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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!
via BB

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.
via BB

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!
via BB

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!

via BB

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.
via BB

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.
via BB

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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