Friday, September 2, 2011
Well well well. Here we are in monson, me. We are sitting outside the post office on this beautiful September day, giving our cameras and phones the last bit of juice that we can before we hit the 100 mile wilderness and katahdin. After an amazing weekend at camp, Irene decided to show up to my birthday party in gorham, nh. The park service actually closed down the mountains and sent rangers along the path to make everyone get out and into town. We get a hotel room since there was no effing way we were camping in a hurricane and threw an awesome party for my birthday. It was the big 2-5 and Irene definitely wanted to make a splash so she decided to take the power out and flood the roads so none of our friends could make it. BUT a few were there and being the resourceful thru hikers that we are, we all turned on our headlamps to strobe and laugh track made a sweet playlist on her phone and we jammed out to Katy Perry while jumping on the beds. After drying out at the amazing white mountain hostel, we got a sweet hitch in a mac truck and ended up watching the sox v. Skanks game at Sunday river brewery in bethel, me. A very sweet couple who were there with us offered to let us sleep at their ski lodge!! After hanging out with some awesome thru hikers, birtch, stiller, and slider, we finally made it up north to monson, the cutesy town ever, and the last stop of civilization before 9 days of pure wilderness. No cell service, towns, roads, or normal people. We have been trying to reach this point on the trail for 5 months and we can't believe it is finally here. This has been the best summer of our lives. We have experienced more things than we thought possible. Met the most incredibly sweet, kind, funny, amazing people in every state we have passed through and worked our bodies and minds harder than we ever thought we could. We have come to know ourselves better than we thought possible, worked through things that had been bothering us for years, learned about ourselves and each other, and learned how to live the life that is worth living - not to give into petty stress and to take full advantage of amazing opportunities that come our way. Stay tuned for some summit photos and our next post about the last few days on the best trail in the world!! It's the final countdown !!!!!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
so we headed out of hanover by way of a extremely nice family of trail angels who let us shower, do laundry, and sleep in an amazing bed. got to mt moosilauke and died going up it. camped on the top, in the wind and the cold, then almost died coming down it, but fortunately ran into 3 hats and her sister!!! had a catch up time about what we had missed out in each others lives on the trail, while sitting basically on a vertical rock face. when we were about to leave, mark trail and scribbles showed up with coke and oreos, so we had a little snack break and caught up with everyone. we made our way carefully down the rest of the mountain, almost falling to our deaths a few times. then had an amazing night in north woodstock at the local brewery. met up with some bikers from long island who were so impressed with our hike they bought us a drink. had a great night, then hurried out of franconia notch the next morning, had a GORGEOUS hike over little haystack, lincoln and lafayette. above alpine, rocky vistas, amazing views. it was perfect. we were hiking down when two thunderstorms blew in from both directions, making us a little nervous, since we were heading right toward them. we decided to hole up between two rocks that gave us a little protection from the wind, and watched as the two storms came to a head about a mile from us. it turned out to be an amazing night as we watched the sun set on one side, and a massive thunderstorm on the other. the next morning we hiked up and over mt garfield, an insane mountain that was straight up and straight down. we actually walked DOWN a waterfall, it was terrifying, then past a hut, and up another insane mountain, the whites are HARD. haha. they are totally kicking our butts. the storm of the century came the next night so we booked it down into crawford notch so as not to be caught up on the ridge during a t-storm. we threw up our tent in the driving rain, and huddled in some puddles for a few hours before finally getting to sleep for a few minutes between thunder and lighting crashes. when we semi dried out the next day, we started the day from hell! straight up over webster cliffs in 60 mile an hour winds and harsh rain. when we reached mizpah hut by 1pm we were beat, so we did some dishes for some soup and chocolate cake, then hiked on another mile where we pitched our tent and rested