We enjoyed a restful night and slept soundly in our tent. Oh how we have missed the tent, no bugs buzzing in our ears, no college kids shining lights in our faces, such a good sleep. These were our last few hours in Massachusetts and it was bittersweet. Shortly after starting our hike, we crossed our fifth state border, Connecticut. This was followed by another short steepish climb up to Bear Mountain which offered our final views of Massachusetts looking back at Mount Everett and Mount Race. Once over Bear Mountain, the trail leveled our and we cruised into Salisbury. We walked a nice bike path/old rail road (what is also known as Ramble per a sign nearby). We reached a very nice small downtown with a steady stream of cars driving down the main road. It definitely felt like we were in Connecticut: small, crowded and lots of white jeans (we joke, we love our sister state).
Drawn by the smell of baked goods, we enjoyed cold brew coffee and several delicious pastries for second breakfast and some much needed calories. We had eaten every single item in our food bag (excluding a couple honey packets). While the zero was relaxing, it put a slight strain on our food supply. We are looking forward to the resupply in town. We also spent time using the beautiful historic library, it was the nations first public library established in 1803, to finalize our Massachusetts posts. It was easily one of the nicest libraries we had ever seen and we are happy they were welcoming to thru-hikers.
Hayley started to use the HP laptop in the library but the well intentioned librarian ushered her other to a brand new looking MAC saying, “you don’t want to use that old laptop, this one is much faster”. Hayley complied and while the MAC was much faster, she hadn’t used an Apple computer since 2008 so whatever speed was gained by the machine, she lost trying to figure out how to do things like maximize a screen and open folders. Spending over 2 months away from technology also did nothing to help the situation, she jokingly commiserated with the “old timers” who struggle with computers but after a little while she got the hang of it. You never would believe the things you learn on trail: starting campfires, duck taping blisters, learning to use a Mac…
There was a threat of some intense thunderstorms this afternoon. We could hear thunder in distance. We completed our small resupply at the local market and bought some lunch items (the old standby of bread and cheese) then packed up and hiked on. Just as we got back on trail it started to pour. Thankfully for only a few moments and we appreciated the free shower.
The trail into Falls Village had a slight discrepancy with FarOut app and the ATC guidebook of about 1 mile. This is the first significant difference we have noticed. Possible it is a typo or some sort of trail reroute in one of the sources. Either way the terrain was gentle and offered excellent views of the Connecticut Countryside. We passed a sign showing the 1500 mile mark from Springer, Georgia. We have 2/3 of the way left to go!!
We arrived in Falls Village a little after 6PM and make a quick stop at the packie. The lady behind the counter was extremely welcoming and gave us the run down of where everything was in town. We made our way to the Toymakers Cafe where we were allowed to camp on the lawn. Eric has memories of doing this in 2011. We had a nice night, enjoyed our groceries and packie purchases. Not a bad beginning to our time in Connecticut. We appreciate these friendly small towns. It is what makes the AT a unique adventure.
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