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7/20/18 Day 362 AT Day 121 Great Barrington, MA to Benedict Pond Campground

Well, another interesting day in the life. First, a super nice gentleman gave me a ride to the weird place I got off trail a couple days ago, thank you so much! Hiking went pretty well today. My infection didn’t grow, terrain was beautiful, 5 miles in there was a place to buy a can of soda, and life was good. Then, about 15 miles in, I came to a shelter to grab some water. The water was down a bit of a steep trail, but was clear and very cold: so GOOD! I was a little frustrated when other hikers complained about the side trail to water being a 5 minute downhill hike. This always frustrates me. It’s cold water! You need it to live, and you’re taking the least efficient way possible to get from Georgia to Maine: why on earth would you complain about a little side trail to get to cold, clear water in a pretty dry section of trail at the moment? Anyway, I checked out my leg at this shelter as it was covered in long pants. Uh oh. More poison ivy! I realized my mistake almost immediately: why didn’t I wash ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING? There is definitely poison ivy oil on some of my items and I’m going to keep getting more if I don’t clean everything! Grrr, I felt a bit dumb, but what can you do? Gotta get everything clean ASAP! Hmm, what to do to get this accomplished, though? I met a cool local at the shelter and he ended up giving me half a Subway turkey bacon Avocado wrap (thanks so much, you’re awesome)!!!! He also advised me that there was a campground only half a mile off trail where I could likely wash a bunch of things, or at least try to. Thanks for the advice! I walked the 5 or so miles North on the AT and headed to the campground. I showed up at the swimming area and nearly immediately met a Monica and Jen and their cute dog Julian. They asked if I was a thru hiker, I responded appropriately, and told my story. They amazingly offered me almost immediately a place to wash my clothes, dinner, and a free campsite to stay at! Thank you so much!!!!! Jen is aspiring to do some long hiked herself so we had all sorts of things in common. Monica was quite the chef too: cooking me up shrimp and fish with potatoes!!!!! And chicken and Mac n cheese and s’mores for dessert! And soda, great conversation. And poison ivy medicine, and food to take with me. You’re both amazing, thank you so incredibly much! We needed up staying up chatting until almost midnight! I also managed to formulate a plan: my parents would come pick me up tomorrow and I’d go home to wash

everything. Kind of a pain for them and it sucks a bit I’m not making progress North, but what can you do? I need to deep clean everything and that’s hard to do on trail, without a car.

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