7-4-12

AT miles hiked today: 20.6
Total AT miles hiked: 662.5

We are spending the night of the July 4th holiday with Bearwalker and Buttons in Great Barrington, MA. They were very generous and helped us slackpack 20.6 miles today. All day we thought it was going to be 19.6 miles so we thought we made bad time at first. Overall we didn't do too badly, though, and we had some very nice views. It took us 12.5 hours from 9:15am to 8:50pm to get back to the road. Slackpacking means hiking with a day pack instead of your whole load that you normally carry, and it seems like you might be able to go further with a lighter pack, but mostly it just seems easier and not much faster than normal.

When we finally dragged into town just before dark we got hot dogs, ice cream and soda for July 4th. Plus, Buttons made a great fruit smoothie and shared some. Yum. We heard big bangs all around us but saw no fireworks from the yard at all. That was okay, though we were a little disappointed. We had expected to be on the trail for the holiday anyway, but being in town got our hopes up to see fireworks. The finale sounded nice.

There was not much water on our hike today and we hiked through a mountainside covered in stinging nettles that were as tall as my head and stung both my legs and arms. We saw fireflies in the woods as dusk drew in and they were beautiful. We met many awesome people hiking north as we went south today. Three Fast Women, Gumpy, All Smiles, Hawk, Whiffleball, Blue's Clues, and many others. It was also nice to see so many day hikers out enjoying the holiday in the mountains. Happy Independence Day!