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Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Dusty Camels Reach Katahdin

Thanks everybody, it's been a great adventure.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Made it to Katahdin

I have hikED the Appalachian trail

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To All South Bounders!

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

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

Manchester, VT
Odie Green
(201) 290-9153

Dalton, MA
Rob Bird
(413) 446-4208

Ian Mangiardi (Me)
(917) 885-0205

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

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

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

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks again to all, and good journeys,

The Dusty Camels

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Christmas eve eve

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

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

First sight

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

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

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

Hopefully we will do better tomorrow.
via BB

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nice day

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

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

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