Friday, September 30, 2005

Rod Hollow Shelter 30Sep05 Day106

It was so nice to wake up in a warm cabin. I did get very hot during the night and had to peel down and crack a window, but no complaints.

I stopped at Sam Moore shelter for a late lunch and had the pleasure of watching a red headed woodpecker tapping on a tree. He was big and acted like he had a nervous twitch.

I had a lady stop and chat with me. Her father was visiting from Honduras and it was there first time on the AT. So they were excited to meet a thru-hiker. She gave me a blueberry muffin and it was so good.

Today was 17 miles which included a trip through the roller coaster. The land claim here is so narrow, the trail has to go up then down a bunch of small peaks. The relentless up's and down's are hard. But I found the rocks are giving me more problems then the hills. It is very hard on the body to walk over the rocks, especially the small pointy ones. The Chef and The Critic obviously had it in them to do another 9 miles but I didn't so I fell behind. I am at the shelter now with a trio of weekenders. They tried to get a fire going and I helped it along. Now there is a nice fire going and everyone is in bed. What a waste. The water at this shelter is supposedly spring water but it smells terrible. I treated 1L and it still smells bad. At least it doesn't taste bad.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blackburn Ctr Shelter 29Sep05 Day105

This place is really nice. There was a solar shower and the shelter has 4 walls and a wood stove for heat. We are firing it up as it is forecast to be 43F tonight. The caretaker cooked supper for us of spag, garlic bread and dessert. It was very good.

At the ATC headquarters, I had my piture taken for the yearbook. I am hiker #55 this year heading south. I liked the way the pic turned out so I had them take another with my camera. Hope it is as nice.

ATC in Harper's Ferry
Originally uploaded by Canadian Loonie.

Today the weather was very grey and cold. It finally decided to rain just before I hit the trail. At least the weather held while we wandered around Harper's Ferry looking for a place that was open and served breakfast. No such luck. We went to the post office and I got my thermals (which smelled like licorice), licorice and my data book. My mother included a note and now I miss nome a lot. I have less than 1000miles to go and if I can keep up this pace, I figure I can do it in 50ish days. I am trying to convince my parents they want to come down and meet me on Springer when I finish. I will bring it up when I have 400 miles left, if that happens.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Harper's Ferry Update

I have officially passed the halfway point. Tomorrow I will have less then 1000 miles to go. I have also crossed the Mason-Dixon line and am now, supposedly, in the real south. Home of sweet ice tea, not sweetened ice tea, and fried chicken, not the Colonel's special. Other things I will have to try, so I am told, is cheese grits.

I have been seeing a lot of deer lately. I only really see the tail end of them as they are running away. I did see a young buck today too.

Although technically I am still in Maryland, I am about 1 mile from West Virginia. After that I will have 4 states left with Virginia being the longest of all the states. In the end, I am glad to be out of Pennsylvania which is the home of the rocks. The trail was littered with rocks, all very pointy and sometimes they would move when stepped on. It was very annoying and painful to hike over as there really was no way to avoid them. Today I passed near Antietam, site of the largest mass deaths on the battle field in one day in American history. I had to ask someone about this as it really meant nothing to me. But I did pass through Washington monument park and read about the life of George Washington. Since I am walking the trail "backwards" according to everyone, the history was from his death to his birth. Made for interesting reading. Oh Well.


Weverly 28Sep05 Day104

I finally get a shower. Yesterday I had a dog run away from me, it must have been that bad. I feel nice and clean although the hiker funk is still there. I was a little disappointed that there was no sign for the Mason-Dixon line. Apparently, this is where the real south starts.

Today was about 20 miles and I am in okay shape considering the lack of sleep and the 27 miles done yesterday. Last time I pulled a big mile day, I was unable to do more than 14 miles, and even that was a struggle. I think it was due to the very rocky terrain of PA versus the more mellow terrain of MD. I hope VA is nice.

