Friday, September 2, 2011

It's the final countdown!!!

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

beasting the whites...or vice versa

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

live free or die...probably die

ok, this is amazing, we  got back on the trail in 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

Start spreading the news, i'm leaving today I want to be a part of it - new york, new york!!!!

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

New jersey is far from the armpit....

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 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 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

PA is a twisted ankle waiting to happen

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!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PA! er...i mean Boston

Jeez Louise!  It has been a CRAZY few weeks!! we are pretty much in Inception but instead of descending levels of the dream world, we are making our way through awesome vacation opportunities! Once out of Harpers Ferry we caught the train to Washington DC where we took a ton of pictures at the Capital Building, walked the mall, rode the carousel, saw some museums, went to a bar with all day happy hour, (in honor of the first day of summer), then headed to the hotel to freshen up and get ready to go to the MICHAEL FRANTI concert!  We had the best night ever listening to the best music ever, jumping up and down, singing along, dancing, laughing, and taking pictures.  It was absolutely amazing.  The next day we had a leisurely morning, strolling around the mall, going to museums, etc.  Got to have lunch with Elaine! Catch up and talk about camp! Then my awesome cousin and aunt came out to the Natural History Museum and we got to catch up too!!!! It was such an awesome day! We headed out to Nationals Park to watch the Nat's play the Mariners!! Had fun yelling at the field, being rowdy, and watching some baseball.  Laugh Track and I headed out to Annapolis later that night and got to see the best people in the world! Larry and Diana and my crazy awesome mother!!! We got to have a few days in Annapolis hanging out, eating amazing food, and recovering from some pulled leg muscles.  Friday, Larry generously brought us out FISHING!! Laugh Track and I had the time of our lives, eating, drinking, and catching spot, the bait fist, then rock fish (striped bass)!!! They were HUGE and so so strong! Neither of us have ever gone fishing before, so it was an awesome day full of first, some hard-to-reel-in fish, and pretty cool people.  Had the best fish fry ever that night, after I devoured some raw fish at the cleaning station, and both L.T. and I learned how to fillet a fish!  Then the next day we got to take a water taxi over to Eastport, where they were having a massive music festival called Eastport A'Rockin' - 27 bands, 3 stages, beer, food, oyster shooters, vendors, awesome was epic.  We watched great bands, met some cool people, and got to hang out while looking out onto the bay filled with sailboats!  Had the best respite from the trail at the Freed's, we definitely needed it! Got back on the trail, saw some cool sights, a HUGE buzzard, walked through two rock mazes - and then decided to sleep in one - in a cave.  We set up our tent in a 3.5 foot high cave, hung out on the rocks while catching up in our journals, tossed the rugby ball around for a bit after dinner, then crawled into the cave and went to sleep! Walked into Boiling Springs the next day, a beautiful little hiker town with a pond, stone buildings, and a park.  Looked in at the Boiling Springs ATC, then met up with a Wyo camper's mother, who had GENEROUSLY offered her home to us for the night! Finally got to take a shower!!! We did some laundry, played soccer with her ADORABLE girls, (who are insanely athletic and talented at soccer, even at their young age! they totally schooled us), ate some ice cream, got to talk all about camp, what to expect, which activities are awesome, how much fun everything is, and got to watch the new WYO promotional video!  It totally brought back a million memories and stories, made us miss Wyo so so much, and we even got to see a 11-year-old Laugh Track hiking up a mountain! Caught a bus to Philly, then up to Boston so I can attend a wedding (and see my man), and so Laugh Track can get home for a few days before the second leg of our journey begins!  We are having the time of our lives, loving ever second we are on the trail, and every second we are off meeting new people and having new experiences.  Loving this life SO MUCH. definitely don't think it can get any better!  We are excited to be in Duncannon, PA for a 4th of July party!!!!!  Updates will be quicker this week, since I have my computer!!! xoxo gossip girl!

