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It's Going To Be Hard To Leave

Day 129 Sunday July 30, 2017 Miles: ZERO Weather: Awesome Slepted at the Douel's It's going to be so hard to leave here. Breakfast was amazing So much fresh fruit, pastries for Shortcake and Batman and they even researched gluten free so I had cereal and toast to fill my empty tummy. They were so thoughtful. Lunch was another fiesta but supper was a banquet with steak and chicken, roasted baked potatoes with carrot and onions, summer squash with zucchini cubes, corn on the cob, and feta cheese. I think I had thirds. I am so grateful for my all my friends I have, past, present and future. Not just because they have provided amenities for my hike but for the love and support they have shown me

New Trail Angels

Day 128 Saturday July 29, 2017 Miles: 1388.3 - 1402.9    Completed: 14.6 Time: 6:42am - 4:45pm Weather: Cooler, Warm, beautiful sky Lots of deer sights today. First we saw two lambs and a doe. Then two does and one solo. They are so pretty. We never get tired of them. We saw the NY sky line from a ridge top. That's as close to the city as I ever want to go. I am one of the few Americans who has no desire to visit the Big Apple. I really don't. But seeing it from a distance was cool and it kept me immune to all the hustle and crowds of what large cities have to offer. The picture doesn't show it but it was as clear to us. It looked just like all the photos and paintings of the city you might

Copperheads Galore

Day 127 Friday July 28, 2017 Miles: 1374.0 - 1388.3    Completed: 14.3 Time: 7:30am - 6:18pm Weather: Cloudy and Hot The day was awesome. We worked hard over steep forest climbs under gigantic tall forests and tough rock squeezes and scrambles. The trail was like a rollercoaster except our descents did not propel us up and over the next climb. It was another fun New York day on the trail. We saw our first copperhead snake. If only it was one. There were copperheads galore. In the above photo there are atleast 6 snakes if not 7. It's hard to see them but they are there and preventing any hiker from enjoying a rest on the outcropping vista. Four were coiled up together in the shade of the tree

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Day 126 Thursday July 27 2017 Mile: 1362.1 - 1374.0    Completed:    11.9 Time: 7:55am - 5:40pm Weather: Cloudy, slightly humid and a little misty Black Bear Photo by shortcake We have exited New Jersey and entered our 9th state. New York has been so much fun. That's my description. If you ask most other hikers they will say how hard it's been. It has lots of rocks but not like the relentless PA stones. Here in NY it's more like a jungle gym. We had our first rebar climb. I just love the climbing. Shortcake Black Bear and Shortcake We have also been rewarded with nice views after climbs and or just a pleasant forest to be on. Much less under growth and trail overgrowth. The best part of the

Patience Is The Key

Day 125 Wednesday July 26, 2017 Miles: 1350.4 - 1362.1    Completed: 11.7 Time: 6:35am - 2:00pm Weather: Partly cloudy, cooler, cloudy One could not have asked for a better day to be on the trail. If only I would heed my own advice. Patience is the key. It seems like I get to a point where I can only handle so much yuck before I have a melt down. Hence my blog  a couple days ago. If only I would stop, take a deep breathe, and hang on just little longer all will change. In our short 11.7 miles today we saw everything. The trail was easy and gentle at times with no grade. It was a roller coaster with sharp ups and downs with rocky ascents. There were boardwalks, suspension bridges and planked

A Visit From Heaven

Day 124 Tuesday July 25, 2017 Miles: 1338.0 - 1350.4    Completed: 12.4 Time: 7:35am - 3:30pm Tenting at Pochuck Shelter I slept descent last night. The rain stopped at some point but the droplets from the canopy danced off my tent all night. I do like sleeping in the rain. It blocks all noise whether it's snoring or loud people and also forest noises. I can't hear animals lurking outside scaring me half to death. Instead of being nervous the rain blocks all that out and if there was a ferocious animal it would be a quick death that I didn't know was coming. The two large groups of hikers quieted down quickly after dark and I was soon asleep. My pity party attitude helped I'm sure. I only wo

It's Been No Bed Of Roses Lately

Day 123 Monday July 24, 2017 Miles: 1325.0 - 1338.0    Completed: 13.0 Time: 10:47am - 7pm Weather: Cloudy, cooler, ended in rain Tenting at High Point Shelter Sleeping in is a rare occasion out here so we took advantage of the rain keeping us put. That sounds plus the 3:30am arrival of the two hikers disturbed our sleep. Once the rain stopped we packed up and headed out. Still rocky. It's been no bed of roses lately. It seems like all I do is complain about this or complain about that. I try hard to keep the joy in my heart but all we do it hike, set up camp and go to bed. The next day do it all over again. We talk very little any more. Not sure why. I think we are just tired. Today I only