I finally caught up to Bad Cheese, mostly because she took an unintended zero here in town. She will be hiking for a few days with her mom so she will fall behind. I am in count down mode now. I want to finish and soon. I will see what the next month brings.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pine Knob Shelter 27Sep05 Day103

This morning was so long ago I can barely remember it. It almost feels like another day. Today I finally left Pennsylvania behind. I was hoping to have left the rocks behind but alas, Maryland has some rocks too. Mostly they are not too bad but occassionally a really nasty section will slow me down to a crawl.

I had planned on staying at Ensign Cowall Shelter which would have been about 18 miles. Unfortunately the water was not very good. It was a very small, nasty, stagnant pool. Since it was still early I was going to just go the 5 miles to the next campsite but the strail was so nice and flat and it was only 3 miles to the next shelter that I decided to press on. 27 miles today. I hurt but not nearly as much as the last time I pulled 28 miles. Tomorrow will be 20 miles into town and I will also be 3 miles from Harper's Ferry and West Virginia.

I came upon a field of cows and calves. If someone had seen me staring, they would have thought I had never seen a cow before. In a way they would have been right. While I have seen Holsteins before, I have never seen Texas Long Horns before. So I stood there and looked at them, snapped a picture then moved along. You never know what you will see on the trail.

Texas Long horns in Maryland?
Originally uploaded by Canadian Loonie.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Tumbling Down Shelters 26Sep05 Day102

Rain was in the forecast today. It was supposed to be related to hurricane Rita. So it was with no great surprise when it started sprinkling early this afternoon. I had stopped at a grocery store that claimed "long term resupply" and was very dissappointed in the lack of selection. I did manage to find enough stuff to get me to Harper's Ferry. I thought I was doing very good, 10 miles in about 4 hours. The next 10 was the problem. After 1.4 miles of road walking (to the store) my feet and back were shot. After a few trail miles my feet started really complaining then my shoes started rubbing on one foot. Then the rain. At least I made it in okay time and before the worse part of the storm. The rain has stopped and now the trees are just dripping.

I passed a very nice shelter today. The caretaker obviously takes a lot of pride in maintaining that shelter. I came out from a thicket of what Iam assuming to be mountain laurel (the book mentions them to be dense in this area) to see a hanging basket of flowers, two shelters with a roof between them covering a picnic table plus a bench and a very nice privy. I really wanted to stay but alas it was only 10:00. This is another site with 2 shelters, a snoring and non-snoring according to the signs and on the privy is a doorbell. I like caretakers with a sick sense of humour. Sounds like it just started raining again.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Birch Run Shelter 25Sep05 Day101

I am finally past the halfway point and onto the second half of my journey. The terrain is not nearly as rocky and the hiking has been going relatively smoothly. I did try to do the 1/2 gallon challenge but could only eat 3 pints. I was not sick, just full. But about 10 mimutes before the first shelter after ~4 miels, my intestines let me know they were quite unhappy. I did manage to but out 18 miles today, relatively pain-free. Tomorrow I will be close to the PA-MD border. This is where the 4 state challenge starts. I do not have it in me to do 50+ miles. But it means Harper's Ferry is very close. It has been cooling off the last few days so those thermals will be very appreciated.

The last two days have been crowded days on the trail. There are no more northbounders so we now only see day/weekend hikers. I see very few people during the week which makes travelling with people that much more special.

Someone asked me yseterday what I missed the most. I didn't really have a good answer then but after thinking about it I decided it was music. Followed closely by movies. I have been reading a lot so I can't say I miss books unless I am between books. I finished "The Eight" yesterday. While it wass a very good read, I was rather disappointed by the ending. Oh well.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

James Fry Shelter 24Sep05 Day100

I decided to be lazy and only do 8 miles. I am regretting it now but for no other reason than I should have done more since I could have. Actually, this shelter has a fair amount of noise from traffic and a dog. Also, it would have been cool to pass the halfway point.