Monday, June 20, 2011


OHHHHHHHHHHH we're halfway there!!! OHHHHHH LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!!!  Rolled up to Harpers Ferry today! the half mile mark of the Appalachian Trail!!  but first thing's first.  the last time we were on here was lets start there. We had an amazing time there, sorta got sucked in - there was a club, with DANCE MUSIC, so obviously we had to go - Laugh Track and I miss dancing SO much, so be broke it down for a few hours, and taught some fellow thru hikers how to shake it.  Saw some more movies, drank some chocolate milk, made some sangria, laid out in the sun, and finally made it out of town.  Started walking through the Shenendoah's - super beautiful.  Our good friends, Catalyst and Bandit, had birthdays a few days apart from each other, and wanted desperately to go to the beach, so they made it happen.  The texted everyone they knew on the trail, telling them to walk out onto Skyland Drive at noon on tuesday, and they were going to drive the length of the Shennies picking up wayward hikers.  When they got to us, the already kidnapped Dash, Wild Child, Box Elder, Spins, and Jungleboots.  We made out way to Lake Anna, a state park in the middle of VA with a gorgeous lake.  We stocked up of steak, beer, wine, fruit, and sparkles, set up our tents, threw some steaks on the grill, dove in the lake, and started the party.  Had an amazing night, celebrated the birthdays and had a nice little vaca from the trail. Got back on the trail the next day, after getting traditional blackberry milkshakes at Big Meadow's Wayside.  Hiked into the woods, pitched out tent and had a chill night to ourselves.  We met up with Box, Boots, Mark Trail, and Bubbles at Skyland and ate some lunch, then decided to hitch into Luray for a shower and a bed and laundry - all of which we desperately needed.  Hit up a local bar that night, listened to amazingly HORRENDOUS karaoke, and made some friends with some townies.  Hiked some more, saw some views, then got into the Bear's Den Hostel.  What an awesome place - they had views over the Shennendoah Valley, a mulberry bush in the yard, a tv with so so so many awesome DVDs to watch, pizza, a pint of ben & jerry's each, and a soft bunk.  I'm pretty sure we watched about 5 movies, ate soooo much food, slept like the dead, and the next morning made mulberry pancakcs.  Hiked out late, stopped by Blackburn Hiker Hostel for a soda, and camped at a great shelter with a porch and porch swing.  Woke up excited...since we only had 10 miles to get into Harper's Ferry!!!  Had an easy walk into town, got to walk over the bridge and see amazing views of the Shennendoah River, and finally made it to the ATC in Harpers Ferry!!  Got our pictures taken in front, and found out we were the 510th and 511th people to pass through the ATC this year!  Got some postcards, picked up our mail drops (Thank you B, for sending me my rugby ball!!!!!!) and had a former hiker, Blue Moon, offer up his apartment for us to stay for free!! Got a shower, did our laundry and had an amazing dinner cooked by Blue Moon.  The moment we walked in, he poured us Jagger shots, to celebrate our accomplishment of coming halfway up the AT!!!  Now we are relaxing in the air conditioning, nice and clean, and watching TV.  Tomorrow we're off on a mini vacation to Washington D.C. to see a Nat's v. Mariners game! And then up to Annapolis to see our friends, the Freeds, and Momma Raccoon!  We can't wait!!! this is the best trip ever!!! OHHHHHHHH WE'RE HALFWAY THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! OHHHHHHHH LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Stumble Tribe Corruptors!

well well well, here we are in waynesboro, about to start hiking the Shennedoah National Park tomorrow! So super excited!!! The past few days have been a blast, and talk about trail magic...What we have been experiencing is like trail magic on steroids, SO awesome and exciting.  We went from Buena Vista to Lexington to hit up an old movie theatre with the boys to watch X-Men, and actually got trail magic IN the theatre....what?! we were all sitting there, when a woman shows up, whispers to our friend Goopah that she saw us come in, knew that we were hikers, so wanted to give us some trail brownies, cool whip, and blueberries.....while watching a movie? are you kidding me? this is the life.  the next day, a former thru hiker, Landshark, who lives in Lexington, offered to have us crash at his house...i mean MANSION for the night.  we got to watch 10 hours of TV and movies, hang out with his adorable 7 year old daughter, eat his incredibly delicious food, and drink beer in a massive, air conditioned living room.  I don't think Laugh Track and I moved from our spots all day.  We got up at 5 the next morning so he could drop us at the trail head before the brutal heat set in, and we started hiking up Three Ridges...3 miles of straight up, unforgiving, rocky trail.  But with many water breaks and views from rock outcroppings we finally made it.  While stopping at a shelter to refill on water, we read in the trail journal that there was a local brewery 5 miles down the road from Reels Gap.  After consulting the map, we discovered that Reels Gap was only 6 miles away from us....hmm, what to do, what to do... It was hot, we were tired, and we were tired of only drinking cheap, watery Laugh Track, Old Crow, 4-Beards and I made the very hard decision of hitching to Devil's Backbone Brewery.  They were so gracious at the brewery, even though we stunk to high heaven and had sweat out about 5 gallons that day, they let us sit in the dining room, drink WONDERFUL beer, the summer haze, their seasonal summer beer with hints of lemon and green tea, their IPA, traditional, amazing, hoppy, and their Gargamel, after tastes of apple and pear, a smooth finish, and 8% alcohol.  It was absolutely incredible.  Not only that, but during our dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, a woman who lived up the hill walked over and talked to us about our trip, asking for details and stories.  When we had finished telling her about all the snakes we've seen, the bear that came into our camp etc, she told us she wanted us to order the gooeyest, sweetest, largest dessert our hearts desired, and that she would pay for it.  She was truly a saint. so I ordered the rosemary creme was heavenly.  So after eating about 50 lbs of food, and indulging the delectable beers, we moved over to the bar to watch the Red Sox sweep the Yanks....OH HELL YEAH. count it.  The owner of the bar invited us to camp in his back yard, then gave us free coffee the next morning with our breakfast at the coffee shop across the street from the brewery.  Hitched into Waynesboro this morning to pick up our mail drops...thank you so much to everyone who has been sending us goodies!!! we look forward to them all the time! Now we're camped out behind the YMCA, about to go to a double feature at the cinema, Super 8 and Bridesmaids, and hang out with our fellow hikers who are escaping the horrible heat in any air conditioned space they can find.  Loving this life, definitely being awed by the kindness and generosity of human beings, and getting excited to go through the Shennies!!!!  850 miles down!   Rock me mama like a wagonwheel, rock me mama any way you feel, hey, mama rock me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Buena Vista, VA