Sometimes You Have To Bend The Rules

Day 122 Sunday July 23, 2017 Miles:1308.6 - 1325.0 completed: 16.8 Time: 7:35am - 7:00pm Weather: Cloudy, Humid, Rain Tenting inside Gren Anderson Shelter The rocks continue to spew over further into Nee Jersey. I can navigate them pretty successfully but they do tire my ankles more then I prefer. Shortcake on the other hand struggles for foot placement. Between both of us the rocks slow us down considerably. Our days are long and we are exhausted when we get done. Add wet crain conditions to the mix and you have two angry hikers. The second night of wetness out after glamping we decided to set our tents up in the shelter. It was after 7pm and no one else was around. The weather forecast cal

Never Underestimate The Powers of Batman

Day 121 Saturday July 22, 2017 Miles: 1295.3 - 1308.6 Completed: 13.3 Time: 8:38am - 6:10pm Weather: cloudy, hot and balmy Tenting at mile 1308.6 We are back in the woods after another wonderful stretch of slack packing and glamping. We really enjoy and appreciate the amenities of the real world but it is also so wonderful to be back on the trail. One draw back of town days and slack packing is you get out of the hiking groove. Every hiker develops his or her own routine of set up, take down, hiking and etc. when you go to town or slack pack that routine is disrupted. On our days off I try hard to keep my routine as close to my trail as possible to prevent mishaps like today. Almost a mil

Time To Get Serious Again

Day 120 Friday July 20, 2017 Miles: ZERO HOTEL Sheraton in Parsippany, NJ We are rested and we'll feed so it's time to get serious again and hit the trail. We are in our hotel chilling. We have slowly done our zero day chores over these last three days. Our resupply, laundry and repacking are done. All we have to do is rest and watch TV while we wait for the sun to go down. It feels great having nothing to do. After watching the documentary on our 2015 hike I can't wait to hit the trail for more fun and to test my character and will. I was one tough cookie two years ago. This year I seem to be so whimpy. Maybe it's because I know I can handle it if I have to but since I have options I prefer

The Premiere Of Walking Home

Day 119 Thursday July 20, 2017 Miles: ZERO Weather: Hot in Maine also Hotel in Saco Good things are always worth waiting for. The premiere of Walking Home by Ryan Leighton was not just good but incredibly awesome. It originally was slated for last October. But as I told Ryan, "master pieces don't happen overnight." The sole reason for Shortcake and myself leaving the trail for three days was for our weekly rest and to make the trip to Maine for the screening of this film. It was a sold out theatre for his hometown crowd in Boothbay, Maine. Ryan's editing skills brought the trail to life not just by film, narrative, and music but through heart and soul also. He said it best when he explained

A Little Family Trail Magic On Our Zero

Day 118 Wednesday July 19, 2017 Miles: Zero Time: Last one up Weather: Hot and Humid The Jordan's House CT I can't say enough about the importance of having time off from the trail. I love being out in the woods and seeing everything this amazing world has to offer. The physical and mental exertion makes me feel more alive then any other time of my life. But even good things only stay good in when done in moderation. For me, one week on the trails followed by a break is perfect. Two weeks is doable and three weeks is way too long. Yesterday our impromptu decision to take today off was a great idea. We were going to hike today and head to Maine to see a movie premiere. But out of the blue I s

You Can Have Excuses Or You Can Have Your Dreams

Day 117 Tuesday July 18, 2017 Miles: 1279.1 - 1295.3  completed: 17.2 Weather: Hot and cloudy At Suzanne and Jay's house in CT That was an interesting night! Yesterday we were so pleased with our efforts tackling the rocks, beating the storm, and getting in early. We were ready to enjoy a relaxing evening in the hotel. That was foiled by the power outage caused by the storm. By the time we were able to check into the room we had barely enough time to shower and get to bed for a full night's sleep. So we hoped. Falling asleep was easy. We were all exhausted. Staying asleep was the issue. The hotel was having electrical problems and the fire alarm went off 5 times. By the third false alarm we

Nothing Lasts Forever

Day 116 Monday July 17, 2017 Miles: 1262.7 - 1278.1    Completed: 15.4 Time: 7:33am - 4:03pm Weather: Cloudy and humid. Tstorm Hotel My gear has been breaking down on me. First it was my poles. They started showing signs of wear a month ago. One tip had worn 1/4 inch more than the other. Now after miles of Pennsylvania's rocks neither pole has the carbide tip so necessary for gripping. Several weeks ago my tent decided to rip. I managed to preform surgery with some Tenacious Tape and it's working fine. Hasn't leaked in any of the storms. I damaged my Lifeproof case. Can you imagine that!!!  Only I could destroy something indestructible.  Love the warranty. A new one should be arriving any da

