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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.
via BB

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.
via BB


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.
via BB


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.
via BB

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.

via BB

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
via BB

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.
via BB

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bald eagle

Day 39

Hiked today: 20.0
Hiked total: 743.5
To katahdin: 1434.8

We got up, packed, and chuckled as the girls tried to do the same. It was funny watching them put away their crazy gear like a hatchet, bear bell, and giant shovel. Their stove wasn't working so they ate granola for breakfast. I told them to get the one I have in hopes they can have hot food for the next 6 days. We took a picture and went on our way.

It was another nice sunny day. It was a little chilly, but good none the less. The terrain was really easy as well. We crossed the blue ridge parkway and then saw a sign saying we would cross it numerous miles for almost 100 miles, so we started up the road. The miles match up almost exactly, but on the road you can cover a lot more ground quicker. Since the trail follows it literally within 10 yards, we didn't care. It was nice to walk next to each other and talk. We were able to actually look around and see all the scenic stops because we weren't looking at our feet the whole time. We saw copper hawks following us, AND we saw a bald eagle. That was awesome. We both love eagles and saw it as a good omen. Buds are peeking through, grass is greener, and we have even seen flowers!

Unfortunately, the rain is supposed to start tomorrow. However, we decided we are just going to get back on the road tomorrow and walk until the final intersection. Same miles exactly (70) but we will be able to save a day by pushing out extra on the road. We will be seeing the same stuff and get closer to home! We are planning to be in shennandoahs in 5 days and at the PA boarder in 12! That's big.

We will have to push through the rain, but its all good. I just hope we don't have the forecasted 5 days.
via BB

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back on the trail

Day 38.5

Hiked today: 5.0
Hiked total: 723.6
To katahdin: 1454.7

Well we are on the trail again and my stomach is feeling better. Its nice to be back on the trail after a few days of being off.

We ate our free breakfast and left the motel we were at then went to the outfitter. It was a decent outfitter and Andy got a nice pair of boots.while we were eating lunch we met a south bounder named Freebird. They came around 1:30 and we left after eating lunch.

It was a short hike and the weather was great. Anything under 10 miles will be considered a half day in my counting from now on. We got up here and relaxed in the warm sun.

About 10 minutes after we got here a group of girls started up to the shelter. They are on spring break and hiking the AT for a week. They are all really nice, although a little crazy, and it was nice to hang out with people our age. So far they are the second set of hikers our age we have come across in nearly 7 weeks. Its weird being around 5 people after being practically alone with Andy.

Tomorrow will be our first real day again and we are looking forward to the nice weather again.

Oh and Andys dad said there was a manhunt for a guy on the west Virginia border which is basically right we are. Hopefully we won't run into him.
via BB

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Day zero

Well although I was feeling better, we thought it would be best for me to be as close to 100% as I can be. So we waited. We got shuttled to a town closer to the trail and where my replacement boots are being sent (in the freezing cold weeks ago the rubber cracked.) so we will get my boots and Andy will get some new ones as his aren't supporting his very flat feet.

We will hike a few miles out tomorrow afternoon to a shelter about 5 miles out and continue once again! Its just unfortunate that I had to be sick in such nice weather.
via BB

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sick day 2

Day 0

Well I am feeling better, but no where near 100%. I woke up not feeling nauseated which was good, but still very drained. Andy and I both took the opportunity to rest by sleeping all day today and yesterday. After waking up at 10:30 we took a 4 hour nap. After TV and such I finally left the room and went to eat dinner. I felt woozy but not terrible, although I couldn't finish my burger which tells me I'm still not well. After the .5 mile back I went straight to the bed. I'm not sure if we will be able to leave in the morning, but I'm hoping we can.
via BB

Friday, March 20, 2009


Day zero

ironically, yesterday I said we wouldn't be taking anymore zero days. Unfortunately, at about 4am, I started throwing up. I didn't stop even when there was nothing left to vomit! It is and was terrible. It was cold out too which didn't help. Instead of getting back in the tent, I eventually just took my bag and wrapped myself up on the picnic table. We were going to stay at the shelter but I told Andy I rather pay for a room and try to get rid of this.

We were lucky that the road was only .3 miles away. We got to the road and for two minutes Andy had service on his phone. We called the motel and the woman came to pick us up.

I still feel terrible, but I have yet to vomit since I've been here. I got some sleep, and pepto. I hope it goes away so we can be off tomorrow. Although the motel owner said there is a bug going around and ill feel really bad for a week. I hope it was just the water.
via BB

Tired feet

Day 38

Hiked today: 19.3
Hiked total: 645.2
To katahdin: 1533.1

In our little nook behind the store, we woke up. Neither of us felt like waking up this morning, and we slept for an extra half hour. We finally got everything together and walked over to Hardees where we got breakfast, brushed our teeth, and got changed. We left and walked the half mile to the trail head where we were to follow the ugliest section of the trail yet. For about three miles we walked around this big factory. No idea what kind, but it was ugly and smelly, and a train kept tooting its horn. We could hear the horn nearly half the day, it just got annoying.

Once we were on the ridge line it was a little better. The uphill was a little tough, but not too bad. The clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped. It misted heavily and the fog was thick, but luckily there was no real rain.

The ridge line was full of small pointy rocks that began to tear up our all ready beaten feet. We were both having shooting pains from our heels up through our leg. It was not fun. We also realized that we were basically staring at a painting - the 'view' we had of the fog was the same as every other bad day.

