Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mile 1349.1!


We stayed in a jailhouse hostel in Palmerton, PA. Coming out of Palmerton was one of the most fun climbs on the trip so far! The entire face of the mountain was a rock slide. We made the climb with Boomer and Smudge. We had been hiking with Boomer and Smudge (Smoomer and Budge) for a while. Boomer is the kind of guy who can make you laugh no matter what - he's also the kind of guy who you can hear whisper over a leaf blower (hence his name). Smudge is the sweetest guy you'll ever meet.

We entered NJ from PA by crossing the Delaware River. Pennsylvania was pretty tough for me. All the states we have walked through have been challenging in their own way, but Pennsylvania was the first one that I felt really tested me - physically and emotionally. The entire state is a rock scramble, leaving you exhausted at the end of the day with your feet throbbing. I couldn't have done it without Ice and Wees.

I've really enjoyed NJ so far! I had heard that the whole state was "swampy" but it's really rather beautiful. It's a nice break from the climbs we had been doing, and the climbs we have coming up in New England. Because PA was so difficult, we decided to take a little "trailcation" in New Jersey at Ice Party's house.

Jersey trail - like a rainforest!

Jersey trail
Jersey trail

I've had the best time in NJ/NYC in the last week! I went into the city and stayed with Kris (HI KRIS!) the first night. I can't wait to see her and her family again in Maine! Thank you again for your hospitality and the hat (which I think Ice Party is doing her best to steal from me!). The next night, I stayed with Kathryn in Brooklyn. Nate just so happened to be in town! IT WAS SO GREAT SEEING BOTH OF THEM.

Kathryn and Nate - I had missed these two!
After Kathryn's, I stayed with ANNNAAA for two nights. It had been about 2 years since I had last seen Anna. My time in NY was fantastic. Exploring this new city with old friends. I loved every second of it.

Sitting in Times Square

Central Park!

After I left NYC, I came back to NJ where I spent the rest of the week. I watched Ice Party's brother take home the cycling bronze medal in the Special Olympics!

Ice and her mom also took me to the Jersey shore and Asbury Park! Springsteen's old stomping grounds. This one is for you, Sarah-

I had a really wonderful time in NY and NJ. Thank you thank you again and again to Kris, Anna, Kathryn, and Ice Party's family. We'll get back on trail tomorrow to begin what feels like the final stretch. I couldn't be more excited for the upcoming states - only 830 miles to go!

Next maildrop address:

Kristen Bacon
C/O Roy & Marilyn Wiley
47 Washington Mountain Rd.
Becket, MA 01223
Please hold for AT hiker
ETA 7/1

More soon!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mile 1198!

Hello from NJ!

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE DC. In two weeks, I've officially completed Virginia, walked through Harper's Ferry, successfully ate a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting (duh), walked through Maryland, went dancing in Baltimore, fell in love with Wees' amazing 88 year old aunt, and walked half of Pennsylvania. We're still on the trail in PA, we were just picked up by Ice Party's lovely mother yesterday and spent the night at her home in NJ.

I don't have much time to write, so I'll keep this short and just include pics.

The Mason Dixon line! Officially out of the South.

 Ice and Wees at the half way marker!

 Half way! Pre ice cream coma.

 One of my favorites - Elusive.

 Boomer - three slices deep.

 Laundry day! Sleeping bag skirts - all the rage in Duncannon, PA.

 Crossing into MD from WV.

"Hey Ice, will this snake kill me if I get close to it to take a pic?"
"Nah, totally harmless...
..."I have no idea if that snake was poisonous or not" THE TRUTH COMES OUT

 Elusive's potluck! Such a great day.

 Smudge and Ice taking it in.

 Budge and Smoomer!!

 This shelter was nicer than my apartment.

 Early mornin

 The Doyle! Old ass hotel in Duncannon.

 We were attacked by a falcon shortly after this.

Wees in rocky Pennsylvania.

We're well into Pennsylvania right now - I am having a great time but the rocks are killing my feet! I'm super stoked to get into New Jersey in a few days. I may be going into NYC for a few days coming up (??) so if you're in the city, give me a holler! I may need lodging. If you know of anyone or any place to stay, I'd appreciate it!

Also big thank you to all the amazingly generous people who have showered and fed us in the last two weeks. Steph, Jenny, Ice Party's family - you're all so great.

Kris P - I got your package in Pine Grove! THANK YOU! I hope you got my Facebook message. I accidentally threw away the packaging before I wrote down your address - would you mind commenting here or sending me a message with your address? I'd like to respond!

Next mail drop:

Kristen Bacon
C/O Mohican Outdoor Center
50 Camp Road
Blairstown, NJ 07825
Please hold for AT hiker
ETA June 9, 2014

This drop is coming up a little fast - I'll post a further out one when I'm in NYC! MORE SOON!