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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For New Commers

For anyone coming to this for their first times, our thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail ended on June 6th, 2009 after 4 months and 6 days of being out on the trail. We made it as the first ones to finish the trail north bound for 2009, and we had a wonderful experience. Starting from the most recent entries to the beginning of our trip is our journal entries. There are also all of our pictures on the side. For anyone who may have questions about planning a thru-hike feel free to e-mail me at anytime (my information is a few posts down)


Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Dusty Camels Reach Katahdin

Thanks everybody, it's been a great adventure.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Made it to Katahdin

I have hikED the Appalachian trail

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To All South Bounders!

We are finishing up this morning, but for any south bounders that we have met along the way who has come across this site, here are some helpful numbers and names to have along the way. Any of them (including myself) will be more than happy to help you in anyway possible, so feel free to write these down and utilize them. They will slack-pack you, clean you, and give you a soft place to sleep for little to nothing.

Enjoy your thru-hike and make sure to call someone who understands before getting off if you think thats what you want to do!

Manchester, VT
Odie Green
(201) 290-9153

Dalton, MA
Rob Bird
(413) 446-4208

Ian Mangiardi (Me)
(917) 885-0205

Unionville, NY
Dick 'the Mayor' Ludwick
(845) 726-3956

Andy Laub ("Camel" of "The Dusty Camel")

Atlanta, GA
Dave Dagresta (thru-hiker '09)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final Post

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this will be my final real post. Obviously tomorrow the picture of us atop Katahdin will go up, but this is what it all boils down to.

Andy and I started this trip as strangers, and are now brothers. We have gone through so much over the past 4 months and have realized a lot of things about each other, ourselves, and our lives. At the beginning of this trip, we were on it to hike the trail and have an adventure, and we quickly realized that is only a small fraction of why we were there. Several things brought us to the trail, but we have had time to reflect and understand what we have gotten out of this trip and why we both needed it. This year has been a big one for both of us, and we needed to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and really reflect on who we are, and who we want to be. Andy told me a fable about a rattlesnake the other day:

"A rattlesnake was frozen in the middle of a path one frosty morning as a little girl walked up to it. 'Please warm me up little girl so that I may go about my day, for I am frozen and cannot move' said the snake, 'I promise I won't bite you.' So the little girl warmed him up, and as soon as the snake was warm enough to move, it bit her. 'Why did you bite me?' asked the little girl, and the snake responded 'I am always a rattlesnake.'"

Basically, one of those silly fables that shows a person can't change who they are. We came to the conclusion that the rattlesnake never hiked the Appalachian Trail! We took ourselves out of our comfort zone to reflect on life, and have changed from it. The trail isn't about walking from Georgia to Maine, its about the bond we have created with one another and how we have changed from it. The adventure we had has changed us, and has created an unbreakable friendship. We have witnessed the metamorphosis that each of us has gone through, and will forever be better for it.

In the morning we will finish this adventure, and end a chapter of our book. To all the people who have helped us along the way, we thank you for your support. We will be putting a book together of our pictures and stories, and would greatly appreciate any letters or words that people who have followed this journal would like to cement in our memories.

If you would like to contribute, send any e-mails to irm215[at], or if you would prefer to send a hard copy, e-mail me anyway and I will give you the address to send it to.

Thanks again to all, and good journeys,

The Dusty Camels

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Christmas eve eve

In two days we will summit katahdin. Today we left the shelter, and all went swimingly! We are in better spirits, and not only that, but Dave and Dennis made it up to us! We weren't expecting that, but are happy to see them and finish up with them.

So right now we are camped out with them after a long day. Nikki said she could come earlier, so we have huffed the past two days to finish this up. She will be here tomorrow night and we will summit on Friday and the forecasted weather is gorgeous! We are almost there, and man are we excited.
via BB

First sight

Today we left our shelter to climb over the last large hump before katahdin. There were four peaks we had to go up and down, but on the last one, we had our first sight of the big finale. It was quite large to say the least.

Our morale is dwindling and does so throughout the day. However, we are only three days away from the finish, so spirits are a little better than last week!

We got to our shelter, and shared it with a woman from Maine who was doing the 100 mile wilderness. Other than the view of katahdin, it was another day on the trail. We are excited to finish but down that we are still on the trail at this point.

Hopefully we will do better tomorrow.
via BB

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nice day

Today we woke up and left the shelter around 10. It was a decent hike, we had a few up hills, but only one really difficult one. We went through some bogs and over lots of small bridges because its so muddy. When we stopped for lunch, we were swarmed by black flies. So much so, that we actually sat there and ate with our head nets on. They are just like gnats that bite , they are incredibly annoying. Once we got going again, the terrain began to flatten out. And then we had a very wide river to ford! I suppose that was the exciting part of the day. We were knee deep in the water for about 150 feet. It was cold. But we are in Maine! And it was refreshing to give our feet a mini ice bath.

After the ford, we began a slight incline for about 6 miles to our shelter. Its pretty remote around here besides some logging roads, but its a cool dense forest with lots of rivers and brooks. Where we are now is an exciting shelter. Why's this? Well, we are at the base of the last real mountain before katahdin! Not only that, but from the summit of this mountain, we can actually see katahdin! This is incredibly exciting. We are almost there! We will take it easy for a few days and have the day off when Nikki gets here, and then on the 8th, we summit the big guy!

We are feeling better now that we are closer, but emotions are a little dulled at the moment after the past week. The excitement will overwhelm us soon enough!
via BB

Sunday, May 31, 2009

On our way to katahdin

Today we woke up early at Shaws hostel to a giant breakfast. It was very tasty! It was nice to have a large scrumptious meal before the last week of our trip.

As we were eating the infamous trek walked in. I was delighted to see he seemed like a nice chipper old man, until he completely ignored all of us. He was an ass. As we were leaving, we were getting pictures with Gil and dawn and asked if trek would like to get in. He said no, and then dawn said he doesn't like his picture taken, and he responded - from 5 feet away - there are plenty of pictures of me, I'm just doing my laundry now.

Whatever, we couldn't care less about him. So we left the hostel and started up for the trail. Gil told us about a side road he took to follow train tracks for a while and that it was really nice, so we did that to get back to the trail. It was gorgeous when we left and when we were on the tracks, but after we got back on the trail, it started raining on and off. When it wasn't raining, the bugs were out in full force.

Before our shelter, we had to ford a river that had a rope hanging over it because it was fairly deep and moving pretty quickly. That was fun, and once we got to the shelter, we set up camp and relaxed. It has been raining on and off, and a lot of thunder. There was one crack of thunder that actually scared the daylights out of Andy and I. Not to long after, we heard a large tree fall not too far away.

Today, two trail saying came to mind - hike your own hike and, its not about the miles, its about the smiles. We realized to stay out of other peoples hikes as everyone has a different experience, and no one can comment on another hikers trip unless they are there with them.

We talked to Nikki, andys friend who is picking us up at katahdin, and set everything up. We are excited to lop the head off this dragon!

via BB

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Almost there

Well last night was hard, but we are almost there. We will be venturing into the hundred mile wilderness tomorrow and finish up this journey soon enough.

We are in a hostel with a south bounder. Its an interesting feeling seeing someone who has just started as we are just about to finish. He is a cool guy and we gave him some information of people who helped us along the way.

The last week begins tomorrow.
via BB

Friday, May 29, 2009

How to describe our feelings right now..

We are mentally strained to the point of insanity. Its like we are in prison locked up with the key dangling in front of us. We are on the brink of going crazy that it actually begins to physically hurt.

Right now we are doing anything we can do to finish as quickly as possible. We are in Maine now and we are going as quick and hard as possible to get this finished.

The hundred mile wilderness is the last hump. That is a hundred miles of dense forest away from any sort of town. Once we complete that we will be 10 miles from the end, but we still have a few days to get to that. Service is spotty out here, but I will do my best to update you guys. Hopefully we be done soon. We can't stand too much longer of this!

The only thing harder than being out here alone, is being Andy and knowing his new girlfriend Danielle is waiting. What a crazy trip.
via BB

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What a day

Well we woke up on top of a 5200 foot mountain to rain and the tent violently shaking from the wind. We started walking and made it a couple hours through the raw rain, drenched to the bone, and we decided to go into town as all our clothing was wet and we were freezing. the slippery rocks, my fall, and a rock to andys face helped facilitate that decision as well.

We got down to the road, and a park ranger helped us to town. We are doing our laundry and sleeping in a warm dry room tonight.

Last night was an eventful night. We had a long talk as we were both feeling tired mentally. We both decided that while we need to enjoy this trip, its time for it to end. so, we are going to put our heads down, tighten our boots, and hit the trail as hard as we can. We are going to wake up earlier, go to bed later, and truck as many miles as we can until we finish. We are going to try to finish around the 15th rather than the 20th now, which means about 4 more miles a day. So, I may not post often for the next few days until we are in Maine as I will be too tired.

We will see you in Maine.

Ps congrats on Andy and Danielles rekindled relationship - another outcome of last night.

via BB

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mt lafayette

Well today there was lots of climbing. We woke up and made our way to the trail and luckily didn't have any problems finding it. We knew we had a 4000 foot climb today, so we were a bit apprehensive as to how it would pan out. The thing about the whites is you're never really on a ridge line, so you are going up and down on some really steep mountains; but, to say the least, it is gorgeous.

The climb was tough, and there were some scary steep parts, but on a whole it went well. Before the first of three peaks we went over today, we met and older couple named mr and Mrs going home. They have hiked the trail 2.5 times and are planning to do it again for Mr going homes 80th birthday! They were very nice and we talked to them for a little before starting up to the summit.