The World Is Our Playground

Day 115 Sunday July 16, 2017 Miles: 1252.4 - 1262.7    Completed: 10.3 Weather: Sunny and hot Hotel at Residence Inn The world is our playground and today we had an all day pass to unlimited climbing. Almost unlimited. Time was not on our hand. We had short miles planned so we took our time climbing Blue Mountain in PA. We spend so many days in a green tunnel of the forest it was fun to be on the open rocks high above the road below. We hiked from the ridge on the far right, down through the power line Swartz, then across the bridge and up to the spot where the above pic was taken. Shortcake Batman Shortcake and Black Bear We had so much fun climbing this short rock pile. It's the site of a

This Girl Needs To Eat More

Day 114 Saturday July 15, 2017 Miles: 1240.0 - 1252.4   Completed: 12.4 Time: 6:39am - 3:30pm Weather: Cloudy, not as hot, wet rocks Photo by Sharon Cassidy Another rainy night. It started pouring again about 11pm and continued until early morning. It was a nice rain. The kind that drowns out the noise and lulls you to sleep. I was glad for that because when it stopped I could hear the snoring all the way from the shelter. Glad I chose to tent. I started my morning as usual. I began packing up my sleep system and sleep clothes. Once they were securely inside their dry bags I reached for my wet hiking clothes. They never dry over night. They were at the bottom of my tent. When I grabbed them

Melt Down Stretch

Day 113 Friday July 14, 2017 Miles: 1232.6 - 1240    Completed: 7.4 Time: 8:53am - 1:30pm Weather: Pouring Tenting at Allentown Hiking Club Shelter I could sum today up with 5 words, short day, rain, and rocks. But that wouldn't be very interesting for you. I'll use my creativity and add some spice. We had almost 18 miles planned for today to keep on track for where we want to meet Batman tomorrow. But yesterday's forecast of no rain that started at 2:30pm and was still coming down when we set out today at 8:53am slowed our momentum. This particular stretch is rockier then what we have seen. We had large boulder fields, small rocks, and medium stones. All of which were wet, slippery and trea

This Is Beach Weather Not Hiking Weather

Day 112 Thursday July 13, 2017 Miles: 1223.5 - 1232.6 Completed: 9.1 Time: 7:44am - 2:00pm Weather: Cloudy and HOT Tenting at Eckville Shelter I am not sure I can take any more of this heat. I always used to say I love the heat. Keep in mind I am a Maine girl and our summers rarely get above 80 degrees. These continuous mercury pushing spells are more then this snow girl can handle. I told Shortcake this is beach weather not hiking weather. It's so hot I need a squeegie for my body. There are few words to describe the sweaty, balmy, dirty state of our bodies. AT hikers are not playing with a full deck. I truly believe if a study was done on the brains of long distance hikers researchers w

Nothing Left Except Lips And Toenails

Day 111 Wednesday July 10, 2017 Miles: 1208.8 - 1223.5 completed: 14.7 Time: 7:28am - 5:45pm Weather: Hot and humid If there was a day to quit today would have been it. Two nights of bad sleep in a row makes for difficult hiking. Add that to Pennsylvania rocks, a hurting knee, and temperatures to make the Devil himself sweat and you have a quitting recipe. Good thing I incorporated a few more ingredients to turn my frown upside down. I couldn't do anything about the humidity but I could tend to my knee and adjust my attitude. I hiked slower, more diligently, and took a long break to rest my knee. Also enlisted the help of vitamin I also known as Ibuprofen by hikers. For my attitude I

No More Glamping For Awhile

Day 110 Tuesday July 11, 2017 Miles: 1193.7 - 1208.8   Completed: 15.1 Time: 8:58am - 6:10pm Weather: Cloudy and humid slightest breeze at times BUGGY Tenting near Eagles Nest Shelter We are back in the woods. No more glamping for awhile. We left the Girl Scout camp shuttled by Swamp and Lingo. It was hard leaving. Camp was fun and it was nice talking with all the campers. In fact BB didn't leave. She is hanging out for one more day. The rocks are out in mass now on the trail. At least 13 miles involved large amounts of stone. The above section would be considered smooth. The rocks weren't the challenge of the day. It was the black flies and mosquitoes. I had to apply repellent 5 times. Most


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