Berkshires – Jug End Loop, Housatonic, Mt. Everett, 6/6/15

After a lovely breakfast, courtesy of Great Barrington Bagel Co. (OMG, you have got to try the “tornado,” “blizzard,” and “el nino” bagels!) we headed out for our first hike of the day – to Jug End State Reservation in Egremont. The trail loops up and around a good-sized stream, through fields and forest, to an old stone chimney  – probably a remnant from a long-gone mill house. The trail is pretty easy, and easy to follow, with lovely views from the meadows.

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Then lunchtime, into the farmer’s market and food coop down in Great Barrington. We made sandwiches on a bench overlooking the Houstonic River, walked along the river, and along some historic buildings. The riverwalk has a park dedicated to W.E.B. DuBois, the author, sociologist, civil rights activist, and first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard, who was born down the road in 1868. The sign quotes his 1906 Address to the Nation, including this gem: “We want our children educated. Either the United States will destroy ignorance, or ignorance will destroy the United States.” Double click to expand each photo, and read the full quote.

Second hike of the day was to Mt. Everett, the 5th highest peak in Massachusetts. Took the easy way, drove up the auto road, to the gate, then hiked the remaining 3/4 mile, most of it on the closed road, to the summit. Spectacular views north to Mt. Greylock from a bench and shelter on the dirt road, then a very steep scramble up over the rocky Appalachian Trail.  The summit itself has foundation blocks from a now-removed fire-tower. The trees have grown so high that you can’t really see the view to the south unless you stand on a block. But it was our 2nd day in a row on the AT – and we met a young man thru-hiking on his way to Mt. Katahdin – he expected to be there in 6 more weeks! It took us almost 2 hours to do the summit hike of only 1.5 miles round-trip. At least we’ve been ON the AT in multiple states.

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Back down the road, we stopped at Guilder Pond, a beautiful spot for picnics, hiking, or paddling. We just took in the scenery.

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