Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 43: Wingdale

Rest and recoup. Spent a good amount of time in bed resting before heading out to find the library. We walked down to the first set of lights then gave up turning back. We ate lunch at Big W's BBQ Place and found out the library is at the second set of lights. So back we went. Our book just doesn't have maps for most of the towns so we really tend to stumble around blindly trying to find stuff. We got two hours of computer use which almost made it worth the walk down. At least they have us a second hour.

I'm feeling a bit better for the rest. My appetite is coming back but seems to still be a bit suppressed. But at least I am eating. the heat doesn't seem to be bothering me as much as before which is good. I also have been drinking a ton of water and juice.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 42: Wingdale

We walked down to Tony's Deli and from there we went back into Pawling. We thought we could stay at the B&B but once again our book has lead us astray. They no longer have a hiker rate and haven't in a long time. We did get what we needed from town and found a place to stay the night to catch up on sleep. We are taking a couple of days together time.

We stopped off at the CVS then grabbed a quick lunch in Pawling getting lucky to have a lift offer from one of the employees at the deli. We both had a nap as we were dearly exhausted from lack of sleep. The weather has been very hot and humid still and we are both having trouble sleeping in this weather. The trains and cars from last night didn't help one bit.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 41: Appalachian Trail Station

2 mi + 3 from town

Checked out of the hostel late in the morning before heading downtown. Turned out the address I had for the USCIS building was wrong. At least I didn't have to walk far to get to the right place. So apparently trekking poles are not allowed past security but my stove, fuel and small pocket knife was okay. I hit EMS again to return the anti-chaff then off to the trail station. The USCIS appointment went very smoothly adn quick. I showed up early and was out in less than 30 min. Plenty of time for me to catch the earlier trail out to Pawling. I couldn't figure out how to get them to stop at the actual AT station so I hiked in from Pawling then after getting a note from my husband at the trailhead, hiked over to the AT station to meet up with him. We stayed the night at the Garden Place. What a disaster. We were sandwiched between a major secondary highway and a commuter rail that ran all night. Plus the mosquitoes were horrible. I am regretting not picking up bug nets while I was at EMS.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 40: NYC

A nothing day. I really did absolutely nothing but read, drink a ton of water and relax. I feel like I am getting better so hopefully I can hit the trail in good shape tomorrow.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 39: NYC

Today was a bit of a big day. I went downtown to get some stuff from EMS as well as a pharmacy. The pharmacy was good having everything I needed. The EMS on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment. It really didn't have much choice/selection. I found new Keen's but that was about it. They didn't have shorts or much food choice. And only one type of anti-chaff cream. I had also hoped to get a new journal but alas they didn't have any.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 38: NYC

Day 2 in NYC. I really have nothing to do. I did go to the grocery store to pick up a few items. I picked up a bunch of yogurts to help strengthen my digestive system. I mostly just read and relaxed. Good thing for the Nook. I have tons of reading material plus I was able to do some limited surfing.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 37: NYC

I took the bus into NYC to Brooklyn. I'll be spending the next couple days to recover plus I have an appointment on Monday with USCIS. So this kills two birds with one stone. I'm staying at the NY Loft Hostel. It is pretty nice, but looks a bit like an IKEA ad. I spent most of the day in the room with the AC on before going out and exploring. The bus ride was longer than expected. The bus also filled up quite fast the closer to NYC we got. So basically the name of the game is to relax and recover from my heat exhaustion. The hostel is nice but I miss my husband dearly.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 36: Greenwood

A zero day for both of us. We lazed around and took time for ourselves which was very nice. I'm feeling better but not well enough to hike. Decision time. The best option is for me to go into NYC for a few days to stay at a cheaper hostel while my husband hikes on. I've already hiked NY and in worse conditions so no need to do it again. We will meet up near Pawling after my USCIS appointment. We both know it is the best option but neither of us are happy to be apart from each other for the next few days. We worry for each other and miss our together time.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 35: Greenwood

My husband's first experience slack-packing today while I stay in to try to recover from heat exhaustion. Considering how much water he had to carry, he wasn't packing very light. I spent most of the day in bed near the AC trying to get some food and water in me but that backfired and seemed to cause a flare up. The owner of Anton's, the place we are staying at, was nice enough to help with some tea, rice and yogurt. Today was another very hot and humid day. In a way I am glad I wasn't hiking but I am also bummed to be kicked down once again by the AT. Not a good go of it this time round.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 34: NYC 17A Greenwood