We decided that we would spend some extra days at our homes to rest and heal our feet. We also decided that instead of getting tied down by shelters and pulling an extra couple miles a day, we would just do 20 and camp at that spot. We realized that our feet aren't in great shape and that extra time in camp will be valuable. We will still stick to our 20 miles a day plan (other than today, we are at a shelter) and be out of VA in 2.5 weeks. No zero days until home unless there is a problem. I hope our feet make it!
via BB

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Food lion

Day 37

Hiked today: 22.4
Hiked total: 625.9
To katahdin: 1552.4

We woke to a cloudy sky and a misting drizzle. We were not pleased. It was supposed to be sunny and warm! Oh well. We packed up, ate breakfast, and went on. By the time we got to the first shelter, the sun began to shine and we were happy once more.

I was going through the register at the shelter, and there were two people who were shot by this crazy guy in may who had come back for a story in the paper. The crazy guy killed two, years ago and when he went to jail for shooting these guys, he died 3 days later. That was comforting, at least we didn't have to worry.

We went on and we both started getting tired. Our feet were sore, and our speed had decreased. We think the mileage in our book was messed up because it kept saying we were going much slower than we thought. However, at the end of the day we weren't that far off our eta, so the book was messing with our heads.

We finally got into town sore and hurting. We went into the Chinese buffet (number three) and ate. Ironically the lady said she was from nyc as well. We went next door to the grocery store and got our food for the next 5 days. Afterwards we decided to set up camp... Around back. Instead of hiking the half mile to the trail, back in the morning for breakfast, then back again, we thought it would be Better to camp nearby. So we did.

We found a little spot surrounded by beer cans and deer right behind the grocery store. We ate our ben and jerrys (number 4) and got ready to sleep. Then a cop rolled by. He took his big flashlight And called us out. With a pint (of ice cream) in my hand, and his on his gun, we confronted one another. I explained we were hikers and he said he just saw a light and wanted to check it out. He let us stay! He went on and now we are going to sleep. Tomorrows going to be a tough day, and the weather is supposed to be bad again.
via BB

Long day and big falls

Day 36

Hiked today: 20.5 + 6
Hiked total: 603.5
To katahdin: 1574.8

Another good sleep. That's 4 in a row, we are getting spoiled! We woke up today, ate our left overs from last night and headed out. Unfortunately I made a mistake and sent our extra food to bastian instead of bland, which was 6 miles from our motel. We started to walk expecting to get a hitch, but none came. Between being in the morning rush to work hours, and being on a small road, today was our first unsuccessful hitch. So we walked. 6 miles. Before we even got to the trail.

We got to the PO and packed up our food and started walking back to the trail (about 2 miles) and luckily got a hitch right out of town. This guy drove us to the trail head and then at 11:30, we started our day.

It was a beautiful day. Finally, after 6 days of rain and darkness, it was sunny and warm. We were in shorts and tshirts all day. It was a little breezy, so we didn't get over heated. That is what saved this day from being a really bad day. Its also the most clear night we have had yet. The stars are gorgeous since there aren't any lights for miles.

We hiked over our 20 mile marker to get to a campsite that sounded cool. I was exhausted. Curse Andy and his track days. I'm a rower, I got for 5 minutes at a time and there aren't any up hills on the water! Oh well, anyway. We finally got to the campsite as the sun was setting. It was at a waterfall. Instead of camping near it on the ground, we decided to camp in it on a rock. Okay, maybe not IN the water, but on the rocks next to it that is part of the falls. We are pretty sure its not tidal, so we aren't too worried. I just hope I don't kick myself for saying that in the morning.

So the falls will either put us to sleep, or keep us up. All I know is I'm really tired and upset that 6 miles didn't count towards the trail! That's the trail I suppose, never know what to expect.

Pearisburg tomorrow, and we broke 600 miles!
via BB

Monday, March 16, 2009

Debbie downer

Day 35

Hiked today: 21.7
Hiked total: 583.0
To katahdin: 1595.3

We had a great nights sleep in the four walled shelter, but that was about the only good thing about today.

We started off hiking in really thick fog. It was so thick in fact, that we were breathing heavily in order to get more oxygen which was difficult due to the moisture in the air. Not only was it foggy, but we were on a ridge for a good portion of the day, so what should have been a view was a dulled, dark, confining shade of white. It was a tough day. It took us longer to get to our lunch break than we had hoped and we quickly realized we wouldn't make it to the post office today to get the rest of Aunt Debs wonderful creations.

We ate lunch with this weird hiker. He thru-hiked a long time ago and was doing some sections for vacation. After that we left and then it started to rain. Again. This is our 6th straight day with rain. We were talking and came to the conclusion we were suffering from a seasonal depression type thing. We haven't seen the sun in 6 days and have a vitamin k deficiency or something because the only happy thing about today were our little Debbie outmeal pies and aunt debs bars.

We got to a road 5 miles out of town and decided to hitch. We walked for about 5 until we finally got a hitch. Not before getting lost though. Anyway a woman named Trail Dreamer picked us up. She had an ATC sticker on her car and her license plate said hiker on it. She was obviously an AT hiker. She drove us to town and now we are in a motel. Warm. And dry.

We will eat and tomorrow is supposed to be clear so hopefully we will have a nice day.
via BB

The Appalachian River

Day 34

Hiked today: 23.0
Hiked total: 561.3
To katahdin: 1617.7

We have officially passed the quarter marker. This morning about an hour and a half into the day we crossed the invisible line. We were happy, but not terribly excited because there is still 75% left. However, the middle states should be quick because the terrain is pretty nice. We are hoping to be out of VA in 20 days or so. We are planning to hit at least 20 miles a day from here until the whites. Weather allowing, we should be able to do it.

We left this morning after a big breakfast and warm goodbyes to a cold wet trail. Since Rambunny and Aqua are hikers, they know how the day goes, so we were on the trail at 8:30 which is easily the earliest we have left a town/hostel. Both Andy and I agree that Happy Hiker Hollow is our favorite hostel - rambunny and aqua were awesome.

