14 mile day set up camp at campsite right after fording south branch carrabassett river which is the third river I had to ford in Maine. Rule for fording rivers: face into the current and lean forward. Saw two full grown moose today ran across trail about 50 ft. in front of me. Finished the book “the deceived” starting the book “bitten”. The deceived was a good crime fiction novel it kept me interested unlike the Koran which was a complete bore. Get this 2000’ climb done with today and then call it a day at horns pond lean-tos yes to’s there are two of them. Oh and the 2000’ climb is only 3 mile climb. I forgot to mention the privy at piazza rock lean-to is a dual privy with a cribbage board in the middle. Passed the 2000 mile mark today YAY!!!!!! Set up camp at little bigelow lean-to. From the elevation chart *GASP* the at appears to be shall I say is flat or shall I say at flat. For 15 miles *GASP*. I have hit the 2000 mile mark three separate times now. Guidebook said 2000 was at bigelow mtn. then a sign further north said 2000 mile mark then they have the 2000 mile mark painted on the long falls dam road. Although it was at flat today it was all roots, rocks ,mud, puddles. Awesome view of pierce pond aka: lake at pierce pond lean-to. I get to ride the ferry across Kennebec river tomorrow. YAY. Stop in caratunk me check the hiker boxes since caratunk is only ½ mile off the trail. Then monsoon will be the last town. 100 mile wilderness after monsoon. The ferry was a canoe and a guy and I had to help paddle across the river. Checked the hiker box at the caratunk post office and got some food then this British couple gave me two mtn house meals and a box of chips ahoy cookies. Setup camp just as it started raining. Suppose to rain rest of the day. So I guess I will just read my book and call it a day. 150 miles to go. I finished my book “bitten” only about 30 miles to monsoon. Setup camp at moxie bald mtn. lean-to after walking in mud,puddles,slippery rocks and roots all day. Today took a spill first thins this morning scratched up my leg and knee YES THERE WAS BLOOD OH YES THERE WAS BLOOD. Heading into monsoon tomorrow for some work for stay at lake shore road check some hiker boxes for food. The trail seems at flat for the most part till Katahdin. As much as I love the outdoors after 7 months of nothing but climbing up/down mtns it is time for a vacation. Sit around and get fat and happy for a week then search for work to fund my next adventure with a lot better planning this time. Trail magic today another thru-hiker couple shared their lunch with me today and gave me $20 SCORE. Made it into monsoon, me today and got some food from the hiker box at lake shore and the local mission here also grabbed a couple of new books from the mission as well. “more then courage” and “a painted house” then white blaze put on a hiker feed today and tomorrow. All you can eat burgers, brats, lasagna, sodas etc. got a few beers from other hikers. Walking through swamps and fording rivers yes RIVER’S on the way to monsoon. They don’t seem to believe in bridges here in Maine. All you can eat breakfast pancakes, biscuit and gravy, coffee,oj, milk, provided by white blaze. Then I got a free 12 oz bottle of alcohol for my stove from Shaw’s. spent the day in monsoon, they had a band playing at the lakeshore pub. Sitting lakeside beautiful view of the lake while listening to live music. Great day. Setup camp spending tonight on baseball field. Tomorrow time to get down to hiking and get done cause it is COLD in the mornings and need to get done before it gets COLDER. Hoping to be done in 5 to 6 days. Here's to hoping. Started the 100 mile wilderness today. Fell into little Wilson stream while fording it. The rock bed is slicker then snot and injured my right elbow. I get a sharp pain every time I bend my elbow now. Hopefully it will go away by morning. Set up camp at Wilson valley lean-to. Found me a nice spot just north of side trail to west chair back pond where stream crosses at. Met a mute couple on the trail today. They seemed quiet and peaceful J J J. Setup camp at Sidney Tappan campsite. The first 50 miles of the 100 mile wilderness going northbound is not “easy” but the second 50 miles seems to be a piece of cake till Katahdin. After little Boardman mtn to at turns “flat” till Katahdin. Set up camp next to a river with an already used campsite. This trip has been great but I’m tired of climbing mtns. Everyday for 6 ½ months it definitely wears on you after a while. BIG DAY tomorrow. Going to put some miles down and hopefully be done with this is a couple of days. Wishing myself luck. Rain Delay today. Nothing like a nice pot of steaming hot beef broth on a rainy day. Setup camp at hurd brook lean-to left extremely early cause you have to sign in at Katahdin stream campground before climbing Katahdin and I September your climb has to be started by 10 am and since they are charging $10 to stay at the birches lean-to I am up early to hike the 3.5 miles to abol bridge then take the blueberry ledges trail to the birches which is only 4.4 miles rest at the birches then climb Katahdin. YAY I MADE IT UP AND DOWN KATAHDIN!!!!! Now I got to see if I can get a ride into Bangor. I hope so cause I am tired of walking/hiking. For now that is. Got me a ride into Millinocket. Stopped at the good Samaritan thrift store asking about soup kitchens/food pantries/shelters since I am out of food and money. The nice lady there gave me a ride over to the local ministry/food pantry where the guy there helped me out. Gave me some extra clothes, new pair of sneakers, got me a night at the at lodge in town, bought me supper at the at café where I had a Katahdin burger which was a double bacon cheeseburger that was too big for even my big mouth and fries, coke, potato wedges with bacon cheese and sour cream. Not surprisingly I was still hungry after that. Then gave me money for breakfast and bus fare. He arranged someone to pick me up in the morning to take me to the bus station. Raided the hiker box at the at lodge for more food and used some of the breakfast money and bought a large Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza from local pizza place and some pop at the at lodge. Weighed myself at the at lodge. 130 lbs. all that food I ate must have made a difference huh lol. Took a nice long shower as well. I feel 5 lbs. lighter now. I am actually kind of glad to wake up and not have a mtn to climb or walking through bogs, mud ponds, slippery ass roots, rocks, boulders and other crap on the trail. 6 ½ months of that is enough for awhile. I definitely glad for a break from that. A nice soft be to sleep in as well. I will miss the freedom of the trail though which is why I started it to begin with. But then again I do need a break to let my body recoup and my wallet to recoup as well then head to the west coast for the from Washington to Mexico although I will stop at the border not go into Mexico. Now if only I could talk someone into going with me. It is kind of boring hiking alone although it is nice at times as well to have the alone time. Just like everything else we will just have to see what’s what when the time comes. Such ends my Journey on the AT.
