Summary: Great Barrington MA 23: 1529 Random campsite: 1544.3 Total miles: 15.3 We rambled on down to the beige breakfast (it's been a while, we almost miss it... not really). We didn't stay too long and simply packed up and headed over to Subway for some early lunch and Dean and Patch wanted to pack out sandwiches for the evening. We knew we would be jealous later. After a bit of a runaround trying to get a ride down to the trail, we called Joe, a recent retiree turned trail angel who Patch saw mentioned in Guthook. Joe had some time in an hour, so we grabbed some coffees and killed time. Joe showed up early and was one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet. He was psyched to be helping hikers. He said he always picked up hitchers in the past, but now that he was retired he's shuttled something like 200 hikers this year to and from the trailhead. We made it back to the MA23 trailhead faster than we would have liked since Joe was great to talk to, but it was already 12:30 and we wanted to get some miles in. The terrain was great once we got hiking again, and with the cooler weather we made great time. Patch was also feeling much better, not that he had slowed down much at all when he was sick. It did sprinkle a bit, but not enough to make us want our rain gear.
We made a little stop at what was labeled as a Farm Stand. The young son and daughter of the farmers ran a little honor system shop with snacks and sodas. We grabbed a few sodas and took a break. From here we only had five or so more miles to a spring where we figured we would stop for the evening. We had made great time and ended up pulling into the spring at around 6:15 even with the long break at the farm stand.
The spring ended up being a hellscape of mosquitoes. We found some flat ground a good ways up beyond the spring which we thought would be better. It was for about ten minutes and we, at least, dove into our tent to save ourselves. Patch and Dean ate dinner while being eaten for dinner. We were more pragmatic. Dean and Tyler also compared feet, which were flaking badly and Patch said it looked like the first stages of trench foot, before the new fresh skin flakes off and then gets infected. Guess we need to moisturize and dry them out. The last event of the evening was snapping the the branch the bear line was tied to. Tyler then ran into the woods to find another branch and was again feasted upon by mosquitoes. Still, once in the tent we slept easily and quickly after watching the little bloodsuckers surround our bug netting.