So for the first half of the day it poured. I wasn't in a great mood because it was dark and gloomy and we had left a warm happy place. We didn't talk much on the trail today either. We got to the shelter after 14 miles and ate lunch. My poles got a replacement part sent but it was too big. Instead of asking for another part, I rigged it to stay on. Of course with all the rain the handles popped off. At the shelter I duct taped them with two feet of tape each - they aren't going anywhere.

After the shelter we had 9 miles left, and half of it was up hill. About half the trail today wasn't actually a trail, it was a river. Our feet got soaked since we had to walk through literally a foot of rushing water.

After we did a good portion of the up hill we got up to a bald, but it was so foggy we couldn't see anything. Andy actually was in a running mood and sprinted up ahead of me, so I didn't see him for a while. We met up again a little before the shelter and walked here. Its actually a really cool shelter. Its a stone building with a door, so we are protected from the wind completely.

We were sad to leave the hostel, but with our box of oreos and this building, it wasn't a terrible day.
via BB

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Hiker Hollow

Day 32 and a zero day

Hiked yesterday: 26.2
hiked total: 538.3
to katahdin: 1640.0

We are taking a zero day in Atkins, VA. so I thought I would just combined two days since I didn't post yesterday.

We left our church pavilion shelter around 7:30 and went to Jerrys kitchen to eat breakfast. We got a ride from him to the trail head so we didn't have to walk, which was very nice. It was a crummy dark and wet day. I checked the weather before we left, and it was supposed to be raining on and off all day while being in the low 30's, which means that it will be icy rain up in the mountains where we were. Thin layers of ice covered roots, rocks, and fallen leaves, but we just watched our steps and didn't have any major accidents. It was chilly, but nothing we haven't been through before I suppose. The real bad part was just that it was dark and if the sky had moods, it would have been grumpy, which doesn't help us out at all on a big day. It was raining off and on pretty much all day, we were fairly wet by the end, but at least there were breaks in between the showers. To pass the time, I told Andy the full story of Harry Potter, and that turned out to pass a lot of time fairly quickly. Between me trying to remember everything, and Andy listening, the miles and hours just dropped. Actually, once I finished, I started telling him the story of Eragon. We did nearly a marathon yesterday, and we were pretty tired to say the least.

As soon as we hit the road, we were happy, and relieved. We crossed the street to call Rambunny at the hostel. Aqua, her husband, answered and I explained I had e-mailed Rambunny and we just got in, and he said she was working at the restaurant which was across the street. So we walked up there and unfortunately missed the restaurant hours by 20 minutes. But as Andy said, everything happens for a reason, and we quickly found out that reason. We knock on the window and an old lady says they are closed, and I try to ask for Rambunny. Obviously thats not her real name, and I doubt she goes by that at work, but thats all I knew, I swear the woman thought I was asking if they had bunny at the restaurant since she kind of chuckled and said no. However, I persisted and said I was staying at the hostel, and confused she walked off to get someone else. A second later, Rambunny opens the door and introduces herself. I told her I e-mailed her in the morning, but she didn't get a chance to check. Luckily, I e-mailed her a week or so ago asking if it was ok to send a package there so she knew we would be there eventually. She told us we could get some food at the gas station and she would pick us up there when she was done in a few minutes and we would go to her house. The pizza machine was broken, and we didn't want to stuff ourselves with junk food, so we asked if she could drive us somewhere else. She said she would, but just as we were leaving, her husband pulled up to get gas and told us there was plenty of food at the house.

We got to the house, and she filled up our plate with big pieces of chicken, a tub of mashed potatoes, creamed corn, biscuits, and lots of salad. We ate it all very quickly, and it was delicious. We were lucky we didn't buy anything because then we wouldn't have been able to eat all the home cooked food! Afterwards she gave us cake and showed us the room. It is more like a bed and breakfast than a hostel here, it's really nice. Andy and I have our own room too. There is a common room with a tv and movies as well as a computer downstairs. Rambunny has hiked the AT 3 times! Between her and Aqua, they have over 10,000 miles of AT experience. Needless to say, she knows her stuff.

Andy's replacement pack did get here, but we felt so comfortable and at home here, we decided to forgo the excuse of waiting for the pack and take a zero day anyway. Later we realized we would be getting into the town where we sent all the extra food to on Sunday which means we would have had to wait until Monday when the post office was open anyway, so it's really not a lost day.

So we are here relaxing. Andy is napping after a movie we watched. I think Rambunny said she was making ribs tonight so we are very excited. There are two section hikers here, but not too many hikers have gone through yet. This is actually their first North Bound season which means Andy and I are the 2nd and 3rd thru-hikers she's had this season, and within the first 10-15 she's had yet. We are excited to be one of the first dozen to be on the wall of heroes (a wall of pictures of people summiting katahdin.)

Time for more relaxation and rest. My feet were in dire need of a rest. Service is still spotty so we will see when I will get the next entry out. We will be in Bastian (where our food is) in 2 days, so if worst comes to worst, I'll try to use a computer there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Breakfast with Ponies, flying with the birds, and dinner at Jerrys

Day 31

Hiked today (well yesterday): 21.2
Hiked total: 512.2
to katahdin: 1666.1

Sorry for the late post, both Andy and I have had NO service in a few days. It's a miracle I got the tiny bit of service I did when I sent out the other two posts the other day.

Yesterday morning we woke up and got ready to leave and eat breakfast. As soon as we opened up the food bag, a family of ponies came running out of the woods. They just hung out with us all morning -- literally 3 feet away from us. The pictures are up, so you can see what they look like and how close they really were. We actually fed one and pet one, they were extremely docile and seemed to like us because we were around food. One was a female, and it looked like she had two babies with here which is why we weren't really worried about getting too close. If there was a male there, we probably wouldn't have fed them nor pet them. So after our camp creation (hot chocolate, coffee, and hazelnut creamer) with the ponies, we left camp. It was a little more clear out, but still cloudy. We decided to go the 21.2 miles into a little town called Troutdale in order to have dinner and get a place to stay.

