June 29, 2014 Mount Greylock, Massachusetts
I actually stayed up on the summit of Mount Washington for several hours. I was enjoying the beautiful weather (shorts and t-shirts) and watching the rally racers come to the finish line. I did not actually get back down to my car until early afternoon at which point I drove back into town (Gorham, NH) for a late lunch before heading off to hike Mount Greylock. After another great meal at SAALT I headed not directly to Mount Greylock but to Bristol, RI to pick up a friend who wanted to join me on the Greylock hike. Mount Greylock is beautiful and I highly recommend the hike, but, if you are not a hiker, it, like Mount Washington, can be summited via car as well. I made it to Bristol, RI late in the evening of the 28th of June, gathered up my buddy Jason DeCosta and we headed out to Mount Greylock about three hours away. We arrived at around 3am on the morning of the 29th. I was exhausted after the back to back days on Katahdin and then Mount Washington and fell right asleep. We awoke early that day and headed to the trail head. Mount Greylock is part of the Appalachian Trail as well (Katahdin is the northern terminus and Mount Washington is also on it) and is a fantastic hike. I felt right at home (I am originally from Missouri) hiking through the lush vegetation and flowered forest on our way to the summit. It was the first hike on my journey that did not entail at least a small section of something that could kill me. The hike is pleasant, not overly taxing, and upon reaching the summit you have amazing views.
We hiked the Bellows Pipeline Trail to the Thunderbolt Ski Trail to the top. It was a quick but very pleasant hike with excellent views. At the summit there is a fantastic war memorial and a comfortable lodge (Bascom Lodge) welcoming car travelers, day hikers and, of course, those on the long, arduous trek to complete the Appalachian Trail. We arrived in great spirits (though the hike is mostly easy there are some steep sections and there was a summertime humidity and heat this day that caused us to arrive soaking with sweat and feeling a little bit giddy).
We spent a good amount of time taking photos and just enjoying the views before heading back down. We returned the same way we had summited (there is a large network of trails on this mountain, I recommend spending a day exploring more of them) because we were worried about taking different routes and not being able to easily find our way back to the car. Again, I immensely enjoyed the dense forest vegetation, abundant flowers and the quaint mountain streams along the way. All in all this was the most pleasant of my state high points to date. The relaxing hike, forest beauty, lodge and war memorial bustling with activity at the summit, and the beautiful summit views make this one a must see for hikers as well as those without the time or energy for a hike. Do check the schedule if you are planning to summit in a car on the road, it is not open year round.
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