We arrived at the ALDHA Gathering a little late Friday night. It was being held this year at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Even though we were late checking in, we still needed to stop for dinner and showers, but we did hit the end of the opening night’s presentation and I’m glad we did. Each year is called out and AT hikers from that class stand up. There were people there who hiked forty years ago, who hiked five and more times, etc. It was very cool to see. There were even hikers from this year’s class who had summitted the day before. I loved being able to stand up with the 2013 class and see what friends were there.
While activities took place at the college, camping for the weekend was on a farm a few miles away. It was a gorgeous place that the owner let over a hundred people stay on for free. There was a big bonfire there every night where I caught up with old hiker friends and met new ones. I even saw some southbounders from last year that I spent one night with in Kent, CT.
During the days, the Gathering is more like a conference than a festival. I went to presentations on the Trans Adirondack Route, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Portuguese route of the Camino. I also went to workshops on outdoor writing and compass skills. I got a lot of great new information to look up later as I plan trips.
I woke up this morning to my tent glowing pink so I unzipped it to watch a beautiful sunrise. Then it was time for packing up and saying goodbye. CitySlicka was also catching a ride with Stretch and we decided to go visit the AT on Mt Greylock on our way out.
Then they dropped me off in Troy, NY, for my next adventure.