When we got to the first summit, we were just under two miles to Lafayette, and for those two miles we were on an exposed ridge line - it was awesome. We could see what we were going to climb before hand, and it was just a nice change of scenery.

We finally got to Lafayette and there was a little corner in what looks to be an old foundation and we decided to camp there. Technically its not legal, but its ok - were thru hikers! We walked down a steep side path to fill up on water after talking to a group of people out for the day. After we came back up, a guy walked over to us and asked if we wanted some carrot cake, so obviously we jumped at the offer. It was marks 50th birthday, and he was spending it on this gorgeous mountain. We talked to them for a while and another guy named Jeff gave us power bars and the rest chipped in with carrots and m&ms! So it was a good day. We also met a woman who was running a loop that is part of a local search and rescue team, and hopefully we won't need to see her soon!

This is by far the best campsite we have had. To our right we see Washington and where we will be going, and to our left we can see mooseilauke and where we came from and behind us is a raven nest.

As gorgeous as this is, we are feeling the length of this trip. We grow tired, but hopeful to finish well.
via BB

So it begins!

Hiked today: 15.1
Hiked total: 1798.0
To katahdin: 373.3

Today we got a late start, but we had a good sleep and it was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny. Allie Matt and Victor left half hour before us to summit moosilauke but we caught up with them soon.

The accent was a 3500 foot accent in four miles. It got fairly steep at some parts, but for the most part it was pretty consistent. Andy was ahead of me, so we both hiked that section alone, I was only ten minutes behind at the end though. A few hundred feet before the summit, there was a very flat section, and I got really excited since I could see the top. It was memorial day, so there were tons of people on the trail, and I blew right passed them all! I met up with Andy at the top and boy was it windy! It was amazing. I had my poles in front of me going up hill so I wouldn't be blown over, it was insane! It was so exciting and beautiful though.

After half hour at the summit, we started our decent. We stopped at the shelter for a little to leave a note to the three we spent the night with, and met some new guys. We hung out with them for a while, and then started what's supposed to be the steepest 1.4 miles on the trail - that was interesting. There were logs bolted into the stone and metal bars as hand railing because it was so steep. It took us a full hour to go down it.

Once we were off, we went into town to resupply and get some food. Unfortunately, money is tight now, and we couldn't stuff our face at the diner like usual. So, we each got a chicken, macaroni/potato salad, bread, and juice to have for lunch. After re supplying for basically the rest of new Hampshire, we started to get back to the trail.

It took forever to get a hitch. We were right in front of this tourist place, and we saw our first bear! Unfortunately, it was in a pen for bear shows, but we did see one! Just as we were about to give up on a hitch for the night, a crazy guy picked us up. He was awesome. He was wolfman for the tourist place and looked the part! He dropped us off and we started to search for the trail. We couldn't find it. We walked all over looking, but had no idea as to where it was! About an hour goes by and its getting dark, and I pull up a map on my phone to see the trail being called the cascade brook trail. So we follow the signs to that, angrily telling the woods its the APPALACHIAN trail and to get it right on the signs.

We set up camp for the night and will resume tomorrow. Unfortunately, after tomorrow, there will be three days of heavy rain. We will be going over the presidentials. Who knows what that will be like - may be snow and ice at that altitude. We look forward to continuing the whites, but are wary of the weather.
via BB

Monday, May 25, 2009

Welcome to the whites

Hiked today: 21.0
Hiked total: 1780.9
To katahdin: 397.4

This morning we woke up and packed up. We slept in again, as we have enjoyed doing lately, and slowly made our way to the trail.

The hike was a little crazy as it started raining like crazy and did so until noon. We were fairly wet and a little chilly. It was a fairly uneventful hike though. We needed to get some food, but didn't want resupply for a full 4 days because we didn't want to carry a full load over moosilauke. So we got one ride from a guy in a pick up truck to the main road. After walking a little while, a guy in a direct tv truck passed us then turned around and came to pick us up and being us into town.

While in town, we ate and got a days worth of food and went to get back on the trail. A guy offered to drive us to the trail. So we took his ride, and went to the trail.

When we got to the trail, we hiked a mile to the shelter. We set up and then went to a giant river near by where we were going to swim. However, it was freezing, and lots of mosquitoes, so we just filled up our water and left.

When we got back to the shelter, there were three people our age there; allie, Matt, and victor. They were out for a few days before they start summer jobs. It was funny because they were day students at a boarding school nmh used to play against, and they knew people from around andys area. So we hung out with them and victor and Andy played guitar and we had a good night.

Now we have just entered the whites, and tomorrow we have a very big climb. We are excited, but also bummed because my camera batteries died and the charger which I was supposed to get in Boston never made it there. So we have a disposable camera. Into the real mountaineering stuff tomorrow!
via BB

Sleeping in

Hiked today 12.4
Hiked total:1759.9
To katahdin: 413.4

Today we slept for a total of 13 hours. I guess we are still catching up on sleep. We decided to go to the shelter today and only hike 12 miles and sleep in an old fire tower. So, after breakfast and being at that shelter for nearly 20 hours, we left. The hike was actually fairly hard, and we were extremely tired at the end of it.

We saw a lot of pretty sights along the way, and a lot of views of what's to come in the whites. It was really windy and a little cold though. We were able to see the firetower from a few miles away which was really cool, but we could also see how far it was.

When we finally got to the fire tower, we climbed up to see that 4 windows were broken and it was extremely busy - people were climbing up it a lot. So we decided not to sleep up there, especially since it was supposed to rain. However, the sight was gorgeous. There were 360 degree views of all mountains. shelter we are in now is actually an old rangers cabin, so its pretty nice. We enjoy having a 4th wall and a door very much, and wish every shelter could be like that. There is a guy here named thunder, and he gave us some extra food.

So all is well on the trail, except the lack of service. Tomorrow we will be at the base of the whites!
via BB

On the trail again

Hiked today: 11.0
Hiked total: 1747.5
To katahdin: 430.8

Crows. Stupid stupid crows. They woke us up at 6 with their cawing. One actually pooped on my tent. I hate crows.
Last night we camped right off a road in town and when we woke up we realized we were a little closer to the road than we thought last night. We also had a revelation last night sitting in town. When someone went by and asked us about our hike we realized we are sick of telling the story, but get pissed if people don't ask. After this statement, we came to the very enlightning revelation that that is how women feel. We now know what its like to be a woman. After we fell back asleep this morning, I woke up to a guy standing on the road looking down on us. I explained we were thru hiking and everything was cool. Actually, funny enough, after the guy asked what we were doing, Andy, while still sleeping, responded with a grunted 'thru hiking'. He didn't remember it after he really woke up.

So we packed up and left for the post office to get replacement pads that were shipped to us. On the way there, a very AT looking woman drove by and yelled out the window 'the trail is good, and it is the way!' That was very amusing. After that we went to lou's which was a very nice diner - just our kind of place. After we walked in and set our packs down, an excited waitress seated us. She said she liked having hikers so made sure she got us. She brought us free donuts and muffins which were delicious. She was very nice, and enjoyed her company greatly.

After we left we headed for the trail to begin the last leg of our trip. It was a gorgeous -albeit a little hot - day. The bugs were a little too intense, and we are not looking forward to the bug season which is almost upon us. After granting Danielle her wish of having her picture on the trail, we hiked only 11 miles to our shelter. We are going to average around 15 for the rest of the trip, but today we decided to just do 11 to get back into the swing of things. We had some good talks along the trail, and we were talking about after the trail and Andy came to the conclusion that he is moving to nyc and finding a job there. Before, it was one of the top three cities where he will end up, but now, for various reasons, he has picked the wonderful new York city.

So here we are, in a shelter again! The dusty camels have returned.
via BB

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And then we're....

Well, as we speak Andy and I are on a bus back to hanover where we left the trail. Its been an exciting week, and we took a few days longer than expected, but it was worth it.

We left danielles around 430 to take a bus back, and we both decided that we couldn't stay away from the trail any longer; it was getting a little too comfortable away from it!

We have 440 miles left on the trail, and we have a lot of work ahead of us as we are about to enter the whites. Previously, when we talked about what's going to happen along the trail we said:
"we have a couple weeks until we get to Philly, and then after that we will have 10 days until new York, and then we have 3 weeks until Boston for graduation, AND THEN WE ARE done!" well ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived to the 'and then we are' part of that time line. The last leg of the trip has arrived.

So, thank you for your patience and waiting for us to return to the site. There won't be a day missing until this trip has ended.
via BB

Saturday, May 16, 2009

sorry everyone

I know I know, it's been a while, and for that I apologize.

Anyway, just a short recap of whats been going on. The day after we left the Hazeltons, we started our hitch into Boston. It took a total of four hitches to get in, but only 4 hours -- which is only an hour longer than it would have if we were to get a straight shot, and shorter than it would have if we were to take the bus!