our weary feet. seeing mt washington in the distance and knowing we were going to reach it the next day was pretty awesome...made it to lake of the clouds hut in a little under 2 hours, and had some more delish home cooked food. met up with some of our friends, spice and hollywood, then decided to start the climb up mt washington. the wind was blowing so so hard, and the peak was in a cloud, so we couldnt see more than a foot in front of us, but we made it, took some pictures, and caught a ride down to pinkham notch, where momma raccoon was going to pick us up for a little tlc at our amazing summer camp, wyonegonic!!! we were so excited to get there that we were bouncing in our seats the whole ride, and had the best time catching up with old friends, and seeing our old stomping ground. we hung out in the ropes course this morning, swam in moose pond, and laugh track got to challenge and beat our camp director in an amazingly intense ping pong match...a rematch to be had after cookout this afternoon!! we are loving life! almost done with the trip! and 4 more days till my birthday!!!!! cant wait!!!!!!!!! woot!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
ok, this is amazing, we got back on the trail in vt...best state in the union, which i have said before. we had an awesomely rainy night the night we got back...set up the tent, made some dinner, then curled up in our sleeping bags while our tent stood up to the deluge. although it was a little loud, we managed to get some sleep. laugh track's friend jason was coming out the next day to hike with us, so we had a leisurly morning waking up, waiting for him. when we arrived, we started out hiking, through some of the prettiest mountains we have seen. beautiful pine forests, soft mossy ground, rocks strewn about the path. we passed a lot of rock sculptures, carins, and southbounders. took some pictures on some views, saw the rutland airport from the top of a mountian, and met up with some friends we hadn't seen in a while! stayed at a PACKED shelter, we hadn't seen so many people in one place since the smokies! got woken up by a moose call the next morning, as well as an insanely loud thru hiker's dulcet tones. jason didn't feel too well the next day, so after a breakfast of delicious bacon and eggs at the whistle stop cafe, we headed into rutland to resupply, chill out and relax. checked out a movie, headed to the long trail brewery, and turned in for the night. the next day was to be jason's last, and a friend from home, bobby, came out to visit on the slopes of killington, so we hung out all day, rode the alpine slides at pico mountain, and went BACK to the long trail brewery. i mean, it had been so long since we had good beer, we had to make the best of it. pretty much stayed there till closing, having good conversation and drinking and eating nachos! headed back to the trail, bobby took his leave of us, and we stealth camped by the road. hiked on, through some gorgeous forests, that kind where every footfall is muffled by soft pine needles and the sun filters down through dark firs, giving the woods a dark and powerful feeling. bright green moss covers everything, and brings to mind every scene setting in every fantasy book ever written. at a road crossing we got some trail magic, some of our first in vt! from santa's helper, who we hadn't seen since waynesboro, va! talked with him while sipping rootbeer and eating nutty bars. had a peaceful sit by kent pond while watching loons dive for food, then decided to get on into woodstock, where we walked around to the bookstores, and sat on their common cooking dinner and taking pictures of the covered bridge. we stealth camped in the middle of town next to the welcome center, and booked it out of there and to a cafe where we sipped coffee, ate corned beef hash and eggs, read books, and wrote post cards. headed out once again towards new hampshire! only two states left! got into hanover last night, walked around, geocached, made friends with some locals, had a preliminary girls night at the salt hill pub where we caught up with our friend bandit, now known as pair of aces. signed their wall with our names, Laugh track headed back to secure our spots at the frat while I watched the red sox game...i may or may not have gotten in a small tiff with a local about ivy league education and the red sox...not sure how those are connected, but they seemed to be last night. then headed up to one of the frat houses and crashed on their floor under their pong tables. headed into town today to get some burritos, catch a movie, and gear up to hit mount moosilaki (or however you spell it) on monday! 5 miles of straight up...cant wait!! here we come new hampshire! live free or die!!!!
