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!

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