AT miles hiked today: 9.9
Total AT miles hiked: 719.9

I'm tenting to avoid the bugs at Seth Warner Shelter tonight.

We made it to Vermont today and somebody left a cooler of amazingly good chocolate chip cookie bars for the hikers. Thank you! They were wonderful. We hiked a few miles this morning to meet Blaze and Mark in Williamstown at the Stop and Shop which has amazing food and a big salad bar and great pre-made deli sandwiches. I brought two of them with me to eat over the next two days and ate half of the roast beef sub tonight with veggie chips and garnished it with packets of mayo, mustard and horseradish. Yum!

I had a giant salad for lunch with chicken, boiled eggs, beans, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and all sorts of veggies and a honey mustard dressing. It was so yummy. I love that store. I also bought and drank a whole bottle of Pomegranate Kefir in the parking lot before we left and that was great, too. Whoop and Resource have hiked all the way through from Georgia and they found us at the store and came back to trail head with us. We also met a SOBO (southbounder) called JR in the parking lot. We were all hanging out under the tree in the parking lot and doing our resupply because it was the only shade around.

Blaze had hiked with the group for a long time in the south, but I hadn't met her because she was gone before I met them in Hot Springs. She met us here to hike again, so I met Blaze and her husband, Mark, for the first time and they ran me to the Post Office to get my package from Jenn, which had the New England section of the AWOL guide in it. Since Connecticut I have had to rely on other people's guides for everything, including doing the numbers for my blog. I felt insecure without my own guide. What if I got lost? How would I find water? I struggled to do my blog at night when I forgot to ask someone to borrow their guide until everybody was asleep in their tents. I did fine in the end, but I am happy to finally have my own guide again.

I fell coming down Mt Greylock. Again. I guess Rockin' Robin also fell at the same time I did but she was behind me and I didn't see or hear it because I was falling, too. Dry leaves on rocks on a very steep slope can be tricky! No tread on my shoes doesn't help either. I'm fine, just sore again.

This afternoon we climbed up a boulder field that looked like a rock slide. This is why relying too much on the AWOL guide is not helpful. An elevation profile does not tell you the kind of terrain you will be traversing and rocks are slow, even if the elevation is flat. There was a stream just north of Williamstown but not much water after that. We heard that the shelter may not have water so when we crossed a muddy puddle that is marked as a stream on AWOL we decided to fill up there. We spent an hour scooping water into bags and filtering muddy water through my bandana before putting it through Eagle Eye's Sawyer filter. The water came out remarkably clear, but it took forever.

When we got to the shelter we met a Long Trail hiker called Blazer. He told us the water here is deeper puddles than the mud puddle we got water from. Sigh. Oh well. I hung my first bear bag since I gave up Wilson tonight because the bear box is padlocked. I found a rock that was almost as good, but no rock can ever be as good as Wilson was. I've only had access to one bear box my entire hike so far and this nice big one is padlocked because people leave trash in them.