After 11 miles of hiking, we took our lunch break. It was cloudy, sprinkling, and we didn't get a good night of sleep. Needless to say, we were in a crummy mood. We have done over 130 miles in the past 7 days, so we are a little fatigued. We contemplate what we want to do in terms of getting to Troutdale, and decide (because we are tired, and feeling bad) that we will get there as quickly as possible. So, we started pushing it. And I mean pushing it. We went the 10.2 miles in less than 3 hours with two decently sized up hill pushes. Along the way we met a couple section hikers and flip-flop hikers, Itchy, Neptune, and Juggernaut. Itchy was the first female AT hiker we have met yet. Since we were trying to get to Troutdale as quickly as possible, we didn't stop for more than 5 minutes to talk to the group, and just kept going.

Finally we got to the road. It was 2 miles away and we started walking in the wrong direction. We were very tired, and was trying to hitch a ride. A pick up comes up behind us and slams on the breaks and stops in about 10 feet sliding on the slick, sleet/rain covered road. Luckily he tells us we are going the wrong direction instead of us getting in the pickup with him, so we turn around and go the other way. Eventually a guy in a pick up comes and picks us up. He was a funny wild guy and was very nice. He drove us to Jerrys Kitchen and we eat. Jerry tells us the hostle is closed for another few days, but the woman says we should just go and talk to the Pastor who is giving GED classes. We thought she talked to him, so we went there expecting him to know who we were -- he did not. He said everything was locked up, but that there was a pavilion where we could camp out. So we set up the tent on two tables in a corner, put 4 stacks of chairs around one side of the table, and put the tarp over the front so we were completely surrounded. We didn't sleep that well again, and woke up a little tired. However, now we are at Jerrys having a big breakfast. We are going to try to push 26 miles in the rain/freezing rain to get to Atkins where there is a hostel we plan to stay at. We may take a zero day depending on when Andy's replacement pack is getting there. Either way, it'll be nice to relax a little inside so we can rest.

Not sure when we will have service again, so don't panic. I'll try to update whenever possible, but we can't call, text, e-mail, or get any type of service often so be patient. Lots of new pictures are up now though.

Oh, we also broke 500 miles!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wild ponies

Day 31

Hiked today: 22.4
Hiked total: 491.0
To katahdin: 1687.3

We were escorted for the last half mile to our campsite by wild ponies. We are now sleeping in a field of them. More on that later.

We woke up this morning and decided to go to the shelter just over 22 miles away. At first we weren't sure because there were two big uphills, but we decided to go for it. It drizzled a little so we got in our rain gear to be safe before we started on the hike.

We hiked the first 10 miles to a shelter for lunch in partial rain. We got there to find 3 kids just leaving. Its spring break so we have seen a lot of college students out on the trail. Just as they left, a group of older people came in - they were maintainers. They came to chop a tree up and id say the median age was 70. They were pretty much all retired. We would have helped, but we had over 12 miles to do, so we ate lunch and left.

The rest of the hike was pretty standard. The rain subsided for the most part and we passed a syrup farm (network of tapped trees) but the hike was good and the ascents weren't too terrible.

About a mile from our destination we started seeing hoove prints which is odd because no horses are allowed on the trail, and these were tiny. We shrugged it off because we have seen many tracks on the trail before, and never saw any animals. So we continue to walk and all of a sudden we hear a loud, very close, nay. We continued on. About a minute later Andy stops dead in his tracks and was staring down a male wild pony. He quickly gets off the trail to the side of a tree as I do, and pulls out the camera. He nays. We are dumbfounded as what to do in that situation. As we think of something, I turn around to see a female about 10 feet behind me on the trail. She walks right passed us, and they both continue on. We are in awe. We have yet to see much wildlife, and now we are trailing two wild ponies! We take a bunch of pictures while not getting too close and keep following along the trail. We then see about 5 more ahead. Some were really pretty, and they all just stood there and ate. We walked passed them, still following our escorts, and continue on. They then stop about 100 yards later and eat. They each go a couple feet on either side of the trail, and we walk right between them. It was a little frightening getting in between the two. We continue to our shelter, and start to hear people. We get there to find 10 people and 2 dogs. The shelter is full. We choose between hiking another 5 miles, or camping wherever we can. So we walk a little passed the shelter, out of a gate, and find a spot. We set up camp and went to fill our waters. This is the last time we will camp or summit anything over 5,000 feet until we get to the whites in new Hampshire, and we are happy. Its cold and windy up here.

So we go to get our water, we climb over a boulder which allows us to see about 15 wild ponies just eating infront of us. We realize these guys couldn't care less about us, so we walk right through them all. We fill up and get back to our tent. We then realize that if they moved over about 100 feet, they would be seen from our tent with nothing in between us.

We eat and get into the tent to warm up. After that we go to hang our food and I shine my light out to see a bunch of glowing eyes. They are 50 feet from our tent. With nothing in between. It'll be an interesting night. I think we will be ok though because we were within 5 feet of them and they didn't care.

We didn't forget about you Aunt Deb. This is the food review section!

We didn't eat any breakfasts yet because we had some bread left over. But this is what we've had and what we think:

Latte bars - these were awesome. They had great texture and taste. The pecans were a nice change from all the peanuts we have been eating. We ate them in the morning with our sandwich and coffee and it gave us a good boost and enough calories until lunch. No suggestions to improve.

Coconut bars - these were our favorite thus far. They tasted great, unlike any other bars we have had. It tops any store bought with ease. It was moist, creamy, and delicious. We liked that there were two in each bag as well. Our only suggestion might be to add a little more coconut.

Peanut balls - we liked these because they were very filling. They were drier than the bars which made for a nice mix. Not sure if its possible, but if there cold be honey in it, or maybe in the middle, they would be perfect.

