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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Over 2,500 "Ramblers" Tackle Columbus Day Hike

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Monday, October 09, 2006

from left, Becky Armstrong and John Armstrong of Pownal, Vt. and Tim Bushika and Ray Arsenault of Stamford, Vt. enjoyed a ramble morning sunrise at the summit of Mount Greylock.
Adams - Early on Oct.9, Greylock Ramble officials predicted a strong turnout for the 41st yearly Columbus Day hike and by the ramble's conclusion, between 2500 and 3000 hikers completed the Cheshire Harbor Trail trek to the Mount Greylock summit, said Downtown Events Committee Chairwoman Haley Meczywor.

A Good Day

"It was great this year," said Meczywor during an early evening telephone interview. "We had quite a few families, which is always nice to see, and we had quite a few groups of kids, which we also like to see. We gave out about 1500 certificates of completion but there were a lot of people who said 'no, no, we don't need a certificate.'"

Ramble hikers joined an abundance of mountain visitors who drove to the summit and the Bascom Lodge.

"People were coming into the lodge and there were people all over the grass," she said. "There was a family who'd brought their camping chairs, tables, and all kinds of food. It really was a good day. The colors up on top were really beautiful."

Hiker From New Zealand

There was a tie for the honor of the ramble's oldest participant. Last year's "oldest hiker," Tom Harty, of Orange, Mass., shared the recognition this year with Cheshire resident Robert Field. Harty and Field are 85 years old, Meczywor said.

"And Mr. Harty was telling people he'd be doing this in 15 years," she said.

Rosemary Ziarnik, 2, of Cheshire, was designated as the youngest "rambler" to navigate the route on her own, Meczywor said.

The hiker acknowledged as having traveled the greatest distance hailed from New Zealand.

"Her name is Pamela Wade and she is a free-lance writer," Meczywor said, and noted that Wade is a member of the New Zealand Travel Communicators International Travel Writers Alliance.

The hike lured people from many parts of the United States as well.

"We had a couple from Alabama, another from South Dakota, and of course, people from Vermont, New York, and New Jersey," she said. "We had people hiking that were from Canada, from Ohio, and Colorado."

Parking Lots And Shuttle Busses Filled

School busses provided a shuttle service from the Adams Free Library to the trail base until mid-afternoon. The busses were filled with eager hikers throughout most of the morning, Meczywor said.

"This was such a great day, it really was," she said. "I give so much credit to all the people who came and hiked the trail today. The folks helping out at the bottom [the trail base] filled three parking lots [with hiker vehicles]. It was so good to see so many familiar faces."

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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