This trip was in Douglas State Forest, MA. Aiming for beginner backpackers. The terrain is flat, easily walking in and out. We get to test our current gears to see if we want to keep them or make a change under guidance of the two leaders. Can you see the little toad among the brownish leaves?
Joe taught us how to find firewood. So we did find a ton of dry stock for the campfire. It smelled so good, also kept bugs away.
This was also little J's first backpacking trip. His family came to the campsite when we were setting up tent. He was running around us beginner adults, so we took over role of his playmate and his parents could have some alone time : ) So proud of this guy. For the sake of having fun, he brought marshmallows and sleeping company.
In the quietness of the forest, watching water to boil is such a fun thing! Before bed we've learned hanging food and smelly stuff, including tooth paste, so the critters especially mice wouldn't get to them at night. On the way out the next morning, we found this cute creatures. Still don't know what they are. It's ok. So very grateful for this trip to enjoy time among trees and more trees!
Top of Gunstock Mountain (left) and Piper Mountain (right). The leaders picked such a nice loop, lots of beautiful views along the way. Leaders: Peggy Qvicklund and Eva Das (80 years old!).
We found lots of trilliums along the way. Ava (white hair, in blue long sleeve shirt, second from right in picture) is over 80 years old now, finished NH 4000 footers in her 70s and still bagging peaks. First met her at The Notch Hostel, North Woodstock, NH. She's such an inspiration for all of us.
Summits In Solidarity for the support of Serena Ryan, owner of The Notch Hostel. In "2020 Notch owner Serena Ryan and employee Philip Carcia co-founded Summits in Solidarity, a racial justice initiative among hikers in the Northeastern US and beyond." Please check out the hostel when you are planning trips to the White Mountains!
The Appalachian Trail Massachusetts Committee gathered most of the AT volunteers on this warm day to summarize the work done last year and discuss the trail work to be finished this year. It was held at Father Tom Campsite in Cheshire, MA. Volunteers were then divided into 4 discussion groups: trail work, boundary maintenance, natural resource monitoring, and cabin maintenance. It was such a good time around kind people.
Father Tom Campsite was finished in 2019 for AT hikers. The trail goes right through town of Cheshire. There are also free bikes for hikers to go to get resupplies. What a wonderful place to hangout. Gratitude to all volunteers and leaders.
AT-MA committee Leaders and volunteers. Picture from Cheshire Appalachian Trail Committee.