After breakfast, we went to the on ramp and set up two signs, one saying AT Hikers, and the other saying 2 Boston 4 Graduation. We set up the signs on our poles and sat on the guard rail to wait. As we were sitting down, a pick-up truck pulled off to the side and told us to jump in. We put our packs in the back, and got in the front. There were two guys there, and one of them was going to the hospital at Dartmouth to get checked out. They were nice guys, and they gave us a ride about 10 miles away from concord (nearly halfway.) So they dropped us off, and we went to go to the south bound on ramp only to find that it was a nearly 3 miles away. Unfortunately, we had to walk, but it's not like we don't do that anyway, so we started out and wrote on the back of one sign to 89 South to see if we could get a ride the three miles. About a mile and a half into it, we went through a town and a pick up that was pulling out of a parking lot stopped in front of us. We weren't sure if he saw the signs or where we were going so we went to go talk to him, but he just pointed to the back of the pickup and we hopped in. And off he went, to where? We had no idea. We were relieved at first after he got onto 89 south, and it was an interesting experience driving on the highway in the back of a pickup truck, but cool none-the-less. We thought our first ride put us in a tight spot by putting us 3 miles away from the south onramp, but this guy really put us in a tight spot. We needed to get from 89 to 93, and that is what he did. However, he was still going to the end of 89 and didnt drive up 93 at all, so he dropped us off in the middle of the highway at the on ramp to 93 from 89. This was a tough place to get a hitch, because everyone is turning off one highway and getting on to another, so everyone is speeding up and theres no room to pull over. We actually got lucky and only waited about 15 minutes before someone pulled over. He was nice enough to pull over just enough to let cars pass, but it was still a tight spot, so we jumped in as quickly as possible and headed off. His name was Gil and he was from around there and was very nice enough to drive us as far as he could which was about 25% of the way.

After gil dropped us off, we went and set up near the onramp once more. we were actually there for the longest time, we tried moving and going to different spots and finally after a while, we got one. Tom picked us up and drove us as far as he could before he had to pick up his girlfriend in salem, ma. Luckily, she called him and said she would be late, so he offered to drive us in all the way to downtown Boston -- which he did.

So we ended up in Boston, walked around, saw some people, showered and got situated. We will resume our hike early this week, but when, we are not sure. So theres the update! And I will update it again once we jump back on the trail!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh the magic of the trail

Well it has been a great day. The weather was beautiful, the mountains were green, the sun was shining, and we enjoyed it all tremendously.

We made our way towards hanover today and got a little lost along the way. Once we were done with our hike, we went to find the road we were going to hitch to Boston on and camp there. However, we got very turned around and had no clue as to where in Vermont or new Hampshire we had strayed.

We ended up on some dirt road no one would think to drive on and was worried. Ironically, at that point, a car drove by. This older couple stopped and was following some directions from mapquest and didn't really know where they were either. However, they were going to the road we needed to be at, so gave us a ride.

After we got to talking, they said they lived right next to the road and offered is a shower and a place to stay. Not only that, but they treated us to dinner! They are very kind to say the least. Now we will rest up and hope to get to Boston before the evening tomorrow!
via BB

Back in the woods

Today was a great day. We hiked for about 20 miles and Odie met us with our bags at the end. It was a gorgeous day out, and we saw some really nice views. We actually walked up a ski slope to the summit of a mountain where a chair lift was.

It was a very smooth relaxing day overall. We saw LOTS of moose poop, but no moose. It was a very enjoyable day! After the hike, we started walking into town, and a guy gave us a ride in. He was nice and said he was hoping he might do the trail as well.

After we got into town, we ate some food and relaxed in the sun until Odie came. He got there around 6 and drove us to the trail. Our packs had a lot of extra weight because we filled all our bottles up and had a bunch of canned food for the night. Odie gave us a few beers and we lugged our packs up a difficult mile climb to the shelter.

We set up camp and spent the night in the woods like old times! It was great meeting Odie, he helped out a lot!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Last night with Odie

Tonight is our last night with Odie, and sad we are. Today was a pretty smooth sailing day, nothing terribly interesting going on. The weather was a little wacky -- it was cold, and looked like it was going to rain, but still had blue skies and sun poking through. Luckily, it did not rain until later in the day, but we were back at the house by then.

Our plans for getting to Boston for Andys graduation has changed just a wee bit from our original plan of getting to Hanover and taking a greyhound. We are still planning to get to, or around, Hanover, N.H., however, we will be hitch hiking. We are going to give ourselves some extra time to get there and we had planned to hitch in on Thursday. While planning this, we took a look at the weather and saw it is supposed to rain on Thursday, so we decided to start hitching in on Wednesday. I don't see it taking more than a day as its only 140 miles to Boston from Hanover, but we will see what happens. We decided that taking a bus from Hanover was too easy, and not a good enough story. We will be taking a little extra time off by starting earlier, but its ok. We have decided that after we get back to the trail, we have no schedule, and no deadlines. We are going to enjoy the last two states and take it as it comes. We will be coming back to the Whites which is going to be very exciting.

So the adventure continues -- in the woods once more!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Another day at Odies

we woke up quite late this morning -- or afternoon I should say -- so we did not hike. It was pretty relaxed today, after Odie got over his hangover, and Andy washed his away in the shower, we went and got some food. Andy and I hadn't had a real meal since yesterday morning, so we were very famished. After a giant breakfast, we stopped off at the outfitter to see if some replacement things came in (Andy's pad has a giant tumor in it) but they didn't come yet. I looked at boots while we were there. Even though Vasque replaced my boots with a different model, I could very quickly tell they weren't going to last. They are decent boots, but not for what I need, theres not enough support, and they just aren't comfortable for the amount of miles we are doing (the Vasque Clarion), and I am hoping that the reason my feet have been in so much pain lately is because of those boots. I got some really nice, comfortable, rigid boots. I didn't want to spend money on new boots, but I figure thats the most important thing I have on this trip, and the fact that I got two new pairs of boots for free justified it.

After the outfitter, we went to Orvis where Odie wandered around looking for a casting competition to win (he's a big fly-fisherman), but those are tomorrow, so we went back to the house. Odie took a nap, and I uploaded lots of new pictures onto the site. By the way, the way the new set up works is as follows:

For all the Georgia pictures, you click on the slideshow on the bottom. Unfortunately, those are all on a separate Flickr account so I cant combined those with my Picasa account easily right now. So click on those to see early pictures.

For North Carolina to New Jersey, you click on picture of Andy and I sitting on the rock. That will bring you to that photo album on picasa.

For New York to Maine (once we get there that is) you click on the picture with the guitar and that will bring you to that album.

If you rather just watch a slide show, the slide show above the album links goes through all of my pictures. If you click on that, it will open up that image in the appropriate album.

After we rested up a little, we decided to go see Star Trek. So we went to the movies and saw the 6:30 showing. On our way there, there was a massive hurricane force storm that lasted about 30 minutes. It was POURING and hailing like mad. We took a video and some pictures which I will put up tomorrow (I've done enough picture work for the day.) Anyway, the movie was actually really good, we all enjoyed it a lot. They managed to make Star Trek really cool. We then got some food at the grocery store to make at the house, came back, and sat around and ate.

We WILL be slackpacking tomorrow, so will end up here again tomorrow night.

House Hopping

hiked today: 22.1
hiked total: 1622.6

we woke up this morning to a stupid child pretending to be a cop and saying we had to step out of the tent. Needless to say, we are not idiots and didnt, but they woke us up 10 minutes before my alarm went off, so I wasn't happy.

We got packed and went back to the diner for breakfast. We ate, and then began our hike. It was a nice day, the weather was warm and sunny for the most part. It's nice being in Vermont because we have big mountains around us again. It will make for smaller mile days, but at least its pretty -- and different.

When we got to the spot where we were going to stop, we pulled out the tent and used it as a sheet to lay on while we waited for Odie to come and pick us up. He is a thru-hiker from 2005 and has been putting up hikers at his place since. We got his name from Rob, so really, we have just been house hopping for the past week. It's been a lot of fun. After relaxing and basking in the sun, Odie made it to that spot and we had some beers, played some frisbee, and the headed back to his place to relax. We actually went out to a bar around 11:30, but we were both so tired we had to get back and go to sleep. So we went to bed, and will figure out what we are doing tomorrow.... tomorrow.

Vermont, we have arrived

Hiked today: 18.4
Hiked total: 1600.5
To katahdin: 577.8

We left robs house today after eating breakfast and packing up. He came and picked us up and brought us to north Adams where he dropped us off yesterday. Instead of going south, however, we went north.

It was a nice day, and we walked through some cool farm lands. Towards the start of the day we entered into Vermont, our 12th state. By the end of the day, we also broke 1600 miles, which is equally as exciting.

We got into town and stopped at a diner to eat, and then left to find a place to camp. We ended up on this little path behind the high school, and next to a river. We set up camp and celebrated with the gifts Andrew gave us, which included a box of Monte cristo mini cigars.

It was a fun day, but we are excited to get to our next house tomorrow!
via BB

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh how this trip has changed

I am too lazy to get all the mileage info as I have been for the past few days. But. We did around 22 today. And we are just under 1600 total.

Anyway, we woke up and rob took us to the trail north of here and we left our packs here and walked back. We have spent so much time at peoples houses, I'm starting to forget we are on a trail! And 'southern hospitality' has nothing on the north. Rob has been great and has helped us out a lot

The hike was standard and not too interesting. It was cool and cloudy, but no rain just yet.

We got back to robs and went out to eat. We came back and watched some TV and relaxed. Tomorrow we will head out and spend one night on the trail and then rob set it up so we are going to stay at another guys house over the weekend and slack pack then too!

We are finished with mass tomorrow! Vermont here we come.

Ps Nikki, where did you get number four? Don't be silly.
via BB

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


So we woke up today and Elisabeth made us breakfast. We talked and relaxed for a while, and then it was time to be off. Next stop was Dalton, MA. We made it here around 430. It wasn't too far away from Andrews, so it was nice.

Before we left, I responded to a text Dennis sent me a few days ago telling them we would be in Dalton tonight. They actually just left Dalton, but told us there was a guy here that had the same set up as the mayor in NY. So, we met up with him and are inside once more! That's really nice because its raining. What's even nicer is tomorrow we are going to slack pack it back here. But wait, it gets better. Rob (the guy who is letting us stay with him) has a set up with a guy in Vermont who does the same thing. SO, we are going to be able to slack pack a total of 120 miles! I'm not even sure if we will be outside again before we leave to Boston. Next Friday we will just get into NH and take a bus from Hanover to Boston for andys graduation.

