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!