Monday, June 20, 2011

House-keeping points. I mean, Shelter-keeping

Here's my GPS tracker:

Here's a link to Porter and Pace's blog:

Hyperlite Mountain Gear blog I'm writing for:

We are planning on climbing Katahdin July 26-28th so mark your calendars if you want to join!

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Jersey and New York


6/15- Entered New Jersey!! We are back to pumping miles, we went 28 miles to Branchville, where I gorged myself on steamed clams in town.

6/16- Another 28 miles, and we actually had to stay at a shelter and cook on our stoves. New Jersey is quite lovely; we hiked past ponds, saw some BIG snakes, and finally got to see some views.
 Hitchhiking into town

6/17- It poured all morning, so we slept in (til 7am, yes that's sleeping in on "trail time." About 9pm is "hiker midnight") and only hiked 6 miles until Dreamer (Porter's wife) met us with homebaked cookies and Boddington's! She drove us to Chester, where we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner at the Lobster Pier. Pace and I drove to the next town over and picked up my carepackage from Steve and Amy. There was A LOT of food (even for me), so I was happy that Caboose, Upstate and Loophole showed up to share too! After I met up with a friend from home, Justin McCoubrey and his buddy Mike, and we hit up the local carnival!! 
I met Steve in Boiling Springs and he and his wife sent this huge box of goodies! Thanks!

6/18- We ran into AT royalty 501. He used to own the rights to edit and publish The AT Guide, the logistic book most hikers use. We slackpacked 15 miles and entered NY!! Then we met Dreamer who took us to get ice cream! We then filled up our packs with a 12 pack each and hiked 2 miles in to a shelter. Dreamer packed us sandwich meat and made smore's! YUM! 

6/19- We said goodbye to Dreamer, as she carried out 36 empty beer cans. Thanks for everything Dreamer! We sweated out 19 miles, and saw a baby turtle and LOTS of deer. There are more hills in NY, we were getting quite lazy going through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.We met Patio, a past thru hiker, who was doing trail magic. Thanks for the hot dogs and gatorades! On full tummies, we hiked up to The Lemon Squeezer, a narrow gap between rocks.
The Lemon Squeezer

6/20- Tented last night, since the mosquitoes are getting quite bad. We use bug spray with Deet, to keep away bugs as well as ticks. This morning we woke up at 5, and hiked 9.4 miles and met Pace's friend, Fix. He brought us donuts, sandwich fixin's, gatorade, and snacks. We also met another day hiker who gave us strawberries, blueberries and plums. YUM. Thanks guys! With Fix, we hiked a bit further along the trail. The trail literally passes through a zoo! It was strange to see so many of the animals we've been seeing in the wild in cages, but the are all rescued animals, so it's ok. We are in Fort Montgomery now, waiting for 501, since he promised us the, "Best BBQ on the whole AT," and he's buying!
 Beaver in the zoo!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The AT- Appalachian Tourists

We have become Appalachian Tourists. I have not cooked on my camp stove since the 8th! Since the 9th, we've been doing short days from town to town, motel to motel, pub to pub; I think I'm gaining weight haha!

6/5- Crop Duster and I hiked 26 miles to Duncannon to meet up with Porter and Pace. We found a small, motherless fawn that took a liking to us. It was crying for it's mom and kept walking up to us and following us =( Pics to come. Crop also taught me to identify some plants like sassafrass and mulberry.

6/6- Porter, Pace, Crop and I pushed 30 miles to a shelter where we ran into Moosehead, and The Maine Boys (Clay, Jake and Lee, from Maine). We saw three Copperheads sunning themselves at an outlook.
6/7- Porter, Pace, Crop and I pushed another 30 miles to a shelter (This was the last time I used my stove!)

6/8- We pushed 9.5 miles into Hamburg, PA and after stuffing our faces with Cabela's Italian buffet, Crop and I went swimming in the local swimming hole. The heat index was over 100!
Pace cutting open my first blister in Hamburg

6/9- Another hot humid day, the Maine Boys and Moosehead caught up, and we hiked 15 miles into the Eckville shelter. This "shelter" was really a shed in the back of someone's house. There was a shower, toilet with indoor plumbing, and pizza delivery! Porter, Pace, Crop and I each carried 1 Liter of wine, which washed down the pizza and hot wings.

NOTE: After discussion, and realization that at the pace we are moving, we may finish the trail sooner than we'd like, we decided to slow it down. (Though I think we took this to another level...almost backwards.)