We are sad to leave the Humes, but happy to be back on our journey. Plus we know it won't be the last time we see them!
via BB


Well, we didn't leave. Andrew came by after we woke up to bring us to his house for breakfast and offered to let us stay another night. We were not quick to say no. So, we stayed another day hanging out with Andrew. His wife and son came back from Italy around 7, and we were able to meet the rest of his family. Actually, Andy and I cooked for everyone as a thank you for letting us stay. So, I made my lasagna! I will admit, I was a little nervous when Andy suggested it, but it turned out well, and everyone enjoyed it. It's too bad Aurelie and Marie where stuck at school and I couldn't repay them for the meal they made us.

So our day consisted of watching old movies, eating good food, going in the sauna, jumping in the pool, and repeating. After dinner, Elizabeth and John were pretty tired and went to bed, and Andrew brought us back to the Annex (our house) where we hung out for a while. He noticed from our pictures that we like cigars for celebrations, so we smoked some really great cigars, and was a little more classy than being in the woods by drinking a bottle of scotch along with the cigars. We listened to music, learned about Andrews family, talked, and just enjoyed the night. Unfortunately we will be leaving today, but you can only stay at a great place too long. So thanks to Andrew, Elizabeth, Aurelie, and John (for your smirk comment Marie you don't get a thank you)!

Alright, alright, well, I suppose you can get a thank you too Marie.

The more Andy and I experience kindness and meet wonderful people like we have been lately, the more we realize that the Appalachian Trail isn't really about the trail, its about the journey from the south to the north, and people like the Humes make it an incredible experience! So thanks you 5.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More trail magic!

Hiked today: 20.5

We woke up late this morning and made our way to breakfast slowly. We actually took about an hour and a half to eat and eventually leave the restaurant. We decided to walk along route 41 which runs parallel to the trail until Great Barrington, MA. Since we are getting tired of the trail, and want our feet to rest for a little and get a break from the rocks, we thought it would be best. So onwards we walked. It was a little cloudy, but a bit warmer, so it evened out nicely. Andy and I were having a nice time looking at all the houses, not having to worry about tripping, and just have good conversations. Actually, we passed a THIRD school I've raced before -- Berkshire. We literally walked in front of their campus and saw a lot of students and parents coming and going from the school. After about 18 miles, we sat down to take a little break and rest our feet. A car was driving by and stopped after seeing us and asked if we wanted a ride. At first we said we were fine as we only had a few more miles into town, but he backed up and started talking to us. We told him we were going to camp in Great Barrington, and he offered up his house, so we gladly took the ride. 

Andrew stopped to pick up his daughter from Berkshire for the evening, and passed us on his way and was happy we waved to him and on the way back he told his daughter he would offer to drive us somewhere -- and he did. He drove us to his house, where he has a guest house for us to stay in. It is beautiful here, gorgeous house, lots of land, and much better than the trail! His two daughters made us dinner as Andy and Andrew played on the guitars together (Andrew has a pretty nicely sized studio with huge speakers and lots of guitars.) We took showers, went into the sauna, took more showers, had some drinks and talked with everyone. We were incredibly happy to have met these three as they are all wonderful people!  Tonight we will relax, and figure out what we are doing tomorrow... tomorrow. Right now, we are very happy hikers.

yet another school i raced

hiked today: 15.6

today we had a very lovely hike along the trail and on the road via a detour that they had for the trail. It was warm and sunny, but also a bit breezy so we didn't get too hot. It was pretty strenuous, but we managed to make it without too many problems. Half way into the day, there was a detour on the road. It was pretty cool because they had actual orange blazes on the road working signs. we followed that for a while, and eventually made it to Salisbury. We used to raced Salisbury at NMH, so it was funny hitting another school I know. 

When we got to Salisbury, we hung out on a lawn and laid out to relax. Ironically, my barber has a house up there, and my mom sees him on the way to school every morning. Andy left his wallet at my house, and John (my barber) was going up to his house, so took it up, and met us in town. So andy got his wallet back, and I got to see John again.

We got to walk through a lot of the town, and see a lot of gorgeous houses along the way,  but eventually we needed to find a spot to camp. There was a bike trail around the back of town, and just off of that a large field. So, we set up camp there, and spent the night.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's up with our feet?

Hiked today: 17.0
Hiked total:1472.9
To katahdin: 705.4

So this morning we left our hiding place... Er, campsite... And went to eat breakfast. We filled up and headed towards the trail. We walked right passed the entrance to Kent which was funny too. We soon got into the woods, and knowing what goes down in the woods near a boarding school, I walked quickly, and started our hike. There were lots of ups and downs and rocky areas. It was actually a decently technical day. We had some climbs and hard descents. We stayed flat for a few miles along the housitonic river but that was it.

After a few miles, we ran into two who were section hiking from new Hampshire. They were very nice and even said they would drive is to Boston for andys graduation. However, we looked at the book, and we will just be rolling into NH when we need to leave.

Not too long after we left them, we met a guy named Rich. He had a giant back pack and two smaller ones. We thought he was carrying stuff for someone else, but it was all his. The shelter wasn't far and we wanted to break, so we each took a bag and helped him to the shelter. He gave us a beer that we drank, and then left oddly tipsy (I guess that's what happens after hiking 8 miles.)

As soon as the beer wore off we were in normal hiking mode. The problem is, OUR FEET. We have no idea why, but our feet aren't carrying us well anymore. We feel fine physically, but our feet are just aching too early into the day and too intensely by the end.

Now we are in a shelter with a sectioner named half day, and even though he warned us, I think he should be called sir snores-a lot.

Tomorrow we are meeting my barber in a town the trail goes through! Funny how the world works. I do miss the little things in the city though.
via BB

I love NY

What a day! I have no idea how far we walked. We woke up in better spirits after a great nights sleep. We packed up and headed towards the trail away from our lake side campsite which was very nice to wake up to. Andys foot is having some issues (half of it is numb) so we decided to get to Kent, CT via roadway which would take the same amount of time. We actually started walking on the taconic parkway which was a tad scary and we quickly got off of. We then used my phone to follow smaller roads. Half the day in, a guy in a dump truck stopped for us. Hitch hiking is illegal in NY and we had no intention of getting a ride, but he offered to bring us part way so we took it happily. At the end of his ride, he offered is venison, we said we had nothing to cook it with and he offered is a stove and pans! He was very kind but it was just to much to carry.

At this point we were where we wanted to be so we were looking for a place to camp, and along the road a corrections officer named Glen picked us up. He brought us within 7 miles of Kent. He said he would bring us all the way after he went home and got changed, and left us at a pizza place until he returned. The guy there actually gave us a giant cookie after he heard we were on the trail.

Glen came and brought us to Kent which was awesome and very unexpected. We got our resupply and then filled up our bellies. We didn't know where to camp, so we tried our luck on a big lawn between the post office and the town hall. Unfortunately, a couple goes later we got kicked out. So instead of packing everything up, I walked down main street holding my set up tent. Needless to say we got some funny looks when people saw a bright orange tent floating around. We went to the church and set up camp in a circle of trees. Its funny to be in Kent because my old buddy went to school here and I rowed against them in high school.

So we go onwards! rainy and gross today, but what else is new?
via BB

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear Nikki,

We do remember.

We love you,

Your hikers.
via BB

Sore feet

Hiked today: 18.2
Hiked total: 1412.9
To katahdin: 765.4

We had great weather today, but we are still not in the swing of things. Our feet were hurting a lot today, so we stopped a little before our 20 mile mark and pitched the tent. We got an early start and got in at 3:15. While we are annoyed our feet could only carry us 18 miles, we do enjoy getting in early. At least the weather was good. It was in the 60's and sunny, and everything is finally turning green! We were growing tired of all the brown, decaying matter that littered the path. Unfortunately, with all this nice weather came BUGS. We got a mini rest 4 miles into the day where there was gas station and we got some Gatorade and candy, but after that we couldn't break because of the bugs. We tried once, but we were getting attacked, so quickly moved on.

We both came to the conclusion that we are burnt out and bored. We pushed so much in Virginia and PA, and now we are feeling it. And hiking all day everyday for nearly 3 months just gets boring. We don't think the flame will be blazing until we get up to the whites, where our excitement will spark. After that is Maine where we will be happy as well. We just have to push for the next 2.5 weeks until we get there. We have 2 more days in new York and then 5 days in Connecticut. We are looking forward to that, but its still exhausting to get through all this.

The trip continues, but I think as of this moment our minds are still on the real world.
via BB

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back to the trail

Day 66

Howdy all, sorry I've been mia for a while. I'm not really sure where I left off, but we are back on the trail after a nice long break in nyc. We both had lots of fun, and saw a bunch of people. We got picked up for the weekend and drove into the city and I got my new boots. Saw some people and relaxed. Then Andy and I had a little to drink. The rest of the time off we saw friends, relaxed, and ate. We both lost between 8-10 lbs when we checked at home, but as of yesterday it was all back which was amusing.

I got a new tent too! I loved my old one, but it wasn't freestanding, and since we do a lot of shelter camping, its hard to pitch the tent. This tent is awesome, another great tent from nemo (ill never get a tent from another company again).