Made it two the fire wardens cabin which was one hell of a climb. Way past bumfuck and the back 40 wasn’t even on the map anymore. Went from 880’ 3,230’ in 4 miles. A couple of girls showed up and gave me a brand new package of like 12 flour tortillas, new package of 4 pita bread the flat circular kind and a nice big bag of trail mix that has Oreos, goldfish, pretzels, raisins, cheerios, and some other stuff in it. Got the cabin all to myself tonight J J. No one wants to spend the night with me which is a blessing sometimes J J. Only 400 miles to go. Just think if I do 100 miles every 3 days I will be done in 12 days J J. That is not going to happen but it’s a thought. It is beautiful up here in new Hampshire. The views and scenery is fucking AWESOME. It makes all the effort worth it. I know I have done a lot of bitching and moaning in here but most of that was from all the climbing I believe. Take away all the climbing and it is AWESOME. But then again you can’t get the views without going to the top of the mountain. Although I have climbed countless mtns on the at with no views cause they were still below tree line. Which are pointless. But it is what it is. My clothes are always soaked in sweat by the end of the day. So I change into dry ones for the night then next morning put the wet ones back on and HIKE EM DRY as they say. Yeah it sucks putting on wet shit in the morning but after a few miles their dry and keep you cool and your not sweating buckets till mid afternoon and you still have your dry set for the end of the day. I have climbed everything since ga. EVERYTHING. They didn’t leave out a single climb. I have hit every little hill and bump. Question of the day : Who walks to Maine? J J J after getting diarrhea today and ruining a pair of shorts. I called it a day at ore hill shelter which has yet another stagnant puddle water source. That seems to be the trend at shelters since at least jersey I believe. That may be the source of my diarrhea which has passed I hope. Too many stagnant puddles water sources although I treat them with purification tablets but when every shelter has a stagnant puddle water sources something is bound to get by eventually. I mean use a hammer long enough you are bound to hit your thumb at least once. Tomorrow I hit the white mtns. Which I hear are breath taking. They are certainly going to take my breath away with the elevations that is for sure. Was going for the white mountains today but got sidetracked at the hikers welcome hostel in glen cliff. Found 3 bud lights on the trail today SCORE. There was a ton of freebies at the hostel. Found some kaopetate in the hiker box. Vanilla flavor. Drank that still tastes like shit even for vanilla flavor hope that will cure my diarrhea. Raided the hiker food box. Got some chocolate chips, trail mix, oatmeal reg. flavor, some candy, mac and cheese. I had a couple of bagels with cream cheese. I got another roll of butt paper. I called it a day at Jeffers brook shelter. 50% chance of rain tomorrow and rain for sure Monday they say. Hoping I get the 50% clear tomorrow don’t want to get stuck on a mtn in the rain. Especially with a pack loaded with food and water. That was on hell of a climb up mtn. moosilauke and even worse coming down the other side. Fell on my ass 4 times on the climb/slide down. Calling it a day at some low elevations cause of the impending storm like to be on the down low where it is a lot warmer. Took me forever to climb down mtn. moosilauke. Coming down the mountain I wasn’t worried about time/schedules I was just worries about breaking my neck. Maybe I should have done some more miles today but with the weather the way it is going through the whites I am playing it safe. Now if it was sunny and clear skies that would be different. I am taking a little extra precaution. Maybe it is just an excuse to take the rest of the day off J J J. Jeffers brook shelter had a beautiful brook in was definitely awe inspiring. Although the climb down mtn moosilauke was extremely slow going it has a beautiful waterfall running right next to the trail all the way down. Rain Day. Rained all day today. Read AT journeys mags and slept today. 24 hours of continuous rain. It is like I am in a monsoon here. And it is still raining. Haven’t even been a break to go #2 had to do that in the rain. Still have the runs. Didn’t make it out of my tent before it let loose. This time I had to clean my sleeping pad, shorts, and of course myself. That pepto and kaopetate didn’t seem to work what so ever. Whatever I got it is something fierce. Swashed my shorts with some head and shoulders in a nearby creek. Hung them up but now raining again. Just hike them dry tomorrow. You see it is not all fun and games out here. Good thing I got that full roll of butt paper at the hostel which is practically gone now. I just got that roll too. It seems I am doing taking another day off. Really going to have to do some moving to get this trail done. 388 miles to go. Tent pole snapped AGAIN that makes FUCK I don’t know to FUCKING many. Of course still raining. Sunday night started raining and hasn’t stopped and is now Tuesday evening. I am going to hike my ass off when/if this rain quits to get this trip done tired of the fucking gear failures I have had it with these fucking poles. Been raining going on three nights now still dealing with the runs now poles are snapping again. Just get me the fuck out of this it is no longer “FUN.” It is FUCKING MISERABLE. FIXING THESE FUCKING POLES ALL THE GOD DAMN TIME AND EVERY FUCKING TIME HAS BEEN IN THE RARIN. GET ME OUT OF THIS FUCKING NIGHTMARE. Gorgeous day today the sun is shining blue skies beautiful scenery the new Hampshire forest is gorgeous. So much I don’t mind that I am walking through bogs and ankle deep mud all day form all the rain we got the last few days. Scenery and days like today make it all worth it. Spent the night at Eliza brook shelter. Beautiful waterfall. brook at Eliza. Got a rid into Lincoln and spent the night at Chet’s. tippy toes bought beer and shared with me along with some grape soda. Another beautiful gorgeous day today for hiking. Take advantage of these days while I have them. Weighed myself at chets’ 115 lbs. Getting to the point where my pack is going to weigh more them me lol lol. Surprised I can still carry my 50 lbs. pack which is mostly food and water. Got a ride back to the at. Every shelter in the whites charges $8 overnight fee. Money hungry amc Yankees. So I am just camping along side the trail. Setup camp 1 or2 miles before Garfield ridge shelter. I was a hellacious climb when I got back to the trail. Went from 1,450’ to 4,000’ in 2 miles. Every step was a 6 inch or more step up. Continued to go up to mtn. Lafayette today. 