Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy and healthy in NY state

Hey everyone, not much to write, thanks to Adam's detailed entry. I was also really glad to have my friend Jessea from Duke visit. It really helped boost our spirits through a section of trail that many people mentally struggle with.
Other than that, I'm excited to have made it to New York. Earl Shaffer, the first "thru-hiker" of the AT, waited until reaching NY to notify the Appalachian Trail Conservancy of his journey. He figured, unless struck with a hindering injury, that he would make all the way to Katahdin. At this point in our voyage, I am living comfortably with a similar peace of mind. I'm excited for the trail we have to come, and gleefully anticipate the majesty and ruggedness that I think we'll find in the northern Appalachians. We're also now outfitted with some bug net head-coverings.

Delaware Water Gap and Beyond

Hi Everybody,

Sorry that I havn't left an update in a while, but we havn't seen much internet lately. We have completed PA at this point. We met up with one of phil's friends (Jessie) from Duke in Port Clinton, PA. He met up under really funny circumstances too. When we arrived in town we borrowed the phone of a local outfitter to call him. He had just spent the night in a bush just off the main road in town. It was the kind of town where everyone has an angry dog and a fake deer in the back yard. He said that he just didn't want to be seen from the road. We admired his sense of adventure and felt at ease that he would have no trouble fitting in to life on the trail.

Jessie provided fresh perspective and rejuvination for the hike. Most of all we had new things to talk about, which was good. We hiked along the fabled rocky ridges of PA, some of which had no vegetation due to chemical poisoning. This provided spectacular, but sickly vistas. Luckily it was a mild day for the ridge walk because there was no vegetative cover whatsoever.

We descended into the Delaware Water Gap and found refuge in the basement of a church that was very hiker friendly. At the church we met a middle aged couple from Alabama and a young solo hiker from North Carolina. All were hikers, and all had different plans for how they split up the miles. Phil and I were the only thru-hikers. The water gap marked the beginning of Phil and I's adventure into New Jersey along the Kittatinny Ridge through the DWG National Recreation Area. This area is famous for its high bear activity, but we didn't see a thing. From the Kittatinny Ridge we could see great lengths of the Delaware River, along which there are huge tracts of undeveloped land. Most people think of New Jersey as an industrial state where it seems like the only place to live is under a factory or highway, but NW Jersey is actually very green. I spoke to a hunter from Warwick, NY in a bar a few days ago who was raving about the quality of New Jersey bear hunting. Just another interesting dynamic to the state I suppose.

So by now we have crossed the border in New York State. People treat us differently now. We are more of a novelty because of the distance we have now covered. There is much more wonder in the eyes of the average person when we explain what we have done. I think that's because Georgia feels very far away up here. Its bazaar to think that we have now re-covered all the distance we flew on our plane down to Atlanta three months before.

I also have to give a belated shout-out to our friend Susan MacDonald who we met in Damascus! Thanks Jessie for meeting up, and we are looking forward to our BBQ in Harriman State Park, NY tomorrow with Stephie, Eddie, Phil's parents, and possibly Charles and Matu. Also looking forward to meeting up with Nick Tagliarino at Cornwall Bridge, CT on the 21st, and Dad (Big Chief) on the 26th or so. Thankyou everyone for the comments! Good luck with the Aussie mushroom picking Janet. Don't worry we'll try to keep Big Chief alive, but I can't guarentee that his toes will all be alive at the end of his hike. We might have to deal with the dead sausage syndrome. Maybe I can find a plant that deals with gangrene or somthing... Bye for now.