Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 124- One Of The Better Days In A Long Time

Looking back on my tent location choice I really wished I set up on the stage, I like to sleep in interesting locations so in the morning I set up there naturally. Yeti, Chip, and Tumbles showed up at the church and seems they were slack packing again today and invited us. Never will say no to a slack pack! We hung out for a bit and then all headed out together, Mt. Greylock would be today and we weren't getting picked up until 5:00 so we had plenty of time. Again, I didn't carry a day pack but between Yeti and Tumble's packs I had my water and snacks taken care of. Yeti carried a bunch of Busch and off we went. Break Time was the only one who carried a full pack, he is so pure that even slack packing is cheating. A purist usually is one who needs to walk by every white blaze, if they go in one way to a shelter; they go back out the same way to not miss any part of the trail. We all know I am not a purist, but Break Time doesn't even believe in slack packing. Why make it harder on yourself? Hike your own hike. We all walked as a group which was fun; Break Time lead, then Chip, myself, Yeti, Lynn, and Tumbles for most of the day. Yeti and I talked a lot during the hike and Tumbles and Lynn talked a lot during this time as well. There was a lot of uphill to get to Greylock of course and it was nice to be able to keep the same pace as the guys. Yeti and I talked of what we both want to do after the hike, their plans to do the Camino, sports and hobbies, family, etc. You would never guess he was 19 years old by talking with him. We are complete opposites in our life plans thus far and respect each other for their decisions nonetheless, since one way or another our choices lead us both in the same place. It's funny the trail gathers all kinds of people from doctors and lawyers, to drunks and dropouts. Doesn't matter your past, when the trail brought us all together for a reason. As we neared the top of Greylock, we encountered all kinds of signs, gravel roads, and even a Lotus. Oh right, because some people drive to see a nice view. For the first time, I actually said "This can't be the top, we're not there yet." And then I saw the tower-wow, never would I think it would have been that easy; I love slack packing. There were people all around and we grabbed a spot on the rock wall to hang out and kill some time. We popped open some Busch and ate some snacks. It was a beautiful day and when the clouds covered the sun it was actually cold. I had a little photo shoot of tree pose and a handstand on the side of the world and I have to say, the handstand photo is right up there with McAfee Knob being my favorite. We had a great time hanging out up there and relaxing but around 2:30 Lynn and I decided to take off since it would be a long downhill to the pickup spot and the guys are faster than us. The initial downhill was very steep and two kids from Germany came running down it-how unfair. Eventually the guys passed us too with the exception of Break Time and at times we were jogging down the trail since we had over 6 miles to do in 2.5 hours. It was a very, very, very, long downhill. So thankful I didn't have my big pack or my body would be hating me even more. We finally got to the street with Break Time not too far behind and got to the van around 5:15. Everyone was there hanging out and playing frisbee. There were some new faces, and old ones who just don't hike. We crammed into the van and had about a 15-20 minute drive back to the church. The guys had invited us back to the campground but Rob said you girls are going to the church right? With disappointment, "I guess." Rob said he didn't have any more room at the campground. Hmmm sounding more and more like Tom. Oh well, we got dropped at the church and Yeti and Tumbles said they felt bad they invited us and after they get their pack they are going to try to have him drop them back off after dinner. I was in shock with how everything happened. Am I grateful for Rob picking us up and dropping us off, slack packing for free for two days? Absolutely. Am I perplexed by the idea that he is taking people who don't hike back to the campground over us? Yup. But, it's his choice to do so which in the end is his decision anyways. Lynn and I decided to walk to the pizza place which was closer to the church and have a pizza and beer. We passed by a local glass shop and stopped in, I ended up buying a cute turtle necklace pendent. We got half and half of a large pizza; my half was ham, pineapple, and roasted red peppers which I got a Sam Summer to go with. It was really good! Left one piece for later that night, or the next day. When we got back to the church, I decided to set up behind the stage like Break Time had done the night before. I just laid out my footprint, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag this time. A Southbound couple we had met up on Greylock was settling into the other room. It is crazy how many Southbounders we have run into recently, seems this is the crossing point in time where NoBo and SoBo meet. Lynn was talking on the phone, and I sat up in one of the chairs on the stage browsing on my phone when the guys walked in. Honestly I was surprised to see them, but happy! They came up to the stage and played some pingpong and I put on some Pandora to listen to. Tumbles came up to me and held out a napkin and some receipts in his hand which looked like trash, "no thank you" I said. He insisted, I took the napkin and warily opened it up. It was a handful of turquoise gummy bears from the buffet! I was so happy, and so thoughtful of him to bring me them. We continued to hang out up on the stage; the three guys set up their sleeping pads up there with me, and then the woman Southbound came to talk with us for a bit before turning in for the night. 

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