Gorp - much different than what we have been having. Its much more diverse and we love the strawberries in it. No suggestions for that.

Jerky - personally I've never had better. I loved it! I liked that they were big pieces. You were right about the spiciness. It was just enough to give it good flavor, but didn't make us too thirsty. No suggestions.

Cheesy bacon spuds - we liked this, especially with the bacon bits. One bag is good for one person. However we should be able to make that on the trail which would be easier then having you send it.

Chili - we enjoyed having something very different for dinner. The meal was fully hydrated and very good. We would love this again but would like some extra tomato sauce as it was a little dry.

Thanksgiving feast - this is typically what we eat with a twist. We think it would be easy for us to adapt our recipe to yours on the trail.

We will try the breakfast out tomorrow as well as the other bar and meals. So far we think that if you were to send us your wonderful food again, we will just ask for the bars, pb balls, jerky, and rice/beef dinners. We found each bag of anything is a good portion for one. We will comment on the breakfasts tomorrow.

Thanks again! We will dream about the coconut bars and all your other tasty treats.

Time to sleep hearing the nays in hopes they don't get closer.

via BB

Some miles

Day 30 (cont.)

Hiked today: 5.6
Hiked total: 468.6
To katahdin: 1709.7

Well my bag finally came. I'm really happy the people at Gregory are so good and were able to send me a whole new pack. Not going to lie, ill miss my old one. I need to rub this one in some dirt or something. But all is well gear wise now! Andy is getting his replacement in a few days.

We got a few miles in, but not many. We would have liked to do more but didn't get to the trail until 5, so we couldn't go too far with a decent amount of light. We found a campsite next to a river and road, set up a fire (finally we got to use the starter the scouts gave us) and tried one of Aunt Debs dinners. It was very tasty and we are excited to try everything else, so thanks again!

We are happy it wasn't a full zero day, but a little sad it was only a .20 day.
via BB

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's christmas all over (minus the snow thank goodness.)

Day 30

Today will hopefully not be a zero day and I will be able to post mileage up later, but I thought since I was at a computer, I would update everyone, couldn't add any pictures right now unfortunately, but I will try to at our next stop.

Last night we set up the tent in the middle of the trail about 10 yards from one houses' backyard and another 10 from someones front yard. It was one thing at night, but when we woke up it was a little awkward... luckily we didn't see anyone.

We got into the town and dropped our packs at the outfitter, I got one box that was sent there and we went to eat breakfast. While at breakfast I opened it up, it was Andy's present and a watch I got from Alpine back at Neels Gap (got it for cheap.) I got Andy a jacket like mine because his down jacket weighs about 5 lbs, so I thought it would be a good investment. We ate, and then went back to the outfitters to pick up some fuel and anything else we may need. Unfortunately, as of now, my replacement pack hasn't gotten there yet. The shoulder strap is ripping and Gregory was kind enough to send me a brand new pack, and it should be here today. If not, then we will be forced to take a zero day. It's a beautiful day, so that wouldn't be cool, even if we only do 10 miles. Our feet are hurting a little, but not too badly.

So we headed towards the post office to pick up the rest of our packages. Two giant (and heavy) packages came for Andy from his Aunt Deb. We were worried she sent canned food and it would break our backs carrying it around. He got another package from his mom, and I got one from my mom as well. We opened our parents packages up first to find lots of snacks and bars. Andy got his Crocs, so now he can throw away his old man slippers he was using as camp shoes. Other than bars in mine, I got a letters and pictures from a bunch of kids in Nathans (my first grade brother) class. It was very cute, and thoughtful of them. I also got a page with little notes from a bunch of my old teachers at their school. I actually sent those back because I want to keep them but don't want them to get ruined or wet, so thank you all very much!

Now comes the two big packages. Andy opens them up to find a HUGE mount of home-made dehydrated, packaged, and ziplocked bags of food. Breakfast, lunch, dinners, bars, snacks, just a huge santa bag full of food. Andy's Aunt Deb made us each a little cozy to put our ziplocks in while they are cooking to keep our food hot as well. It was very thoughtful of her to include me in his package. We went through all the food from home-made jerky, to hamburger rice, to cheesy bacon spuds and figured out what we would need. Between our parents and Aunt Deb, we actually had to send a big package ahead of us because we would just be carrying way too much food for 5 days and our backs would be in pain. All-in-all, she saved us a TON of money and time trying to resupply. She probably fed us for about a 2 weeks! It will be a nice change from our regular meals, that is for certain.

Anyway, I hope my pack comes. We sent home some stuff to lighten our loads so hopefully our packs will be much lighter on our backs, even with all the food. We are very thankful for Aunt Deb and our parents for all the stuff they have sent. As for Nathans class, I hope you got the package I sent, I will double check with my mom later once my phone is charged (she sent my charger and now I can charge it without spending money on batteries.)

Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Day 29

Hiked today: 33.0
Hiked total: 463.0
To katahdin: 1715.3

Yes, its written right. 33 miles. We were told the last 25 miles are pretty easy into damascus and we were looking forward to it. Today our plan was to camp half way and make it into town tomorrow. However, we woke up today, and said let's just do it all. We were only 8 miles away from the easy part that many people do in a day, so what's an extra 8? We would take three breaks along the way, and eat all the food we had for tomorrow to keep us fueled. So that's what we did. It was much more flat than ever before, so we cruised. For the whole day we averaged 3 mph where we normally do 2.5. At one point we pased about 15 people in this weird group thing all spaced out in equal intervals from one another, and all very odd. At that point we both went into race mode and took each down one by one. We later figured out we were going more than 4 mph there. There was more up hill than expected, but nothing to terrible.