5 miles today but one hell of a 5 miles. Like I said the mtns here in NH are very time consuming. Twisted my ankle today. Setup camp about ½ mile down for the summit of south twin mtn. right before the rain came. Which I knew was coming. I got myself a new book entitled “The new Appalachian trail by Edward b. garvey it is both the story of his journey on a thru-hike I 1990 and a practical guide to backpacking on the at. LEAKY MOTHERFUCKER. Looks like I am going to have to cover the meshing with tyvek cause I have this back spot opposite the door that leaks like a sieve still. It was extremely windy and chilly at the my. Guyot summit. hat off and kept losing my balance on the rock summit cause of wind. Caught up with tippy toes and Delaware Dave and hiked with them today. We stopped at Zealand falls hut for lunch. Beautiful falls there at the hut. Threatened rain all day but never rained. After the hut it was easy going the next few miles it was flat and was a “tourist” trail I kept looking for white blazes to see if I was still on the at. Then it went to shit again. Next six miles was nothing but mud/ankle deep water. Basically walking in a creek bed. Which is what it was a creek bed they decided to use for the at. Cause it was all rock with ankle deep water and when it wasn’t rock it was mud and marsh. You would think since the amc charges $8 a person per night at all shelters in the whites they would have a better maintained trail. NOPE. One of the worse stretches of trail Ethan pond was. Make it to a campsite off of Crawford notch. Going to dry my sleeping bag and fix the leak in my tent tomorrow. It is suppose to be nice the next couple of days then rain/thunderstorms again so I better fix my tent while I can even though I will be doing it on a good hiking day but it is what it is. That is the motto for the whole at “it is what it is” got another hellacious climb up mtn. Webster 3,000’ in 2 miles. YAY. These emergency blankets work great. I wrap myself in one and then put my sleeping blanket over top. A lot of climbing today and a lot of 45 degree 90 degree slabs of rock/mtn to climb up and down or at least try to figure out how to get up/down. Put a fix on my tent and dried out sleeping bag before I started my hike also had two cheddar broccoli rice sides for breakfast best rice sides they have. Made it to mistzpah hut took a break talked with fellow thru-hiker found out it was 5:30 pm WHOAH! Better find a campsite. Instead though I inquired about work for stay at the hut. Got the last work for stay spot. YAY. Had to wash dishes and clean up stove but first they fed me a GIANT helping of lasagna, pumpkin pie which I had four slices of, bread and soup. Slept on dining/ common area floor. Going to stay for breakfast then head up/down mtn. Washington. 57 miles to Maine. Not even 5 minutes on the trail and I am already wore out. The climb from mitzpah hut was several hundred feet in a few hundred yards. WOW!!!! Had some keesh, blueberry muffins and coffee for breakfast took some muffins for the trail. A amc club member/day hiker gave me a bunch of cliff bars and chocolate bars. Now I am getting attacked by a whole country of black flies. I am out of energy again today but I still keep walking somehow. I am not hungry or thirsty just dragging ass again. Same thing exact same thing happen when I left Lincoln nh and took that big climb up to liberty springs then to mtn. Lafayette. Both mt. Lafayette and mt. Washington are in the alpine zones so maybe that is it. Altitude. Cause I was feeling fine the day before yesterday when I did a 14 mile day with tippy toes and Delaware Dave. These climbs up to alpine zones seem to take everything out of me. Only 1.4 miles to mt. Washington summit then starts going down to lower altitudes again. Hopefully it is just “altitude sickness” that is making me drag ass. 1,200’ in 1.4 miles won’t that be fun. Calling for rain/thunderstorms tomorrow. Give me a day off maybe that is what I need. I am still leaning towards altitude sickness though. Although I did get the 5 miles to Lakes of the clouds hut rather quickly at least I didn’t expect to see it so soon. There was no trail today just mtn. rocks and general direction. Extremely windy today as well which made scrambling over mt. rocks a real challenge. Fell in a bush today. Still made 12 miles today and work for stay again this time at Madison hut. Saw the mt. Washington trains taking tourists up to the summit. Still having stomach problems don’t know what it is could be anything I suppose. Still hiking so that is good and actually did a descent day today. I remember the bumper stickers that said I drove up mt. Washington. SO WHAT I climbed it you lazy ass tourist GO AWAY. Woke up and saw a moose outside. Extremely windy again and scrambling over more rock wind knocked me over a couple of times. Then it was a DROP DOWN to scoop tent site. Big 6 inch step down UH Big 6 inch step down UH. Knees were sore after all that. Setup camp at Osgood before rain. Had breakfast at Madison hut. Over plate size pancake with cold coffee, pineapple, maple syrup. AMC is the WORST FUCKING CLUB out there except for the hospitality at the huts. NO BLAZING MOTHERFUCKERS. Northbound sing facing south WTF. Walked 3 miles in the wrong direction then had to walk back cause the sign was facing the wrong way. Good thing I am out of the whites today. They are closing the whites starting tomorrow cause of impending hurricane Irene. Got about a mile north of pickham notch and setup camp. Batten down the hatches and see what happens. 5 miles with 6 bonus miles today. So I would have made it to the wildcat mtn. peak which is not where I want to be in a n impending hurricane. So it all worked out I guess. Beautiful day today no rain last night was clear and clam. Apparently I wasn’t in the clear on the forest closing cause when I got to carter notch hut I was informed that I was still inside the forest they were closing and had to take the 19 mile brook trail 3.8 miles to pickham notch hwy and walk/hitch in to Gorham till Monday at midnight when the forest open up again. After eating some free snacks and a bowl of chili at the hut I continued down the 19 mile brook trail to the hwy and started walking/hitching into Gorham. Then the best trail magic ever EVER on the trail happen. This dude picked me up and gave me a ride into Gorham then treated me to an all you can eat Chinese buffet, gave me a couple of boxes of cliff bars, three French vanilla special k protein shakes, two boxes of gu energy gel and gave me $2 in quarters for a shower and ice cream. Then I raided the hiker box at the hostel for some chex mix, full roll of duct tape and more tent repair. Then raided the fridge for more ice cream, cranapple drink, v8, blue berry and goulash. Yeah it was a good day. Watched the Assassins with sly Stallone and Antonia banderez at the hostel. Surprised I am the only one here. My tummy hurts from all the eating I did today UH J J J. Rain Day. Watched color of money. It is raining like mad outside. It is not possible to rain any harder or faster or more then it is right now. Good thing I am in the hostel upstairs away from the water. Watched TV most of the day at least till the late afternoon when the power kept flickering on and off then I just turned off the TV and read a book entitled “ when a kid became president” Setup camp alongside of trail last night. 