Through the beginning of the hike, I kept checking with him to see if he wanted to bail. I wouldn't say I wanted to head for home but if he did I was right on board. Alas, neither of us wanted to wimp out so we trudged on. I complain but it wasn't too bad. The rain kept the bugs at bay for most of the trip.
About 2 miles in we came to Redemption Rock. We climbed up it and looked for the engraving. The engraving was quite worn down and barely readable but it was there.
|It was here in April of 1676 that King Philip’s War hostage Mary White Rowlandson was released from Indian captivity. You can find out more about this park by going to the Trustees of the Reservation website.|
We crossed Highway 140 and entered Leominster State Forest. The rain became increasingly worse and unfortunately, we were starting to get cold. We pushed on and the rain started to let up. Fortunately, we were up on the top of Crow Hills and there was a breeze. This helped us to dry off some of our rain gear. The hills in this park had stone stairways that were quite slippery. We had to use extra caution when climbing them.
Wachusett Village Inn.
We crossed over Rt. 2 on the Waterman Memorial Bridge. The rain had decidedly stopped (for the moment) and we stood briefly over the traffic to let the breeze dry out our raincoats. Both of our coats were wet inside and out.
Throughout this hike we've followed and crossed over many stone walls. This was the first time we actually walked on the walls. The grasses were quite high in the pasture and the trail markers were directly next to the walls so it seemed to be the most practical thing to do.
We walked on through the woods and started seeing signs along the border of private property. At this point, I was pretty done with hiking for the day and starting to feel miserable. Fortunately, there was a boardwalk and we could hear construction vehicles. Ben thought we were near the end. Turns out he was right. We found Graffiti Bridge and our car.
I must admit, I feel that the bridge is a bit trashy. I understand that it is a tradition in Westminster for students to put their mark on it. However, the amount of rubbish that was on the ground under the bridge was awful. If only people would clean up after themselves. Oh and create better artwork.
At this point, we are 13.5 miles from the north end of the Midstate Trail. Our next hike is on the calendar. It seems as though our hiking buddies have found other summer fun, but that's okay. We miss them on the trail but we're determined to finish hiking this in 2011! And then back up north for the real mountains. :-)