It got dark around 8, but we hiked on for about 2 hours. I'm glad I brought that powerful light with me as it lit up the entire path and its surroundings. We finally made it to the Virginia border line which means we are now officially done with 3 states! With our feet pounding, throbbing and aching, we finally made it. We put our packs down right before the town on the trail and was about to et up camp when I got the number for a pizza place. We called at 9:50 and they said they were opened for another 10 mins. So we placed our order. Then we realized it was a mile away. So what did we do? Dropped our packs on the side of the trail and RAN. After 33 miles and 11 hours of just hiking, we ran for a mile. We got there and ate the subpar pizza very quickly. It was across from a grocery store open until 12 so we went in and got chicken tenders, oreos, milk, and cake. We slowly walked back to the trail, set up the tent, gobbled up our food, and now we will pass out.

Tomorrow we will spend half the day in town then head out. This makes up for one forced zero day due to weather.

Time to sleep.

via BB

Update soon

We are doing big miles today. Won't be able to give full update until about 9 or 1
via BB

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Dusty Camel

Day 28

Hiked today: 17.5
Hiked total: 430.1
To katahdin: 1748.2

We woke up too early (I got confused with the time change) and napped for a little longer. When we finally woke, we packed up and ate a dozen eggs with some toast and a half gallon of juice. Talked with Bob a little more and went on our way.

The hike was really pretty and almost TOO hot - its amazing the difference a week makes. We walked along a river with a waterfall and later on along a lake. There was some hard up hill, and there wasn't too much downhill, but from here until damascus its pretty flat which is great. We passed some older hikers and they asked our trail names and then called us the Dusty Camel. We thought that was a perfect name for our dynamic duo - a dirty animal that just goes on and on.

When we got to the shelter, there were two guys here, Jeff and nick, who are doing some of the trail as part of their spring break. They started a fire and shred some of their whiskey which was nice. They go to school in Boone and are some good guys. It was nice to meet some guys our age for a change.

We are close to Virginia which means three states down. We are eager to get there and to get our packages. We have a lot coming between the two of us (and a present I got for Andys birthday) which is exciting. Until then we will be pulling some good miles.

Andy is on the phone talking to his extended family, so hi to all of them since I'm right next to the phone!

via BB

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bob peoples

Day 27

Hiked today: 15.6
Hiked total: 412.6
To katahdin: 1765.7

We went to sleep and woke up warm, which already made the day great. We had a small day, but full none the less. The terrain was fairly easy and it was warm and sunny. So much so, that our boots were able to dry out for the first time in 3 days. Even though they were dry, our feet were still partially wet by the time we got to Kincora - Bob Peoples hostel. When we got here, the wasn't home, but the door to the bunk room was open anyway. We quickly peeled off our socks and let our feet dry. We only took 6 hours of hiking to get here and leaving an hour early gave us some good relaxation time. By the time Bob got here it was 2, and he said he would take us in to town at 4 when he went to church. So we waited around, did our laundry, and talked.

When Bob was ready, we went into town. He dropped us off to the one place we said we would never brave again - the china buffet. Andy was a little better and didn't feel ill, while I think I got off easier than before solely because the food was a little better here. I still ate too much.

After letting my belly grumble for a little, we went to get a much needed resupply. We had zero food left. So we got all we needed and headed back with Bob.

After we got our 2 lb package of cookie dough rolled out and in the oven, we started talking a lot with Bob. He's actually from Boston, and lived in Vermont for most his life. He just left the board of directors of the AT, and him and a dozen others are in charge of maintaining 135 miles of the trail (this guy is in his 60's mind you.) he told us a lot about the trail, the people, and himself. We were very happy, and very full. Tomorrow we push on and in 2.5 days we will be in damascus which is only a couple days away from 500 miles - the psychological quarter way point.

via BB

Eventful day

Day 26

Hiked today: 18.0
Hiked total: 397.0
To katahdin: 1781.3

Last night was a scary night. At 12:34am we both woke to a loud crash. We had no clue what it was, but getting woken up by a crash scared me. Of course I start thinking of the worst possible scenario and my mind starts playing tricks on me and I can't sleep. The wind was so powerful that it kept knocking the rocks off the tarp which was making more loud bangs. At one point I feel the tent shake and my heart stops. Is this war barn haunted? Is there a mountain lion walking around? A bear? I think its all in my half awake consciousness. I couldn't sleep. The only way to sleep was to listen to music. Every hour when it ended a loind bang would come from outside and I would have to start it over. So I got little sleep. Finally it was time to get out and are what made all that noise; it was just the wind blowing rocks and stuff around. I felt foolish, but last time I was woken up by a loind crash my high school roomate was having a seizure!

Anyway, we get going on the right path out. We laugh to see it takes is 2 minutes to get to the trail opposed to yesterdays hour. It was pretty cool because we followed a ridge for a while and could see the trail ahead. On one side p the Rodge were dark scary looking clouds, and on the other, sun. We prepared for rain anyway, and luckily it didn't come.

Since we didn't fill up our waters last night, we had to wait to find a source on the trail. I'm dying of thirst about a mile into it when we finally hit a stream. Andy was fine with no water. Actually we decided to change his name from Tellico to Camel - due to the fact he can go an entire day off of one liter of water while p drink 4. We start filling up our waters at the stream through our drinking tubes. We can pump straight into our platypus without taking it out of our bags. Andy fills his up and I start pumping. After about a liter, I look up at Andy and ask why my backs wet. I didn't attach the hose to the bladder. I pumped nearly a liter of water into my pack. Luckily, most of my stuff is in water proof bags anyway. It still wasn't fun.

We have our waters filled up and continued. We were on the balds for a while and off in the distance we are a double rotar helicopter. We continue walking on, and soon we see it coming towards us. Then, it passes right over us! It goes over the hill and we start walking again. We then notice it touched down in the MIDDLE of the trail ahead. We basically run towards it and get to it. We took some pictures and then the door opens up and this army hit steps out telling us to be careful near it. We take some pictures with him and step aside to watch it take off. The wind was crazy! It was definitely the coolest thing yet. We thought they mights give us some MREs but to no avail. We keep going and the army chopper keeps practicing.