18 mile day today. Made it to Maine YAY. This trail is still very time consuming. Had to take pack off for the first time this entire trip to converse the trail.. Made it into carlo col shelter campsite after dark setup tent on platform in dark. The trail and mtns. Here are very steep a lot of 45 degree or greater slabs of rock which I took a spill on and scratch the fuck out of my arm. But you can only walk up/down 45 degree slabs of mtn. rock so long before you slip and they bite you. FUN DAY on the trail today. Climbed,scrambled,crawled and drug my pack through the longest and most difficult or fun mile on the at. Mahoosuc notch. Made my way through a jumble of pit of boulders. It took several hours to go through that 1 mile. Setup camp with several other hikes. Has some of the hikers singing hoist, hoist, hoist it to the top don’t let it drop when they were hanging their food bag. Called it a day at belopate lean-to cause the last two days I set up camp at or a little after sunset. That and the other 8 nobos I was hiking with headed toward frye notch lean-to and it would be a packed house trying to find an empty tent spot and it was when I read the shelter log when I got there. Was going to go in Andover me today but the road was washed. Was going to see about some work for stay at the high 5 hostel and raid the hiker box for food and such. Good thing I didn’t which I was thinking was going to be the case I found out that the hostel was full from a sobo a the hall mountain lean to where I set up camp after a 15 mile day. Rain delay today. There is another road into Andover me 4 miles north of here not and easy 4 miles though. Down a thousand feet up a thousand feet back down a thousand feet to the road. But I may have a better chance with a work for stay at hostel since that group I was hiking with will be back on the trail so I am thinking anyway. Just check it out and hope I get lucky. Sat out the day today and read the book “command and control” from beginning to end. Found out the high 5 hostel in Andover was full again today cause of a football game. Since it had been full the last two days hopefully people will move on and I will get a spot tomorrow. Here is hoping. Didn’t have any motivation today so I just started eating A LOT of my food hopefully get my motivation back. But now low on food of course. We will see what I can get in Andover tomorrow then onto Rangeley and see what I can get there. Didn’t go into Andover the road into Andover was deserted. Got about 3 miles from beamis Mtn. lean-to before I got dumped on with rain. Finally made it to beamis mtn. lean-to. Tent pole snapped once again. I think that makes 7 times now. Found me a real tree mesh long sleeve shirt at beamis mtn. lean-to. SCORE. Some gorilla glue maybe that will fix my tent pole. Got a new book entitled “The Koran”. Apparently it is the Islamic bible another thru-hiker told me. Should be interesting to read. A section hiker shared her fully cooked brown rice with me as well. Suppose to rain again tomorrow. It was HELL coming down from Beamis mtn. lean-to. More 45 degree or more flat click slabs of rock wet rock that is. Fell 4 times skinned my knee and arm up. Got about ½ mile from Sabbath day pond lean-to when I started to get rained on again. Called it a day at sabboth. Rain delay yet again today. Will I ever get into Rangeley?? Made myself an alcohol stove today. Works great. Got some alcohol from a sobo and cooked up the last of my food which was plain spaghetti. I tend to eat a lot of my food on these rainy days. There is no rationing food out here. I have tried and it just eats away at you till you say fuck it and eat cause your hungry and you have that hikers appetite then run out or short on food before next resupply. I heard from a sobo that stopped by the next 5 days are suppose to be good no rain in the 70’s. YAY. Hopefully I can score some food in Rangeley. Scored a lot of trail magic at shelter this evening. Delaware Dave showed up and gave me some trail mix, 2 packages of ramen, 2 packages of peaches and cream oatmeal, another thru-hiker gave me a snickers bar and fruit bar, another gave me a rice side, package of ramen and this female hiker gave me a meal as well. Hikers helping hikers I have helped out hikers myself that needed it. You just have to let them know if your out of food or need something and someone is sure to help. Some of the hikers are glad to get rid of the food weight more then your thankful for the food. I just seem to be in the right place at the right times. Went into Rangeley today in the rain. The nice ladies at Ecopelagian let me camp next to their store for free. Got a lot of food from the hiker boxes in town and from Delaware Dave and others from extra food they had in their mail drops SCORE. Also got some more heet for my stove. Got a ride into Rangeley right off the bat as well. I am getting there but having a HELL of a time doing it though. Only 220 miles to Katahdin. Left Rangeley after spending a few days there. Got a ride back to the trail and a cold bottle of Budweiser. Talked to a couple in the parking lot about the at for a couple hours it seemed like then the sun starting going down so I headed down the trail to piazza rock lean-to which was only a couple of miles away and setup camp. Got a couple of books from the library one entitled “the deceived” the other “bitten”. Had chicken rice ride and tuna for supper. Maine is my least favorite state on the at. Cause of the steepness of the mtns. But mainly cause of all the flat slabs of 45 degree or greater most of the time wet slippery rock I keep slipping/sliding/falling down on. It is just a pain in the ass climbing down these mtns. And time consuming as HELL. I don’t know why I bother drying out my shoes/socks anymore. It only takes but a second on the at before they are soaked again. Love how the at runs you right up a creek as well. Right up the middle of a creek running down the mtn. not to mention all the mud and bogs as well. But IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!! Can’t forget all the rock drop offs as well. Going along the trail and all of a sudden the rock just drops off 6 inches or more lovely. It is starting to get chilly here at night. I don’t see my breath yet but it is getting close though. Set up camp at poplar ridge lean-to.
