Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm still alive I tell you

Well it seems that a blog is a good idea but then again, when is there time to get to a computer and write? Never! That is the answer my friends.  So just for a short status update, I cruised through Hanover about a week and a half ago and it was just in time for the homecoming at Dartmouth college. Since I really love hiking with people, and I had hiking partners, I decided to forgo the mile-high bonfire that Saturday night.  A few days later was Rutland, Vermont and with much excitement, I received my packages at the post office. I got a new bivy and a new rain jacket. My old Marmot jacket served me well but in an all day rainstorm, I still got wet from the outside in instead of the inside out. A miserable day rest assured.

My hiking partners names are Desert Locks, Belay and Hobo. The first two are friends from Utah and Hobo is from Pennsylvania. We have all been traveling is a loose knit group since the later part of New Hampshire. The snow that hit us last week left us all a little down in the dumps since it was an official dumping of snow. We reinforced our preparedness for winter weather when we hit Manchester Center, Vermont buying boots and gaiters and then yellow blazed down forty miles to Bennington, Vermont. It was not an easy thing to do and there is still time to go and NOBO that section and yellow blaze back but then again, if the weather is going to be bad, it's best to be in a group!

The days are short and the temperatures are shorter on the thermometer but what is a guy to do? GO HIKING!!! Hopefully I can write again soon!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hurricanes and Mushrooms

     All the water that hurricane Irene pumped in here wet the place down good and then the following tropical storm kept it that way. Rumors say that theres going to be some snow tonight on the mountains and it's going to be at least the first frost tonight. That's a pretty crazy notion but what we have at hand are MUSHROOMS!! I've seen a lot of mushrooms the past couple of weeks here up in Maine and this is just but a small sample of where there is. Enjoy!

Hurricane Fran (1996)
Projected path of Irene 2011. Purple path closest to actual.

Scrambled eggs


Carolina Hurricanes

Unda da sea, unda da sea!

Yes, it's purple
Hurricane Andrew

large and dying


Potato Chip

Cherry Tomato

Hurricane Irene in New England

Saturday, September 10, 2011

REI Garage sale @ Cary, NC location Sept 17!


So I just wanted to remind everybody in the Raleigh area that there is a garage sale at the Cary, NC REI store so that if there was anything that you wanted to get in the out of doors department then you will want to go and get it THIS WEEKEND, SEPTEMBER 17.  Be sure to ARRIVE EARLY by at least an hour. The store opens at 10:00 am as far as I know.  There are crazy stupid deals on gear. Everything has been used by someone and returned for one reason or another but LOTS of it is brand friggin new! Once again, a great chance to get some great nearly new gear!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Arriving in Monson, ME

Time: 9:48 am
Place: Shaw's Lodging (not the "triangle" Shaw)

I've been here in Monson for about a day now and I arrived just in time to get to the barbecue joint in town. It's pretty much the only restaurant and they are open for lunch on Mondays which was pure luck. I was talking to a guy about going there and when he found out that I was from NC he said that I should get anything but barbecue because NC's got the best barbecue anyways. He was right. It was more or less heavily smoked pork and beef with sauce on a soggy bun but after 8 days of pasta sides it was still relatively delicious.

My camera died on the plane when I was taking pictures of the lit cities streets below as the sun was rising over the east coast, but I do have those 'new' pictures at least. The charger is lost in the mail somewhere at a post office in Pennsylvania. Not much evidence survives that I was ever in the 100 mile wilderness but I will leave you with the high flying pics!

Sunrise from a bird's belly

Friday, August 26, 2011


Time: 5:15 am
Mood: Confident

So today is the day. The hurricane will turn out to be a mixed blessing after all. Two campsites and one lean-to at the park have opened up and might be able to stay in the park after the trip up today. I might be able to stay in the birches tonight if I tell them that I am a flip-flopper meaning that I walked a lot and jumped up to the end so that I could suerely make it to the top of Kataadn then end on some other part of the trail. Often Flip-floppers flip when the get to Harpers Ferry but if people are way back like I was in 2008 then they flip from even further back or skip ahead from possibly Shenandoah.

I hear it's an exhausting trip. 4000 feet over 5.2 miles. The bus leaves town @ 6:30 and I'm at the Appalachian Trail Cafe where I had a delicious parfait and home made english muffin. I've got to get going though so I can get a shower, and make it to the post office early and ask for my trekking poles. Lord I hope they have my trekking poles! Next stop, Monson, Maine. Talk to you again soon.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time: 7:48 am
Mood: Impatient

It's been at 15 days since I last posted on the blog and I was hoping to have traveled almost the entire length from Palmerton to Vermont through NJ, NY, CT, and MA but alas trouble was brewing on the horizon. Friday August 12 Tess and I hitched to Hershey park just outside of Harrisburg PA which I remind you is the capital of PA. We had a great time hitching and a great time at the park and a great time visiting with my mom and dad (THANKS mommy and daddy!) but in the middle of the night the great time had come to an abrupt end. I caught what another hiker that I met in Bangor dubbed the "Beaver Fever" aka the runs. After a day of torment I decided that it was best to return home to recover. I spent the last two weeks more or less killilng time and all of yesterday traveling.

So 2 planes and 2 busses later here I am in Millinocket, ME and the weather is cloudy and Irene is approaching and there out in front of me just a short distance away lies Kataadn. I asked the other hikers if they felt the earthquake but none of them seemed to know that it happened but then again it seemed that most people in NY didn't know that the earthquake was happening either. I listened into the conversations of the other hikers that were having and it's almost like having nothing in common. "You know, I don't have to hike today" one would say. "I know, isn't it a great feeling" the other would reply. I'm glad to be hiking again and I can't wait to get back on the metaphorical "road" again but the weather sure is foiling my plans.

I was asked to post some mail drop options and I am sure as sure can be that I will be stoping in
Monson, ME
after I summit Kataadn and walk the hundred mile wilderness. I think I only have enough food for 6 days but I think I can make it last. Hiker hunger has worn off since Tessa and I did the long 17 right before Palmerton. Send packages general delivery and write on the package hold for thru hikers.

Update you soon.......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Around again...

Time: 4:55p
Place: Palmerton PA
Mood: Enthusiastic!

Mr. Keyboard and I have had a long time away from each other. We haven't spoken much but then again I haven't had much to say to Mr. Keyboard. Just time to tell all again and let everyone far and wide know... we're doing it again. I've been back on the Appalachian Trail since July 16th and am shooting for Kataadn by the closing day on October 15th. I've got a little over 900 miles left and at 20 miles a day for 45 days I can make it but I'm pretty sure that will be an impossible task. As we move into fall, the prime time for hiking will be dwindling as the days shorten and the inside of a sleeping bag becomes more appealing in the cold New England Autumn. Just ahead of me though I need to tackle a obstacle towering close... ZEROS!!!!! YAY!!!!