Friday, August 5, 2011
h'okay. so we headed back to the trail and our friend from camp, carrie, came out for a night!! she also brought us a DELICIOUS meal, which turned out to be the best thing we had cooked in the wilderness - breakfast burritos with fresh avocado, tomatoes, beans and rice, eggs, cheese and hot sauce!!! we hung out, caught up, convinced carrie to quit her job, (har har), ate some cupcakes, and had an awesome time. it was so great to see her! we then got to cornwall bridge, ct where the liquor store gave out a free beer to all thru hikers! then, as we were catching up with yinz and mr. black (whom we haven't seen in two weeks) a local gave us 20 bucks!! i mean, we were hanging out outside a liquor store, so what were we supposed to do with it??? we had a great time after that, and brutus' mom came, picked us up, and we got to go to his grandfather's house for a shower, delicious dinner, and a bed to sleep in!! after hiking through northern CT and into MA - we were met by a springfield men's rugby player, martin, at a crossroads in Great Barrington. he gave us beer and chocolate, then drove us to the best pizza place in town!!! an amazing fig, prosciutto, and spinach pizza, we headed into northampton, where my best friends, kathryn and hunter picked us up!! they took us to their amazing house on a 145 acre farm where we got to chase chickens, rescue frogs from the pool, and eat amazing food. after getting a tour of the cutest house in existence, we headed out to a cabin on the property, drank some beer, made a fire, and told stories of our amazing adventures. it was pretty much the best time ever, and they are living in neverland....we both want their lives. the next day we headed back into town, where i got to show laugh track around smith college campus and downtown northampton. we then got to go to my old work and get hot tubs and massages!!!! it was so relaxing!!! and just what we needed to face vermont, new hampshire and maine. we got dinner at my favorite college bar, then went out with some of my friends from town and rugby team!!! got to play s-ball at the watering hole, tried to beat our score at naughty "guess the difference" and basically had the best night ever. after recuperating on alex and teddy's couch the next day we headed back to the trail!!! it was great to be back, but it made me miss everyone at home!!! had pretty good weather for the most part, just a few clouds and showers for the next few days! had a gorgeous morning for our climb up mt. greylock - the highest mountain in MA!! spent about 3 hours walking around the summit, taking pictures, and eating lunch. after a little more hiking, we decided we wanted to head to my house in VT for a soft bed, television, and my mom's home cooking. we hitched to brattleboro where we checked out a new sports bar, watched the red sox beat the indians - a great game to watch together, since i am an avid sox fan, and laugh track loves the indians! got home, played with my mom's two cats, watched A LOT of jersey shore, and did some chores. we are stoked for tomorrow, when there is a fair on the town common! fried dough and corn dogs!!! loving this little break before we hit the hardest part of the trail!!! bring it on white mountains! we ain't scared of you! that was just a lie, but we are definitely excited! cant wait to get back on the trail! we LOVERMONT
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
we love NY. Danced upon the NJ-NY boarder for a while after visiting Laugh Track's friends. the temperature started to ratchet up the second we stepped out of air conditioning, but we walked about 3 miles to a road crossing where a former thru hiker was leaving a cooler full of soda. thank god. we chugged some cola, then she asked us if we had hit up the creamery a few miles before. unfortunately, we had missed it, since it was closed when we passed. this was completely unacceptable to the former hiker, so she ordered us into her car, and drove us to the creamery and made us get ice cream. tough life, i know. after that, we headed past fitzgerald falls, which was a super disappointment, since it had be soo hot, it dried up. lame sauce. so we trudged on through the insanely hot air, picking up water at road crossings that amazing trail angels had left, and just trying not to pass out from the heat. as we were walking by an idyllic pond, we decided to pitch our tents and knock off for the day. we were hot, tired, and couldn't even think about sweating it out for any more hours. the next morning, we thought we would start early to miss the heat, but even at 7am, it was about 95 degrees. nonetheless, we plodded on, up and over rolling, rocky hills, under sparse trees and the unrelenting sun. we got to go through the "lemon squeezer," a pile of rocks that was super cool, we got to squeeze ourselves through a little cave, and climb up a cliff, and pretty much sweat our faces off. knowing that we had 7 miles more to go to get to a lake where we could gratefully dive in to cool ourselves off, we grit our teeth, and booked it over more mountains in the horrible heat. we met up with our friends who had already gotten to the lake, stripped down to our skivies, and dove in. it was heaven. after getting sodas and chips, we walked a few more miles to an awesome shelter on the side of a field. pitched our tents, cooked up some dinner, and passed out. i had an unfortunate tooth ache, that will need a root canal, and i basically was blinded by the pain, so the next day (which was about 105 degrees) we crossed the palisades parkway, and laugh