We got dropped off today and hiked a little. However, it was 92 degrees out, and we were feeling the weekends festivities a little too much. We found a campsite and set up camp and took it easy in the sweltering heat. Tomorrow, the journey continues once more. This will be a 3 week stretch and then we will be breaking in Boston for andys graduation.
via BB

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


day 63

hiked today: 17.3
hiked total: 1352.4
to katahdin: 825.9

What a day, what a day. We woke up to a big delicious breakfast here at Dick's place. We were offered the chance to 'slackpack' out of here, and Andy and I jumped at the idea. Basically, Butch drove us up 17.3 miles and we would be southbounders for a day and head back to Unionville. We get to spend the night here, get some real food, and not camp in the rain (there was no shelter in our area tonight.) Thats a really good part of it, however, the best part of it is, we didn't need our packs! Besides some water and a bar or two, we left everything behind. Needless to say we were excited, and that means we flew. We actually ran a few of the miles! It was wonderful. It wasn't too sunny out, but it wasn't cold, so the weather was perfect. We went through some really cool parts of Jersey (never thought I would say that) and there was a boardwalk that was .6 miles long with a huge suspension bridge. Jersey is really wet/swampy, so there are lots of boardwalks, but nothing like this. We went through some wildlife preserve areas, saw some cool birds, a baby turtle, and a bunch of gofers.

We were flying the whole way, even when we weren't running. We got dropped off at 8:15 and finished the 17.3 miles by 12:45 and then got to the house by 12:55. We got back here, took showers (taking a shower after a hike, what a novel idea! I wish we had thought of it earlier) and got some food down at the deli. I'm happy to be back in NY and Andy and I will be heading home tomorrow for a few days. We will enjoy the evening, watch some tv, eat some good food, and not sleep in the rain.

Also Jordan said he's going to try to come up to NH in the whites with us which would be awesome! so we have a lot to look forward to in the up comming month.


Day 62

hiked today: 20.1
hiked total: 1335.1
to katahdin: 843.2

We woke up with the scouts and head out on the trail. It wasn't great weather, but at least it wasn't pouring. We didn't have a long day today, so it was smooth sailing. The hike itself was pretty standard (as it has been lately -- I am eager to get up north to VT and NH.) The real story begins at the end of our day.

We were planning on staying in Unionville, NY where we saw there was a bunk house for $3 right in a bar. We thought that could be some fun so went over there when we got into town. We asked to stay, and the bartender said what most people do is stay with the mayor. We thought that sounded interesting, so we left the bar, and went up to the mayors house. We walk up to be greeted by Butch who said we were a day early. We had no idea what he meant, but then we saw Dennis and Dave waiting for us there, and had told the guys that they thought we would be there tomorrow.

The mayor (Dick) calls the place the Outhouse. It's basically the best place in the world. He opens up his home to hikers, and has a bunk downstairs, and old mess sargent named Bill lives here with him and cooks every meal for us. Butch spends the days here and drives the hikers around. We get in, get handed a beer, and start the evening. We had a big dinner, and watched some TV, and Dick told us about Paul Potts and how inspirational he is to him. He also told us we were insane for doing what we are doing, but he is happy to open up his home. These guys are hysterical, sailor mouthing, great people. Tomorrow we are actually slackpacking 17 miles. What that means is we are leaving our packs here, getting driven up 17 miles (we wanted to do more, but thats where the road is) and then walk back here to spend the night.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Day 61

Hiked today: 20.9
Hiked total: 1315.0
To katahdin: 863.3

Well the morning started off alright, we packed up camp in the lodge place and had a big breakfast. Chris left out some dishes and bread for us as well which added to our left over pasta and the eggs, made for a big breakfast.

After we left it started to rain. It was so cold, however, it was frozen rain. We went through some pretty spots, but since they were on top of the ridge and in a clearing, the ice rain was getting shot into our faces and we had to quickly run past. The day was pretty much a blah day. Nothing to great, and nothing to terrible. The rain wasn't fun, but like Jordan said: "you can't change the weather, but you can adjust the sails." we made do with what we had and pushed through.

A few miles before our shelter, we did get to a deli, but it was closed and we just wanted to get warm and dry. When we arrived at the shelter, there were two tents pitched in it. We were bummed. Luckily, it was a small scout outing and the dad made the kids move out. We felt bad kicking them out, but we just wanted to be dry and warm. They are actually from a town right next to my high school, and they have used my boathouse there lots of times which was funny. Also, along the trail we met our first new Yorker! I was happy to see someone from home. He was out for a few day trip, but we are getting closer to home which is exciting.
via BB

Sunday, April 19, 2009

7 states down, 7 to go

Day 60

Hiked today:
Hiked total:
To katahdin:

Well we woke up today to Jordan making us pancakes. We packed away our stuff and cleaned up our bed and joined him, Sandi, and their friend. After we had our fill of pancakes, Jordan made us some eggs from the chickens out back. Needless to say, we had a good morning.
Sandi drove us to the trail, and we were off. Those two are some of the nicest most genuine people we have met, and we are very thankful to have met them!

The weather was nice today and it hasn't rained yet - although its supposed to tonight. We were done with PA and now are in NJ! That means we have 7 states down, and 7 to go. It was cool out and we had some nice views of the Delaware river. We eventually made it to the Mohican Outdoor Center where camping is free for thru-hikers. Chris, the guy who works here, set us up and told us a place delivers up here, so we ordered up some food and enjoyed being inside away from the flies and bugs that have begun to surface. So we ate, practiced guitar, and now we are watching a movie! They have a projector and a small handful of people here in cabins watching with us. So we will finish this up and go to bed. There are some extra eggs and cheese here, so we have a good breakfast in store for tomorrow!
via BB

7 states down, 7 to go

Day 60

Hiked today:
Hiked total:
To katahdin:

Well we woke up today to Jordan making us pancakes. We packed away our stuff and cleaned up our bed and joined him, Sandi, and their friend. After we had our fill of pancakes, Jordan made us some eggs from the chickens out back. Needless to say, we had a good morning.
Sandi drove us to the trail, and we were off. Those two are some of the nicest most genuine people we have met, and we are very thankful to have met them!

The weather was nice today and it hasn't rained yet - although its supposed to tonight. We were done with PA and now are in NJ! That means we have 7 states down, and 7 to go. It was cool out and we had some nice views of the Delaware river. We eventually made it to the Mohican Outdoor Center where camping is free for thru-hikers. Chris, the guy who works here, set us up and told us a place delivers up here, so we ordered up some food and enjoyed being inside away from the flies and bugs that have begun to surface. So we ate, practiced guitar, and now we are watching a movie! They have a projector and a small handful of people here in cabins watching with us. So we will finish this up and go to bed. There are some extra eggs and cheese here, so we have a good breakfast in store for tomorrow!
via BB

What a day

Day 59

Hiked today: 21.5
Hiked total: 1268.1
To katahdin: 910.2

So we left our shelter about 20 minutes earlier than usual. It was already warm out, so we were both in shorts - we knew it was going to be a hot day. About a mile past the shelter was lehigh gap where we cross the lehigh river, and begin a very big climb. That area used to be a zinc mining town, so this rock face was created by all the zinc smelting. We climbed about 1000 feet in a quarter mile. Needless to say we were climbing with our hands and had to put our poles away.

After that climb, the rest of the day was fairly smooth, but HOT. We were later told that thermometers read up to 84 in the sun, and we were under it all day with little shade. We both finished our water at the same time which was bad because we still had 5 miles left, and there were no water sources along the way. So we went as quickly as possible before we got too badly dehydrated. Right before Wind Gap, we met a bunch of maintainers. Talked to them for the last 5 minutes on the trail, and the walked briskly to the gas station near by where we each downed a Gatorade, and split a half gallon of lemonade.

We then went to eat some Chinese (thankfully not a buffet) and resupply our food. We were exhausted. We never even thought of being tired because of the heat and sun, its always been about the cold with us. So, we say down in the frozen food isle pawing through magazines to rest.

A few minutes go by, and we aren't budging. Then, a guy walks by with a basket full of food and asks if we are staying in the motel. We say we are just camping out back somewhere and that we do it often, but then he offers us his house. He says he's having some friends over and we can hang out with them, have some food and beer, and crash there. So, we jump to our feet and head out. Jordan brought us to his place he moved into recently with his girlfriend Sandy. Its a really cool old house on a farm where they have horses and goats. They let us do our laundry, shower, and introduced us to their friends. They had a huge bonfire going which was cool too, and at 1 or so, after Andy had been playing the guitar for a while, we were beat, and went to bed.

We will be done with PA today! And thanks to Jordan and Sandy for everything!
via BB

Friday, April 17, 2009

Short day

Day 58

Hiked today: 16.8
Hiked total: 1246.6
To katahdin: 931.7

We woke up today and left camp to beautiful weather. We hiked for a while, passed some day hikers, and went over lots of rocks. We stopped early to take lunch on this big rock and enjoyed the views.

We passed another snake, but it was big! A 4 foot king snake - all black. Andy ran. We kept going over the rocks and got to a shelter. We decided that we would stay here as Andys feet were hurting and we have both gotten tired of getting into camp late.

So we relaxed at camp, I got my first guitar lesson, and we have decided to take it easier and enjoy the miles instead of push through them. So we are going to bed soon and will take it easier (no 25 milers for a while)
via BB

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The world famous dusty camels

Day 57

Hiked today: 22.9
Hiked total: 1228.5
To katahdin: 948.5

Yesterday we hiked 23.7, I got the days confused.

We woke up to lots of fog. We thought it was supposed to be nice, so we were confused. We packed up and went to get breakfast. We walked all over this tiny town trying to find it to no avail. Finally we wave down a car and I asked him where it was. He said about a mile and put of town. So we start walking. As we are walking, two women drive up behind us and offer us a ride, as they were going to the diner too. So we gladly get in and drive there.

The diner was good, and we filled up. A nice couple was sitting next to them, and we talked with them for a while. Since we got confused as to where the diner was, we ended up getting to the trail late.

