Thursday, October 18, 2012

09 October 2012

Today is the day. 

Many people wanted night hike to catch the sunrise on Katahdin in the morning, but due to recent snow, I thought it would be safer to hike around 7:00am.  The first 2 miles were simple, but the higher we got, snow covered the ground.  Ice formed around the rocks which forced me to focus on each step.  The rock climb in the middle of the hike was a bit challenging, but Nutella went first and I learned from trial and error.  I met Jonathan on the last mile and he gave us some encouraging words.  He was hiking with Regina who would later be on the same bus to Boston with me and Nutella.

 It was an amazing feeling.  The last mile was filled with snow and much anticipation.  I wasn't sure whether or not I would get emotional and surprisingly I didn't.  I'm not sure how to feel about that.  The summit never really felt real.  It felt like I was hiking another mountain and tomorrow I would hike another and the next day, another.   I sat on Katahdin watching my fellow friends summit.  The tears in their eyes caught me off guard.  Maybe they felt like this was the end for them.  The accumulation of the hardest days of their lives and the happiest moments mixing and coming to an end seemed foreign to me.  Why didn't I feel that way?  I don't want to over analyse this so I will just take it as my journey not being over with.  I am happy with that.  Knowing that I have more wanting and yearning in my life and creating opportunities to fulfill those needs will keep me be.  I had the most amazing time of my life thruhiking the AT.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I learned so much of myself and my capabilities and hopefully those never leave me.  I wish the best of luck to future thruhikers. Who knows?  I might be another someday. 

08 October 2012

Ladies and gents, today a group of us entered into Baxter State Park with the hopes of summiting on the 9th.  We hear the weather is going to be exceptional.  The 10 mile hike today didn't go without some excitement. 

This is a view of Katahdin from Abol campground this morning. Isn't she a beauty?

In Maine there are a few rivers and streams to ford and here is a photo of Switchback doing so.  Do you see the frustration in his eyes?!

Unfortunately I fell in this same stream and my camera got damaged so not much photos beyond this.  I had to ask Nutella every time I wanted to take something which I'm sure annoyed him, but we are buddies.

When we arrived at Katahdin Stream Campground, everyone was celebrating.  Tiny Dancer, the guy on the far right with the red hat, saved a book of matches he received on Springer Mountain from a Ridge Runner named Jonathan.  He didn't know what he would get or not get when he returned them to Jonathan 2,184 miles later, but to our surprise, Jonathan cooked 2 delicious carrot cakes to celebrate our journey.  Thanx TD for keeping those matches!!  That night was so fun.

07 October 2012

I spent a couple days hiking with Nutella in the 100 mile wilderness which has a reputation of being a bit difficult due to resupply issues and what-not.  The terrain began with a couple mountains, but nothing too strenuous.  The weather had been spotty with rain showers usually in the evenings which made the shelters so welcoming.  A couple nights ago, Nutella and I ran to a shelter in the rain around 7:00pm and were greeted by a group of high school weekend hikers that took over the shelter and showed no concern on our behalf.  I ended up hanging my hammock in the pouring rain while they sat and told ghost stories inside the shelter.  Have a little hiker etiquette! 

On this particular day, Nutella and I had the notion to make it to the White House Landing Hostel.  I wanted to experience this because you hike .9 on a blue blaze trail to a lake then toot a blow horn.  The hostel owner will hear that and pick you up with his boat!!  How cool does that sound?  This made a 28ish mile day for Nutella and I and because of that, we were running all day....literally.  This section of the 100 mile wilderness was flat, but because of the recent rain, mud soaked the trail which made it difficult to pick up speed.  However, we made it.  I was a little discouraged when on a tree I see a sign that said the hostel owner was a di*k.  We made it to the boat dock at 6pm, blew the horn and was picked up fantastically by the owner in his boat and we were greeted by a awesome group of hikers.  I couldn't have asked for a better group! 

White House Landing Hostel owners

Me, Chatty Kathy, Sacagawea, Tiny Dancer, Charlie Brown, Subway, Nutella, and 2 SOBOS

Thursday, September 27, 2012

27 September 2012

Nutella and I needed to resupply in Stratton, ME and it took about 30 minutes until someone stopped over for us.  It was a pickup so we invited the other hikers to join the ride!  This is what it looks when 6 hikers, plus their gear cram into the back of a small truck. 

23 September 2012

In Maine, there are many rivers, creeks, streams that you have to ford.  Luckily I haven't gotten wet yet. 

14 September 2012


I was walking in the woods, messing around with  my earbugs and I see a black butt in my face.  MOOSE!  She walks off to the side of the trail and I freeze.  I pull out my camera and wait for Nutella to hurry so he can see too.  It was really something special.  Her baby was around as well and we stood there for 30 minutes watching them eat.  It was magical.


11 September 2012

New Hampshire has many steep ups and downs.  This is what I look like when the temperature is freezing and I have to shimmy down a steep mountain. 

11 September 2012

In the White Mountains, there are huts that hikers can stay at that  Thru-hikers have the opportunity to work for stay meaning we give a couple hours of our time to help out around the huts in return for free dinner, shelter, and free breakfast.  My first work for stay was at the Zealand Hut and I had mixed feelings afterwards mainly because of the people/person in charge.  Overall, I was grateful to have that chance and it surely made for a warm night.


