Upon deciding to push on to Monson yesterday for an extra night of providing stimulus to the town economy, we immediately called Shaw’s to see if they had any availability. Not only did they have room for us, but Dawn, one of the co-proprietors, offered to pick us up at the trailhead.
Shaw’s is one of the most well known, if not the most famous, hostel on the Appalachian Trail. It was originally a state-run home for the mentally ill, but switched to a hostel in the seventies when state funding dried up and the original owner noticed an influx of hikers coming in to town off the trail.
There’s a sign on the door informing hikers that if no one is here to come on in, pick a bed and take a shower, which gives you an idea for they type of atmosphere. Shaw’s is perhaps best known for their breakfast, and this morning we learned why. At Shaw’s you order by giving them a number. I said “two,” and in return I got two blueberry pancakes, two eggs (any style), two slices of bacon and two sausage links. You can order as many times as you like. Tomorrow I might push my stomach walls a bit and order a three. We’ll see.
On the trail a rest day is referred to as “taking a zero,” as in zero miles hiked. Today Brad and I took a four, going back to the trail to do what we skipped yesterday by taking a shortcut trail to town. When we were done Dawn came and picked us up. She brought with her a Coke for each of us, and then for a nominal fee drove us to Greenville so that I could get some new sandals. I wasn’t able to find any Crocs in my size, but I’m grateful to at least have an alternative footwear. Hopefully this time I can hold onto the pair.
Needless to say the hospitality here is excellent, and any hiker coming through should seriously consider staying at Shaw’s.
Tonight I’m looking forward to trying the BBQ restaurant in town. I was skeptical at the sound of this at first, but I have only heard good things. The restaurant is only open Thursday through Sunday, and the sign out front says that they are open until ten or whenever they run out of food. Should be interesting.