Rain delay again today. It smelled and felt like rain all morning and finally my Achilles heel got sore enough I was limping so I set up camp and now it is raining. Was it a sign?? My Achilles heel acting up and making me stop?? Maybe. But I am sitting the rest of the day out and read more of the adventures of huckleberry Finn and follow his adventures while mine are put on hold. Yet another rain delay. At least I will get to finish my book. Well I finished my book and the skies have cleared up and the sun is out so back on the trial. Called it a day at story spring shelter. Spruce peak shelter tomorrow then into Manchester center Vt. The next day. These silver emergency blankets work well but they have to be next to your skin to really work though. They are noisy but when your tenting by yourself who cares cause there is no one else around to bother anyway. Trail magic today homemade chocolate chip and pecan brownies, sodas, Gatorade. Vermont has a new name it is now vermud. Cause most of the trail in vermud has been just that mud . piles and piles of tree roots. It is like I am in pa but with tree roots instead of rocks. Of course the bottom of my boots are wet from the mud and puddles and the tree roots and rocks and boulders are wet so I am slipping and sliding all over the place. Which makes for and even funner adventure. Got me a new book entitled “ field notes from a catastrophe man, nature and climate change.” By Elizabeth kolbert. Long title I know it is a book on global warming. Taking a break right now and reorganizing my pack again which I do from time to time cause just like an office desk or room or house it gets clustered with stuff getting taken out and put back not in same spot and stuff getting used up like food and other stuff. So the weight gets shifted to one side or the other or all ends up at my waist with now weight up top so it on my shoulders. Just the adding and subtracting things it needs to be repacked once in a while. $5 to stay at Stratton pond shelter are you kidding me. $5 to stay at a shelter on the at. Can you believe that. It is nothing more then a regular at shelter to begin with. No way I am paying $5 to stay at an at shelter just to get eaten alive by mosquitoes when I get that for free all day on the trail. If I am going to pay to stay somewhere it is at least going to be in and away from the skeeters and insects. That kind of scam are the running there. I hear there are a few more shelters that charge up to $8 to stay and are just like at shelters with an open side. FUCK THAT!!!! I hear you can work to stay. WORK!!!!!!!I am not on the trail to work. I work enough hiking the trail. 1,500 miles and Stratton pond is the first shelter that you have to pay to stay. So I headed back down the trail and set up camp at William b Douglas shelter which is a free at shelter. ½ mile off the trail but miles don’t mean anything anymore and besides I am glad to walk the half mile and not have to pay. FUCKING OUTRAGEOUS. DAMN YANKEES. Always the dollar with these Yankees always the dollar. Plus new jersey and new York were expensive to resupply through as well. Sorry Josh but Griffith lake and tenting area charges as well. Makes no sense to me when I can camp on the at for free. Make me pay to stay at an at shelter what kind of bullshit is that hopefully I can make it into Manchester center Vt early tomorrow and bypass all these pay shelters pay and get eaten alive by mosquitoes unbelievable. Like I said don’t make no sense at all. Next thing you know they will be setting up toll booths on the trail saying you have to pay to hike the part of the trail. Would not surprise me one bit if that ever did happen. Always the dollar I tell ya always the dollar. Then some punk at Stratton pond shelter tried to tell me I couldn’t camp on the trail unless I was a ¼ mile from the trail and blah blah blah blah. I said what’s with the rules dude. I have been on the at for five months now don’t tell me I can’t camp on the at. Good thing I started in Georgia and got to know the at so I am aware all this scam and bullshit. I can’t camp on the at WTF. The “MAN” is always trying to keep me down I tell ya J J J J. That little punk was trying to make it our like I had to pay shelter fees and couldn’t just go down the at a few miles and camp out. What kind of kick back is this punk getting I wonder?? Reminds me of the dude way back when that tried to tell me I had to hang my clothes inside my tent and not outside on a clothesline. FUCKING SNOBBY ASS hikers. Well I don’t like it. So what did I see the next morning that fucker had his shit outside on a clothes line. I mean I can respect people and such but then again I still got to what I got to do. I am not going to adjust myself to your little fucking rules and pet peeves if it hinders me just to make you happy. FUCK THAT!!!!!! It hinders my free spirit and my do what I want to do whenever I want attitude. Fuck all that rules bullshit. You have to do this or that or follow this. No thank you. That is why I came out to the at to begin with to get away from all the rules and bullshit and people saying you have to do this or you can’t do that. If I want to take a shit in the woods I am going to take a shit in the woods. Don’t like it go back to your city life and get the fuck out of the wilderness. I am wild and free and have a problem with people telling me what I can and can not do. Yes I am a caveman/mountain man whatever you want to call it and I am where I belong in the mtns/woods. This is my element so take your city snobby bullshit else where there is no room for it out here in the “WILD”erness. Went into Manchester center today and got some supplies and then called it a day at bromley shelter. Stopped at big branch shelter for the day. The skies are not looking good haven’t seen the sun at all today and the next shelter is 8 miles away and I just know I will get stuck in a torrential down pour during that 8 mile hike I just know it. But of course now that I am sitting in a shelter the skies will just be dark and no rain till I hit the trail again if I was to that which I am not. Talked to a south bounder this morning. He was going on about how hard the trail is coming from Katahdin and how it is the hardest part of the trail and I have not seen nothing yet blah blah blah. I told him yeah it may be tough but I don’t think it will be any tougher then that I have already done. Of course he is like everyone else says ok just wait till you get to this part or that part blah blah blah. Yep I would have got about 4 or 5 miles and got hammered with rain for it is raining now. A day hiker showed up on his way to his car which was only 1 ½ miles away and chatted a little and gave me three peanut butter jelly sandwiches some crackers and a hard boiled egg. Then headed back down the trail set up my tent in big branch shelter since it looks like I am going to have the shelter to myself. Keep the skeeters off me cause this rain in perfect breeding grounds for skeeters especially when it stops and nighttime approaches. Looks like I am going to be slipping and sliding on roots and rocks again tomorrow as well. That is just what vermud needs more rain. Oh the wonderful days in paradise. Lost & Found still three days ahead of me. Trail magic this morning a box with a cucumber, some cinnamon swirl bread and a bag of starburst sour jelly beans in it. Then at Vt 103 four cans of soda. Stopped at claredon shelter to find a Ziploc bag of oatmeal and a package of spaghetti. Calling it a day here at clarendon shelter. This shelter has a nice front lawn with a couple of flower pots. Should I finish the last soda? Sure why not what are you saving it for? Feeling like you need to carry extra weight or something. Not likely nice 17 miles day today. I may have this shelter all to myself as well tonight. Still going to set up my tent though. Ground seems a lot softer then this hard wooden bunks. That was the longest mile to a shelter so far. I came close to passing out on the climb. Started getting light headed and went whoa there buddy take it easy. I just wish I had something to put on this spaghetti. 