11 September 2012

I bought these thoses in Hamburg, PA and they lasted about 650 miles.  Do you think I need new ones?  Good thing I have new ones on the way!  My shoes were so drafty! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

04 September 2012

I am currently in the library in Hanover, NH!!!!
Nutella and I ran across some great trail magic on the side of the road.  Bagels, watermellons, banana nut bread, and tons of info about Hanover!

I have reached the Vermont/New Hampshire boarder!!!!

Friends, I have about 442 trail miles left.  I am entering the hardest 2 states, New Hampshire and Maine, and am so scared, but even more excited.  My deadline is 10 October 2012 and it is approaching quickly.  Please think of me as I finish my journey and wish me luck!
02 September 2012

Nutella and I were walking through the woods when we saw a line of people hiking the opposite way all carrying cardboard lunch boxes.  Nutella inquired about the boxes and we found out that they were from a wedding party that just hiked to a waterfall.  Turns out that some of them had food left over which they gave to us.  We had a really great lunch that day.  Turkey wraps, ginger cookies, and an apple.  Trail magic happens when you least expect it and that is always amazing!

22 August 2012

Upper Goose Pond Cabin was an unexpected stop.  We arrived in the morning and decided to have lunch there and run, but the place was so cool that we ended up staying the night.  The caretaker made us pancakes for breakfast!

15 August 2012

This is the morning view of my hammock after a very scary rain storm.  It is amazing how terrified I was during the middle of the night and how beautiful the morning turned out.  For 5 seconds during the storm, it sounded like a freight train passing an inch next to my hammock and then...a branch fell on me.  I freaked!  I tried getting out and fixing my rain fly, but my crocs were washed away by the river under my hammock.  In the morning, Mac was inches away from having a branch pierce his body.

13 August 2012

I went to NYC with a few awesome hiker buddies of mine.  We were in Pawling, NY and just could not get out of there out of pure laziness.  We decided to get on the train to NYC at ~7pm.  We arrived ~9pm and was thrown into Times Square where we met this homeless man that invited himself to dinner with us and then tried to make us pay for his drink.  Maybe we looked like easy bait, but we stood our ground!  He has an IPhone so how homeless could he be right? 

I really wish this photo came out clear.  This is a a bikini...and happily waving to everyone.

On the last night, we ended up at a bar until midnight and missed the last train back to Pawling.  We couldn't get a hotel so we ended up sleeping next to the public library.  A police officer stopped by and asked us about our situation during the wee hours of the morning.  When we explained to him that we were catching the 6am train, he let us stay there.  He even put up a fence so others couldn't see us.  That was the best trail magic ever!  This photo came out blurry too, but you can see Grady and Harrison asleep.  NYC was great!

This is the day after.  No one slept well on the street so we ended up at the laundry where everyone snoozed except me.  Our parents would be so proud.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

11 August 2012

Almost left without posting these awesome photos of my feet.

This is what Hiking 20+ mile days can do to them.

I call this collection:  The unveiling.

11 August 2012

A beautiful view after a grueling 3 mile hike today into town!

11 August 2012

Hello Friends~!
I am currently sitting in the library at Pawling, NY. 
Mile 1442 complete and have around 750 miles to go. 
Today has been a frustrating day so far.  The group I'm in has been walking in the rain for a few days, we had no dry clothes to wear, we were running out of food, and the total moral of the group was slowly diminishing.  We thought if we'd get into a town to take a shower, do laundry, and have a good meal, we would feel better, but it has become a challenge to do all those things. 

Have no fear!

This is how it works I suppose.  We've eaten, are all at the library, going to do laundry, and tonight we will all take hobo showers at the park.  Success!

Much has happened since 01 July 2012.

I made it to the mental half-way point in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Went into Washington, DC with some hiking buddies.

Made it to the actual half-way point.

Was almost attacked by some prehistoric insect.

Stayed in the smallest room ever at The Doyle in Duncannon, PA.

Went to jail.  I should say...stayed in jail at Palmerton, PA.

Made breakfast in the kitchen of a bar (trail magic!) called the Beer Stein, in Wind Gap, PA.

Saw a SOBO play his didgeridoo.

Walked across the most awesome foot bridge.

 and much much more.  It isn't often that I  come across a computer so I apologize for the lack of updates. 

Thank you all for the continued support!


Monday, July 2, 2012

01 July 2012

Hello friends~!
I'm here for a little update.  A few nights ago there was a massive thunderstorm that hit the Virginia (and others) area that I am currently at.  3 million people were out of power, but I think they cut that number back to a meer 1.5M now.  I haven't been on the trail for 4 days because of the damage (and a fire in the Shenandoah's), but am currently working on that asap.  I should be getting back on the trail tonight or in the morning.  I miss you all!

16 June 2012

Dragon's Tooth!

McAffee Knob!!

This is the most photographed spot on the whole AT!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

04 June 2012

I stayed in a Hostel called 'Wood's Hole' which I enjoyed immensely.  I arrived around dinner time and when the dinner bell rang, we held hands in a circle, said our trail names, where we were from, and what we were thankful for.  It was indeed awkward to begin with, but after other hikers said that they were thankful for the sun, fellowship, cool days, and places like Wood's Hole, we began to eat the most amazing organic, homemade meal.  I'm not sure if it was pure starvation or the hard work that went into the making of the meal itself, but still to this day, the meal at 'Wood's Hole' is the best I've had on the trail. 

One of the gates to their organic home grown veggies.

 One of many chickens running around the farm.