobbles. A vista of sorts, but not much to see this foggy, overcast day. Rain has been in the forecast, but fortunately, we’ve avoided it.

Ahh, and another nearly pain-free day! The blessings continue.

It’s great seeing Tom again; been a long time. We’ll be back to your place in a couple of weeks, Tom!


Say what you want about aging,
it’s still the only way to have old friends.
(Robert Brault)

Journal 247-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Sunday–October 24, 2021
Trail Day–247
Trail Mile–13.2/2471.7
Remaining Miles–146.1
Location–MA-2, North Adams  (597.6) to Outlook Ave., Cheshire (610.8), then to home of Whitman & Anne (Peale) Groves, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Barry is up before daylight as usual, headlamp on, brewing coffee. Then comes the customary fried egg and cheese breakfast sandwich–never tire of that combination!

I’ve a climb in excess of 2,500 feet to reach the summit of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. Slim Jim is hiking with me, helping me pick the right line. A couple of lesser summits on the way, Mount Williams and Mount Fitch. It’s a long, hard pull. We finally gain the summit a little after one. There’s an auto road to Greylock, and with this being a delightful Sunday, the place is packed. A long wait to climb the memorial tower. Instead, we take a break for lunch with Barry, get a few photos–and move on.

The trail follows the ridge, up and over Saddle Ball Mountain before finally dropping down to Outlook Road, our destination for today.

The medication prescribed by Tracy has blunted the pain in my left foot. It’s not entirely gone, but enough so to let me concentrate on the trail, the tread of which has also improved significantly. Fewer rocks and roots, little mud. So, I’m actually able to stride normally, making good time. I’ve tripped some but have not fallen during this somewhat extended 13-mile day. Ahh, but do the blessings of this journey continue…


Any unforeseen challenges that crop up
are only there to test your resolve
on your way to ultimate success in reaching your goal.
(Byron Pulsifer)

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