We get down the mountain and actually got lost. We ended up coming out on someones property with this big black pitbull barking at us. Luckily I had the GPS on my phone and we could get to the road we were going to cross. We asked this old couple where the nearest food was and they were nice enough to give us a ride to a diner a mile away. We stuff our faces and then decide to walk on the road to a gap on the trail instead of trying to find the trail again.

So we walked up the road and met some cool dogs - some not so cool as well. It was hot out which felt amazing. Andy wasn't even wearing a shirt. We get to the trail and hike the 1.6 miles in half an hour and get to the shelter, which is the nicest shelter we she been I yet. We met a south bound hiker at the shelter and talked with him for a while and then went in the tent. Overall a really good day.

via BB

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I despise snow

Day 25

Hiked today: 14.8 (but really at least 18)
Hiked total: 379.0
To katahdin: 1799.3

After 4 packets of oatmeal and 2 pop tarts, Andy and I left CC. We very much enjoyed staying with her and Andy said if there was a guitar and a big dog, he may not have left! We got back to the trail and hiked on. It was snowy but not terrible at first. It was actually so nice out we were in our tshirts - a much welcomed change. The first 10 miles were pretty strenuous, we got up to 6,200 feet, but we were in high spirits. After roan Mt (the high point) we got to this really cool point where we could actually see the path for nearly a mile. It was a day hiker spot because the 'trail' was gravel, but it was a nice change in pace.

That is where things got frustrating. We hiked the path and went through some terrible slush/snow that was knee high and a pain to walk through on a 10 inch path. We hiked up for about half an hour and looked at roan to see we were about even with it - a problem being we don't break 6,000 feet again. So we hiked back down through the slush and finally found the trail which goes around the dark side of the mt, I.e. No sun to melt the snow. We were in the snow again, slipping and sliding and falling. The only good part of that section was we met our first thru-hiker since the 2nd day, Stallion. He is south bounding which means he is less than 400 miles from finishing. He started late Oct. And went through winter. He seemed nice, but we quickly split ways and continue on. at one point in the slush, Andy slipped and got really angry at the conditions - I let him steam ahead to brood.

We finally got to where our shelter was. We've heard a lot about it because its a barn used in the revolutionary war which was converted into a shelter. Its .3 miles off the trail but well worth it. So we went on, and on, and on. We missed the turn and went down the revolutionary war path. Eventually we got to the road which leads us to the shelter, but we were far from it. We did at least an extra mile and passed where we were SUPPOSED to meet the road.

So we got here, finally, and it is really cool. We are upstairs and basically contained in 4 walls. Its very open in terms of space between the wood, but its still nice.

Hopefully tomorrow will be less snowy. The terrain is supposed to be getting flatter until Damascus.

via BB

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Waiting for the snow to melt

Day 0

well, Andy put out the idea of waiting a day in semi-warmer weather in hopes the snow will melt to below knee level, and I quickly agreed. So we are here with CC at the Greasy Creek Friendly and we are very happy. A true zero day. We didn't leave the place, and watched movies, ate lots, and relaxed. I actually got to cook real food! I haven't cooked in a while other than some grilling which I could use marinade for so it wasn't really cooking. I used some more of her veneson and made a meat sauce with some of her home grown bell peppers. Oh man it was a feast. It was delicious. Andy and I had huge bowls, and now full bellies. Well, to be honest, I've been eating all day. CC has been very helpful and kind to us, so it's making it hard to leave. She's actually trying to find a partner for the place, and if I had the money, I would be it.

Anyway, I ate another (#3 now) pint of Ben and Jerrys while Andy ate a jar of peanut butter and maple syrup -- a new combo CC turned him on to. We watched Lord of the Rings, sat around, and now we will probably get to bed soon and leave in the morning at our normal time. We are eagerly awaiting the warmth so we don't have to stop! We don't mind going into a town where we need to resupply and spend the night, but taking a whole zero day is hard to stomach because we want to be out there hiking... it's just too cold and wet which means everything is frozen solid.

On to Roan Mt. tomorrow, 6200 feet, which is the highest shelter we will stay at along the AT.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Holy frozen boots batman! it's cold out there.

Day 24

hiked today: 7.3
hiked total: 364.2
to katahdin: 1814.1

well, we are inside again. And I will tell you why...

We woke up at our normal 6:30 freezing cold. We both decided (without leaving our mummy bags mind you) that we would wait another hour until the sun came out. So we half slept until 7:30. As soon as we got out of our freezer, a.k.a. our tent which was lined in ice, we checked the temperature on my little thermometer, and it was less than 0 degrees. This is at 7:30 with the sun out! I can't even imagine what it was last night. We had our emergency blanket over us (for those of you who don't know, its essentially a large thick piece of tin foil that keeps all the heat in by being impenetrable by moisture, i.e. our heat doesn't evaporate out of it) but since it keeps all the moisture in, our bags usually get wet. However, our bags weren't wet this morning -- they were frozen. It was a tough morning to get out of camp. Our socks from the previous day were, no exaggeration, rock solid. Theres a picture of Andy holding up his that I just put up to prove it!