10 mi

Today was very hot and quite humid. Much of the trail was a broken ridge with lots of exposure. We passed into NY finishing off another state. I wasn't feeling too good this morning, a touch of nausea. I ended up vomiting at the border. Mostly water since I hadn't eaten much. Dehydration was suspected. Maybe I didn't drink enough yesterday and last night. We pushed on and I tried to drink more but the thought of eating was not a pleasant thought. We ran out of water about 1.5 mi from the road where we knew we could get more so we pushed on. At the road was some awesome trail magic. Ichabod who was just ahead of us was there with his parents and coolers of drinks, fruit and burgers/hot dogs/ I drank some cold water but sadly I was sick again. This time beans from yesterday's lunch made an appearance. we decided to go into town so I could recover and rehydrate.

The book we have been using as a guide was quite off today. From the power line to the road felt much longer than 0.4 mi and we never passed a marsh let alone an overflow to a marsh. NY is extremely dry (today's section at least).


Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 33: Wawayanda Shelter

5 mi

A short day but needed so we can heal up a bit. We have been a bit ahead of schedule so this also fits our timeline. We left Vernon early hoping to catch a lift out but no luck. We started walking when the cop pulled up to the light. Luckily he went the other way, turns out he was really nice. He came back and picked us up, saving us the 2.4 mi walk back to the trail.

I'm still pretty slow going up hills and the blister on the ball of my foot sucks. I tend to spend a lot of time looking at foot placement so I don't step on anything that could twist my foot or hurt my blister. So imagine my surprise when I scared a bear and cub. Cub went up a tree and mom stepped back then stopped. I thought for sure she would charge but she didn't. I snapped a pic while backing up. The cub rejoined mom who kept eating. We walked passed slowly then kept hiking.

We saw the strangest trail magic, a water cache at a road. We had just passed a stream, then passed another pond. Very strange.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 32: Vernon, NJ

11.8 mi

Hitchhiking, being illegal both in NJ and NY, made for a long day. We hiked the 1/2 mile from Unionville very early due to a lack of toilets at the Back Track Inn. And coming into Vernon, we walked the 2.4 mi to town. That doesn't include the 11.8 mi of just the portion of the AT we hikes. No one stopped to offer us a lift. We are currently staying at the church hostel. We are clean and we were also able to do laundry. I did some computer stuff as well.

We have been finding that things are more expensive the further north we go. It has been adding up. I am not sure how our spending stands. I need new footwear, again, which was unexpected. I may need to get new sandals as these ones don't have much tread left. I also need to run into NYC for an appointment with USCIS so that will be another expense.

Neither of us slept well last night. I at least seemed to have got more but we are both feeling the effects of less sleep. I was moving a little slower with my blister but my husband was slow and grouchy from lack of sleep. I really hope he can get some sleep tonight but we are at a hostel. AC or not, he will not sleep well.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 31: Unionville, NY

11.4 mi

We are moving a little faster than planned which was good. We got our maildrop of new trekking poles. the terrain has been pretty good so far and improving daily. The rocks after High Point State Park were mostly gone. We made excellent time. I also got a small blister on the bottom of my foot. Not sure if I pushed out the miles too fast. Its so hard to tell why I get them. I think I am sliding around too much in the sandals when going downhill.

We thought about staying at the Former Mayors place (a hostel/trail angel) but after talking to the guy and hearing he makes people who stay watch a video we opted to pass. What started to really weird us out was his extremely forward manner. In spite of not calling for a lift, he came to get us and even on the phone kept insisting on picking us up. We finally opted to just stay free in the park then leave early in the morning. Problem was, they were not allowing campers to stay there anymore. Which he didn't tell us when we told him we weren't going to stay with him. So we are at the Bar Hostel. A bit wierd but we will get up early and leave for Vernon.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 30: Rutherford Shelter

15.3 mi

We have been trying to alternate longer mile days with shorter mile days. Today was a longer mile day and the weather was pretty good. Cool with an almost constant breeze. We had initially thought to stop one shelter earlier rather than hike the 2.8 mi. But the other shelter was dry, this one had a slow spring and was a ways down but at least there was water.

After yesterday's views along the Kittatiny Ridge, today was somewhat lackluster. We had a couple of views but not much of note.