quick update, made it to Buena Vista, VA.  yes - we know it's only been 2 days since we last were in town, but there is a movie theatre here, and there wasn't in Glasgow, so what's a girl to do?  Pirates of the Carribean is calling our name. mmm...Johnny Depp...  So we hiked up and over some mountains out of Glasgow, but not before we decided to jump off the 40ft bridge over the James River.  Met up with 4-Beards and Stretch on a hot, hot day to test our fear of heights.  Locals were out in droves, hurling their bodies off the bridge with enthusiastic fervor, doing flips, corkscrews, backdives, and gainers.  Being the bullheaded New Englander I am, I obviously had to show off by jumping off the bridge the second we got there...but let me tell you, once I was out on the railing...I freaked out a little.  40 ft is a LOOOOONG way down.  While Laugh Track and Strech lounged in the sun, cheering us on, and taking pictures, I made my way out on the ledge 5 times, just to prove I could.  Even though it was terrifying, the rush was awesome, the water - a perfect temperature to cool off, and the cheers of the crowd, intoxicating.  4-Beards managed to grip the railing, looking out over the drop, for a good 50 minutes while trying to build up the nerve to jump.  Amid the promises that we would all keep him safe, that he would be such a baller having done it, that he would be proud of himself after it was over - it was Lobo, a SOBO hiker from last year, that promised to drop sodas and treats at the next stream, 15 miles North for him, that finally persuaded him to let go, scream "Bear Bag Mafia" at the top of his lungs, and plunge 40 feet down into the depths.  Again, much cheering.  Finally, when everyone was packing up, I decided to jump one more time. Not from the bottom rung..oh no, I needed to show off even more...I had to do it.... from the top railing...50ft in the air...when will I learn to quit??  Some locals who had been doing synchronized gainers off the top all afternoon persuaded me to hop up there with them.  After clutching the railing, laying there like a beached whale, I finally got the nerve to stand up.  No supports, no handles, no reassuring railing behind me, with the promise of saftey if I just climbed back over. Once I was up, I was going back.  So as my stomach was doing it's own form of gainers, the locals counted down...3...2....1.... and I was flying through open sky.  What. A. Rush.  Well, since that was over and done with, we decided to walk north again..something new and different.  Camped at a shelter, then did 18 miles the next day to a cute little campsite by a waterfall.  Walked 3 miles the Rte. 60, was given strawberries and beer by 20-point and his dad, then was offered a ride by Landshark into Buena Vista, where we headed to the campsite, took showers, washed our clothes, walked into town, and are now waiting till 7pm for Pirates to blow our minds.  Heading up to Waynesboro this week, and then into Shenandoah National Park.  Loving every second of this trip!  We're hitting the 800 mile mark tomorrow! Bring it on!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Stumble Tribe takes on VA

