The hike leading up to Mount Greylock was one of the biggest climbs we’ve had in a long while, but passed within feet of an awesome mountain lake that was pretty as a post card. A little well house pumps water up to the lodge. *Click 'SHOW MORE' below for more notes about this video...
(0:48) This wild brown bunny with long ears was having breakfast. He already weighed at least seven or eight pounds and was fairly tame. It let me get within two feet of him (or her) before hopping away.
(1:08) Nearing the summit, there were several rocks inscribed with quotes by famous authors. This one read: "It were as well to be educated in the shadow of a mountain, as in more classical shades. Some will remember, no doubt, not only that they went to the college, but that they went to
the mountain." Henry David Thoreau. 1844.
Thoreau was, of course, the noted transcendentalist best known for his book ‘Walden.’ The text spoke of simple living in natural surroundings. Thoreau believed in “Abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life’s true essential needs.”
FUN FACT: It’s said that even though he earned a master’s degree from Harvard College, he refused to pay the five-dollar fee for his diploma.
Thoreau’s name, and influence, comes up often when researching the AT and the history of areas it now occupies. Besides hiking this mountain and spending a night in a wooden observatory here (gone now), he explored the White Mountains, composed a persuasive speech strongly defending Captain John Brown’s actions in Harpers Ferry, and even visited Mount Katahdin a hundred years before the first thru-hiker. He wrote about this experience in his book, ‘The Maine Woods.’ https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_D....
I thought it ironic that he spent many years working in his family's pencil factory, perfecting writing instruments, even into his adult life. Bedridden during his later years, he busily edited his unpublished works. When asked if he had made peace with God, Thoreau replied: “I did not know we had ever quarreled.” He died in 1862 at the age of 44 due to complications of tuberculosis and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Mass. His last, confused words: “Moose… Indian.”
(1:12) Bascom Lodge on top of the mountain was handsome in architectural design and beautifully built by the CCC from local materials procured on the mountain during trail construction. It does not necessarily cater to thru-hikers, but you can get lunch there.
(1:33) Marking the highest natural point in Massachusetts at 3,491 feet, Veterans War Memorial Tower is very unusual in design and topped with a large ball of green glass. The 93 foot tall memorial was originally intended to be a lighthouse erected on Boston’s, Charles River Basin. Plans changed and it was constructed here in 1932 instead and honors fallen Massachusetts soldiers of World War I. The inscription reads: “They were faithful even unto death.” The doors were locked so I did not get to go in. (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Greylock).
The sky was a very deep blue with puffy, white clouds wandering about. Shadows they projected on the landscape in the vast valley were entrancing to watch. From here, views of up to 72 miles are possible and you can see into five states: Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire. An automobile road leads to the top so there were lots of people here, including a large Asian family celebrating… something. I took a picture for them with their camera.
(2:33) This friendly German Shepard was named Loki, assumed named after the Marvel super hero, was playing fetch with his masters and was very well trained and obedient. I think his owners were from the Ukraine.
(2:56) Hiking, snowshoe, and cross country skiing trails crisscross this mountain. There is no camping allowed on the summit, but there is a stone shelter near the top in case someone gets stuck here in a blizzard, etc. The attractive building was very well planned out with single bunks laid out in a star pattern around a central buck stove. The sign said: “Emergency Only”, but if you got here late enough, think it would be a fun place to crash and catch a sunset/sunrise. It had heavy doors and lots of windows and a graffiti tag on the wall suggested: “Don’t write on wall stupid!”
Miles and hours later, I hiked late into the evening while watching the orange and yellow sun set between thin trees. Feeling much better today, I enjoyed everything, most of all this sunset.
My favorite time to hike, dusk is your best chance to spot a deer or other wild life. Walk quietly and listen sharply and you may see something. I made camp after dark up high away from mosquitos and other backpackers. I would spend a lot of the remaining time while I hiked thinking about Jeanine.