Days 123-128

Day 123 (July 22nd) – 16.2 miles to Salisbury, CT. The difference one day makes! Today was so much better. Lower humidity, better terrain, we had a shower, laundry and a big breakfast this morning and slack packed today!! We had trail magic and ran into friends off and on, and ended the day with a drink in Salisbury with other hikers. Great day!!
Day 124 (July 23rd) – 16.8 miles. We passed the 1500 mile mark today! We crossed into Massachusetts today! We slackpacked today, compliments of a follower (and now friend), Dianna! Humidity is finally much lower and it was a good day, what a difference the heat and humidity makes! We now just have 4 states left!big thank you to Dianna for helping us slack today and bringing us ice-cold drinks and treats!
Day 125 – zero day, rain all day. Stayed at Great Barrington, MA at Mountainview Motel. Met Joe, trail angel – he’d been following us since our Costa Rica days and was so happy to meet us! Insisted on taking us out to lunch!
Day 126 (July 25th) – 17.6 miles today. Really hiked 20.6, but 3 of those miles didn’t count (went the wrong way and got turned around, took us 1.5 miles before we figured out we were going back the same way we came!). Trail Angel Joe slack-packed us today, so that was helpful, and when he brought out packs back to us he had drinks and snacks. Great guy! Rained good part of the morning and it was COLD out (can you believe it, after all the hot weather we just had!).
Day 127 (July 26th) – 18.7 miles to October Mountain Shelter. Beautiful cool weather and blue skies, high of 70, perfect hiking weather. Lots of forest ? hiking today – pine trees, rocks and roots. No animal sitings today. We ran into a trail maintainer late this afternoon who told us about the geography in the area. He was trimming trees and bushes along the trail.
Day 128 (July 27th) – 11.8 miles Nero to Dalton, MA. Started early (6) to try to beat the storms, and it rained on us just towards the end (got to town at 10:40!). It’s still raining now and expected rest of day. We got a room at the Shamrock Village Inn, taking showers and doing laundry. Going to post office next for care packages, and then some food!

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Days 115-122

Day 115 – zero day
Day 116 (July 15th) – 16.3 miles to Fingerboard Shelter. New York is hard, man! Lots of rocky mountain climbing today – up and down, up and down. Some serious boulder climbing today! Very glad we took yesterday off and did not attempt today’s hike in the rain. We went through the Lemon Squeezer today! Couple of places had gallons of water put out for the hikers, very nice. We also had some great trail magic today – grilled brats and burgers, chips, beer, soda – delish! Tomorrow we get to Bear Mountain, lowest elevation point in New York.

Oh, and this shelter has had a bear come by almost every night, I hear, but he only looks for easy to grab food bags. Sunset’s has hung out bags really good tonight so they should be safe.
Day 117 (July 16th) – 15.5 miles to Bear Mountain, NY. Easier than yesterday, but still another hard day. Surpassed the 1400 mile mark today, and went through the Bear Mountain Zoo (part of the trail), which was super crowded. The zoo (specifically the bear cage) is the lowest elevation point on the AT. In town resupplying, etc., staying at the Bear Mountain Bridge Motel.
Day 118 (July 17th) – 20.2 miles to Clarence Fahnestock State Park. Long day but a much better day. Got a later start and hiked all day. Very hot today and our chill rags worked great. Raining now and couldn’t find campground so we are tenting near beach and picnic tables. Hope we don’t get kicked out tonight!!
Day 119 (July 18th) – 14.0 miles to Morgan Stewart Shelter. Pulled up short today, the HEAT is getting to us! Super hot and humid today + lots of hills to climb = no good. Started taking breaks every hour just to cool down from over heating. On plus side – no rain, pretty good coverage from sun, boulders/rocks have lessened a bit. Awesome deli stop today (what we’re doing is called deli-blazing). There’s water and a privy here at the shelter! Life is still good, we just need to focus more on not over doing it in the heat.
Day 120 (July 19th) – 16.6 miles to Wiley Shelter. Another scorcher today, we went super slow, took lots of breaks, and drank lots of liquids & electrolytes. Trail magic and a food truck right off the trail helped tremendously! Also we got to swim in Nuclear Lake for our morning break. The shelter we’re at has a free library, and now my book is in it!! ?
Day 121 (July 20th) – 19.4 to Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter. OMG today was hotter than hell!

Really hard for us to keep our spirits up today. We’ve never sweated so much. Lots of hills (mountains) combined with the humidity and heat made for a ridiculous day (we even started at 6 and took and hour and a half lunch). Then it rained on us for the last mile. Good news – we ate a fabulous mac & cheese dinner, met a hiker who knew all about me – she had found my Costa Rica Chica blog last year, we are now in Connecticut and more than 2/3’s of the way done with the entire trail!
Day 122 (July 21st) – 8.9 miles to West Cornwall Road, staying at Bearded Woods Hostel. Another hard day, but not as bad as yesterday, and today was shorter miles. Soooooo happy to take a shower!! Bearded Woods is an awesome place.

