Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Visitor from Ferdinand

7/24 Mile 1,511.6-At mile marker 666 from Katahdin, we camped in a little hell hole on the side of the trail that I like to call Mosquito City.

7/25 Mile 1,526-Unmarked Campsite-We welcomed an ex-neighbor of Ferdy's/family friend/current resident of Mass., Greg Kemper along to hike with us for a couple of days. We also welcomed the sandwiches and Margharitas he brought. Unlike the unlucky Digger, who's visit included a 16 mile hike in the rain, our trio enjoyed clear skies and a nice lake swim at the top of our biggest climb.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In Conneticut

7/17 Mile 1,410.9-Clarence Fahnestock State Park

7/18 Mile 1,426.6-Mt. Egbert

7/190Mile 1,443.2-Wiley Shelter

7/20 Mile 1,455.9-Kent, Connitecut (Fife & Drum Inn)-We stayed with a Mother and Son couple that go by the names Tallgrass (son) and Coffeebean (mom). we met them all the way back in the Smokies, and we've seen them numerous times along the way. Sadly, Coffeebean fell and tore the cartalidge in her knee. This will almost definitely end their journey for this year. We've seen quite a few people leave the trail on their own accord because they've had enough of this experience, but Tallgrass and Coffeebean had high hopes of completing their goal this year.
Also, not to make Ferdy's episode with Lymes disease any less special, but we've heard of about five other cases just recently. Our great friend Pellet supposedly experienced facial Palsy before he got it checked out.

7/21 Mile 1,462.9-Stewart Hollow Brook Lean-to-The shelters are all called lean-tos in Connecticut but they look no different from shelters. We stopped after hiking for 7 miles in nonstop rainfall. With a forecast of rain until midnight, we'll just lay in the tent and read or listen to the pitter patter. Right now, Ferdy is literally chugging from a bottle of honey that someone left behind.

7/22 mile 1491, Falls Village, CT -- After asking directions to McDonalds from a nice woman and her son, they informed us it was a good six miles away and invited us to their house for dinner instead. We were served two kinds of pasta from Italy and homemade cheese and bread from the farm her husband works on. Thanks Paul, Theresa and Liam for the great food and hositality!

7/23 mile 1,496.1; 682.2 miles to go; Sages Ravine Brook Campsite -- We crossed over into Massachusetts this afternoon and called it quits just after the border to make sure we got camp set up before it started raining. Its been pretty wet lately -- no shortage of water as previously mentioned.

Greetings from Megan

Hello from Connecticut! I wanted to update you on a few things since my last e-mail.

First, for those of you who know Scott, I wanted to remind you his birthday is coming up on August 8. If you'd like to send him a card or anything, you can mail it to the below address. I know he'd love to hear from folks back home. It might be a good idea to mail early in case we are ahead of schedule.

Scott Schipp
c/o Base Camp Outfitters
2363 U.S. 4
Killington, VT 05751
Hold for AT thru-hiker
ETA August 8

Second, I keep forgetting to mention the idea that Scott's dad, John, came up with when they visited us way back in Tennessee. He thought it would be neat if we asked friends and family to pledge a penny for every mile we hike to be donated to Make-A-Wish. If we make it all the way, it would be $21.78. Of course, donations of any amount would be appreciated. If you're interested, you can contact John at

Finally, an update on the hike. Since my last e-mail, we finished Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. We're now in Connecticut and should be in Massachusetts within a few days. Shortly after my last e-mail, I was sick for several days with what turned out to be Lyme disease. Luckily we caught it early; I got some antibiotics and started feeling better by the next day so it didn't slow us down much.

Take care!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Zoo

7/15 Mile 1,379.4-Arden Valley Rd.-Less than 800 miles to go.
7/16 Mile 1,394.7-Hemlock Springs Campsite-The trail took us through a zoo today. Liturally, we walked through the Bear Mtn. Zoo where we saw bears, coyotes, a bobcat, and a few other animals that are much better to see in the wild. As soon as we exited the zoo, we crossed over the Hudson River via the Bear Mtn. bridge.

-- Post From My iPhone

New York

7/12 Mile 1,335-Unionville, NY- We slipped across the border to stay in New York at the Ex-Mayor Of Unionville's house. He runs a hostel for hikers where he allows them to bathe, eat, drink, and sleep, and he doesn't ask for a dime. He allowed 747 hikers to sleep in his basement last year. As a house rule, everytime someone says a four syllable word, they owe a quarter to the donation cup.

7/13 Mile 1,340,Miles from Katahdin 830.1-Mt.Wawayand-Our last full day in New Jersey.

7/14 Mile 1364-Wildcat Shelter-Cross New Jersey off the list; we're now in New York. Only complaint right now is that the water is scarce. That just means we carry a little more in between sources, and our packs are heavier. It's not like we're facing dehydration, in case you were worried (Mom).

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The New Jersey Wilderness

7/9 Mile 1,283.6-Delaware Water Gap- We walked into town just in time to help some hikers finish up a feast that a local Presbytarian church had prepared. Apparently thay've been doing this for hikers every Thursday of the summer months since the 70's. We have less than 900 miles to go now and our legs are like machines. So for the final stretch of the journey we'll be holding ourselves back just to ensure we don't finish too early and go back to work.