500 miles to Katahdin. 20 miles day today. Got to Churchill Scott shelter and found a mountain house meal. Then there were 5 sodas just before us road. Called it a day at Gifford woods state park. Place was packed with car campers. Found me a spot though. Got a smore, peanut butter/jelly sandwich some blue muffins and tomato and red pepper from one of the car campers. Really FUCKING SICK of these FUCKING GRAVEL WOOD PLATFORMS AND SHIT. Never give anyone a place to stake anything down. Everything has to be free standing. FUCKERS. Only camp in designated areas but we won’t let you stake anything down in those areas . FUCKERS. All I can do is do the best I can. Calling for rain tomorrow. I sure hope not. I can’t afford days off trying to catch lost & found especially when I am not too far behind him. 20 mile day today and then another 4.5 miles into Woodstock Vt for some supplies. Ran into doc at stony brook shelter. He was sitting there waiting for his son do what. Came across or rather peregrine came across me on the trail as well saying SOB wondering how I either got ahead of him or how he caught me. Found me an apple tree on the trail as well. Green apples spent a couple of days in Woodstock Vt. As far as catching lost & found that is secondary to seeing the sites.sounds and such and doing my own thing. But it is nice to be back home on the ol’ at. Woke up this morning with a buffet of snails on the inside and outside of my rain fly. So it was a decent little breakfast. A whole lot better then the skimpy ass $15 breakfast at mountain creamery HOLYFUCK. 3 little pancakes, handful of hashbrowns and a cup of coffee $15 FUCKING DOLLARS. Got me a can opener. I know hikers are going to laugh and groan why the hell are you carrying a can opener. Cause a lot of food is cheaper in a can than a package so I buy the can and put the contents in a double zipper heavy duty Ziploc bag and throw away the heavy can. That way I save money and all I carry is basically product weight. Cause the Ziploc bag weighs maybe a ½ ounce at the most. Plus it also saves a ton of room in my pack. I think I got this non-cooking thing down now though. The rices/pastas can still be made just let them soak in water for awhile. Of course nothing is hot but if you really need to carry a pot and start a campfire normally there is one going when you are something hot anyway. Camp stoves definitely have their place. It is nice especially in cold weather not fussing with getting a campfire going especially in the morning and evening after a long days hike you just want to cook eat and be done. But in the warm weather they lose their luster and sometimes are just extra weight. The road into Woodstock Vt is at 882’ at mile 127.9 and the road into south pomfret Vt is at 820’ at mile 129.4 so the data book says. What the data book doesn’t tell you is there is a BIG FUCKING MOUNTAIN in between the road into Woodstock and the road into south pomfret. So after getting back to the trail late in the afternoon I set up camp on top of the mountain. I found a thick piece of round foam that you could use to insulate pipes with on the side of the road and picked it up and using it for more shoulder padding. The padding on my shoulder straps is all bunch up and wore out. I am definitely getting this whole at thing figured out and my next thru-hike will be a lot more enjoyable and be a lot less headaches and problems that is for sure. I think I got it figured out to where my monthly food bill is$200 and have plenty of food to last the whole month. I need to get some good quality gear that will last me then work on save for a year then continue living my dream of on the at. Section hike down south in the winter time and then head north come spring or later winter and spend the summer in Maine and then go back down south. As long as you don’t spend more then a couple of days at a shelter no one will bother you. You can’t make it look like you are “living” on the at instead of “hiking” the at. So you just have to keep moving which is what we do anyway cause it gets boring spending the whole day at a shelter doing nothing. Work for a year save what I can and put it on a pre-paid debit card hopefully with no fees (YEAH GOOD LUCK ON THAT.) and away I go. Up to top of mtn down to the road back up to the top of the mtn back down to the road up to the top of the mtn back down to the road. Then after what happen at mtn creamery I get to cloudland rd and there is a sign that says hey hikers come enjoy some ice cream sodas and such at cloudland farm country market only 2 miles UP the road. Open Wednesday – Saturday 10-5. I know today is Thursday cause I checked to see what day it was. Get to the top of the road and the sign says “CLOSED.” MOTHERFUCKER. After pissing and moaning about it the janitor comes out and opens the place up for me. Oh and by looking at the sun it was about noon to one in the afternoon. So I got myself a bottle of Rugged mountain root beer. Oooooh “RUGGED.” It is anal natural soda from pure mtn water. It contains carbonated water evaporated cane juice natural flavors, spices and citic acid. And relaxed on the front porch for awhile. Going to call it a day at thistle hill shelter. Ok no more shelters. The hard wood floor/bunks is too much. The ground is a whole lot softer to sleep on. Good thing I keep a good supply of iodine tablets fir these stagnant puddle water sources. Went into Hanover nh to resupply. Trail goes right through town. Made it to NH two more states to go. Trail Magic for today: watermelon, homemade raisin bread at yellow house, free day old sandwich at dans & whits general store in Norwich Vt, cup of coffee at Dartmouth book store snickers bar at the mountain goat outfitters slice of pizza at ramuntos brick and brew pizzaeria bagel with strawberry cream cheese at bagel basement. Hiker box at Hanover outdoors. Rained last night and this morning camped out at velvet rocks shelter. Probably spend the day in Hanover trying to type as much of my journal onto face book as I can. Sky was gloomy most of the day but no rain just drizzle in morning. Spent another day in Hanover. Got some Velcro to fix my vestibule on my tent. Went to stinsons general store and got a mellow yellow for a buck and she threw in a monte carlo del sandwhich chips mr goodbar candy bar for free. Got invited to a pig roast at the local catholic church. Camped out near the trail for the night spent yet another day in Hanover. Will I ever get out of this town? Went to everything but anchovies pizzeria for their all you can eat pizza buffet only $6.99 with all the pizza I ate you would have thought I haven’t had anything