Our crew arrived in Hanover, New Hampshire yesterday morning Friday the 24th of August. As of this point I have traveled over 1700 miles and only have 440 miles left along with a small section to finish in New York and Jersey.
A lot has happened since the last blog update. I was able to finish up Virginia just in time to make it to Washington DC for the 4th of July. After my Washington DC adventure I made my way back to Harper’s Ferry, WV. This ended up being a pivotal point in my journey. I made it about 40 miles outside of Harper’s Ferry only to become sick with Giardia. I won’t go into details but some symptoms include: explosive diarrhea, gas, and vomiting. I was bed ridden in a hotel for 2 days then more bad news came my way, I found out that two of the guys that I had been hiking with had decided to go home, one for financial reasons and the other for a potential job opportunity in Alaska. I was completely devastated sitting in a hotel sick with the feeling of knowing that the original crew of four that started together had dwindled down to only myself. I was able to get medical treatment the next day and started antibiotics, but now it was me back in the woods a day behind the rest of our party.
After a few days back on the trail two sisters, Veggie and Sarah, who I had been hiking with met a group of guys called the circus. The circus was orchestrated by our ringleader, Crawdad, who has a truck and would slack pack people up the trail. (Slack packing is when you carry only water and food for the day and hike to a set destination where your pack is kept.) I was able to keep my mileage up while recovering from my sickness and dealing with the side effects of Antibiotics in 90 and 100 degree weather. The circus was fun and we were able to put in big days doing consecutive 20 + miles a day, our biggest day was 28 miles which wasn’t my best on the trail, but it was still a big day for us. One of the highlights while I was with the circus was when we reached Wind Gap. The owner of Beermiester a local bar and restaurant loved hikers, so he let us come in early on a Sunday morning and cook a full breakfast. Grizzly, Shine, Brawny, and I cooked scrambled eggs, hash browns with egg, sausage, onion, garlic, and bell pepper.Reaching last 20 percent of Pennsylvania I was able to stay with Fudgy and Sancho at their home in Wind Gap, PA. From their house a group of us were able to slack pack the rest of the Pennsylvania and see the Yuengling Brewery which was amazing.
Next we got into Jersey, the home of the two girls, Veggie and Sarah, where I was able to take another side adventure, Sarah took Grizzly and I to the Jersey Shore for the day which ended up being pretty exciting. I didn’t get to see Snookie and the Situation, but it was still a worthwhile trip. I made my way deeper into Jersey then took a trip to visit my brother and some buddies in NYC. Manhattan was great I got to the city and realized how much I missed the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, I quickly re acclimated myself to the buses and subway and went about town visiting places that I didn’t visit on my first go around in the city e.g. 911 memorial, the Cloisters, and lady liberty. After a few days in the city I made my way back to the trail. I jumped ahead in New York and made my way into Connecticut.*
Once I made it into Connecticut I was able to spend a little time at Hook’s house in New Milford, CT. Hook was one of the original guys that I hiked with. While I was there I found out that Solsberry Hill’s job in Alaska didn’t work out. So just as quickly as we disbanded the crew was back together. We waited for the rest of our group to meet up in Connecticut then we all headed out back on that dusty trail.
It’s been really good since New York, Connecticut was beautiful, Massachusetts was even nicer and we also had some great trail magic in Massachusetts with Tom Levardi in Dalton Mass along with Buttons in Great Barrington, Mass. We made it to the top of Greylock which was the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. From this mountain you can see New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.
Vermont was the next state on the trail after we left Massachusetts and it was absolutely beautiful. The weather has been perfect and the lakes and ponds that we have passed in the past few hundred miles have been breathtaking, nearly every day we were by a swimming or fishing hole and it helps because I went thru a stretch for about 2.5 weeks where I didn’t not shower, so as you can only imagine swimming in a lake is the next closest thing to getting clean. A few days ago we made it into Woodstock, Vermont where one of Hooks buddies lives and owns a farm we were able to help him out at the farmers market and he recruited us for a day to help take care of all the livestock and produce. We also helped him process 31 chickens.
*I plan on making up the section I missed in New York and Jersey once I finish in Maine.