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!

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zAZiJ0dqnyI/Tffgj2D_5LI/AAAAAAAAAFY/ELhu2LBvr0Y/s1600/photo-711494.JPG 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.

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