to eat for days. But after being on the trail you develop a “hiker appetite” where devour everything in site and then some. Going to grab what supplies I can at wal-mart tomorrow cause from here to Katahdin ain’t’ much for resupply that isn’t 5 to 10 miles one way from the trail. Camped out same spot as last night. Starting from nj north all the resupply places have been extremely overpriced. You really have to spend a day to find the cheap resupplies. I didn’t find out about the wal-mart and free bus to/from wal-mart till my 3rd day in Hanover. The cop-op market there in Hanover wanted $4 for a pound of bologna and $4 for a loaf of bread. $8 for bologna/bread so much for that being the poor mans’ diet in this town. So you really got to be in the know on the trail to no spend bill gates amount of money. Took the free bus to wal-mart and price chopper and resupplied only got a few things from the co-op market in Hanover. Then headed back down the trail and set up camp at velvet rocks shelter. I was sitting there at the shelter and low and behold tippy toes comes walking up. Said she got lyme disease and was out for a week. So we caught up and bullshitted till hiker midnight which is getting earlier and earlier. Raining again this evening wind is blowing pretty good as well. Hope it is nice tomorrow if it is raining when I get up it is back to bed as usual. A couple other female hikers showed up late in the evening. Everyone is still guessing my age to be between 222-25 years old. They call bullshit when I say 34. well time for bed I suppose night. Met “awol” today the author of the best at guide out there. Met gimli today. Raining this morning but finally able to hit the trail made it to moose mountain shelter took a break and sewed a patch over the huge hole in my shorts so my pecker wouldn’t be hanging out. While I was doing that it started raining. So I ended up calling it a day there. Several other hikers showed up a couple of them I haven’t seen for like 1,000 miles. One is from des Moines Iowa. It eventually stopped raining and I set up my tent. Collected a bunch of firewood for the fire they got going with the help of one of my fire sticks. Had some kind of “bug” or something that was making me queasy so I got up in the middle of the night and made myself hurl and after that I was fine. Visited the ice cream man today. Got some free ice cream and a couple of cokes 50 cents a coke. Raided the hiker box for some reading material. Checked the paper calling for rain Sunday Monday today is Thursday. Also got some lighter tent stakes from the hiker box. Bought a couple more cokes for the trail.
Peregrine caught up with me at rph shelter yesterday as well. His test results came back negative for lyme disease which is good news. Met someone at rph shelter that is more frugal then I am on the trail. Says he spent $300 total on all his mail drops and basically doing what I am no hostels,restuarants,hotels etc. Heard a new term yesterday as well. Trail Tragic. When you come across a cooler full of nothing but empty soda cans and candy wrappers. I hate trail tragic. I have came across a few of those myself. About 17 miles to the connecticunt-jew york border. They are saying which by looking at the data book seems to be true it is going to get harder and harder to resupply at a grocery store. Seems the trend is going to continue from here to Katahdin of convience stores and gas stations for resupply. UG UG UG UG :( :( :( :(. I don't want to be stuck spending $20-$30 for a 2-3 day resupply every convience store or gas station. Sure the people at the convience store or gas station love it cause it is money but that burns through a bank account/wallet in more then a hurry. And you definitely don't get your bang for your buck. Basically 2-3 days of chips/snacks/junk food for resupply at outrageous prices. Well I suppose I better get going if I am going to meet up with peregrine at Telephone Pioneers shelter. Made it to telephone pioneers shelter but peregrine wrote in the log book that he was heading into Pawling ny. two section hikers that I have been running into the last few days were just leaving as I showed up. Nobody else was at the shelter and it is dark now so I set up my ten inside the shelter without the rain fly just to keep the pesky insects off me maybe I can get some sleep tonight. Finishing my last two cokes. Someone left a half gallon size bag full of trail mix that I helped myself too and taking with me. My pack was feeling a little light need to keep it heavy lol lol lol. Free snacks I just can't pass up. The water source here isn't great. It is a puddle a surprisingly clear puddle. I filled up my 3l bladder and threw in some iodine tablets. Good thing I have those and use them sparingly for such cases as stagnant puddles for water sources. Get up early tomorrow. and head down the trail. Just in case you are wondering I can go about 15 miles on 3l of water which is good to know since I can't tell how much water I have left without taking it completely out of my pack. Which is a pain. For breakfast this morning I had a sandwich which consisted of two pieces of white bread, peanut butter,honey,spam single, peanut butter crunch cliff bar. Now I am eating more of that trail mix that I got yesterday here at the shelter. Got caught in the rain today heading toward mtn. algo shelter it was a nice down pour. Tripped over a rock and took a spill and scraped up my leg a little. Found a full 23 oz can of loco orange blend beer on the side of the trail SCORE!!!!. Then the rain finally quit and I set up camp about 3 or 4 miles from mtn algo shelter. made it to mtn algo shelter the next day. Hung everything out to dry. Filled up and hung my camp shower for later use. Now I am just sitting here enjoying my beer and combos and relaxing for the day. Boy I tell you some days are just rough of here :) :) :) :) :). These roller coasters are plenty to wear a guy out I tell you what. Ran out of bread yesterday so now I am eating my spam single topped with peanut butter and honey just by themselves. No more cliff bars left either. But my next resupply which is Salisbury Conneticut is only 18-19 miles away. Which is a days hike. So I may just do 12 miles today to the next shelter which is 1/2 mile off the trail which I am not fond of then do the other 4 or 5 miles into Salisbury the next day for resupply. Stopped at pine swamp brook shelter for the day. I could stop at limestone spring shelter and fill up on water then stealth camp near the road that goes into Salisbury which is what I may do instead. We will se when the time comes. Missed some trail magic the other day when I was sitting at mtn algo shelter. Heard it was about 1/2 mile up the trail and she was serving sodas and homemade apple pie and other stuff. Oh well you can't hit them all. besides by the time I heard about it I had finished my loco beer which equals about6 beers and it kicked my ass :) :) :) :). so all was still well. Looks like it is going to be another beautiful day in PARADISE. Saw in the trail log at mtn algo shelter lost