So after our Memorial Day vacation when we had to hang around watching movies and making white wine sangria to kill time before the Post Office opened to get our mail drops, (rough life, I know), we headed back out on the trail.  We started off doing small miles, 10-12, instead of our 15-18, because it has been SO HOT.  When we left Daleville it was 101 degrees, humid and horrible.  But we valiantly struggled up the mountain to the shelter.  4-Beards had packed in some Miller Light, so we hung out in the heat, talked, laughed, made dinner, etc.  Then, around midnight, just as we were getting in our sleeping bags, Velvet (who was in his tent) said, "Um, guys? I think we have a bear."  And sure enough, after we bolted from our bags, and Laugh Track got out her handy "Surefire defender" we rounded the shelter, and there was a bear. Looking at us. Without the slightest trace of fear.  Awesome.  Data banged some trekking poles together, and Laugh Track yelled a lot, and finally after just ambling along for a while, the bear finally mosied down the hill, back into the wilderness.  Needless to say, I may or may not have gotten much sleep that night, although Laugh Track was loving every second of it, and wanted the bear to come BACK.  Remind me again why I decided to do this trip with a psycho?  haha, so that was our adventure for that day.  Did some miles the next day, and got our COOLEST hitch yet, on the back of a motorcycle, through the Blue Ridge Parkway. Amazing views, wind whipping through our hair, incredible.  After declining to go to the next shelter, we set up camp on the top of Cove Mt. and had a very domestic night, hanging up a clothesline, building a fire, cooking dinner, catching up in our was very nice. We made it to a swimming hole the next day at noon, and didn't leave till....6:30.  It was too hot to do anything but lounge around in the pool, watching the fish, eating lunch, splashing, tanning, everything you would expect from a swimming hole.  Around 4 we got a hitch to a campground about 2 miles away where we got burgers and soda and popsicles.  Finally we decided we should do something, like walk north, so we started up Fork Mt. -  a very unforgiving hill, to the COOLEST shelter, Bryant Ridge, 3 floors, sleeps 20, clean.  It was super buggy so we set up our tent inside the shelter with Stretch and 4-Beards after drawing a lot in the shelter register...  Our next day we started calling D-Day, as in Death Day, since the map of the mountains we had to traverse looked like a very good year for a finantial firm.  But with many "checkpoints" and a 2 hour long lunch, we made it over the worst of it, up to the top of Apple Orchard Mt, and down to "The Guillotine" an awesome balanced rock tunnel we had to pass under.  We got into Glasgow last night, set up our tent at a shelter they have in the center of town, met up with Catalyst and Bandit again, stocked up of junk food for the night, drank a LOT of chocolate milk, sang camp songs in front of the grocery store for an hour, and finally ended the day drinking wine (classy) in our tent while telling ghost stories.  Today we head out to jump off an old railroad bridge into the James River - a rite of passage for all thru hikers - and head up to Buena Vista to catch some movies, hit up Franks for the Memories, and stumble over a terrifying mountain eminence, accurately named, The Priest.  Shout out to Mama Laugh, hoping she has mastered her knee scooter!  We miss everyone and can't wait to see them when we get up north!  You can hike but you can't hide!!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

whoever said virginia was flat is a BIG FAT LIAR

so yeah, this state is NOT FLAT. everyone and their mother told all of us that VA was flat, that we would knock out 30 miles a day, no problemo.....well guess what. it's not flat. there are A LOT OF UPS. haha.  it is kicking our ASS, but after we failed the case challenge, we recuperated in pearisburg, ate some mexican with our new best friends, catalyst and bandit, then actually WALKED out of there.  we pulled some big miles, our longest yet, a 21 mile day, ending during a thunderstorm while we were walking on a ridge.  we got awesome trail magic at "the captains" where we got to zip line across a river, almost falling in since our 50 pound bags were pulling us over.  we walked up a lot of the rain.  we got dumped on for about 3 days...everything was soaking, soggy, nasty, we couldn't tell if it was rain or sweat. it was AWESOME.  finally, we woke up to a semi dry day, and got to hike to dragons tooth, a really sweet rock that was about 40 feet in the air.  we climbed around that for about an hour, then almost died walking down the steepest mountain ever.  that night we got to the HOME PLACE, an amazing all you can eat restaurant with fried chicken, roast beef, potatoes, baked beans, biscuits, apple butter, and gravy. it was amazing. catalyst, bandit, laugh track and i then walked one more mile to the shelter just up the road and had a girls night, talking about boys, movies, life.  it was great.  the next day, catalyst and bandit had to book it into daleville to meet bandit's parents, and we had a leisurely stroll over tinker's cliffs, since we couldn't pick up our mail drops till tuesday, we forgot that it was memorial day..whoops!  when we were on top of tinkers cliffs, we decided that it was too pretty to not camp there, so we picked out a nice part of the cliff, threw down our tarp, and set up our bags.  8-beard decided to hike south to hang out with us, and brought us 9 pounds of water, so we cooked dinner, hung out and watched the sun set on top of the cliffs.  woke up to a 97 degree day, and hiked 11 miles into town, and basically collapsed into an air conditioned Wendy's.  bandit and catalyst sooooo graciously offered to let us use their hotel room to shower...AMAZING.  we are hanging out till we can pick up our mail drops tomorrow!!! loving life. NEVER WANT THIS TRIP TO END.

