Saturday, July 28, 2012

In Mass

Here I sit in a hotel in Great Barrington (a step up from Good Barrington just down the street). I didn't want to be in a hotel again so soon, but lightning and constant rain since this morning and the lure of dry comfort without of fear of slick rocks and electrocution won the day... not a total loss 14 miles today, granted I wanted 20, but gotta roll with it sometimes.

Jim (Flip) came out and hiked the last bit of NY and the first few of CT. The last few states have really flown by! The hills have been mild but numerous. The heat treacherous. As soon as we crossed the border out of NY the streams became drinkable again. I am really glad he came out a second time, a good hiking partner, and great to go and have a day to do errands (ie watch Batman) at the end of his time out here.

The border into MA was a real mountain probably the biggest since Three Ridges in VA. The scenery towards the end of CT began getting pretty but it really got awesome in MA. The pines trees are taking over, the views are getting more grand.

My next mini-goal is to get to NH, I would really like to be in Franconia by the 10th of August... but days like today make me doubt getting there an acheivable goal.

Things are going to become more challenging from here on, from mail drops being further apart, to terrain becoming more difficult (read: fun).  I am mostly enjoying myself, the bugs occasionally get to me, the heat is sometimes almost too much, and of course I miss Cara all the time! But I am having fun, I am comfortable with hiking everyday and I enjoy interacting with other hikers. I am ready to be finished, only 668 miles left, so a month and a half or there about.

I will update again when I get a bit further up the Trail, or get driven back inside due to weather again!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Into the 'News'!

I am out of PA and into Jersey!

I hopped off the Trail for the weekend to go to Hershey Park, hopefully the weather will cooperate and allow me to enjoy it!

Pennsylvania was a surprisingly fun and enjoyable hike, much of that has to do with all the friends and family coming out to see me! First Cara dropped me off at PenMar, days later Mark and Evelyn showered me with Trail Magic, laundry, and a bed. Cara came back the next weekend, followed by my brother coming out to hike from Duncannon to Port Clinton where my friend Jon Banks came and met me with a hotel room, a slack pack, a brewery tour, as well as food and spirits! After Jon left I only had a few days left to get to Delaware Water Gap and into Jersey.

PA had some interesting trail; long rocky ridge tops, views southeast into farm land, hard scrambles up a cliff. Mostly though the Trail was about making miles. I kept waiting for the rocks everyone moans about, for nearly 3/4 of the state I found the terrain only slightly rockier than anywhere else on the Trail. There is one 6 mile section after Wind Gap that is horrendeous. That one section, apparently, gives the entire state a bad name! Oh, and NJ has about the same semi-rock strewn treadway that PA had. Just no river o' rocks so far... and from everything I've heard, soon the rocks end halfway through the state.

I am looking forward to the rest of the Trail, really excited about, actually. I am really looking forward to getting into the northeast and getting back into some real mountains.