We started up a big up hill and went through LOTS of rocks. We hit pinnacle and pulpit rock which were two beauty spots, and we were lucky it was a nice day. The fog went away quickly and the warm sun was shining all day.

Andy saw his first snake today (a small garner) and made a very high pitched noise and zoomed ahead. I laughed.

Soon after, before we hit pinnacle, we hear 'the world famous dusty camels' from just over a hill. Andy says hi, and I assumed it was someone we had met, however he introduced himself to this gentleman. We thought maybe he had met Dennis and Dave and told him about us, but he said he knew about us from shelter logs. He is doing a flip flop type trip, and was behind us for a while, and asked his wife to search online, where they discovered this site. Footnote (the guy) told us she had been following our journey, and that he had been waiting to run into us. He offered is a big pack of granola, home-dried fruit, and two packs of shrimp. Normally, we wouldn't tale food from another thru-hiker, but he told us he had been carrying it FOR us, so we graciously accepted. He was very nice, he wrote a book about the blue ridge parkway, and is now doing one on the AT. Unfortunately, we forgot to get a picture with him, but we wanted too!

And to Mrs. Footnote: thanks for keeping track! And we hiked a lot of the blue ridge, but we could see the AT the whole time and it was the same amount of miles!

After we left we had a long stretch with no rocks, stopped for lunch, and continued on. On our last up hill and 5 miles of the day, I felt weird and was basically right behind Andy on the uphill (which is rare when its more than half a mile) after that, we hit a LOT of rocks, big and small, and andys feet and ankles were hurting, but mine were fine, and I shot ahead. For some reason, I was hoping and jumping and just trucking through all the rocks. I wanted to ride this energy spurt as long as possible and actually got to the shelter before it went away.

When we got to the shelter, it was later than we had hoped due to the late start, and two guys named detour and Jeff were here. Detour knows a lot about the trail as he finished section hiking it last year. So we talked, relaxed, and now we are going to bed.
via BB

Damn rocks

Day 56

Hiked today: 22.9
Hiked total: 1228.5
To katahdin: 948.5

Phone was messing up so I couldn't post last night. It was a pretty bland day, we left 501 shelter and hiked in the rain and fog for a while. It scattered on and off and actually hailed for a while.

We got into port Clinton and got ome replacement pieces for my poles and then got some food at the hotel. There is a pavilion at the end of the town where
We were able to camp for the night, so we did that. Not too much going on, but we got food. We are trying not to resupply until new York, so we hit towns for food to prolonge our supply which has been working well. Even when we do eat dinner, its mountain house meals which andys mom so graciously treated us to!
via BB

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back on the trail

Day 55

Hiked today: 10.6
Hiked total: 1183.5
To katahdin: 994.8

Andy and I went to bed late because of all the stuff we had to do, which means we over slept and didn't get a full day in.

We had a big breakfast and packed up all our stuff and papa Laub drove us to the trail. We stopped off for lunch first which was nice and then got last minute things at the cabelas.

We got on the trail to rain and fog. It wasn't fun. It was only a ten mile day so it wasn't too bad. Lots of emotions getting back on the trail. However, we are in an awesome cabin shelter, the care taker lives in a house twenty feet away and came in to say hi. So we are now in bunk beds listening to the rain fall on the tin roof. We are happy to be out, but also a little sad to leave.

A big thanks to everyone who made this weekend great!
via BB

Monday, April 13, 2009

Last rest night

Well, it is our last night here at Andy's house, and I must say, it's been great -- for many reasons. The first night we just rested and cleaned up, enjoyed being in a house and out of the woods. We had some real food and a nap in the car before we got back to his place. After we got there, we drove around in his car, got some Steve's Steaks, and we both noticed that at night its really bright -- we aren't really used to any type of lights other than our small headlamps at night. We came back and slept.

The next morning (saturday,) we woke up and made a big breakfast. My mom was taking the train up because she couldn't wait a day to come and see me when my siblings and step-dad were coming up. We hung out during the day where, once again, we just relaxed and tried to stay off our swollen feet as much as possible. Andy's friends were playing at a bar near by, so we had planned to go out and finally have me meet a bunch of the people I hear about all the time. So at about 9:30, Ant came and picked us up to bring us there. I met a handful of people I have heard many stories about including, Ant, Dom, Joey, Jay, Josh, Neyer, Bridget, Tom, Adam, Brett, Tim, Rachel and Pete. I hung out with a girl named Andrea for most of the night, and Jay and Tom for a good portion of it. Anyway, we had a great time, Andy was up and dancing and even sang a little towards the very end of the night. I was just hanging out and having a good time with the people I had met that night. Andrea dropped her blackberry (which means we had a lot to talk about as I have a crackberry as well) and the ball came off. Some how, I found a tiny little ball on the floor of a dark bar, as well as another piece that came off. I have no idea how I spotted it. Not only that, but Jay lost the cap of his chapstick, and I somehow managed to find that as well, my trail name should be eagle eyes. We got back around 2:30 and passed out.

The next day was Easter and two of my siblings and my step-dad came up to have an early dinner with Andys Grandma, and Grandpa as well as his uncle. We ate and enjoyed seeing everyone and relaxed the rest of the day. I kept busy talking with Andrea (over blackberry of course) and we enjoyed the day. That evening, Andy and I met up with Sam. We spent about an hour chatting about the trip, and then she had to leave. We drove around a little and then went back to Andy's.

Today was more of our trail-prep day. Until now, we haven't really thought about the rest of the trail -- we only told stories of the part we have done. We had to get a bunch of things and resupply our food stocks. We went to EMS and met a woman named Liz who was cool and even knew about Nemo tents! Basically all day we were running around and are quite tired now. We stopped by Hastings house to see him and then Andy's Grams. Mama and Papa Laub were kind enough to drive us around on our errands and resupply our food, and Andy got a new sleeping bag which was well overdue. We also got backpacker guitars! Andy missed his guitar a lot, and I figured I could learn something in a couple months, and it would make the camp time much more fun.

In about 10 days we will be at my house in NYC and take another few days off -- which I am very excited for :). It's time to get back on the trail, and while I had a very fun time meeting people here, we definitely can't stay any more, we are getting too comfortable. So onwards we go. 1000 miles left!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The rest begins

Day 53

hiked today: 23.9 +1
hiked total: 1172.5
to katahdin: 1005.8

we woke up early today and got out on the trail by 7am. We wanted to get a good start so that we could get picked up by andy's parents at a decent hour. We packed up and sleepily said good bye to wags and made our way north. The first half of the day was a little sleepy, but we eventually perked up. For about 45 minutes there were four or five fighter jets circling us which took our minds off our aching feet and sore bodies. After making it halfway, we took a short break just to let our feet rest, but not long enough that we would sacrifice precious rest at Andy's. With that break and some food in us, we got our second winds (or first if you consider us sleep walking the first half) and continued on. We made decent time, and the terrain was fairly easy. Rocky at some points, and we had the longest uphill we have had in a while which is 2 miles and 1000 feet.

We crossed a road which said we were 2.2 miles from I-81 (where we were meeting his parents) and then realized that road we crossed wasn't actually in the book. We got frustrated and just walked on the road for the last mile. We crossed a little bridge that was pretty cool looking, it was from an old steel works company and was made for the Appalachian Trail. After we crossed that, we saw that where we were meeting Andy's parents was on the other side of the river. We saw a bridge not too far away and walked up to that only to find it was fenced off and closed with no way to get around the barrier. We had to walk the half-mile back to the bridge, and then another half mile up the right side of the river.

Andy's parents needed an address for the GPS to meet up with us, so we went up to this guy and asked him what his address was. He was very nice and hospitable, but very creepy. He was doing some farming in his back yard with is two younger, and equally awkward, boys. He told us we could sit out front on one of his picnic tables and we did so. A few minutes later he came out with some juice for us and chatted until Andy's parents came.

I was finally able to meet the Laubs after hearing so much and feeling like I know them already. They greeted us with big hellos and hugs and then we were off to get some food. Apparently, we stink. They made us open the windows, and I suppose Andy and I are just used to it at this point. We washed up in the diner bathroom a little and then ate some food. Afterwards, Andy and I passed out in the car for about 45mins-hour. We got back to his house, I met his brother and his dog and took a needed shower. It's nice knowing we have a few days just to relax and fix our feet.

After we took showers and got cleaned up, we went and took a drive around Andy's area and got some Philly cheese-steaks near by. Now we will sleep, relax, and enjoy the comforts of home. Although it is a little weird right now, I hope the weekend doesn't go by too quickly!

Not sure if I will post for the next few days, so see you on tuesday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Christmas eve

Day 53

Hiked today: 22.7
Hiked total: 1148.6
To katahdin: 1029.7

Today was another beautiful day. We hit the trail just before 9 and headed towards duncannon where we were going to for lunch. It was nice because it was exactly half way. The terrain was fairly easy except for one push up. Coming into the town was a different story. We went down the steepest part of the trail let and it was incredibly rocky. It was hard to go down and painful on our feet. We finally made it into town and ate lunch at the Doyle, which is a hiker hotel and restaurant. There was a giant sign that said welcome hikers, and its an iconuc point on the trail. They were written up in backpacker magazine for their barbecue, and I will say it was better than anything I had in the south.

As we were leaving, we ran into Dennis and Dave, who were in jeans and hitched over. Just funny that they are skipping the whole trail.

We went back to the trail and climbed up a very steep mountain. We rode the ridge for a while, but it was incredibly rocky as well. Our feet hurt once again.