The weather has been very iffy today. Mostly grey and overcast, threatening to rain but not raining. At least it was nice and cool. Perfect for hiking. It was rather cool this morning which made getting up quite dfficult. It is hard getting up when no on e else is around to see how late I am getting up.

I have been almost completely vegetarian while on the trail as meat is hard to keep and heavy. I do eat meat in town when I can. I think my intestines are protesting this as they gurgle most of the time. It makes from some interesting noise at bedtime.

I missed the road with the ice cream store. I was moving faster than I thought I was. They really should mark the roads so we know where we are. It was too cool today for ice cream but I thought I would get a pint. It will have to wait until tomorrow.

I figure I am about 6-7 days from Harper's Ferry. I am torn whether I should continue or not. I fluctuate day by day. I figure 70 days more will finish it if I don't stop. Time and my back will tell.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Alex Kennedy Shelter 23Sep05 Day99

Although I promised myself slower days with less miles, today I find myself doing 18 miles. Mostly it was due to a camping restriction on those 18 miles and also laziness. The weather was looking like rain and the camp site at 14 miles would require I set up the tarp then pray it didn't rain too hard as I may get wet. Instead, I walked the 4 more miles to a shelter that may have been dry. Good thing it had water or I would have been very upset. I waashed my feet as they were looking very dirty due to my wearing no socks. They are almost tough enough to handle it. I do still have problems with rocks getting in and being a bother.

Tomorrow I will have an opportunity to join the half gallon club. I am unsure I wish to do it as it seems a silly tradition. The point is to eat 1/2 a gallon of ice creamas 1/2 the trail has been completed. I am not sure it is worth either the money or the belly ache I am sure I will have upon completion. I have not done any of the other trail traditions, like mooning the cog rail. And neither do I want to hike 50+ miles in one day to do the 4 state challenge. I maybe passing the 1/2 way point tomorrow if I push out 16 miles.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Darlington Shelter 22Sep05 Day98

I feel like I am really starting to slog. Although I can push out the miles, I really don't feel like doing it anymore. I am not sure if it is the boring terrain of if it is just time to go home. I am going to Boiling Springs tomorrow then push on to Harper's Ferry. I will decide then if I really want to keep hiking the AT or if I am happy with what I have accomplished. I will have over 1100 miles under my belt at that point. More than half of the trail. I still think it might be nice to take the long trail home just to see if a change of terrain was needed. But I think my body really needs a rest too. Although my pack is probably at its lightest now, my back has been giving me some problems. If I stop while I am ahead then maybe I will still like camping and hiking. I can always come back some other time and finish the trail. It is a rather difficult decision as I am quite interested in continuing and seeing the places I read about in the AT guide book. But I have been pining for home for a while now so it may be it is time to think about it. I have until Harper's Ferry to decide to try to keep going or if I want to go home. I could always do the Shenandoahs to see if a terrain change was in order. I am hiking alone for the next bit. Time to make decisions, finish my good book and try to keep writing.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Duncannon 21Sep05 Day97

A nice relaxing zero. I only had to do laundry and buy a few things at the quick mart. I also read another book I found in the hiker box. It was quite good but also a little drawn out. It was "Spirit" by Graham Masterson. I also read more from my other book, "The Eight". I am torn. It is a very good read so I want to enjoy it but I don't want to carry it as it is heavy. I am about halfway through it.

