Sunday, June 28, 2009

Greetings from Megan

I typed up the below e-mail Friday night but couldn't get it to send. Quick update: had a great visit with Tania and spent most of the weekend at a hiker feed in Duncannon. Scott got to play some pool, so he's happy. Once we get a ride back to the trail, we're going to hike about 10 miles today, then tomorrow we start doing some serious hiking again. We're having a great time and are really looking forward to the second half of our hike.

Hello from PA! Although I haven't sent an e-mail in awhile, Scott and I are still moving right along on the Applachian Trail. We crossed the halfway point on Wednesday; as of today we've hiked 1,121.9 miles and have 1,056.4 to go. After hiking for something like 500 miles in Virginia, we knocked out West Virginia and Maryland in a few days and are now in Pennsylvania, our 7th of 14 states. On average, we hike between 15-20 miles per day. We slowed down a bit the past week for a few reasons. First, Scott caught a flu bug or something and was feeling pretty lousy, so we took a zero at Pen-Mar Park, right on the Mason Dixon Line, and took it slow for a few days after that until he was feeling back up to par. Then yesterday we only hiked a half day and met up with Hometown and Black Betty, the '08 thru-hiker and his wife who put us up in Franklin, NC. They're on their way up the east coast and met up to visit and fix us a steak dinner! Tomorrow my friend and former IDEM co-worker Tania is coming to visit, and I'm sure she's bringing chocolate!

As you can tell, food is a big deal out here. We eat a lot, and supposedly burn about 6,000 calories per day. One of our new favorite staples is cake frosting. It's a little heavy, but it's great on cookies, tortillas with peanut butter, on pop tarts, by the spoonful, etc. Mmmmm frosting. Lately we've been picking lots of wild blueberries and blackberries, which is a real treat because we don't eat much fruit out here since its heavy and doesn't pack well. We also just participated in the half gallon challenge--eating a half gallon of ice cream at the halfway point. Scott finished his moose tracks (3,500 calories!) and I finished almost all of my chocolate but must admit I left a bit of melty ice cream residue in the bottom of the carton.

Here's a funny story: in the Shanendoahs the trail often runs very close to roads, campgrounds, etc. One morning we were hiking along and saw some granola bars along the side of the trail so we stopped to check them out (people often leave "trail magic" for hikers). Little did we know, about 30ft away was a campground, and the granola bars were a diversion to give the campers watching us from their lawn chairs a chance to get their cameras ready. As we walked away, they snapped our picture, capturing a shot of real live thru-hikers in their natural environment to show their friends back home. They also told us about the bear they'd watched in similar fashion, through their camper window.

Plenty more stories to tell, but I should get some sleep. It's well past hiker midnight--9 o'clock. I hope all is well back home. If anyone has questions, or news or stories we may not have heard, feel free to send them my way.

Take care!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mason Dixon Line

6/17 Mile 1012.8-Harpers Ferry, WV

6/18 Mile 1019.8-Ed Garvey Shelter. We're in Maryland for a few miles now.

6/19 Mile 1038.0-Annapolis Rock. Great views from this campsite.

6/20 Mile 1054.3-Camped out .1 from the Mason Dixon Line in Maryland. Our last night in the South and I've got another Flu bug.

6/21 Mile 1054.4-Took a zero mile day to rest off the Flu and let our smokin feet cool off. Anyway, we did move .1N and camp in Yankee territory tonight. We'll be in PA for awhile now.

6/22 Mile 1062.7-Tumbling Run Shelters-feeling better today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Leaving Virginia

6/12 Mile 950-Hogcamp Gap-Hiking with our good freind Toothpick has been fun. We saw bear # 4 today. Still no cubs yet.
6/13 Mile 959.5-Front Royal, VA. We had only planned to come in to this to town mail some more clothes home, resupply, and grab a bite to eat, but when we got to the P.O. A nice local offered us a ride anywhere we might need to go. She also gave us her phone # and offered her floor for us to sleep on. She might have mentioned something about a poolhall that we ended up going to for a few hours also. We ended up taking her offer to stay for the night. A few cold beers and a couch to relax on won us over. By the way, bear #5 today. Smaller than the others but not a cub.
6/14 Mile 974.8-Dicks Dome shelter- we tented nearby this shelter that looks like an alien spaceship in a cheap 50's SI/FI
Movie. Bears 6 and 7 were a mother bear and a cute little cub that ran 50ft up a tree when we accidently spooked it. The cub stayed there for half a minute
and then crawled down the tree as easily as it ran up and left with it's mother. A very cool sight to see.
6/15 Mile 990.1-Sam Moore Shelter-we're right in the middle of the notorious Rollercoaster section of the trail. A 13.5mile section with 10 ascents and descents that are no easy task for any hiker to complete in one day. So we'll finish tomorrow morning, hopefully before sun slows us down. What what, no bears today.
6/16 just taking a break for now. We'll post up a few miles before Harpers Ferry tonight and enjoy yet another relaxing day in town tomorrow. Pretty soon, we'll do some serious miles again. It may be deceiving, but the guidebook shows some fairly easy terrain coming up with smaller elevation changes. I've had a few blisters on my toes for the last week and they're finally feeling better too. Anyway, today we leave the great state of Virginia and enter West Virginia.
Still Chuggin Along,
Scooner & Ferdy

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009