Preparation for this trip were somber for two reasons:
– very intense level of work, despite 2 mandatory furlough days conveniently place around Memorial Day weekend.
– very uncertain AT status. States do not want neither visitor not hikers. Finally, on Wed, May 21 Vermont announces that the trails will open next day – mug season is over. But all the shelters will remain closed indefinitely. Vermont AT authority Green Mountain Club (GMC) is encouraging day hikes only for now, but dispersed and primitive camping is allowed. That is good enough. Who would think that legalistic will spoil the unbounded freedom of AT.
Hikers meals were ordered online from REI – nice prices and quick fulfillment. Bars and trail mix – from Trader Joe’s. Water – from tap. I will weigh the backpack upon return, and it will be only 23.8 lb. Warm weather shades pounds. Nice.
OK. Now attention on MA side of the trail where my hike starts. MA do not allow overnight hiking and all AT parking lots are closed. Fine. Call Stop & Shop in North Adams, MA. Talk to manager – how many day, what state will be your license plates? OK. No problem. No sticker is required. Very nice! Thank you, Stop & Shop!