Here comes the second installment of my camping trip to the Mohawk Trail State Forest, you will find the first part here.
So why Mohawk Trail State Forest, you may ask. Well, two reasons, it is nearby and for me the name evoked the romance of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. The Mahicans, who eventually lost out to the Mohawks, are said to be the inspiration behind the Mohicans. Mahican-Mohawk Trail runs through the forest. It is also home to some of the tallest pines in New England.
The Mohawk Trail follows an old Indian trade route. Along the way to Charlemont, we passed many small towns on the winding road, that hugged the Deerfield river. It was easy to imagine Hawkeye walking through these paths. Dashing Daniel Day Lewis with long hair, so hot! The sudden jolt I received when Mr. Schroedinger’s cat had to slow down brought me back to reality, from my day dreams. Instead of handsome Hawkeye there was road work to greet us as we entered Charlemont. The rain had already tapered as we entered the State Forest.
I had booked the cabin online and filled a pre-check-in form, so it took all of two minutes to register. As the pretty blond forest ranger handed us over key, I casually asked her about whether there were any black bears around, since we were officially in black bear country. I expected her to say, don’t worry about it. Instead she recounted a story of how she had encountered a black bear on a walk in the town with her mother. By the way, she said the bear can outrun you. To make it go away you have to yell in your most authoritative voice. She also cheerfully volunteered that her mother had Lyme disease and could not run, nevertheless the bear had disappeared after a stern scolding. Lyme disease brought up concerns about ticks, and added that she was bitten by ticks umpteen times before, and that it was no big deal. This was not good. We finally got a bundle of firewood from her and proceeded to drive to our cabin, with me fervently wishing that I would never encounter either a bear or a tick.
The cabin was tiny but picturesque, though a bit dark and musty on the inside. There was a bunk bed and a table and some chairs. There was also a tiny kitchen counter and dark cabinets above and below. For cooler months there was a woodstove. The restroom and the showers were about a five minute walk from the cabin. Thankfully I had packed food for us that did not need heating. I survived the night without an encounter with a bear. As a safety precaution I had Mr. Schrodinger’s cat accompany me to the rest room so I had something to offer the bear besides myself, just in case the bear stopped by to say hello. (to be continued)