Friday, August 22, 2008

and then there were 2!

New Hampshire and Maine to go, thats it, and the weather is clearing up, Yeahh. We had a great time in VT but definately lokking forward to the Whites and the wilderness of Maine. Still meeting cool people who both assist and inspire us on our journey to Katahdin, which is becoming more of a tangible thing than a dream! Just a quick update then, as we're about to meet our good old earthcorps buddy Katherine. Hope all is well in the "real" world!
Moon shining in as we're getting ready for sleep. Stealth camping just before Styles Peak made for a beautiful night.

Practiced pose atop Bromley Mountain. This tower gave us a five-state view!

Rock cairns line the trail. Strange, yet peaceful.

Work for stay at the Back Home Again Cafe was amazing! Plus we got to meet up again with our dear friend, Blaze, whose been recovering from Lyme meningitis-yikes! We helped clean up around the cafe in exchange for a bed, shower, and delicious food!

Also, we helped out in the bakery bagging bread and making pitas! This place is awesome and so are the people. Definitely plan to go back to visit.
Slightly blurry, but hoot is pointing out that we are departing The Long Trail and veering right to follow the AT to New Hampshire. The Long Trail continues on to Canada, perhaps we will complete it some day....

The lookout from the "lookout farm cabin". Beautiful views recently and great weather makes hiking 20 miles not so tough.

Yea!!! I won! Made it to New Hampshire! Here we are crossing the Connecticut River that marks the boundary between VT/NH. Two states left, supposedly the two hardest, but we're ready!!!

Welcome to Hanover, NH. Home of Dartmouth College and our new friend, Zemora. She started the trail back in GA and got off to get back to work here in Hanover. To the right is "Just Mike" fellow thru-hiker from Australia. We pitched in to sticker books for fun!

Back to School. Here I am walking on the Dartmouth College Campus. I think I would have fit in with a smaller backpack.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

11 down, 3 to go!

The trail life is really getting interesting now. We've discovered the beauty of taking our time and taking advantages of opportunities, like working on the farm. We are both excited about being in the northeast for the first time. Hopeful of great views from big mountains and big wildlife (moose!) We've come close to 1600 miles and are in no hurry to finish. The hardest times are dealing with the weather. It seems to rain everyday, which has in turn created a muddy, slippery trail. We get frustrated and then the sun eventually comes out and everything feels good again. We are wrapping up our "off" days and looking forward to moving up. Here's a few recent pics:

Our stay at Upper Goose Pond cabin was extended for a pleasant canoeing trip!

Scenic shots of the pond, beautiful day.
And we agreed to fill up the water jugs of spring water for our fellow hikers, we earn our keep.

Crossing over I-90....could've turned for Seattle, but we're still Katahdin bound.
A stop at the "Cookie Lady's" house who we didn't actually meet, but her husband Roy was great! We helped mow around the blueberry bushes in exchange for a place to camp!
The blueberries are ending their season but we picked a few for the road.

The much raved about Heinz Beans, thanks to Allie! We enjoyed them atop Mt. Greylock.

Vermont! (thats what i'm pointing at by the way) We made it through mud and all. For the next hundred miles we will be walking both the AT and the Long Trail, which was the first long distance trail established in the U.S. The AT then branches off east into New Hampshire and the Long Trail continues north in Vermont to Canada.

Georgie ( Kev's sis) trekked from Saratoga Springs, NY through beat up country "roads" to find us. She left trail magic for those behind us and took us to her home for some great R & R. We even went out to the Orchestra! Thanks for everything, especially the cinnamon toast crunch!
Now we are getting back on near Bennington, VT. 3 more beautiful states to travel!

a day on the farm

In Sheffield, Mass. we did work-for-stay at "The moon in the Pond" farm. work 8 hours and get 3 farm-made meals, a shower and a tent spot next to the pond. they had dairy cows, goats, large black pigs, chickens, geese, guinea hens and of course the farm dogs and rat-catching cats. the food was some of the best on the trail. the dinner consisted of all organic vegetables produced on the farm except for the neighbors cucumbers, delectable. joe and jason taking a couple of cows to be milked

harvesting potatoes, blue skin and katahdin's?!, which we got to cook up later on our travels.

weeding and mulching the onion beds with a southbound (SOBO) hiker Turtle took up most of our work time. a good break from hiking.

Jason (who apparently is a nephew of Eddie Brickell and now Paul Simon), Dominic (who runs the joint), and Ryan (apprentice who went to Sterling College with a couple of our americorps friends). Very cool pit stop!

new york, new england & other new things

still going the right way
new york was very challenging. an array of obstacles besiged us with every climb, such as...

...gargantuanally imposing rocks - like the infamous lemon squeezer,

...giant clusters of mushrooms hiding behind trees and jumping out at us,

...poorly made tents whose zippers have to be fixed by the one and only amazing woman and seamstress, Ravon!,

...scores of real "civilians" invading the trail at Bear Mtn. park which contains a zoo, lodge, massive swimming pool, museum, shoreline on the Hudson and the only tunnel we will go under (spot the hiker - keychain, naked time, burass & chuck enjoying the scenery w/ us and wondering if us hikers were maybe part of the zoo exhibit?),

...nosey cows, and of course ticks, boulder climbs and the beginning of the wet season!

aahh, Connecticut will put things into a new england perspective,

spirit walker is a great man. offered up his house, and hot tub, for a few thru-hikers. we partook in beers and delicious food. the Dr. hikes a lot on sections of the trail, sometimes with his son 'funk', who thru-hiked the AT in '02.
Great Falls, Housatonic river, which we paralleled on and off for some 25 miles,

Mass. already! CT flew by but had some fantastic rivers (due to an unprecedented amount of rain) and vistas.

This is what i mean about the rain. at times it got a little out of hand, as you can see the trail can turn into a brook. we've had around 5 days, between NY and VT, where its been torrential downpour. getting caught in it sucks, and although we've got pack covers, with this much water coming down we might as well have jumped into a lake with our backpacks on. usually the sun will come out soon after to help us dry out...

...and keep us on the path to katahdin.