Appalachian Trail Happiness: Brassie Brook Shelter
When the uniqueness of a place sings to us like a melody, then we will know, at last, what it means to be at home. ~ Paul Gruchow
Sometimes on the trail you just hit a place that really works for you. One of these places for me recently was Brassie Brook Shelter in Connecticut. I had been back on the trail for about three days and that particular day had been a good one. I hit the shelter fairly early around 1:30 in the afternoon and decided to eat lunch and then figure out if I still wanted to continue on for the day. The odd thing is that two shelters, Brassie Brook and Riga are only a tenth of a mile apart. Riga had a bigger shelter but Brassie Brook had more camping space so I opted for the latter. Good choice! The shelter area was a hemlock forest, a recent straight line wind had cut a path through the camping area so there was one area of big downed and broken trees.
Coming over the hill that led down to the shelter there was a small cave off behind the shelter in the rocks. The shelter was tiny with a little picnic table out front and there was a nice little view that included a stream off to the side.
I sat down at the table and ate lunch and took in the beauty and the quiet of the spot. The stream had little waterfall sections that both made it easy to fill bottles and to allow me to do a little clean up. The quiet was broken by the bark of a big dog across the stream, I figured it must be at Riga Shelter. A few minutes later the dog came over the hill to the shelter, a powerful pit bull pulling his owner down the hill. Not the best with aggressive dogs I put a hand on a trekking pole and prepared to dread the next few minutes. Then I saw his tail wagging like crazy.
The dog turned out to be a former military service do and he was both drooly and incredibly friendly. He also chewed everything in site, he destroyed a brand new tennis ball in about 3 minutes, he bit through a quarter inch stick and gnawed off a branch nub that was a good inch in diameter. His owner was equally interesting, a recent veteran who was dealing with some issues and I dropped into counseling mode and we had a really great talk for an hour or so. It was a good meeting in a wonderful spot.
I decided to spend the rest of the day at the shelter and the stream and hang my hammock in the Hemlock forest. It was a really amazing spot and I had a great day and a wonderful night’s sleep. Just won of many really special days on the trail. Hope you’re having an amazing day today my friends ~ Rev Kane
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