I decided to soak in a nice hot tub. I ended up sweating like crazy. At least I hope it did some good for my feet and knees. I have decided to take my time to Harper's Ferry and see how I feel then maybe press on to either finish or do just the Shenandoahs. I will see how I feel. I am accumulating some pains that are a bother, like my thumb. I am trying to get the pack weight down but once again I think I am carrying too much food. One of the dangers of doing a free resupply from a hiker box. It is free but too much. I plan on moving slower so maybe it isnt too much. Tomorrow I have to deal with bounce boxes then do only 11 miles. One mountain then flat for 18 miles. Yeah, I hope.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Duncannon 20Sep05 Day96

I am staying at the famous Doyle Hotel in Duncannon. Famous on the trail at least as a good, cheap place to get drunk. 90 cents for a beer is a good buy. Tomorrow I will zero then try to take things easier. The group I was travelling with were in town today after slacking. So I know they are a day ahead of me. I think I may be hiking alone for a bit and see how that goes. Pokey and D-Spo will be visiting familly for 4 days so we may meet again. I really need a rest. Today was only 11 miles into town and it was killing me. I am feeling tired and worn out by the rough terrain. The next section is going to be farm land which may be hard if it is a hot day but hopefully no more rocks. Tomorrow I will go through my pack and try to lighten up the load again. My back has been giving mesome problems lately and a lighter pack will be much appreciated. But I tink I am down to the bare essentials now. If water is more plentiful then that will help and if I carry less food I will lose lots of weight there.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Peter's Mt Shelter 19Sep05 Day 95

I thought about doing the 6 more miles to the next shelter but 17b miles over this terrain is about my limit. The rocks seem to be getting better but they are still present in enough quantities to still kill my feet. I am accumulating a number of aches and pains that do not seem to want to go away. I have a mystery pain in my thumb knuckle that may be from my hiking poles but I am not sure. It had made doing some things more challenging. Tomorrow is 11 miles to Duncannon. I am planning a zero but no one else is lo I will be alone after Duncannon. I really need the break.

The weather is cooler now which has been nice. It still gets hot at midday but it starts off cool in the morning. The cooler weather keeps the bugs at bay. They start being a bother in the afternoon once it has sufficiently warmed up. They are very annoying as they buzz around my ears or hover in front of my face. I have to swat them away. I t I miss they keep buzzing around. They also like to fly into peoples eyes but I have glasses si I am protected.

This selter is very nice. It has a loft, the picnic table is inside. The water has stone steps down to it. That was the only down side to this shelter. The water is down about 300 steps and is barely running. At least there was water. This whole shelter looks like a labour of love though. I filled up 2 gallon jugs and hauled them up. At least we can try to leave some water up here for day hikers or if someone rolls in late. I am not sure it will last long or if anyone else will do it but we try to be nice.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Rausch Gap Shelter 18Sep05 Day94

17 miles today. I am still having trouble with the rocks but they do seem to be diminishing. The last part of today was nice although my feet hurt too much to appreciate it. Today was varied terrain. It was almost a perfect hiking day. It was mostly cool until noon then it was hot but it is cooling off now. I got to camp at 3:15 with an 8:00 start. Ahead of 2 miles per hour. I was so hungry I made supper right away then tried to nap. I slept very poorly last night and for the last few nights. I thinkit is a combination of leg pain from the rocks and the fact that my air matress is leaking. It wasn;t so bad at first but now I have to top it off every couple of hours. I tried to find the hole weeks ago while in Dalton but could not. I may try again in Duncannon, it will depend on if I have access to a tub or not.

I have beed reading "The Eight" by Katherine Neville. I was suspicious of it at first as there is a lot of hype on the cover but I have found that it is well worth the hype. I am trying to read it slowly and enjoy it but I have trouble puttin git down.

I saw a turtle today. It was just sitting in the middle of the trail. So I snapped a few pics and moved on. My first turtle sighting. Also today was 1000 miles of AT walking.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

