July 15, 2000

Bascom Lodge, MA · 17  Miles Hiked Today · 1566 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Getting ready at The BascomToday was awesome again. I awoke to find it raining and was glad for the porch space. On the north end of town, just before heading back into the woods I heard a voice in the rain say "Would you like some coffee?" I turned and to the elderly lady replied "No, thank you" and kept walking. After about 20 feet I thought I should take her up on it because it may quit raining while I drink. Rita let me into her house, wet, and made me eggs, toast, waffles, coffee, orange juice, and a homemade chocolate éclair. Wow! We talked about her two sons, her recently deceased husband, the city of Dalton, and of course, the trail. I learned quite a bit about the town and that she had met a hiker a few years ago and since then has been offering hikers what we need most - food. She said she likes to fuss over people and with her husband gone, hikers give her the chance. It was a great hour-and-a-half. The funny part is that just yesterday I had said out loud "I could use some trail magic" because last time I had, I got it six times in five days. Now, that's twice in two days, and, just yesterday or the day before I had told somebody that stories like that hadn't happened to me. They have now.

The rest of the hike to here, Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts, was uneventful. Basically, it got wetter, cooler, and windier. Tonight I will sleep on the enclosed porch/patio/dining area and do work-for-stay to earn my chicken and ribs dinner. I've been wanting to work-for-stay somewhere along the way and this looked like a good place. Just another part of the trail experience.

Left to right: Garbage Man, Erik, and Ulcer workin' for "the man" at The BascomLater...dinner was awesome! Milk, lemonade, orangeade, cornbread, chili, salad, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, ribs, BBQ chicken, and ice cream. Ulcer and I sat with two sobo's (southbounders) and the AMC nightly speaker and traded stories. It was nice to be waited on. Then, it was time to clean. We worked about 90 minutes washing dishes and earned the equivalent of $37 in free dinner, free breakfast, and reduced sleep rates. Not bad. It reminded me of working at Taco Bell, cleaning that bean pot.

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