We took it easy from the Hemlocks Shelter and headed into Great Barrington in a little less than 8 miles. In Awol’s book this looks like pretty easy terrain, but again it was incorrect. The amount of times Dion, a graphic designer, has spoken about doing an app for this trail now numbers in the thousands! He really should, an app with reviews and comments would have really helped on our hike and with our stay at East Mountain Retreat Center.
It only took the boys four and a half hours to do their hike, so I picked up each and every hiker I saw in Great Barrington and gave them a ride to where they are going. This is something I’ve started doing recently, mostly because I know them from hiking around us and we like them but also the few dollars each person donates pays for our gas! Great Barrington is one of the largest trail towns we have come up to thus far, and it has everything you need but it is also very congested and spread out.
We decided to stay at the retreat center, even though it’s on the other side of town, it says in the book “$10 donations, showers and a bed.” This to me sounds great! This was not the cheap, indoor stay we were looking for though. Because we arrived in the Jeep the woman running the retreat, Lowis, would not let us stay in the beds, we were only permitted to camp in the backyard (still $5 a piece and we did indeed have to pay for Christian) because she thought we had more options than people who do not have a vehicle. This was pretty aggravating considering the amount of hikers I had shuttled to hotels much closer to the trail, but we got to take a shower and that’s all that mattered.