Friday jaunt

We had only a few light sprinkles as we drove the hour or so up to the trailhead Friday morning. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to walk in decent weather, after the fine times I’d had recently hiking in downpours. P and M, however, who had endured some drenched Scottish walking and camping in August, seemed okay with it, so I decided to join the end of the line (P, R, and M) as we headed into the woods just north of the Connecticut-Massachusetts state line.

Our route was a six-mile loop that encompassed Mount Everett (2,624 ft.), a tall peak in this part of the world. Our path took us up Race Brook Trail, steep, rocky and beautiful next to its cascading brook.

The view from the first outlook showed that the New England autumn wasn’t quite over. The flame of maple leaves was gone, but the oaks hadn’t all put on their dull brown winter coats.

It took us a strenuous three hours (stretched a bit by our losing the trail and scratching around for a while before finding it again—on the other side of the brook) to reach the Appalachian Trail, turn north, slab up Everett’s shoulder, and eventually achieve the remains of the old fire tower atop the mountain.

A little further on, we stopped at a shelter for lunch. A snappy dresser with impeccable standards, R decided it was a good time to dry his laundry.

I, secure in my sartorial perfection, simply enjoyed an apple.

A little farther on, we passed this tree. At first I thought some thru-hiking vandal had carved a message, but no…it’s just ink.

We made good time down the gentle Elbow Trail off the ridge, debouched onto the attractive campus of the the Berkshire School, did a little car shuttling, and headed for home to clean up, collect some random hangers-on, and get over to R and MJ’s to enjoy some comfortable lolling about, a spectacular meal of veggie lasagna, and great good-humored conversation—accompanied, of course, by one or two swallows of terrific wine.

Hard to imagine a more enjoyable day.


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