501 Shelter 17Sep05 Day 93

The more miles I did today, the worse the rocks seemed to get. The first 6 miles went quite fast in 2 hours but I started soing slower and slower after that. For some reason, the trail seemed out to get me and my feet found every bad spot to step. This is all in my head. Although my feet are very sore, the trail was no worse than it was several days ago. I feel that I am just in need of a rest and today's exhaustion is just cumulative exhaustion. I still made quite good time on the last 9 miles but I was in pain. I did get to the shelter by 2:00 so I had plenty of tme ti rest, have a cold shower and rinse out my smelly bandana's. This shelter is close to the road so we ordered pizza. Bad Cheese's parents came to visit so we also had salad with supper and ice cream for dessert. Rocky road in celebration of the rocks of Pennsylvania. Bad Cheese told us the great news that Stale Crackers had proposed to her. She had withheld it since NJ but we forgive her and are happy for them both. I also found out from the register that Rooster has decided to get off but Bouie will keep going. I think the long miles they were trying to do did him in. He was just not having fun anymore. Oh well.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Eagle's Nest Shelter 16Sep05 Day 92

I am absolutely exhausted. Today was supposed to be a low mileage day at only 15 miles yet it felt closer to 20 miles. I think I am due for a zero. I am trying to hold out until Duncannon as that is THE place to go and my bounce box should be there. Hopefully I can hop on the internet and load up more journal entries.

Today was another hot, humid day yet every once in a while a cool breeze would pass. It felt like the cold front was at war with the tropical strom. Supposedly it will cool off in the next few days. I hope something happens to improve the water situation. This shelter's spring was almost completely dry. Only small pools of water to dip from.

I managed to avoid eating in Port Clinton but I did get a lift to the large outfitters in an effort to replave my leaking platypus. No such luck, they didn't have any. I did get foot cream for my cracked heels and a free pepsi with ice cream. I later heard about the good eats at the hotel in Port Clinton and felt bad that I missed it. I will have to go back sometime and hit all the places I missed like this place and White House Landing to name a few.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Windor Furnace Shelter 15Sep05 Day 91

Today the trail was much nicer than yesterday. There were fewer rough spots but they were not for long stretches. After that, a few spots also resembled NJ, some sharp rocks but enough dirt to avoid them. I started making good time again. But I also mashed my foot at one point so that slowed me down. There is still a water problem but it seems that most shelters have water, it is just the time between shelters that is dry. The weather has also been hot and after yesterday's rain, it was very humid and my glasses fogged up for most of the morning. Tomorrow is just 15 miles with an optional town stop. There is no resupply in town, only a really good hamburger. I don't need to go in but I am undecided as everyone else is going in, either for the burger or for mail and a burger. I should stop spending so much money in towns so I should just skip this one.

I finished reading "The Brethren" by John Grisham. It was good in the beginning, then was drawn out in the middle to a mediocre ending. All in all, good trail distraction. I am now moving on the a book I bought in Delaware Water Gap.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Allentown Shelter 14Sep05 Day90

It is always hard to leave town in the morning after an overnight. Today was no exception. We eventually got moving in order to get 17 miles done before sunset. It was also overcast so we wanted to get going while it was cool. The sun came and went most of the day. The rocks today were much worse than yesterday but at least there were some long clear stretches to make up time on. I was glad to get to the shelter to rest my poor, sore feet. The walk down to the spring was long and steep but when you need water, you go to where it is. I got back to the shelter just as it was starting to rain. All the water I would need was I had already filled up. I at least could clean up some which was nice because I was just dripping in sweat from the walk back up from the water.

The rocks here are brutal and make the hiking long and difficult. More so that it should be. Some days I swear that the trail was built by people who don't hike so they send us over crazy areas. Other days I swear it was designed by disgruntled hikers who can't finish a thru-hike so they want to discourage others.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Palmerton 13Sep05 Day 89

I was aiming to do about 17 miles and they went very slowly or at least seemed to go slowly. The rocks were brutal and slowed me down. I did run into some weekend hikers who had just finished and they fed me, gave me a beer, and tried to give me there extra food. I took some of it but only what I thought I would use. It was a hot day and the beer wnet right to my head.