Anyway, the honey was frozen, but we had double hotchocolates again to keep our insides warm. So far it was a cold day, but nothing too crazy, until, that is, we tried to put on our boots. It honestly took us half an hour to put on our boots, they were frozen! we worked them, rubbed them, flexed them, and we couldn't move the laces or put our feet in. I finally got my feet in, but Andy was still having trouble. We almost brought out the stove to put it under the boots. eventually after a lot of pushing, Andy got them on. Once we got our boots on, our feet instantly froze. I was on my last pair of socks seeing as my other hiking socks were frozen, and everything we had was frozen (i.e. wet.) We were worried that tonight setting up camp would be bad with a frozen tent, frozen sleeping bags, and frozen clothes. Not only was tonight a concern, but in the morning when we really had to get dry clothes. We looked in our book and noticed there was a hostel not too far away. We instantly said we have to go there to at the very least dry out our clothes and bags. My pack had an inch of ice around the straps. It was a cold morning. We trudged through over a foot of snow to get to the gap. We called up Greasy Creek Friendly and made sure they were open and if there was anyway they could pick us up from the trail. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to leave the place, so we had to walk along the road until we got a ride.

Once we got to the road, we walked for about 10 minutes and a pick up truck passed us without stopping. About 5 minutes later, he came back around and told us to jump in the back -- so we did. He brought us to the hostel which was very nice of him, and although cold from riding in the back, it was much fun and very generous.

So we got to the hostel -- or Friendly as CC likes to call it (a parody on hostile.) She is a very sweet woman who lives out here and runs the place. She has been very nice to us and helped us with anything we need. We are warm and happy right now, and she even cooked us venison burgers -- for FREE! She has a crazy neighbour who puts up closed signs so hikers don't stop by, and apparently when he knows there are hikers here, he makes lots of noise in the mornings to wake them up and upset them. A lot of people have complained about it, but it's not her fault. She is very nice, and I would suggest this place to any hikers coming through. We are warm, happy, and eating well. We may stay tomorrow night to wait and see if some snow melts. It is incredibly difficult to walk through knee high snow all day. 17 miles is a lot of miles, but nothing we can't do, and yesterday it took us 10 hours! That is way too long.

Anyway, we are happy right now and although we wish we could be pushing out the miles, we know that it would be dangerous. Yesterday was border-line dangerous... actually Andy just corrected me and said it WAS dangerous.

Andy says thank you for all the birthday wishes! Although it may not have been the most 'normal' birthday, it is definitely one of the most memorable.

Andy is 22!

Day 23

Hiked today: 17.0
Hiked total: 356.9
To katahdin: 1821.4

And for his birthday he got the worst 17 miles yet.the feeling of waking up in the warm soft bed is the polar opposite as now. It snowed like everywhere else, and up in the mountains there was over a foot. Sometimes we were knee deep in it, and even at its lowest it never went below our ankles. The first 10 miles was a steady up hill which wasn't too terrible, but what was terrible was the trail. Imagine with me if you will, hundreds of trees lining the trail weighted down by the snow making an impenetrable barrier. This is what the first 8 miles was like. The snow was at its shallowist, but we had to stop every ten seconds to wck trees so they would fling upwards and hopefully make enough room for us to squeeze by without getting showered by snow.

After the 8 miles, the trees weren't as dense, but then the deep snow came. Do me a favor and go to the gym, turn the a\c on to 15 and jump on the stair master for 6 hours. That's what the last 9 miles was like. My joints below my hips hurt like no other. Neither of us drank anything so we wouldn't have to stop to use the bathroom. Not to mention everything was frozen. We also weren't thirsty nor hungry at all during the hike. Andy thinks we were in survival mode and our bodies were preparing for the worst.

We finally made it to the shelter after what was easily the hardest, both mentally and physically, day yet. We quickly set up the tent and started on food. It was (even more so now) so cold that we ate in the tent -- no animal would be out in this cold, not from the south at least. We ate our food and a 2 lb cheesecake we carried up for andys birthday 'party.' We had planned to put sticks in it and use them as candles but it is just too cold. Its already in single digits and may drop below zero up here. We are all bundled up and have our extra blanket over us, so hopefully we will stay warm. We are exhausted and will be sound asleep shortly.

via BB

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a food coma and one month

Day zero

well as I stated last night, the weather is keeping us in today. So what do we do? Eat! We went to the China Kitchen which had a buffet and ate an inordinate amount of food. While I only ate half as much as Andy, together we had 10.5 plates of food... and no small plates. We felt ill. Seriously ill.

Not only that, but afterwards we had to go to the grocery store to buy something to eat for dinner tonight. Have you ever tried shopping for food when your stuffed to the point of nausea? yick. We hobbled are way around the grocery store and got what we needed and then was picked up by Johnny. Now, Andy is in a food coma and zipped up in his sleeping bag. I tried to nap, but I ate less and don't feel as ill, and there was also an annoying dripping noise keeping me from sleep. Oh well.

While on the topic of food, some may be interested in what we eat on a daily basis. I'll give you a general break down and how many calories we consume in a day. Typically we will burn about 7000 calories in a day, especially in the cold weather. All measurements are of course, approximate.

Breakfast: 840-1020 calories
-Coffee/hot chocolate mix: 100 Cal
-peanut butter (1.5oz), honey (1 tbsp), dried fruit (1/8 cup), and granola (1/8 cup) sandwich: Approx. 600 cal
-some sort of bar. We like Pemmican bars which have 420 calories per bar, but can't always find
those so have to use cliffbars which have about 240

Lunch: 1100 calories
-Candy bar (right now snickers): 280
- Health Bar (right now cliff): 240
- Cheese (2 slices) salami (4 slices) and honey sandwiches: 580

Dinner: 1510
-hot chocolate: 100
- stuffing mix, can of chicken, 1/4 cup of dried fruit: 1200
-oatmeal pies for dessert: 210

So we eat about 3500 calories a day. Even more if we can find those pemmican bars. They taste great, have a ton of calories, and we even usually put extra peanut butter on top.

After saying I wasn't napping, I fell asleep for an hour.

Also, its been exactly a month for me since I left home! For all of Andys friends/family, I started a few days earlier than Andy but got held up at a hostel because of -10 degree weather and blustery winds. It all worked out though.