Friday, May 20, 2011

bland, va...they have an ice cream store, but they only serve vanilla

what's happenin' people.  we got out damascus..slowly.  it's hard to get motivated after a weekend-long party, but we did some miles, stayed in an awesome shelter where we could ordere pizza delivery, met some new hikers, walked in the rain...a lot.  got to knot maul branch shelter after sleeping in a semi-puddle for a few nights, and decided we should really head into town for a dry bed, shower, and warmth.  laugh track had a tiny case of strep throat, so we booked it into bland, got a motel room, cranked the heat up to 85 degrees, got some DQ and lounged around in dry clothes while watching tv.  talk about heaven.  we realized we had not slept in a bed in over 3 weeks, and let me tell you... there is nothing better than diving head first into a dry, clean, comfy bed after weeks and weeks of a damp, cramped, smelly sleeping bag.  hopefully the weather will start being warm and breezy instead of so cold our fingers refuse to work.  sunday is the start of the case challenge, the rules are written on the wall of jenny knob shelter... in a nutshell it is: 1) hitch from 606 into pearisburg (24 miles away), 2) drop off our packs in a hotel, 3) go to the good will and find outrageously heinous 80's style prom dresses to wear, 4) buy a 24 pack of beer, 5) hitch BACK to 606, 6) hike 24 mile, in 24 hours, drinking 24 beers.  our friend yinz's friend, wonderland, made this challenge up last year, and the two of us, yinz, milo, ketchup, and stretch are all taking on the challenge this year.  we may look ridiculous, we may make fools of ourselves, but there was never a challenge we backed down to, and we don't plan on starting now.   SO our next update will probably be from pearisburg, after completing the case challenge.  now, i know a few of you reading this might sigh and roll your eyes, but seriously, hiking can get a little tedious some times, especially in VA where it is mostly flat and sometimes the sameness of everything can make you want to scream.  we need some challenges in our lives..and here's one given to us on a silver platter...or shelter wall.  we'll let you know how it turns out!  hasta la vista baby!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Damascus, take two....TRAIL DAYS

what's happenin' people.  well, we just finished trail days, a weekend in damascus dedicated to hikers.  it was pretty awesome...we set up our tent in tent city, about a half a mile out of town....(the townies didn't want to deal with the crazy hikers), and then the debauchery began.  but first things first.  we SOBO'd from troutdale, va, through the grason highlands, probably the best part of the trip so far! gorgeous mountains, then through the highlands which have herds of wild ponies!!! we spent about 3 hours taking pictures of them and playing with them, they liked to lick the salt off our skin! haha, it was great.  stayed in a cool shelter and met some new people, second shift, frodo, and broadway, we huddled together while a RAGING storm shook the shelter and lightning lit up the sky all night.  after getting into damascus on thursday, we walked around, saw ALL of our friends who have either been way ahead of us or behind, checked out the street vendors, ate some corn dogs, drank some beer, played some darts, watched some movies, met former hikers, hung out with our friends, and just chilled out for three days in a town that is all about hikers on the AT!!  on saturday there was a hiker parade down main street which was a lot of fun, everyone got dressed up in salvation army clothes, and the townies threw water balloon and squirted us with squirt guns...  the weekend was epic, we survived it through and are heading out this morning to really start virginia...all 550 miles of it.  we are loving this trip! we are about a quarter of the way done! 500 miles down, 1600 to go!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Damascus, VA

WOOOOEEEEE!!!! we made it to damascus, va....4 states down, 10 to go!!! we had some awesome times out of elizabethton, hiking by a 16 mile lake, up and over mountains, hanging out with our friends and getting some awesome trail magic!  we got out to a shelter the night out of town, played some guitar, sang some songs, built up a fire, the norm pretty much....then the next night, made it to iron mt shelter, where laugh track and i decided to stay.  all our friends were heading another 8 miles to the next shelter, and we just didn't feel like walking anymore, and it turned into our best decision yet.  old crow and grandma showed up, and decided they were going to stay, then tuck, bandit and catalyst came by and decided they were going to stay too.  truckin' and biscuit saw they were outnumbered by the ladies, so they hauled ass to get out of there before "we started plucking their eyebrows and painting their nails." so the 7 of us had a  much needed "girls night."  like, omg.  we did indeed pluck our eyebrows, talked about boys, and giggled to the wee hours of the morning.  milk man and peter showed up around dinner time, but we banished them to "man-camp" so we could continue our girl talk.  the next morning, laugh track and i headed out into the mist, only to be stopped by trail magic of soda and cookies about 4 miles down the trail. after a pepsi and some packing tape, we walked another half mile before being called back by a thru-hiker from last year, the professor, who had just pulled up with our friends cope and meltdown. (cope knew him from the year before) and they grilled up some dogs, burgers, had some candy, cookies, chips, soda, and chocolate milk.  we ended up staying in the parking lot with them from 10am to 2pm, listening to wisdom and the must-see places along the trail from the professor, getting some sun, and just chilling out.  we finally got motivated to move, and made it to damascus but dinner time, getting DELICIOUS pizza and some local beer, meeting up with our friends, and staying at The Place, a cool little hostel in the center of town.  we are heading out tomorrow with the professor, up to troutdale, to hike south into damascus on thursday for the start of TRAIL DAYS.  a celebration damascus hosts every year for thru hikers, with bbq's, beer, music, parades and a lot more.  we are getting so excited for it! we will get to see our friends who are ahead and behind us, and have a few days of rest and relaxation before really starting VA...the longest state in the trail....550 miles of good ol' virginia.  we are getting geared up to go on! almost 25% done, and we don't ever want this to end!!!!!  hope everyone called their mothers yesterday!!!! happy mom day, momma raccoon! the best mom in the world!!!!  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Elizabethton, TN

