Massachusetts: The Mosquito State

That section around the Housatonic River, man! Holy gods! I remember last time, there were so many mosquitoes that I was inhaling them. This time, they went for blood. If you stood still in that 3-mile section, they swarmed you. Hikers had two choices: raingear, or run. I can’t run, so raingear… and I still have probably 20 new bites. These guys are big and brown, and they’re mean.

But the big story today was water. There wasn’t any (except the cowshit Housatonic, which you can’t get to anyway, and with the big warnings about contaminated fish). Guthooks and Awol had reliable sources listed; they were all dry. Even the swamps were dry. There was a water cache at 7 AM, so I grabbed a liter there, but if it hadn’t been for a church group doing trail magic this afternoon (thank you for the hamburger and the water, wonderful people!), I didn’t think I’d make it to the shelter before I ran out.

KIWI is here!! I’m excited! We’re on the same schedule for a few days! Unicorn and J-Rock are 2 days ahead, confirmed. (They signed the register at the trail magic.) No sign of anybody else I know. I seem to be surrounded by the bleeding edge of the early April starters.

Frogs +1. Massachusetts is hard. Lots of steep. Tomorrow: 21 miles.

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