The last 5 miles went over a devastated area. Due to metal minin, there were few trees and they were stunted. It was eerie and hot due to very little tree cover. The climb down into the gap was brutal. Bad Cheese, Stale Crackers and I hitched into Palmerton to shower and do laundry then try to get out to the 1 mile shelter. That didn't happen as the guy who picked us up invited us over for supper.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Leroy Smith Shelter 12Sep05 Day88

Although my bounce box was still not in at the post office, I decided I needed to keep going before Igot too lazy. Turns out the box was at Pawling NY so I asked them to forward it to Duncannon. It should be there when I get there but I have beaten the post office in the past.

Since I only had 5 miles to hike, I decided to hike in something special for the people I knew were going to be at this shelter. The dilema was what to bring. I didn't want to spend a lot or carry anything heavy. I finally decided on apples. They were a big hit. Although at this point, Bad Cheese and Stale Crackers (aka Harry) have not rolled in so I have 3 extra apples. They were nice and tart so I may eat them tomorrow.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Delaware Water Gap 11Sep05 Day 87

I went to the jazz mass this morning. It was good but very religious. More that I cared for. It was an experience.

Bad Cheese, her boyfriend Harry and Moose Tracks came in today. I hope my bounce box comes in tomorrow so I can hike out with them.

I am bored with DWG. It it a small town and I have seen it all. If I can move out tomorrow that would be great. I just have to figure out how to get to Wind Gap cheap so I don't re-walk 15 miles.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Delaware Water Gap 10Sep05 Day 86

I did a 15 mile section hike today. We started at Wind Gap and walked north back to the shurch hostel. The first section was quite rocky and was a preview of the supposedly dreaded rocks of Pennsylvania we have been hearing about. It will just get worse before it gets better. I am not sure how I am going to get back to Wind Gap to resume hiking. I hope there is a bus, as the taxi ride we shared was a bit pricey.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Delaware Water Gap 9Sep05 Day 85

Today was a mostly relaxing zero day. My box was not at the post office so I may have to sit around and wait for it. This is rather annoying. We didn't go tubing on the river as it was mostly overcast and coolish out./ We ended up at the mall in Stroudsburg waiting for a movie. I bought some stuff at a dollar store as resupply. Mostly I only needed lunch items. I am set for breakfasts and suppers from hiker boxes. The mall was dangerous as the temptation to spend money is all around. I did break down and buy a book. I wanted to get the Neil Gaimen and Terry Prattchet book "Good Omens" but it didn't seem like it would last lone. I opted for a longer book. I did read "The Girl NExt Door" by Jack Ketchum. It was a good but creepy read. I also read "The Man Without a Country" by Edward E. Hale. A classic that I seem to remember hearing about and finally got to read. It was quite good but very American, as it is meant to be. The movie was "The 40-year old Virgin"" and was a good laugh and good entertainment. Just what was needed by trail deprived hikers.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Delaware Water Gap 8Sep05 Day84

I crossed into Pennsylvania today and there was no marker at the stae border. It didn't help that it was a bridge and the border is a river. I didn't realise bridges moved so much when trucks went by. This is really noticeable when you are walking on the side of the bridge. I did know they moved some, I guess I never realizxzed it was noticeable.

The 10 miles to town could have gone much faster but I realized I was really in no hurry. So I set a nice pace and tries to enjoy my last day in NJ. I stopped to enjoy Sunfish Pond and took some pictures. It is a glacial formed pond and due to its high acidilty, only a few things survive in it. This was also a clear case of the signs being set up only for nobos and us sobos getting nothing. After passing the pond, there were 2 signs, one was about the special features of the pond and the other informing us not to swim. Sveral people had hopping in for a swim although I passed it up. I did see quite a few deer. Rather stupid ones too. I was about 15-20 feet from some of them and they just stood there, looking at me, then they continued eating. I tried to get some pics but could only zoom in so much.

