Time flies like an arrow... Fruit flies like a banana.
I find myself sitting in the home of a wonderful couple named John and Susan. They provide a cooler of water jugs for thru-hikers in addition to a business card with their numbers and words like "shower, great meal, and soft bed" on it. These magical words (in addition to walking 14.7 miles in the rain today) encouraged me to give them a call! I am so glad that I did! I enjoyed a delicious quesadilla meal, a hot shower, laundry, a soft bed and this great Mac computer from which I blog.
Friends, allow me to not-so briefly recount the past several days for you. What an adventure! At least you only have to read something this long once a week!
As many of you are aware, Austin (Issue) Sisk did a 63.9 mile section of the AT with me. We were able to walk in three states together from Great Barrington, MA to the CT/NY border. Austin did a great job and did some great miles with me! Our longest day together was 15.7 miles! He was able to pull off the thru hiker look and blended into the hiker trash community well.
Issue and I made our way from the Fraser's home to Limestone Spring Shelter. There were several scouts down there, so we ended up having to tent camp. That was perfectly fine with us, because we were going to be enjoying brats and sodas that we had hiked in! Until we saw a sign that said "No Campfires"... WHAT?! You're kidding me. Brats over a propane stove? I think not... Well, we decided we would be devious and make ourselves a fire anyway... BUT of course! Who joins the party? An Appalachian Trail Ridge Runner (nark patrol). Fortunately for us, she was a kind understanding woman and she fibbed to the scouts and said she gave us permission to have a fire! HAH! Fantastic.
As we settled down to sleep, we heard a terrifying screeching sound coming from the woods to our right. I decided to go out an investigate. Thankfully, I was not consumed by some man-eating beast-creature, but rather, was able to witness the creator of this terrifying squeal. It was a Barred Owl! I tried to get the best shot possible to put online, but it was great! It has to be about 15 feet from me. It was waving its head back and forth trying to see around my headlamp. A very cool experience.
On 8/6 we slept in the Pine Swamp Brook Shelter. On our way to this shelter, we passed a hydro-plant. There was a great water fall immediately before the plant and we got a couple nice photos there. It was at this power plant where I took my potential calendar shot for Connecticut. In another life, I was David Hasselhoff.
The next day Issue got to experience his first "hitch" and we both proudly rode in the back of a pickup truck to the deli. It was at this deli where we spent about 3 hours sitting out at a picnic bench looking like hiker trash. Seriously. We were bums and it was great. After eating our share of deli delights, sodas and ice cream. We walked back to the trail (because we were not lucky enough to get a ride back to the trailhead) and made our way to Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter. We arrived around dark, but that did not stop us from swimming in the Housatonic River! It was a refreshing and cleansing feeling to get all that sweat off before going to sleep.
Look at this enormous White Oak tree with my hat hanging on it!
On our 15.7 mile trek to the Ten Mile River Shelter, I decided that I was too comfortable walking like a normal human being, so I decided that I would allow Satan to spawn minions on my inner thighs and make me walk like an ape for the last 5-6 miles of our trip. I literally maxed out at about 1mph because my legs were raw! I was nearly catatonic by the end of the day because I was in so much pain, but that didn't stop me from getting in the Ten Mile River! Whew what a relief. I am sad to report that apparently headlamps have a sweat-threshold and mine reached it. I believe that my headlamp no longer functions. Thankfully I have a great friend who has lent me his until I can either get mine working or get a new one! Thanks Issue!
I would like to give a SHOUT OUT to Mrs. Brittany Sisk for being willing to pick us up from the side of the road, in an unfamiliar place, all the while enduring the wretched stench that came from the hairy men sitting in the back of the car. She even made us cupcakes with our names on them! Props to the folks and to Brittany for providing me with Snickers bars and Root Beers! I love you all!
After my rendezvous at the chinese restaurant and grocery with the Sisk family, I was lovingly dropped off in the rain and walked another 2 miles to the Wiley Shelter. I stopped at the AT Railroad Station the next day...
The next night I stayed at Fahnstock State Park. As I was coming into the parking area for the state park, I saw a police car. I thought to myself, what are the odds that the police officer in that car would take a scandalous photo of me hitch-hiking in front of his car?... I say 0.02%, but I'm going for it!!
Needless to say, his response was "No, there's no way." Hah DANG!
Soooooo, my second attempt was with a driver-less sheriff car at a gas station. Although it is not calendar quality, I was able to achieve the "thumbs out" shot while in the state of NY!
It was at this "Appalachian Market" gas station that I ate a 12" Philly Cheese Steak, another 12" Hiker Deluxe Sub, and drank two 20oz sodas. Dear Rachel Skinner... I am eating like a HORSE! I burn too many calories in a day!
On 8/13 I walked across the Hudson River and took several videos that will eventually be spliced together to form one super-mega walking video. Here is one of the shots of me walking back and forth on the Bear Mountain Bridge! I seriously did this about 6 times! It took forever! Fun times.
I got to walk through the Bear Mountain Trailside Museum and through the Bear Mountain Recreation Area. It was a unique experience because I came through on a Saturday. There were SO many people! So many ethnicities! It was a good experience.
On my way up the mountain, I was stopped by 3 younger people who were needing hand sanitizer. One guy had cut his hand on a rock, so I pulled my pack off and obliged. Ever, Bonnie and Terrence were from NYC and we talked for at least 10 minutes. Hopefully they are reading this blog and are prepared to cook me dinner sometime when I get done! It was a pleasure meeting you guys! Glad you got out to hike!
Finally, this brings us to today. A rainy, rainy day. I left out of the shelter this morning in the rain and ended the day in the rain. I walked 14.7 miles today and thankfully landed in this wonderful home. I will conclude this blog with a few more photos of animals that I have seen on the trail!
Great Blue Heron
Northern Garter Snake
Black Rat Snake
I will be crossing into New Jersey tomorrow! Please refer to my last blog post for the address if you would like to mail anything. I would recommend doing so quickly, because I will be in PA before you know it!
Thank you so much for reading and I will continue to update as often as possible.
Quickly falling asleep at 2:50am,
Amplexus "Lexus" SOBO 2011
P.S. - I am beginning day 74 as of this posting!
Posted 15th August 2011 by Josh Seehorn