well, it has been a crazy few days since erwin....we are a little more than 400 miles into the trail, and about 3 days away from Damascus, VA.  we left erwin around dinner time, and got to a shelter about 4 miles up the trail, ran into some of our friends, pixel, 6:30, gravity, and phlem. after that, the trail kicked our asses for a few more days...whew..this doesn't really get any easier.  BUT we hiked up some AMAZING mountains, little hump, and hump mountain were some of our favorites.  after a INSANELY hard mountain, called roan mountain, we camped at the highest (elevation wise) shelter, a converted fire warden's cabin with our friends, and made a delicious dinner of velveeta and ramps that we picked ourselves.  before we hiked up that mountain though, we met some bikers who were scouting a route through the mountains for a charity ride, and i met a meathead named BRUTUS...definitely took a picture with him.  then when i mentioned how much i loved the south, one of the bikers said, "well move on down here and i'll buy you a doublewide!"  they sure know how to make the ladies feel special down here.  haha.  the next day we stopped to have lunch at a shelter that used to be a barn, with a gorgeous view into a beautiful valley.  we spent about 3 hours lounging in the grass and eating a long lunch, then hiked up the humps, fantasitc balds with 360 degree felt like we were in lord of the rings.  we camped at doll flats on the NC-TN boarder, and nero'd into elk park to get our mail drops! thank you everyone who sent fun goodies for us!!  we met some, ahem, interesting seemed to be the day of crazies, after a shower fiasco, we headed to mountain harbour hostel, a farm with tent sites, showers, resupply, goats, was idyllic.  after showering for the first time in 12 days, we got some pizza with middlebury, then had an awesome night playing technology wars with vittles and jesus, two 'hikers' we have nicknamed douchebag one and douchebag two...fortunately their reputation spread like wildfire and they were kicked out around 10:30, so we got to watch pretty woman in peace.  the next morning we had possibly the BEST breakfast up at the farmhouse, homemade everything from biscuits and gravy, pancakes (with real syrup!!), ham, cinnimon rolls, eggs, fresh fruit, coffee...anything you could think of.  while digesting, we lounged on the couch and watched the news and read the paper...comparing different stories about osama (you think they heard that?? are we still stealth??)  while packing up we watched top gun (can our life get any better?) then hiked out 10 miles through beautiful farmland.  we then arrived at kincora hostel near hampton, and had a great night listening to gravity play guitar and playing charades after a group spaghetti dinner.  (girls against boys...girls won...duh).  we came into hampton the next morning to pick up our ipods that the best boyfriend in the world programmed for us...with our ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE playlist...just some songs that will give us the extra push to get over the next mountain.  we then came into elizabethton to run some errands and met the NICEST cafe/theatre owner, Thor, who gave us a free breakfast and is letting us see the 2pm showing of Fast Five...sweet!  life seriously couldn't get any better for the two of us...we are having the time of our lives.  trail days is next weekend! i'm sure there will be a CRAZY update after that is over!!!  don't forget to holler at your mom's this sunday!! love you momma raccoon! you are the best!!!  laugh track and i love life!!!!!!!!!!  cool guys don't look at explosions!!!  peace out, a-town down.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Erwin, TN