The road walk and town seemed quite long. It may have been that I was hungry and hadn;t had a break for awhile but it wiped me out. It was nice to relax at the hostel. Looks like I may go tubing on the river tomorrow with a group of hikers then there is a jazz thing going on this weekend. I could use a break and this may be a good time and place to do it.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mohican Outdoor ctr 7Sep05 Day83

So I only busted out about 14 miles today. I was just unable to do 10 more. I will get to bed early tonight so I can be fresh for tomorrow. Looks like the water situation is improving the further south I go. Tomorrow I will definitely make town and I will zero the next day, I think, or at least do an easy mile day. At this point, as long as I put in about 17 miles a day, I can finish before December. Supposedly Virginia is very flat and Pennsylvania, which I enter tomorrow, is rocky but relatively flat. I have been carrying more water than I usually do as I am never sure where I will next see water. But for all the water I am carrying, I find I am not drinking as much as I should so I am mildly dehydrated at the end of the day. I then try to catch up by drinking as much as I can before bed and hope I don't have to get up in the middle of the night.

Last night was a very bad night for sleeping. I hurt so much from the hiking that I could npt get comfortable. This is why I was so exhausted today. Hopefully I know better know.

Surprise hit of the night was some food I had found in a hiker box yesterday. It was couscous with mushroom soup mix. I wasn't sure I would like it but I took it anyways. I tried it tonight. It was very good. The other great thing was all I had to do was add hot water to the bag and let it sit a few minutes. I think I really like this cooking technique as clean up involved closing the ziplock and throwing it out. No pot to cleanup and no dirty water to deal with. It was also quite tasty. I may make some meals in town to carry if I can keep the weight down or I may start a food bounce box. Not sure if it will keep costs down though. I will look into it.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Brink Road Shelter 6Sep05 Day 82

Today was a very long day. I was up at 6:00, in the car by 6:30 and at the trailhead around 7:15. I rolled into camp around 8:30 exhausted. Mostly it was so I could definitely make it into town tomorrow. I am merely 24 miles away. I was also making really good time even over the rough and jagged rocks that I figured whats 7 more miles. Turns out it was about 7 too many and made for a 28ish mile day. My feet and legs are sore and tired and so am I. I will try to sleep in a little tomorrow then try to bust out the last 24 miles. Then a well deserved zero awaits me and I will likely nero the next day.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Vernon 5Sep05 Day81

I got up this morning thinking I had 12 miles to make to catch up to everyone then whatever miles they were going to do todya. So imagine my surprise when they pull up behind me. They ended up going into Vernon, having showers and doing laundry. They were then slacking the next 22 miles. I ended up taking a lift into Vernon to drop off most of my gear then finish up the last 7 miles. I actually went past the road we were supposed to meet on and did an extra couple of miles. I was in much pain but after a rest I am doing much better. Seems my recovery time is improving. Tomorrow loots mostly flat so I hope it goes my nicely. I also hope the water situation improves. NY was in a drought state and NJ has been mostly dry to this point. If we keep the pace we will ne in Delaware Water Gap by Sept 8. That means another state down. Tonight was a late night due to a late supper, laundry and the shower. We will also be getting up early tomorrow morning in an effort to do more big miles.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

S. of Wildcat shelter 4Sep05 Day 80

Last night was a late night and this morning was an early start. We all got up at 6:00 with the hopes of doing 26 miles. Alas my legs and feet could not handle it. By 8:00 I had just barely did the 14.3 miles between shelters. There was no way I could press on another 12 miles. Unfortunately, NY is in a drought state so ALL the brooks are bone dry and the streams are barely trickles. Some times people leave gallon jugs of water by the roads. So Wildcat was bone dry and I could not stay. I ended up going into town with D-Spo and Pokey for supper, water and a rest. We then came back and night hiked in about 1 mile. I am cowboy camping tonight. My feet are sore and tired but at least I am not in as much pain as I was last night. The pain was running up my legs to the point that I had to take some Tylenol to dull the ache so I could sleep. Tomorrow is labour day and I can hear party noise coming up from town.