6/10- After a whooping 11 miles, we saw a restaurant and stopped for lunch. Well that restaurant turned out to be the Blue Mountain Summit Bed and Breakfast with live music that night, good beers on tap, and a room available!
Bird's nest outside our room

6/11- After breakfast at the Inn, we started hiking around 11am and went 14 miles through the notorious "Pennsylvania Rocks." The AT as a whole isn't very rocky, but the trail mantainers of Pennsylvania must be lazy because there were big rocks, little rocks, round rocks, sharp rocks and wiggling rocks. We walked into Palmerton, PA where we stayed at the Jailhouse hostel- a free hostel that was built to be a jail, but never used as one. After my first Cheesesteak and a big ice cream at Bert's dinner, we settled in for a low key night. The owner of Bert's gave us a ride to the trailhead the following morning!

6/12- We hiked 20 miles through more rocks and hitchhiked into Wind Gap where a full rack of baby back ribs and more ice cream made my day =) A local named Bert, seated near our table, offered us a ride to the trailhead the next day.
Eastern Box Turtle

6/13- Hiked another whooping 16 mile day into Delaware Water Gap. This is the last town in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania overall was flat, boring, but the rocks were not as bad as I imagined (though they did chew up my shoes, see below). It was another Christmas at the Post Office. Porter got new shoes, and a new Hyperlite backpack. I also got a new Hyperlite backpack to test for the company and my bounce box (read: mascara, razors, whitening toothpaste, and my retainer haha!) I'm going to be working with Hyperlite to keep a blog on their website, so you all will have to check it out! Pair number 2 (Keen refunded me)

6/14- We are taking a zero today to recover from our high mileage days. I already ate two AMAZING cupcakes. Tomorrow we will be back to doing some big miles (in NEW JERSEY!!!). I bought new Brooks trail runners that are super lightweight (but not waterproof).

My friend ManCub (also works at the Jordan Pond House) summitted Katahdin yesterday. He started March 15, just 5 days before me....crazy! He was the first through hiker to finish this season, congrats ManCub, eat a popover for me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Care Packages

If you'd like to send a letter or care package (snacks, cookies, etc) send them here:

Christi Holmes, General Delivery, Greenwood Lake, NY 10925 and just write Somewhere on the box" hold for AT thru hiker" 

Thanks in advance!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's all downhill from here

Hit the halfway mark yesterday!! It must be all downhill from here right?

This was last week:

5/30- Laid by the pool again in DC with Martin, Mike and Tony. Then we went for thai food and for a beer at Carpool with Martin's roommate Brennan.

5/31- SUSHI BUFFET! Demolished 3 heaping plates of sushi and nigiri and waddled to the train station. The train was a bit late, but luckily, friends Laura and Neil picked me and Toto up, cooked delicious venison steaks, and let us sleep in beds!

6/1- Hammered out 30 big ones in the heat! This was my first day hiking with my Hyperlite Mountain Gear. They are sponsoring me, so have given me a new ultralight backpack, tent, stuff sacs, sleeping pad, and a pillow! In return, I will be keeping a blog for them, as well as marketing while I hike! This stuff rocks, and they are in Biddeford, Maine.

6/2 Hammered out another 30 big ones with Mean Gene. Stayed at the best shelter I've seen thus far: Quarry Gap. There was an air freshener in the privy, board games, magazines, and potted flowers. Got my first blister =( probably since I got new shoes (though they are the same make and size....)

6/3- Past the 1/2 mark! Hiked 17 miles to Pine Grove State Furnance where Mean Gene and I raced eating 1/2 gallons of ice cream. He won by a mere 10 seconds. After free showers, we pushed 7 miles to the next shelter with Accorn. It was a bit chilly, my sleeping bag is only rated to 59 degrees F!! Brrrr

6/4- Hiked 11 miles into Boiling Springs. There was an art festival so a town of 1,000 was suddenly 10,000! Crop Duster, Accorn, and Accorn's friend Steve and I enjoyed the festival and I ate a pulled pork sandwich, funnel cake, smoothie, and lemonade YUM. Accorn thru hiked in 95 so was just section hiking now (he has a real job...ya know how it is....he and Steve were great fun though!) It started to rain, and the next shelter is 14 miles away, so Trail Angels Joe and Bev invited Crop Duster and I into their home! I have my own room, took a shower, did laundry, and am currently typing on their computer. Talk about Trail Magic!!
With Trail Angels Joe and Bev in Boiling Springs