We finally made it to this shelter and met a guy out here for the night named wags. We chatted with him and now we are in bed. Its a full moon tonight, and it was right on the horizon which made it big and orange which is cool.

When morning comes, we will be on our way to getting picked up by andys dad!
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Smooth sailing

Day 52

Hiked today: 26.5
Hiked total: 1125.9
To katahdin: 1052.4

Today we lost Dennis and Dave. We woke up and all headed out together to do 12 miles into a town for lunch. Dennis fell behind and was about half hour behind us. We went over some interesting terrain and climbed some big rocks. I love how different the scenery is now. We went through lots of farm land and pastures, cow and horse pens, and wooded areas. The first 12 miles was a little tough as we went up and down a bunch of times, but nothing too bad. We got into the town and ate a great lunch at the tavern there.

After we left, we started the second 15 of the day. This is where things got interesting. First off, it was the flattest the trail has ever been, so it was fairly easy. Dennis fell way behind, and even Dave did. We knew they had been hitch hiking, and today showed just how much they have skipped. They weren't able to do the amount of miles we were asking of them. So, our foursome became just us two once more. The Dusty Camels have become a single unit again, and its bitter sweet. We liked Dave and wish he could have stayed, but they haven't experienced what we have, and we are happy to be true thru-hikers.

The next two days are smaller than the previous, and we are getting picked up on Friday. We are both very excited for our DESERVED rest. Gorgeous day today, and will be again tomorrow. Smooth sailing in PA, and we are loving it.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Half way!

Day 51

Hiked today: 24.5
Hiked total: 1099.4
To katahdin: 1078.9

We made it halfway! Unfortunately, it wasn't a great day. We woke up cold. The temp dropped again and we don't like it. We left the great shelter without Dennis and dave. We hiked all day and it was cold and it actually snowed! We thought we were done with that. Its funny because it snowed to represent all the snow in the first half.

Unfortunately, there was no sign to represent it. The only halfway sign we passed was from 2002 where the halfway point was 1069 (its now 1088)

Not only that, but the store where the half gallon ice cream challenge was, a major at stop, wasn't open yet! Oh well.

Anyway, we are going to Lickdale on Friday to get picked up by andys dad. Dennis and Dave have now joined our group and we will finish the trail together. Its a great feeling knowing we have less to do than we have already done, and that the weather won't be as bad. I look back at those cold weeks in shock and awe. I have no idea how we did it, but I know we are over half way finished with this journey!
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Great shelter!

Day 50

Hiked today: 17.9
Hiked total: 1074.9
To katahdin: 1103.4

Well, we are back on the trail once more. We left our hotel lazily and started to the town where the rest of aunt debs food went to. It was a short day and we were happy because none of us were in a hiking mood due to all the beer from last night. We were sweating it out today for sure.

We had our most hitches today (3) to get to the post office, walmart, and back to the trail. First we squeezed into an old guys van, then a younger air force guys pickup, and finally a drunk mans old SUV. Fitting 4 guys in all these cars are tough, but we didn't mind because it just meant we didn't have to walk.

Once we got back to the trail, we hiked a couple miles up to this massive, gorgeous shelter. By far the nicest yet. A guy comes up nearly everyday to clean it and keep it in good condition. Unfortunately, this may be the last shelter that the PATC works on, and they have been, by far, the best trail club.

When we set up camp, we started to gather wood for a large fire in a pit out near a campsite. There were two weekend hikers out who generously shared their food and drink with us.

After we got tired and the fire died down, we decided to get into bed. Dave and Dennis may not be with us tomorrow, but we will most likely hike the rest of the trip with them after our breaks.

Normal mileage day tomorrow. Hopefully our bodies won't be too angry. Only 4 more days until we get to andys house!

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Resting our tootsies

Day zero

We decided to spend an extra day here to rest our very sore feet.

We woke up and got some free food then went back to sleep for a while.

Dennis was still in the woods and we waited until 6 before we decided to search for him. We called him numerous times with no answer and we started getting worried.

The trail is a couple miles from here, so we tried to hitch. However, we are up north now and didn't have any luck. So we went to the police station to try and get a ride. They started to set up a search and rescue squad for him. We were worried, but not THAT worried. Luckily I got a text from him before anything major started and he was brought to the hotel by the cop.

We will head out tomorrow after another night of being off our feet.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009


Day 49

Hiked today: 43.4
Hiked total: 1056.7
To katahdin: 1121.3

Well, today we went through 4 states. Over 40 miles.

We finished at 10:30 after starting at 7:15 in the morning. Two half hour breaks throughout the day, and lots of walking.

Too tired to type more, but right now we are in a gas station trying not to cry.
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What a day

Day 48

Hiked today: 18.0
Hiked total: 1011.1
To katahdin: 1167.2

We broke 1000, finished Virginia, and had lunch at a biker bar. More on that later.

We woke up late at 8:30 and had some breakfast. We lazied around until 11 when pyro and fitch left. Fitch hurt his knee so is walking slow, and pyro is doing the four state challenge with us tomorrow so we hiked with them to the boarder.

A few miles into the day we hit the invisible 1,000 mile marker! We were very happy to make four digits. We caught up with fitch and pyro not too long after and took a mini break. Pyro is more andys speed and fitch mine, so we traded hiking partners for half the day. We passed a shelter and his leg was hurting enough that he had to stop, so I went on ahead to meet back up with the others.

3 miles later I met up with Andy and pyro at a road and told them fitch would meet us later. So we walked a little on the road to a place to eat. We walked in and I swear it was like a movie. The first of us stopped, we all kind of bumped into one another, the music stops, everyone turns to look at us, and someone at the bar shouts "hey, those aren't bikers, they're hikers!"

We sat down and ate a late lunch/early dinner, and had some beer. Picture for me, if you will, the most cliche, dirty biker bar, and that's where we were. It was fun, and we celebrated our 1000. We expected to see this place down south, but not up here!

We jumped back on the trail for 4 miles and are now camped a few yards from the sign. We will truck it 43 miles tomorrow, and I may not write anything until the next morning. Good bye Virginia!
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Roller coaster

Day 47

Hiked today: 28.4
Hiked total: 993.1
To katahdin: 1185.2

We decided to take the day off and ride the roller coaster. The only problem is, we didn't take the day off, and it wasn't fun.

We woke up to fog which was no fun. We had a big breakfast and got on the trail. The first 10 miles was pretty easy add flew by.

There were a lot of people on the trail which was a surprise. Mostly section hikers, but some day hikers. A couple hours into the day we hear a woman shouting. A few minutes later we are staring at a big pitbull in the fog. We both stop as its growling at us and seems to be sizing us up -- not to mention the screaming owner behind it. She leashes it, pulls it tight, and says 'you're good.' We walk passed while its lunging for us and continue.

We pass a couple more hikers and the next 8 miles are getting harder. It was good terrain but rocky, and that means sore feet.

With 10 miles left, we start what is known as the roller coaster. In that mileage we go up and down 7 fairly steep summits. Not only that, but it was very rocky. Sore and tired. That's what we got out of it.

At 8 o'clock, we make it to the hostel. It was just dark, and the fog rolled in, but we made it.

This place is awesome. Ill go into more details in the morning, but there are two other north boundera here our age. Not really sure how we didn't know about them, but they are cool.

Sleeping in tomorrow.

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Goodbye skyline

Day 46

Hiked today: 24.3
Hiked total: 964.8
To katahdin: 1213.5

Out of our gas station campsite we went. We jumped on the skyline and walked for 13 miles. It was a bit rainy, very foggy, and occasionally windy, but we had a good day. Since we were on the road, and normal people would never drive on the skyline when you can't see any of the views, I was able to walk beside Andy. This was good for conversation, which is the best time passer. The 13 miles flew by, and before we knew it we were at the end of SNP. My shin hurt a lot again today, but I'm starting to think its the extreme pressure change which makes it really hurt. So I took some medicine and was fine.

About a mile after we started the 11.4 miles on the trail, we hit the boundary line and didn't turn back. We stopped for lunch at a pretty cool shelter -- it had a porch! After that we jumped back on the trail. We didn't fill our waters today, and on the flat road it wasn't a big deal. However, halfway through our trail portion we started getting dehydrated. We pushed it to the shelter and got here around 5:45. The lunch shelter was cool, but this is amazing. Not only does it have a giant porch, it has an adirondack lounge chair, cooking pavilion, firewood cubby, and solar shower. The shower obviously didn't work because its not really hiking season yet, but it was still cool.

We went to the stream and to our dismay found it to be a trickling stream. Andys water pump died, and I sent mine back because we decided to just use purification drops to save weight and for ease. Normally there is a little well or a tube where the water is, but since this was a trickle, we had to scoop it out. This meant we had a little pulp in our water. I may get a mini sieve to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Today was good despite the rain. Tomorrow is a longer day then I wrote last night (29) but I think we will make it. This will make the day before the four state challenge a little shorter.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wrong way

Day 45

Hiked today: 8.6 +3
Hiked total: 940.5
To katahdin: 1237.8

We slept very well last night. Unfortunately we got to bed around 1:30, but it was a restful 8 hours of sleep. We checked out and went up to a breakfast place called uncle bucks. We got double breakfasts and went to go pick up aunt debs new pack! We were very excited to get all her delicious creations once more.
After we figured out what to carry now and what to send ahead, we went to the store to pick up peanut butter. I wanted to go to the outfitters because my warm weather hiking socks got a whole in the back causing a large blister, but they were closed! For some weird reason, they aren't open Mondays and Tuesdays. Oh well, ill pick some up in a few days. Tonight is our last night in the SNP.

