Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's up to you New York

Apparently, I'm getting some sweet blogspam (this thing must be getting popular), so I'm hear by enacting a verification dealy to the comment system. I know it's annoying, but it has to be done.

I'm now in Pawling, NY taking a much needed zero to let my feet heal. I've been hiking with Briar, Earthbound, and Hot Tang, who you may remember from Georgia. We've been pushing 20 mile days here now since PA, and am definitely feeling it. But I'm only 20 miles from Connecticut, and that state's a breeze, so I'll be in MA by the beginning of next week! Hard to believe. So all ya'll Massachussetians should come out to see me (if driving to the Berkshires is your thing.)

A quick little story: One morning back in NY I was pumping water quietly from a stream nearby a shelter. All of a sudden I heard a rustling noise from behind me. I turn to look and see this huge head of a black bear calmly staring in my directing about 40 feet away. So I grab my gear and bust a move back into camp. The bear ends up following me. So now I get everyone's attention and they're all looking this bear that begins circling the perimeter of our tents. It was cool to see, but he was so unafraid! We eventually had to bang poles together and yell, but even that did little to scare him off. Earthbound and Briar actually had to move toward him while doing so and that eventually did the trick. Our guess was that he just wanted to pillage our camp for leftover food. Reasonable, but unsettling.

On to New England!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some R&R (half a day's worth)

Just spent a great afternoon with my parents yesterday in Port Jervis, NY, right on the New Jersey border. I got to eat at a nice restaurant and sleep in a nice bed. But today, it's back to the grind. I've got miles to hike and sights to see. I should be in New York soon.

Dad and I (yes, it's real):

Oh and here are the rocks I've been stepping over all this time:
These little ones go on for miles, but the bigger ones are less frequent, but more fun:

And this guy who thru-hiked in '07 stole my URL:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PA Rocked My Socks Off

Hello from Delaware Water Gap, PA: right on the New Jersey border... which means Pennsylvania is no more! The jagged knife-edged rocks that littered the trail and tore up my feet will be a thing of the past. If this PC wasn't running Windows 2000 and I could upload pictures, I would show you what I'm talking about. But it's just been rocks day in and day out, with little in the way of relief. To make matters worse, it rained the other day, so I had to deal with wet rocks. If I didn't have my hiking poles, I'd be missing my two front teeth right now.

But now that I'm entering NJ, rocks will turn into bears as some New Jersey counties have 1 per square mile (according to my book). That means that either I'll have some cool pictures or...something else. Anyway I'm excited for NJ because the 'rents will be paying a visit when I hit High Point State park. Can't wait to feel somewhat at home again!

Anyway, I should sign off now that people are waiting to use this... oh, also, I was able to check out a Cabela's store. Largest Hunting and fishing outfitter in the U.S.... both amazing and frightening.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I'm really full right now

Man, I've been cruising lately. Just made a big dent in PA, and am now in a little town called Duncannon. But more importantly, by crossing the mason-dixon line, I've returned to the North! Although you wouldn't know it around here from the confederate flags flying every which way. I have seen some Amish people already. That was cool.

So now, I've passed the official half-way point, and to celebrate, I participated in the "Half-Gallon Challenge." In Pine Grove Furnace State park, there is a little general store that sells half-gallons of ice cream, and as a rite of passage, each through hiker attempts to consumes one of these monstrosities. Some people try and fail; others don't even attempt at all. But I succeeded. I finished a half-gallon of Cherry Jubilee ice cream in 23 minutes (that's 1 pint every 6 minutes!). I may have suffered a pretty heavy food-coma afterward, as well as some third degree freezer burns on the roof of my mouth, but it was worth it! I even got a little wooden spoon that says I'm part of the Half-gallon club. w00t.

Well, I'm moving my way on up. Not looking forward to the upcoming rocks that PA is known for. Gonna rip up my feet something fierce.

Oh yeah,
Happy Birthday, Mom!