I’m at the McDonalds in Great Barrington, MA, drinking coffee and doing a little mission planning. This is a particularly robust town, with many hiker friendly food and lodging options, so it’s an attractive place to take a zero day.
In addition to all of the greasy McDoubles I could ever desire, there is also a Subway on the south end of town. For lodging, the Berkshire Regional Community Center allows tenting behind their building. Additionally, for a mere $7, hikers can have full use of their facility for the day. This includes showers and the pool. A veritable stinky hiker oasis!
Mission planning typically includes making a grocery list, tailored to conditions and the miles until the next resupply. Generally for me, fifteen miles equals one full day of food. If the next resupply is forty five miles out, that’s three day’s with. The tendency for hikers is to overpack their fears. I always buy too much food, because running out is my biggest worry out here.
Conditions affect the grocery list too. In summer heat I load up on Propel powder, because electrolyte replacement becomes paramount. In colder weather, I will always carry out at least eight ounces of cheese, which is unmatched in its calorie to weight ratio. Summer sausage and precooked bacon are also winter staples.
Another great aspect of Great Barrington, is that there is both a Marshall’s and a Good Will here. About a hundred miles ago, I split one pair of men’s running shorts, right down the rear seam. It’s gone from a one inch tear to three inches in that time. Thankfully I wear liner shorts, so the mooning has been kept to a minimum.
Woman’s running shorts have been a game changer for me. Thanks to Neemor’s YouTube channel for that recommendation. They’re light, they breath well, and the shorter length allows more leg movement, which wards off splitting butt seams. I’m hoping to find another pair today, as my men’s shorts are pretty worn out anyway. They’re not worth repairing.
Other town errands involve bumming WiFi for podcasts, uploading YouTube videos to make space on my phone, and downloading my next audio book, Good to Great.
Speaking of errands, I had best get to stepping! Here are some pictures from the last few miles:
An inviting pool of water. I took a little hiker bath here (no soap).