track's friend, jason, generously came to save my life. we booked it into the city, where i had an emergency drilling to scrape the pulp out of my tooth, very pleasant. after that, we got to stay at my old apartment with my amazing roommates!!! saw them for a hot second, took cold showers, then headed to the crocodile lounge for beer and free pizza!!! met up with laugh track's friend, nap, the next day, swimming in his pool, grilling up burgers and dogs, and sleeping all day. we hiked up ny's famous bear mountain later, found a geocache, and got to hike across the hudson!!! our good friend shea came out that night, where we made a fire, camped out on top of a mountain, and reminisced about camp and life. after stopping at a deli for lunch the next day at a road crossing, shea took her leave of us, to get back to her car, and we trudged along in the pouring rain. after a few more miserable hours of being damp and cold, we decided to pitch our tents, and curl up in our sleeping bag and read. the next day was thankfully dry and sunny, and we had something to look forward to! my best friend nate was going to come pick us up for a night at his house for a shower and laundry and some chill time! we got to the road crossing where he was going to meet us, and fishhead showed up right around lunch time!!! we hadn't seen him since before trail days, since he went home for some weddings and such, so we had a great time catching up with him, and convincing him to hop a train to nyc to surprise his girlfriend!!! we helped him figure out train schedules, drew him a map of the city, and got him to the train station on time! we are such great matchmakers. had an amazing night at nate's house, showered, watched movies, hung out with him and his brother, and had a great time. heading back on the trail! weather is great, loving being in new england!! cant wait to get up to mass to see my friends, and then a day at home in vt!!!! loving life!!! I'd like to bend her over a barrel and show her the fifty states. where did you hear that? it's from a movie. no it's not. it is now!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
So once we were back on the trail in deleware water gap, we met up with some of our friends who had hiked in, and crossed over the deleware river into NJ. We have had absolutely beautiful weather, and new jersey is turning into one of our favorite states!!!!! It is insanely gorgeous, with rolling hills, amazing views, beautiful flowers and a lot of wildlife!!! We hiked out to the Mohican outdoor center our first night back, got eaten up by Mosquitos, but camped out by delicious wild blueberry bushes! After a wonderful hike the next day, we came upon a ridge facing west around 6 o'clock, and decided, instead of heading down to a mosquito infested shelter (we were warned about it by a ridge runner) we decided to pitch our tent on the grassy top of the ridge, make dinner, and watch the sunset over the valley below us. We probably took about 100 pictures of the sun, purples and pinks and oranges, it was breathtaking. Waking up to a soft breeze coming over the ridge made us feel refreshed and ready for the new day. After a horrendously rocky trip for 15 miles up and down mountains, our ankles and feet were completely dying, so we took a quick break at a shelter. Two of our friends came around the corner and told us of a couple doing trail magic just down the hill at the road crossing. We soon forgot our fatigue as we booked it down the hill, met a former thru hiker and his girlfriend who handed us fresh fruit, homemade chocolate cake, chips, soda, and beer. After talking with them, hearing stories from the year before, and finding out what is in store for us...especially in the whites...we headed back onto the trail, after they stuffed our bags with the leftover beer and fruit they didn't want to haul back home. We walked about a mile more into the woods, and pitched our tent. We were a little nervous about bears, since nj is FULL of them, and during the morning, we had be walking along when we heard something walking through the woods. We turned and saw a 300 lb bear standing about ten yards away from us. Not scared at all, just chilling and watching us. We were a little nervous since we hadn't seen anyone else all day and were completely alone....so we walked semi quickly away from it, hoping it wouldn't follow us. That's three bears so far!! We made it to port jervais the next day, a 95 degree day, it felt as if we had been swimming all day. We actually got to GO swimming when we got there since there is a lake right off the trail where we got to frolic in cool waters, eat burgers and fries, and hang out with some long missed friends who had been hiking either ahead of us or behind us. We FINALLY left the lake around 5 - definitely one of the hardest places to leave from, since it was so cool and nice and breezy, we didn't not want to head back into the stifling woods, but catalyst, bubbles and bronza encouraged us to hike out six more miles to a cabin in the middle of a gorgeous field. We got in just around dusk, walking through beautiful fields and farmland filled with fireflies. I swear it looked like we were in the middle of the shire. There we met our first south bounder!!!! She told us what to expect, and vise versa. Laugh track and I were excited to get moving the next day, since we were meeting up with one of her friend's parents where we would get to shower and do laundry....things we could hardly even remember. We walked up and over rolling farmland all day, through marshes, around wildlife refuges