Monday, October 29, 2012

Journal: Friends and Storms

As promised, here I am in the library at Palmerton PA. It took longer than I expected to hike here but it worked out in the end.

Last time I left you at the secret shelter. The next day began my grueling trek up to New Jersey's highest point. It takes a team of twenty people with pack mules to set the stage for the three day ascent. Many perish in the attempt. I eschewed conventional wisdom, shouldered my backpack and walked up, waving and chatting to the maintenance guys near the top. I think they were working on a stuck drain. Sadly, the concessions were closed but I nearly scored a ride back down (it's a side trail to the 1803 foot tall point). But I do have to say this: either my sandals have lost all grip or the rocks in this area are very slippery. Usually I simply use the rocks to do a controlled slide for speed, but on these I slid and slipped enough to fall.
This little guy and his cousins really enjoyed the wet weather.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Journal: Trees Falling in the Forest

Reposted from email with pictures added on 10-29.

Hail from Unionville NY! I tried to find a library but had no luck. My next chance will be in Palmerton PA, so there will be no pictures this time. I'm sitting in Annabel's Pizzeria eating a salad and two slices of pizza, one pain and one mushroom. The salad was delicious and the pizza is good; I may go back for seconds. In an hour the post office will open and I'll lose 7 lbs or so from my pack. I'm sending my climbing equipment ahead to my climbing buddy in PA and bouncing some books and heavy winter supplies ahead to Harpers Ferry.

Returning to the trail was great. Rainwater sluiced down the trees and coursed through the trail as rain fell steadily. My Dad climbed up to the view above Greenwood Lake with me. I have some good pictures and he does too. I hope his camera is still functional - it decided the rain was too much for it.
Heading south from Greenwood, NY was still NY. Difficult to predict the trail and hard to follow the blazes. But a very fun element was added. Deep puddles twenty to thirty feet long spanned the trail. For over a mile I walked in calf deep water. I learned from other SOBOs that the water lasted on the trail at least two days after the rain.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Journal: Love and Giardia

I feel that I owe you folks an update, especially since I have been in town for a few days. I kept trying to write an update and it kept coming out on a different topic altogether, containing little of circumstance and occurrence. But in retrospect, what I was writing is more pertinent than a blow by blow account. So below is what kept coming out, and I expect to be able to construct a more traditional journal entry after this.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Journal: Night Adventures

In the past twelve days I have hiked from Bennington VT to Kent CT, spent a night in Boston, met up with some more SOBOs (southbound AT thru hikers), and gotten wet. Really wet.
Massachusets, poor soul, has few mountains of any size. But it does have rocks just like any self-respecting New England state should. Those rocks tend to be rather slippery when wet; at times I thought I was back in the Whites. Walking through the clouds reinforced that impression.

Just before Mt. Greylock, Massachuset's highest mountain, Piper and I managed to get lost. Between the two of us we have a lot of backcountry experience and it was rather amusing that we walked up to the top of Mt. Williams, looked at the view and talked a bit and then couldn't remember which way we walked up. Rookie mistake. The nearest trail marker was three tenths of a mile away so we each took off in a different direction and then reported back. At least we avoided the dreaded nine mile walk in the wrong direction! Yes, that happens on the trail. Apparently fairly often considering how many hikers have a story similar to that.