I seem to have great timing in my choice of breaks. We stopped about 5 minutes short of the fire tower. Which although was windy did have views and a picnic table. At least there were blueberries where we stopped.

It seems we are slowly developing our trail legs. In a burst of energy, we did 2.4 mi in just under an hour. Of course the last 2.8 mi took much more than an hour. As we were dragging at the end, we may have pushed a little hard today. On a NJ side note, some idiot honked at us and flipped us the bird as we were waiting for a break in traffic to cross a busy road, what an idiot. It was a car full of young punks.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 29: Brink Road Shelter

11.3 mi

So many blueberries and so little time to eat them. The blueberries are ripening and I have been enjoying some over the last few days. It has become a bit of a joke between us at this point.

The 11 miles today passed by uneventfully. The views have been great. Many of the mountain tops, which are like a broken ridge, are semi balds. We spent a good part of today out in sunny patches. The blueberries tent to be localized up near the tops.

The noisy kids from last night were up pretty early this morning and started right were they left off. One of the adult supervisors (seems they were part of a camp) came over to apologize about the noise but made no effort to try to curb it. Oh well. This is what we get by camping so close to the road. We were actually a bit slow this morning. Some of that may have been due to the chill in the air. It was pretty cool last night which lingered into the morning. Good sleeping weather, finally! The day time temperatures were pretty good too. This should last the next few days. I hope we catch up on sleep. The water situation hasn't been as critical but will be again in NY.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 28: Rattlesnake Spring

A bit of a late start but most town stays seem to start that way. I opted to dump my oatmeal in favor of Cheerios. I have been finding it hard to eat a hot meal for breakfast when it is already hot when we wake up. So I find I just carry it until I absolutely have to eat it, or find something else to eat.

It was nice to leave PA and progress to another state. We are now in NJ. The trail leading up to Sunfish Pond was nicely graded so we made good time. We stopped at the pond for an early lunch. I snacked on some blueberries growing near the pond. The blueberries were very good. So good that I had trouble leaving them along to eat my lunch. They are definitely in season right now. The bushes have been dripping with them. The blackberries are also coming into season but the few I have eaten just seemed to be lacking in taste.

We are sadly camped out at a popular spot located near the road. The site across from us is filled with screaming hordes of children (or at least it seems that way). We hope they quiet up my bedtime or we will not be happy. Guess we could make a loud ruckus in the morning when we leave.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 27: Delaware Water Gap

6.4 mi

A relatively short day mileage-wise but the rocks are bidding a final adieu. We stopped at the overlook for Mt. Minsi and enjoyed the view of the Delaware River plus we could see NJ. So close yet still a day away. We descended down into the rhododendron thickets before popping out in town.

Rather than hit the shower first, we ran over to the post office for our mail (yay it arrived) then walked down the hill for food at the bakery, supplies and of course *cold* drinks and ice cream.

After enjoying our showers, I tried to sink wash a few clothes. Some success but I hope they dry out by tomorrow. Afterwards, we read, relaxed and tried to stay off our feet.

A section hiker going sobo was at the church hostel and a few of us sat down to chat with her about towns worth stopping at and how the water was running. Sounds like NJ will be okay bit NY seems to be shaping up for another dry year. Apparently there are some water caches already being set up by some roads. I heard that NY is the driest state no matter the weather. Too bad.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 26: Kirkridge Shelter

13.8 mi

The last hurrah of Pennsylvania rocks today was very rough as the PA rocks threw everything at us. Our first 13 ,i were almost exclusively on rocks with very little in the way of actual dirt trail. It was very hard physically as well as mentally. It was hard to look off down the trail and just see nothing but more rocks. the last hurrah was at Wolf Rocks where we had the large slab style rocks to navigate along the ridge and large boulder fields leading up to and away from the ridge. After that the trail moved back to almost normal trail. PA has been a very gruelling hike. Except for some highlights, I'd chose to skip it. In fact I hope I never have to hike it again.

We met the ridgerunner today, John (Coldwater) and had a chance to chat. He is very nice. Hope we run into him again on the Long Trail, or at least his journal entries. It was fun listening to stories about some of the things he's seen on the AT. He at least as an easier to maintain section, but he hears about the section south of his where the day/weekend use people park near the trail and throw all their trash in a pile under the no trash sign. We passed that pile and it was disheartening.