where we saw herons and swans, and over a boardwalk through a swamp that might have been one of my favorite moments on the trail. After stumbling out of the woods and onto the road, we were immediately picked up by the family, and taken to their cousins house, were I got to go horseback riding!!! We then got to go swimming in their pool, got to play with their incredibly cute dogs, drink fresh strawberry daquris and eat the best steak we have ever tasted in our lives. Showers and laundry done, we felt cleaner and more content than we had in a very long time. Not only that, laugh track got a call the second we got off the trail that we had won two tickets to las Vegas.... What??!?!?? We called back and found out that we had filled out some drawing at the Harrisburg senators game to enter to win, and that we won!!!! So all we have to do is sit through one of those sales pitches about the company, but we are pretty sure that when we roll into the meeting in our sweat stained clothes and dirty packs, they won't be trying to sell anything to us too hard, since we look like we are homeless ( which technically we are), and we get to walk away with two tickets and a hotel room for three days and two nights to las Vegas...do I hear an end of the AT hike celebration anyone???!!!??! Needless to say, we are living a semi-charmed life and loving it. I'm not sure how this trip could get any better, maybe if Johnny depp stilled by and asked one of us to marry him, but other than that, we are living the life. It doesn't seem as if this summer could get any better. We are lovin life!!!!!!!! We are so excited for our friends to one out hiking in new England, we are almost out of nj for good and into NY!!!! Thank you everyone for the support and love!!!!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
OK. wow, so we have basically been having the best summer of our lives. that is the skinny. it has been amazing. we have had the best experiences and had the most fun known to the human race. So after our little foray up to New England where i got to watch two of my good friends tie the knot, and attend an amazingly fun reception, Laugh Track and I headed back down to Duncannon with Brutus! It was so great seeing all my friends in western mass, and Laugh Track got to hang out in Maine for a while - it was a great little break. After getting back down to PA, we had a fun time in town, going to local bars and lounging around on the grassy peninsula where we pitched our tents. Laugh Track, Bronza, Brutus and I played an epic round of hearts, (where I shot the moon..yes thank you, thank you), drank some yeunling, and had a great 4th of july. Brutus left and Laugh Track's friend Sara showed up! It was a great weekend for visitors! We went to the infamous Doyle hotel for a few drinks, saw the town, had an early birthday party for Sara, lit some sparklers, sang the star spangled banner, and played some kings. It was one of the best 4th of july's we have ever had!!! and the fun doesn't stop there - Laugh Track's family friend invited us to a Harrisburg Senators game! Box seats, full food and drink bar, and a bunch of his awesome coworkers and their families. We got to watch the Sens beat the Eerie Seawolves, Laugh Track caught a foul ball, and Sara was thrown a t-shirt between innings! It was pretty epic. We were invited back to John's house were we got to use his pool, watch tv, and play with his adorable little girls. We read some stories, watched some disney movies, and had a relaxing few days. After Sara went home, we were back on the trail again, we hiked through some beautiful forests, over treacherous rocks, but that we can deal with. We had an awesome weekend on a lake with Laugh Track's college friends to look forward to, so we booked it up and down mountains so we could meet up with her friend who was picking us up in time. The day we were to be picked up, it started POURING rain. not just a nice, light, refreshing rain, but full on deluge. What made it even worse, was the fact that we hit a section of the trail that was COMPLETE rocks. not easy, soft ground, but precariously balanced, hazardous, slippery rocks. We had to slow down and pick our way through the rubble so we didn't sprain any ankles or going flying face first into a boulder. It was a relief when we made it out of the woods (quite literally) and Laugh Track's friend was waiting there with a bag of twizzlers and two home brewed beer. Our blisters and chaffing was out of control from the wet clothes we were wearing, but we changed into dry clothes, and proceeded to have an amazing weekend on the island with LT's awesome friends, listening to music, playing games, going swimming and boating, grilling, and watching the USA women's quarter final's, which was probably the most exciting game i have ever seen,....we came back from a red card, an unfair penalty shot, overtime, and shoot out, playing with a man down, to win it in the final moments. IT WAS SO EXCITING. We then booked it down to NYC for a day to meet up with my sister, so i could fill her in on my life, and so LT could rest a little more, since her back acted up a little bit. So we are taking some R&R so we will be in shape to hit the trail and make our way through the tri state area and up to new england!!!!! we are so excited to be up north, where a lot of our friends are, and we know the terrain and states better. We are having the best summer of our lives! We love this trail, the people, the experiences, the lifestyle. We never want this trip to end! Loving life! Nobody puts Baby in the corner!