Returning to the trail after spending a great evening and morning with the Casey family, I hiked the 4 miles or so from the top of Mt. Greylock to the town of North Adams. I was meeting my friend Mike in town to spend a couple days off trail with him. I know Mike from video filmmaking. Several years ago, I responded to a post he made asking for help filming a wedding in NC. We share a common interest in filmmaking and love for hiking, so we became friends. Even though we’ve never lived anywhere near each other, we’ve always managed to meet up at least once a year in places like Colorado, NC, or Boston. This time we were going to hang out at his home town in central Massachusetts.
While waiting for him to arrive in North Adams, I hitched a ride to Bright Ideas Brewing, located on the MassMOCA campus (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.) I had an incredible experience here. First of all the beers were amazing. More impressive, though, was the warmth and friendliness I received. I got to chatting with co-workers Craig and Susie who were celebrating Craig’s birthday. They insisted they buy me lunch and a beer. The bartenders, Aaron and Alixe (who happen to be married) were SUPER nice. Aaron gave me a sample of an amazing food dish that I can’t even try pronouncing the name of that they were serving at a party the next day. He wanted to know how I liked it. I think the rate that the food vanished says everything! Soon, Mike and his girlfriend, Lindsay, arrived. When I went to close my tab, Aaron wouldn’t take any of my money, saying things were taken care of. He wished me luck on the rest of my journey. If you guys ever read this, thank you so much for your kindness and generosity!
Back at Mike’s, I met his Mom and step-Dad. Once again, I was greeted with tremendous hospitality. And LOTS of food. We made plans for the weekend. Mike called up his buddy Joe, who himself is an avid hiker and was excited to talk to me about the AT. Joe and Mike organized a road trip to northern Vermont to go hiking/waterfall jumping. My kind of adventure!
As we loaded up the car, a thought popped into my head. I would be crossing a state line by car, not on foot! I didn’t really know how I felt about that, but I didn’t linger on it too long. What really got to me though was the drive time, about 4 hours. Over the last four months, the longest I had been in a car was about 15 minutes. Four hours at 65 mph seemed like an eternity. I was restless and a bit car sick. The drive was worth it! I had such a blast swimming in the frigid, blue crystal water. We even had time to stop by Ben & Jerry’s and a couple of Vermont breweries, notably The Alchemist. We arrived back to Mike’s well after midnight, but that didn’t matter. It felt great meeting up with Mike and taking an adventure tour of Vermont. Thanks Mike for such an amazing time!
I left Mike’s refreshed and energized, ready to get back on the trail. Up to this point, I had never taken two zeroes in a row, and I had only hiked four miles the day before. I felt anxious to hike again, to get my legs moving and my lungs burning. To inhale smells of earth and feel the contrast of the warm sun and cool breeze. I missed the trail and was excited to feel the warm embrace of home again.
I am a filmmaker. I am an adventurer. I believe in children. My friends are obsessed with my beard. I am obsessed with beer. I want to embrace and fully live this life I’m blessed with. I want to be known as someone who loves deeply.
On May 16, 2017 I set out on my dream, the adventure of a lifetime: a 2,189.8 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. I want to push people to live their dreams and pursue their passions.