Most of the people (read all) from last nights shelter decided to press on to DWG. We opted not to just to get some rest. We can't get our mail until tomorrow anyways so best to recover from the rocks and prepare for NJ. Besides, surprises come in the least expected ways. After the ridgerunner and another thru-hiker left for the night we thought we were alone for the night until another hiker came in from the water trail and gave us some Klondike Bars. What a treat. We sat and chatted for a bit before she left.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 25: Leroy Smith Shelter

4.1 mi

I am definitely ready to get away from the rocks and the long walks between water sources. Not only have we been going long miles between sources, but the trails down to the springs are also long and sometimes steep. The trail down to Stempa Spring was quite steep and rough. In a way I am glad I didn't have to hike it but I did feel bad for not going.

We didn't do many miles today as we were so tired from yesterday and we didn't get much of a chance to rest up in Palmerton. We woke up late today and enjoyed a lazy morning together before getting up. We had very little water left from yesterday, but luckily the spring was running well. We hit the trail around 11:00 and made it to the shelter around 1:20.

We tried something new for lunch, wraps with beans and cheese. We found some premade beans in a rip-pack and used taco shredded cheese. Everything worked out well but we found out shredded cheese doesn't hold up very well without refrigeration. All in all it was worth the weight of the beans.

We are on track to get to DWG (Delaware Water Gap) on Monday (2 days) then by Tuesday we will be out of PA and into NJ. A change of state is always nice. We hope the rocks let up soon and we get more readily accessible water sources.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 24: Stempa Campsite

11.7 mi

We got off to a late start which isn't unusual when leaving town. We couldn't get an early start as we were waiting for the library to open. We needed to pay bills and deal with email backlogs. The library didn't open until 10 so we walked over to the post office to mail out some extra gear. After the library we opted to eat lunch as the slowest cafe in town. All in all though our experiences in Palmerton was great. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We got a free apple each at the market and the library tried to give us a free book from their used book sale stack. We didn't need on though so we passed.

The hike out and up was rough in the midday heat and in near full sun. We were carrying a full resupply plus lots of water as this was a dry stretch. The trail was rerouted through a nice section but the trail was rough going as we were tired. The last spring we passed was dry and we haven't checked this one yet. We hope it is good but just didn't have the energy to check tonight or press on the 4 mi to the next shelter. I haven't been seeing any water reports so we have no idea how any water sources are doing until we stow up.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 23: Palmerton, PA

11.8 mi

We flew along the first few miles today almost in spite of the rocks. They did slow us down a bit but we did make time. I had a few issues going down over the bigger boulders and higher drops. We got to the shelter only to discover there was no privy, right when I really needed one, and the water was a long way down again. We pressed on and ran out of water along an exposed ridge in full sun. We tanked up at the next shelter. The 1 mile hike down to the road was exposed as was the bridge. We had to walk around to the lights to cross safely and while we were waiting for the light to change a kind lady stopped and offered us a ride. We jumped in and didn't have to walk the 1.5 miles to town. We enjoyed a nice cool shower then off to do laundry and catchup with email. We missed the library closing so we may stick around tomorrow and catch it in the morning. It feels good to be clean and have clean clothes. Solar showers only go so far.

We did a bare minimum resupply as we still had some food left from the last resupply. The town of Palmerton has been very nice to the hikers. We stayed in the basement of the county offices and were given a little welcome bag with a granola bar, toothbrush and toothpaste. The grocery store gave us a free apple and everyone has been very friendly, stopping to ask us where we've been.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Day 22: New Tripoli Campsite

13.3 mi

It was fairly uneventful today. we stopped for a snack at Dan's Pulpit. We encountered some nice long rocky stretches this morning but left them behind pretty quickly. I think I might be finally getting my trail legs, but that one old blister is still slowing me down. It now feels like there is a new blister under that old one between my toes. Not sure what to do now. I will tape it in the morning and hope that helps.

We opted to stop at New Tripoli to help break up the miles. We stopped in at the Allentown Club Shelter and while it was very nice with a nice privy, it was a very long way down for water. We needed to tank up as it is very hot and humid today. It was also only 6 miles from the last shelter. We were still able to do more miles. The tent site is a ways down and we are not looking forward to the climb back up tomorrow. I also hope the wind comes up more as it is very still and the humidity is getting to us. Even I am having a hard time with it. I never remember having such issues. Oh well.