 

Days 110-114

Days 110-114

Day 110 zero day in Delaware Water Gap – my friend Brandi drove three hours to meet us in person! Had a great day!
Day 111 (July 10th) – 16.7 miles. Got a later start this morning (breakfast and Sunsets got a haircut). We have entered into New Jersey! 7 states down, 7 states left. NJ is beautiful so far, even though it is still rocky. Saw a black snake and a rattle snake today (walked right by rattle snake, it was off to the side in the grass but very close to trail, and did not rattle at us). 
Day 112 (July 11th) – tally for today:
20.5 miles

3 falls on slippery slanted boulders (we’re ok)

1 deer

3 salamanders (efts)

2 bear cubs ? (eating berries)

1 gazillion rocks 
It was a hard day. But we are having the time of our lives out here! We still say to each other “can you believe we’re out here doing this?”
Day 113 (July 12th) – 19.6 miles to Pochunk Shelter. Got a free soda today at High Point State Park, met a guy at the High Point Lookout who chatted with us for a while and then gave us $20 to treat ourselves to pizza(!), then went to our first NJ deli later this afternoon (0.4 miles off trail but worth it!). The rocks seemed to abate after this morning which was lovely, but it was very hot and muggy today, which is an energy drainer. Tomorrow we get to slack pack with a trail angel, Which we are super excited about!!
Day 114 (July 13th) – 21.6 miles to NY 17A.

Slack-packed* today compliments of trail angel Andrea Bacon. We had a great and hard day today. We passed into New York today! So 8 states down and just 6 more to complete! Day started great, but got caught in a thunder/lightening storm this afternoon at the worst time – right when we were climbing onto a bald and totally exposed to the open sky. We hunkered down under a tree for a while, and then ventured out very carefully. We did not slip or fall, but it was slow-going. Andrea was there to meet us at the end of the day, and we went to an ice cream shop down the road. 

*Slack-packing means hiking the trail without our full weight backpacks (Greg’s weighs 26# and mine is 27# – that’s rightC I’m carrying more weight than him!). We carry a small day pack with only water and snacks for the day. In this case, Andrea met us early in the morning to pick up our packs, and then met us at the end of our day to give us our packs back. 

For pictures or videos, search for “Appalachian Trail Tales” on Facebook and YouTube. 

Days 95-106

Day 95 (June 24th) – 14.8 miles to Rocky Mountain Shelter. Had wonderful breakfast at B&B, and good weather today. Met Jim Tabor who had been holding one of his carved spoons for me, and he made one for Sunsets as well (and he brought us ice cream sandwiches!). Super nice guy (IG: jim_tabor). Gearing up for a big day tomorrow. 
Day 96 (June 25th) – 26.4 miles! We did a whole marathon (26.2 miles) today! We also passed the REAL 1/2 way point today, so we are now officially closer to Maine than GA! Woot woot! Great day of hiking today, plus we got a burger at Pine Grove Furnace, plus I met a girl from my AT Women’s Group who was in the area today (Ann – good to meet you!). 
Day 97 (June 26th) – 15.3 miles to campsite on edge of Boiling Springs, PA. Good weather. Pretty good terrain (though got an intro to the Pennsylvania Rocks). Ran into Moonbeam whom we started with on March 22nd, but hadn’t seen since Hiawasee, GA, and hiked with her into town. Met up with Tom Willard tonight (we’ve watched Tom’s YouTube videos for the last two years and have since become friends), he took us out for a fabulous meal and then frozen custard. Tenting tonight and will do short hike into town tomorrow for a Nero. 
 Day 98 (June 27th) – 0.8 miles into town, Nero, hung with Tom and checked into Allenberry Resort. 
Day 99 (June 28th – 18.1 miles. Lots of flowers and farmland today, beautiful weather (full sun but cool, not humid). Rocks start tomorrow!
Day 100 (June 29th) – 18.3 miles. We got introduced to the Pennsylvania rocks today (this is why they call it “Rocksylvania”), and so far, they’ve been like all the other rocks we’ve already tackled. It makes for a slow and hard-going day, though. The trail went through Duncannan today, and we had lunch there and picked up a package from my Mom (new shoes for Sunsets! and jerky and Mountain House treats!). Thanks Mom!!
Day 101 (June 30th) – 17.9 miles to campsite before Rausch Gap Shelter. Semi-hard day today, and I know we haven’t even gotten to the real Rocks yet. Got to camp and set up tent just before a down pour. It was quite windy and a tree limb fell on our tent and broke a part of the tent frame. We duct taped it and it held through the night (thank goodness!). No cell service last night so making calls and trying to figure out what to do today. 
Day 102 (July 1st) – 4.8 miles to Rock & Sole Hostel. Tom Willard helped us find a place to get off trail to for our tent repair. Turned out a fellow hiker staying at the hostel had a tent pole sleeve that he wanted to give us! So nice, as we would have had to order one and have it sent priority mail. The Family Man is our hero!  
Day 103 (July 2nd) – 18.4 miles. Had a great breakfast and morning at Rock & Sole Hostel, and a bit later start to the day. Officially into the rocks now, was hard but not awful. We were happy to stop walking tonight though! Ran into our pal Zero Hero today, so nice to hike with him today. Would you believe we have less than a thousand miles to go to Katahdin?? (990.5, to be exact)!
Day 104 (July 3rd) – 18.5 miles to Port Clinton. Hard day, lots of rocks. Tenting at pavilion in middle of town, which is offered to hikers. Catching a rod to town in a bit to get something to eat. Glad to be done walking today!
Day 105 (July 4th) – 14.8 miles to Eckville Shelter Campsite. Another hard day, but got some beautiful views today! Saw another rattle snake.
Day 106 (July 5th) – 16.4 miles. Happy Birthday Mom!! Another hard day, but we did great. Saw two black snakes today. Knife’s Edge was crazy! 
For pictures or videos, search for “Appalachian Trail Tales” on Facebook and YouTube. 

Stay tuned for our next adventure ... walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain this September.

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