woot woot, so here we are in TN, we hiked out of Hot Springs on an 85 degree day, straight uphill.  Town made us a little soft, and we were a bit tired from the shinanigans of the night before, but we made it 10 miles out of town before finding a fire tower overlooking gorgeous mountains and city lights.  Laugh Track and I decided to sleep up there along with Bronza, Coyote, and Fish Head.  It was pretty cool to be sleeping 50 feet in the air, with the cool breeze keeping the bugs away and some good entertainment provided by the boys.  The mountains following that day proceeded to kick our asses, but we made it to the shelter or campsite every night in high sprirts.  One day we accidentally took a wrong turn and got to hike an extra 5 miles...that was fun, but we made up for it with a lot of chocolate and jokes.  We ran into some AMAZING trail magic from two wonderful trail angels.  Hercules and FAL hosted us for about 3 hours while they fed us belgian waffles, pork stew, quiche, pulled pork sandwiches, bread pudding, ice cream, and soda.  It was the best detour we have ever taken.  They both hiked the trail in 1998, so we picked their brain for about 2 hours after lunch and got some fun details about the trail, trail days, terrain in the different states, and where to find good water spots in PA.  Two nights ago we camped in a small valley with Little Bird, Yinz, Spins, Gumby and Bootlegger, since we heard there was a massive storm coming through...and sure enough, around midnight, the storm of the century hit the mountains.  to top it all off, laugh track and i had been telling ghost stories around the fire right before bed, so we were freaking out just a little bit.  the lightning was out of control and the rain on our tent sounded like bullets, and the sound of the wind was like someone screaming, but we survived the night with the aid of a few tylenol PM's.  wet and tired we headed up and down some more mountains, making it to the top of big bald, hoping for some views, but all that was up there was fog...not that we let that dampen our spirits!!  as we headed into erwin, a couple who had thru hiked last year had set up camp and were offering hikers hot dogs, baked beans, brownies, soda, beer and homemade hooch!  we met up with Bootlegger and the three of us may or may not have downd two gallons of the hooch (which is surprisingly easy to make...note to self) and spent the next three hours joking and laughing with the other hikers who came through.  Yinz met up with us and the four of us decided to hitch into Erwin for some snacks, beer, and to see the town.  We camped out behind a little league field, met some nice locals, got some nachos and watched some t-ball, which seemed to be the big thing happening around town.  This morning we got delicious breakfast, some biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, homefries, and coffee, and are planning on doing some laundry, and even taking a shower!!  We head out tonight to try to get into Elk Park for our next mail drop!!  We are having a blast out here, even though we look 80 years old when we hobble out of our tent in the morning, but as they say, no pain, no rain, no we deal with it with smiles and jokes, and a lot of snickers.  we can't stop talking about how amazing this adventure is, and how generous and giving so many people are, from the trail angels who give us food, to the local in the cavalier who stuffed four gross hikers and four enormous packs into his tiny car with a smile.  people are so willing to help out and talk to you, and knowing we don't have to be on a schedule or have a time limit on anything, this trip is definitely a huge learning experience, and the best idea laugh track and i have ever come up with.  we have been out here for a month, and can't wait to see what comes our way next!! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Springs!

well, laugh track and i made it to hot springs, NC.  we had an amazing time in the Great Smoky Mts. absolutely beautiful views from the tops of mountains and gorgeous walks along ridge lines while the sun filtered through the trees.  we didn't get to see any bears, unfortunately, but we did get to hang out with a bunch of awesome people, 2-beards, coyote, fish head, mouse, cool cat, woodstock, and goopa.  laugh track and i walked 18 miles to get to standing bear hostel in TN for a party they were throwing on 4/20 - all you can eat pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, salad, beans, rice, veggies, was amazing.  we camped out in the back yard, met some AWESOME people, including the former fiddle player for Old Crow Medicine Show, and just had an awesome time.  the next day we were set to head back out on the trail, but a few more of our friends rolled in, and we thought we should take some more time off to heal some nasty blisters that keep sprouting up, so we stayed on another night hanging out with last minute, goopa, knittin', mouse, milk man, box elder, tooth-pac, blue steel, and mel, making s'mores, drinking some beer, and playing with a pet squirrell.  the weather has been a bit dreary, but today it cleared up a bit, and we got to do laundry and take showers!! so all is right in the world again.  this trip couldn't get any better, the people are awesome, the views are fantastic, and we are having the BEST time just talking about stories from camp, our lives, and society and the world in general.  walking for 10 hours a day really gives you a lot of time to think and ponder certain questions and ideas.  we have talked A LOT about EVERYTHING, even though we have only been out here for about 3 weeks...i can't imagine what we will be like in 6 months!  i miss rugby like crazy, and we both miss NYC, but being in the wilderness and walking for miles each day is amazing...our toughest decision being whether to make pasta or rice for is very agreeable.  we LOVE it out here.  miss you all!  we are thinking of you!  out to the pub tonight for some local brews and a few burgers!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fontana Dam