7/10 Mile 1299.-Beautiful Vista-We're tenting on the side of a ridge that should have a nice view for a sunrise. We saw a Rattlesnake today at the Mohican Outdoor Center, and we took a lot of pictures of it from just 5ft away. Then a man who hoped he knew what he was doing tried to capture the small beast with two poles and a bucket in order to relocate it somewhere far from the visitor center. We were told to move somewhere far away so we wouldn't be in danger. 15ft wasn't for enough and we were scolded for not understanding that this might be a danger zone. We thought he might just be nervous with the procedure, since it was his first time, so we moved back to our picnic table and finished our lunch about 75ft from the action. A few minutes later we were told that this was still too close and we needed to go inside until he had caught it. I don't see how it would harm us at that distance, but we decided to just move along and not cause anymore stress for the poor man than he already had.
Speaking of stress, I saw a bear tonight as I was looking for a place to hang the bear bag. Now Yogi knows right where to go for a midnight snack. Not only that, we saw two other bears within 3 miles of our campsite. Not even the scented sunblock is in the tent tonight. Oh yes, almost forgot, we're in New Jersey now.

7/11 Mile 1,314.9-Gren Anderson Shelter-The mosquitos decided to really make their presence known in the last few days. We both look like we have the chicken pox now. Nothing a little 99.8% Deet won't fix.
On a more interesting note, while Ferdy and I were scoping out a spot to set up the tent a man we call Sherpa walked by and said very casually, "hey watch out, there's a bear behind you". Ferdy wasn't about to be fooled and decided just to look at him and smile as if to say, good one man. I did look, and I saw a huge bear only 50ft from where we were standing. Finally, Ferdy read the expression on my face and looked to see the giant waltzing along in our backyard.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shaking off Lymes

7/8 Mile 1,263.4-Leroy A. Smith Shelter- Ferdy is feeling much better today, though she is still shaking off the lymes. The crawl out of Lehigh Gap wasn't as bad as the locals had warned us it would be since we got on the trail early enough that the sun didn't beat us down. It was actually fun to climb the side of a mountain that didn't have any trees on it, but rocks and boulders instead. A lot of the day's hike was walking on trail with nothing but softball sized rocks. With our new shoes cushioning the edges, we're of the few people not struggling with a mental breakdown.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

News from Ferdy

7/7 mile 1,247.5 -- from Ferdy: We stayed in Palmerton last night at a free hostel in the basement of the Borough Hall. I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I have Lyme disease. We went to the emergency room this morning after I found a bullseye on my back. The good news is that the doctor said I'm good to keep hiking as long as I feel up to it. He wrote me a perscription for a two week antibiotic (which may cause nausea and vomitting, but hopefully not) so we'll just see how it goes. We'll leave town either later this evening or tomorrow morning because the climb out is over exposed rocks with some hand-over-hand climbing--not something we want to do during the hottest part of the day if possible. As usual, we'll keep you posted.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, July 5, 2009

First week of July

7/1 mile 1,186-Just S of Round Head, Shower Steps-We called it quits a little early again in order to stay dry. The rain prevented us from going another 1/2mile to a good camping spot with water(a small victory for the Rain Gods).
We did get to use a solar shower only a couple miles back at a very nice shelter called the 501 shelter. Ferdy wasn't to comfortable with the ice cold only option, but it beats not bathing at all.
In a couple days we'll enter the rockiest part of the trail, AKA Rocksylvania. This will require an upgrade in the shoe department and a little more Ibuprofen intake.

7/3 mile 1,210.5-Pocahontas Spring- We picked up some new shoes from a local Cabella's. We didn't stay in town for tha 4th, even though a family was having a party with a ton of food. Instead, we'll walk a short distance tomorrow to the Pinnacle. This will provide an optimal view for a few different firework displays hopefully.

7/4 mile 1,217.1-The Pinnacle-Happy Independence Day! So far the night hasn't fallen yet, but we've seen a dozen hawks flying around and that's probably more entertaining then the fireworks we'll see. A local informed us that the firework laws are very strict in this state. Oh well, I don't think we've ever felt more independent then we do right now.

7/5 we're only going 2-5 miles today. Ferdy has picked up the same flu bug that I had 2 weeks ago, and we just need to move on to a water source.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Half Gallon Challenge

6/23 Mile 1,076.4-Sandy Sod Junction

6/24 Mile 1,092.2-Pine Grove Furnace Park- We completed the Half Gallon Challenge, which includes eating a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting. Afterward, we camped just North of the park.

6/25 Mile 1,102.8-Mt.Holly Springs, PA-Hometown and Black Betty picked us up here and drove us back to Pine Grove Furnace Park for steaks and more good stories about his hike.

6/26 Mile 1,121.9-Scott Farm Trail Work ATC Center-we hitched with a ridgerunner from Rockport, IN to a hiker feed in Duncannon. That's right, his parents own and operate the Drive-in.

6/27 Mile 1,128.2-Pa.850- We hiked with Ferdy's Ex-coworker and friend, Tania for a few miles and went back to the hiker feed in Duncannon. The hiker feed is put on by past thruhikers that are part of a group called Billville.

6/28 Mile 1,137.3-Duncannon, PA- Hometown of Trail Angel Mary, who is
one of the most generous trail angels. She spends a lot of her time shuttling hikers to and from the trail. She also feeds and houses hikers for no cost.

6/29 Mile 1.154.7-Spring.

6/30 mile 1,171. Camping near Pa.443. We can hear the traffic at this campspot, but we're just too tired to move on. Earlier today, we set up our tent fly when we noticed a storm coming. We sat out the rain for about an hour while we had lunch. It was nice to cheat the Rain Gods and stay dry.