Since NY is so dry, we have been forced to carry much more water than mornal. I generally carry about 1.5 liters but now I carry almost 3 liters and try to fill up any time I have the chance. One trick is to drink as much as possible at the source then carry as much as you can. Tomorrow I will be out of NY so I hope NJ is better. I think it will be similar as we are following the NY-NJ border.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Fingerboard Shelter 3Sep05 Day70

Today started as a good day, except for the fuel issue. I made it to town and still could not find any so I bought iso-propyl alcohol instead. I really wanted to yellow-blaze but resisted the urde. That was were the day took a turn. I slipped down a rocky slope and did an ass plant but not before bending one of my poles. Then I was hiking along and suddenly there was a burning on the side of my foot. I had decided to go sockless today and fter I ripped off my shoe I discovered a yellow-jacket wasp stinging my foot. I flicked it off and killed it but the damage was done. The day was in ruins. My foot hurt. Then I bumped into a day hiker whom I had met yesterday and he gave me a large bottle of fuel. The day was looking better. Today wasn't a babd day just long. After a late start and with 20 miles to do we rolled into the shelter after 9:00 which meant some night hiking. I am exhausted. Tomorrow the plan is for 26 miles. I may not be able to do it but I will try. At least that gets me out of NY. On a good note, today we passed our 800 mile mark.

I am still having some trouble resisting the urge to buy too much food. Knowing I had all the suppers I needed, I just had to get breakfast and lunches. I got breakfast from a hiker box and that left lunch. And somehow I have more suppers and my bag weighs a lot more. I do have lunches too but I still seen to have more suppers than necessary. The lentils I picked up from the hiker box just seem to last forever. A little goes a long way, oh well.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Graymoor Friary Shelter 2Sep05 Day 78

Today was a short day. Only 12 miles. I also woke up with my rainfly covered in dew, which was raining down on me since the fly seemed to have loosened during the night. I decided not to do the 16 miles I had planned but to stop early and rest. I arrived here at 1:00 with frequent breaks. There was a cold shower and running water, so I washed some of my clothes. My socks were nasty and are probably still ingrained with dirt. At least there is a semblance of cleanliness. I decided to lay out in the sun and try to flesh out my outline some more. I did try to just write but realized I need to flesh things out more. I also finished reading "The Courious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. I received it at Morgan Stweart from Wookie. I was unsure about the book at first but it turned into a very good read. I have read some very good books while on the trail. I hope another one comes along.

I was here by myself for most of the afternoon. It was quite calming, although that cold shower was quite cold. Eventually another hiker pulled in then Team Foo minus Bad Cheese came in. We tried to organize a 6 person hearts game but Steiner was managing issues at home by cell. We did order some food from a nearby pizzaria. It was very good, especially since I missed staying at RPH where they had stayed last night and had ordered pizza.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Denny Hill Rd Shelter 1Sep05 Day77

I had caught up with Team Foo but I appear to have left them in my dust. Rooster was not feeling too well yesterday and they may have stopped early if he was still feeling ill. I was going to stop at the RPH cabin and wait but decided to press on. So it looks like I am camping out on my own tonight. Tonight is cowboy camping, hope it doesn't rain. I have the rainfly up but it only just covers. I am also on a slight incline.

Today was about 17-19 miles depending on what source. The paper map given out by the state claims 17 but Wingnut claims 19. I was hping it was 17 but it actually felt like 19. It was also quite boring. The hiking terrain is mostly uninspiring, first up them down them up with no views. I hope the trail improves after NY or I may be forece to either give up due to sheer bordom or just skip this section and start a few states down. I am undecided right now. I am about halfway through NY and there are some mountains coming up so there may be room for improvement. This state has also been quite dry and buggy. We had been warned about the mosquitos in Mass but there were hardly any. Here in NY, I am being eaten everytime I stop. I hate DEET but may have to start applying it again.

I have been getting strange pains in my upper torso. They are external, sharp and prickly. Like being stung by a jellyfish. I took both shirts off today and rinsed them in case it was salt build up, but the pain was back once I started walking. It is only when I am walking.