So, laugh track and i made to fontana dam with a detour to the hostpital for a 'scrip for vicodin for a pulled quad on my part.  hiked 7 miles straight uphill right out of NOC in the FREEZING RAIN and 70 mile an hour winds....finally pulled up to sassafrass gap shelter, and cozied in with some other soaking wet hikers.  it's amazing how great a cup of hot cocoa with brown sugar can make you feel.  we spent the afternoon cracking up at the antics of Bronza, Fish Head, Rebel and Coyote... never before have i laughed so hard while wearing every article of clothing i own and trying not to move from my sleeping bag.  fortunately, laugh track got some of it on video so that should be up at some point.  3 hats curled up in our tent to keep warm, since the shelter was full by the time she got there, but thankfully, today was absolutely beautiful, soft breezes, blooming dogwoods, and a great lunch break with all our friends on the side of the road.  got pulled pork sandwiches, salad (our first green veggies in a while!!!) and our first mail drops!  Some nice surprises from friends and family back home!!! You are all amazing, thank you so much for the support and love you are sending our way!!! we love you and are having the time of our lives!!!!  We'll give you an update at our next town!!! Oh my goth! Nemo's thwimming our to thea!!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011


made it to NOC today, as in Nantahala Outdoor Club in Bryson City, NC.  it was 12 miles of downhill today...our knees were dying, but well worth the views.  Laugh Track and I gorged on twix and chips and nacho cheese while watching guys in kayaks do tricks in the river.  Got a bunk for tonight, which means shower and laundry...hell yes! then grabbing a 6 pack and hanging out with our friends and watching the sunset.  Don't think the weather could get any better, or that we could be having any more fun. this is a blast and a half.  134 miles down.... GIT 'R DONE!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Franklin, NC

Hey hey hey!!!! So we have made it more than 100 miles from Springer Mt, in GA to Franklin, NC.  The weather has been beautiful, sunny, warm, breezy, with only one hiccup on top of Trey Mt in GA where we got to experience a torrential downpour and insane thunderstorm while huddling in the back of the shelter.  We woke up to snow on the ground, but it melted before the day was out and the weather turned perfect once again.   Although our feet are sore and blistered, and our muscles tight, we are having the time of our lives.  We passed over Blood Mt, the highest mountian in GA, on the 4th, spending out first night inside at Neels Gap, resupplying and taking our first shower.  We then treked on to a few more shelters, doing our first 16 mile day on the way up Trey Mt, before collapsing into our sleeping bags during the T-storm.  After that, we made it into Hiawasse, where we indulged in McDonalds, a shower, some good convorsation with other hikers, and a great breakfast, courtesy of the Blueberry Patch Hostel.  After making it to the GA-NC boarder the next day, we were greeted by a mountain that seemed endless, the only respite being that we joined up with a group of hikers our own age, since mostly we had been hiking with retirees.  Gumby, Last Minute, Spins, Doc Boom, Yinz, and Little Bird made the next few days more enjoyable, since we got to see Spins do some fire spining at a camp and head into Franklin together.  We'll keep you updated!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

this is more emotional than i thought it would be

so this is my last weekend in the valley, i head down to nyc tomorrow to say goodbye to my sister and fly out of laguardia on wednesday.  i spent the past few days with my rugby team, and am having a hard time saying goodbye!  as much planning and anticipating that i have been doing for this trip, i didn't really take into account how much i will miss all my amazing friends up here.  i am so lucky to have been a part of the springfield rugby team, and made the best friends anyone could ask for.  i am still so super stoked to start walking,  3 more days!  i love everyone up here, and will miss them and think about them so so much!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2 weeks to go!

So our bags are packed, and we are ready to go.  We have two weeks till we leave on a jet plane for good ol' Georgia and start our expedition in the wilderness.  I'm re-reading "A Walk in the Woods" by Bil Bryson, just to gear up and get my head in the game...and if they can do it, so can we.  Here we go!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

one and a half months!

So it's the 15th of February, we've just seen Valentine's day pass us by, eating chocolate by the bucketful and trying to navigate through mountains of snow.  But it also means Liz, Avery, and I are one step closer to our departure date! 

We have one and a half months left to get everything in our lives in order before we leave for our 6 month expedition.  We are packing our bags, figuring out our mail/food drops, scheduling going away parties, and mentally gearing up to look at a lot of trees for a long time.  Can't  wait!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

this is really happening!

all three of us have our tickets now!! we are leaving on the 30th, and staying over in a hostel outside of atlanta, then setting off on our trek the 31st!

we can't wait!! we are so freaking pumped!!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

3 Months to go!

Avery and I have bought our plane tickets!

One way flights to Atlanta, GA on March 30th!  Liz is getting hers soon too!!!  We are going to stay over in a hostel that night, then start the hike on March 31st!!!

We are getting so excited, starting to pack our bags, figure out mail drops, mileage per day, etc etc, details details.  We can't wait!

The countdown begins!