After we had lunch, we asked for a ride, and the women at the diner said the chamber of commerce might be able to help. So we went there and asked and the woman said a guy would and called him to tell him we were waiting, before telling us he charged. She said he only charged around 30 cents a mile and the trail is only 9 miles out of town so it was fine.

We got to the trail head and he said it was 20 bucks. I grudgingly paid him and we went up the trail on the side he pointed out. About 1.5 miles later we realize we went south. We had to walk back and then the right way. We decided to go on the road as it would be faster. There was a shelter 14 miles out, and we wanted to get there. However, because of the late start and the 3 mile mishap, we stopped here. We are currently camping in a breeze way at a wayside gas station. Its closed until April 9th, but looks like they are renovating, so hopefully we will be up before anyone gets here. The breeze way is more of a wind tunnel and is blowing the tarp we set up as protection like crazy.

The next few days are hard as we prepare for the four state challenge on Saturday where we hike through Virginia, west Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. So the miles will be 25, 23, 18, and then 43.

Thanks for the food aunt deb! We had the four cheese burger rice tonight and it was perfect.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Day 44

Hiked today: 25.7 +3
Hiked total: 931.9
To katahdin: 1246.4

Today started off well. It was a little cold, but clear and sunny. It was a gorgeous day and flat for a while.

About 5 miles into the hike, my shin started to kill. It had been hurting me for a while but not too bad. We started talking and Andy said it sounds like when he had stress fractures. I was worried my trip may be cut short. I didn't want to walk on it. Luckily, a ranger station wasn't far away. We hiked to a wayside where the station was and asked the rangers if they could drive is to the hospital. They kind of say there half smerking and said they could give us a number of a shuttle. They didn't help at all. We went to rest and eat and called the shuttle, he wanted 65 bucks! I said it wasn't worth it. After the rest it felt a little better and I delt with it for the rest of the day.

We finally got to the road which is 9 miles out of town and started to hitch. The further north we get, the harder its getting to hitch. We went nearly half way before we got a hitch from two teachers who were hiking from Michigan. They brought us to the hospital and I got x-rays taken. Luckily there is no fractures, they have me meds to get rid of the swelling and any pain.

We got a room and slept well after a very very long day of hiking.
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Monday, March 30, 2009


Day 43

Hiked today: 20.6
Hiked total: 906.3
To katahdin: 1272.5

We actually got to see views today! As we were eating breakfast, we saw a patch of blue in the middle of grey, and got excited. I started off in rain gear just incase but then stripped down about half hour later. The clouds parted, the blue revealed itself and soon enough the sun shined its rays on us. We were warm, happy, and dry. We took our wet clothes and hung them on our packs to dry. We had a short day today, so I walked a little slower than usual and just enjoyed the weather. We actually had some uphill today too, yesterday was all flat where as today we had a significant 1200 foot incline.

The hike was nice, but the best part was to come. About a mile and a half from a park campground, we called pizza hut. We convinced the driver to come out on the skyline to bring us pizza. We got two large pies and two medium pies with pineapple, ham and bacon on two and sausage, onions, and peppers on the other. In addition to that, we got bread sticks and a two liter of soda. We went to the picnic tables and ate. We actually couldn't eat it all which means we have breakfast in the morning! No Name said he might push to this shelter (he usually does 13 miles a day) but because the weather is so nice, I think he just tented at 13.

It was a good day. We needed the sun to boost our moral, and the pizza didn't hurt either! Tomorrow we will have a big day to get to our last resupply in Virginia. That's huge because not only is VA the longest state on the trail, but we will make halfway in about a week. VA is hard mentally because the goal of finishing is so long. It'll be nice when it won't take more than two weeks to finish a state.
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Day 43

Hiked today: 26.2
Hiked total: 885.7
To katahdin: 1292.6

Well an 8hr 45min marathon isn't a competitive time, but doing it on a daily basis, that times pretty good. Knox left a little before us and I had some issues getting my water filled, but we got on the trail at 9. We hiked for about 2 hours and caught up to Knox. He hiked with us for a little while, but our pace was a little fast so he stopped to break after an hour or so.

We hiked the beautiful national park only to see fog. I mean some serious fog. The picture on here is what we were looking at all day. It was pretty empty on the trails too, until about half hour after we left Knox, an older guy at a speedy pace passed us. Barely said hi and that was it. Odd but whatever. 5 minutes later, a very sweaty guy runs up to us and asks if we saw an Indian guy in sandals walk pass us. We said no and he said thanks, turned around, and ran off into the fog. This was trippy, we didn't have any idea what was going on, nor could we see anything around us. We eventually caught up to the guy who was with a small group of guys and we just walked passed.

We got to our lunch shelter and found a pitched tent, but no people. It was a very bizarre day. We ate lunch and left to do the second half of the day.

Fog, fog, and more fog. That's all there was today. We finally made it to the shelter which was right off the skyline and hoped we could order pizza. However, when we got here, there was no service to call, hence it being posted now.

When we got here, we met NoBo No Name! He is one of the two northbound through hikers ahead of us. He's a really nice guy from Ohio. He is actually at the start (which started in Dec) of a 2.5 year triple crown. That is when you hike the three major long distance trails in America. Not only that, but he is biking to each one. He will bike from Maine to Wyoming to do the continental divide trail then from new Mexico to Washington to do the pacific crest trail. So anyone who thinks our 4 month trip is long hasn't met him!

Tomorrow we will have a shorter 20 mile day. Its still raining. Hopefully it will clear soon. Monday is supposed to be nice, but as of now, that's it for the week.
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Day 43

Hiked today: 26.2
Hiked total: 885.7
To katahdin: 1292.6

Well an 8hr 45min marathon isn't a competitive time, but doing it on a daily basis, that times pretty good. Knox left a little before us and I had some issues getting my water filled, but we got on the trail at 9. We hiked for about 2 hours and caught up to Knox. He hiked with us for a little while, but our pace was a little fast so he stopped to break after an hour or so.

We hiked the beautiful national park only to see fog. I mean some serious fog. The picture on here is what we were looking at all day. It was pretty empty on the trails too, until about half hour after we left Knox, an older guy at a speedy pace passed us. Barely said hi and that was it. Odd but whatever. 5 minutes later, a very sweaty guy runs up to us and asks if we saw an Indian guy in sandals walk pass us. We said no and he said thanks, turned around, and ran off into the fog. This was trippy, we didn't have any idea what was going on, nor could we see anything around us. We eventually caught up to the guy who was with a small group of guys and we just walked passed.

We got to our lunch shelter and found a pitched tent, but no people. It was a very bizarre day. We ate lunch and left to do the second half of the day.

Fog, fog, and more fog. That's all there was today. We finally made it to the shelter which was right off the skyline and hoped we could order pizza. However, when we got here, there was no service to call, hence it being posted now.

When we got here, we met NoBo No Name! He is one of the two northbound through hikers ahead of us. He's a really nice guy from Ohio. He is actually at the start (which started in Dec) of a 2.5 year triple crown. That is when you hike the three major long distance trails in America. Not only that, but he is biking to each one. He will bike from Maine to Wyoming to do the continental divide trail then from new Mexico to Washington to do the pacific crest trail. So anyone who thinks our 4 month trip is long hasn't met him!

Tomorrow we will have a shorter 20 mile day. Its still raining. Hopefully it will clear soon. Monday is supposed to be nice, but as of now, that's it for the week.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Shenandoah national park

Day 42

Hiked today: 7.0
Hiked total: 859.5
To katahdin: 1318.8

We woke up today outside of buena vista and started to make coffee to find that our gas tank was empty. We were on the reserve one too. So, instead of hiking for 3 days with no hot drinks or food, we decided to get a ride to the outfitters. The only problem with that is there wasn't any until waynesboro. So we had to get a ride into there.

We got there, got our music (thanks Dave) and package my mom sent (no thanks to you mom. They put priority tape on it and it was only paid for first class so I had to pay an extra 3.50! Thanks though.) we had the best breakfast yet at Weesies with blueberry pancakes the size of normal dinner plates. Went to the library to use the computer to check on the world, upload new pictures, check to see if there's any new cool gear at Nemo, and other general stuff. We then went to the outfitters which was a mile out of town. On the way, two guys pulled over and asked if we wanted a ride to the trail. He was nice enough to stop off and let us get more fuel and brought us to the trail.

We got on the trail and started off into the shenandoah national park. Very foggy and cloudy and not many views yet, I hope it clears up though. We got caught in a decently heavy rain the last half hour of the hike up and ran here. We met a guy named Knox who is doing the SNP on his spring break. He's a cool guy, next year he is going to a college to major in search and rescue. There's supposed to be rain tomorrow so we are going to push 26 to a shelter and not dilly-dally because there's nothing to see! I really hope as March leaves us, so does this copious amounts of dense fog.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Long day

Day 41

Hiked today: 31.7
Hiked total: 797.1
To katahdin: 1381.2

Well today was a long rainy miserable day. We got up and packed up the very wet gear and got in our very wet rain gear and got on the very wet road.

We eventually got to the main road and hitched into town where we are staying after eating some real food.

Good night
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rain again

Day 40

Hiked today: 21.9
Hiked total: 765.4
To Katahdin: 1412.9

Well, it is raining once again. Its forecasted for a few days, but today was the coldest. Walking all day without sun, wet, and temps being in the low 40's, high 30's is not fun.

We went onto the parkway again and ran into a park lodge. We went inside and to our surprise the restaurant was opened. We got lots of food and then went out for the rest of the day.

Sometimes I feel we should change our trail names to The Foggers instead of The Dusty Camels due to all the fog we have seen on this trip. Well the thought of reaching the north and half way keeps us going.

We will be cruising for the next few days because we will be in PA in 11 days! Very exciting. Very tired.
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