and found left me a message saying tree beard I hear your not too far behind me looks like I am buying the beer then :) :) :) :). He is only 4 days ahead of me now. Got to housatonic river road today and met some geocachers. These people go out and find "treasure chests" around the country. It is just a big treasure hunt where they leave a note in the box and take an item/leave an item and record it on their blog on the net and such. Well anyway they said they would give me a ride into Salisbury Conneticut. I was like cool deal. Got into Salisbury and stopped at the local grocery store to resupply. Rain into a bunch of other hikers. Devoured a quart of orange sherbert and put two cans of Arizona in my bladder. One of the hikers said dude you are going to be running up those mtns. He was right I had one hell of a sugar buzz. But I only got 5 miles down the trail before the insoles in my boots were completely wore out and every rock I stepped on felt like a hot poker on the bottom of my feet so I had to quit for the day and add some more cushion. It always seems to be something I tell you what. But I still got 20 miles in on the day. The mags I wanted to read fell out of my pack somewhere along the trail as well damn it. Whenever I get good luck bad luck seems to follow or vice versa like with the rain and that beer. Oh well time to hit the trail and see what the day brings me. Made it into mass today. That just leave mass Vermont new Hampshire and Maine to go. Roughly 577 miles to Katahdin. Rain delay again today. I wish I had that backpackers mag so I could check out and fantasize about all the gear I want to get. I fixed the leaky tent for the most part at least all I can do for it now if it still leaks it is cause it is wore the fuck out. I should carry something to read for rain days but I don't know about the weight though. I think I will just stick with my journal and mini deck of cards and taking naps on rain days. I am definitely going to plan my next AT thru hike a lot better and get some good quality gear so my thru hike will be ALOT more enjoyable. Although I have had tons of fun on this trip but the gear failures are annoying as hell and they have been the majority of my problems. So if I get some good quality gear that will take the pounding of a 6 month hike on the AT it will definitely be a lot more enjoyable and fun. Plus I will be a lot more knowledgeable and know what it takes for a 6 month hike on the AT. But it has been a great adventure and learning exp. that is for sure and living the motto: Every Man Dies But Not Every Man Truly Lives. I am definitely truly living I would say. Just like the song goes: They call you the bandit an outlaw untamed shackled only by freedom you wear no mans chain some say they despise you well maybe they do but deep down inside them I bet they wish they were you. I think that song describes me perfectly. Life is all about living. FTW you got to do what you want to do and just keep living man. Like he says in easy rider once you make the money that is it your free. I believe that is what he was saying anyway. Yeah it is going to be hard to go back to society and have to deal with the bullshit but I will deal with it long enough to the get what I need and spending money to go back vagabond again. This absolute total freedom has got its grip on my and I am completely addicted to it and I am ok with that. Of course the last time it started to rain I decided to continue down the trail it down pours now this time I decide to set up camp instead of climbing another rock mtn in the rain and it just sprinkles and now seems to have quit. Figures. I know if I pack everything up and head back down the trail it will down pour. The gods seem to have a close eye on me. Oh well I may take a nap and see if it rains anymore or not play a couple games of solitaire. It is what it is and what happens happens. Yep it cleared up time to hit the trail again that is if I can get my ass moving again. Hard to get moving again after a long break. Of course it started sprinkling again. Finally made it to tom Leonard shelter. Called it a day here. Suppose to be a big storm coming through tonight. Set up tent in shelter. Have to retire my shorts cause the zipper doesn't work anymore and I wore a BIG HOLE in the crotch and since I am going commando have to retire them. Find myself a nice light paperback to read as well entitled missing since Monday by ann m. nartin. But I am sure now I will never get to read it. Found myself a 7.25 oz bag of refried beans as well that will give me an extra boost up the mountains :) :) :) :). UH 6 in drop UH another 6 in drop UH another 6 in drop off the mtn. There are times where this is more mtn climbing and scrambling then hiking. This trail is a zigzag motherfucker at times as well and you can get no where fast on it when you want to and the shelter is always at least 3 miles away when the bad weather hits. But it is what it is in PARADISE. I am still loving it and wouldn't want to be anywhere else but in the woods. I am always reminding myself and others that this is a voluntary hike no one is making us do this . It seems to be easy to forget that at times. As much effort and problems I have and it seems to take I am doing all this voluntarily and at my own free will. Some people may say how crazy is that. Like the one guy at the grocery store who couldn't understand why someone would strap a 30-50 pound pack on their back and start walking through the woods. Not All Who Wonder Are Lost. It's FREEDOM BABY YEAH. I am going to sew up my shorts instead of tossing them cause I have the needle and thread. Boy I tell you the problems and stuff I fix on the trail. One south bounder at the shelter today was surprised I was using the same gear I started with except for the boots. But I will most definitely have to get new gear when I got to Katahdin and some more money. Like I said this time some good quality gear that will last me awhile and take the abuse I throw at it and the abuse mother-in-law nature throws at it. But my goal is to finance living in the woods or on the AT year round. Cause this is where I belong. With mother-in-law nature and father time. Got another 80's song in my head today. "Loving every minute of it. Turn that dial all the way shot me like a rocket into space. Loving every minute of it." Headed out of tom Leonard shelter after waiting out a thunderstorm that never showed up. made it the 20 mile hike to Upper goose pond was going to go to cabin but it was another 3/4 of a mile trek up a mtn and after 20 miles and no daylight left I called it a day and set up camp next to upper goose pond for the night. Went to cabin the next day where they were serving coffee and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Finally weight my pack at the cabin 30 lbs. without water and only a few days of food. A lot lighter then it was when I started. It will probably be around 40 after I load up on water and food. I found a pair of merrel flip flops that worked perfectly as insoles for my boots. So I finally got that problem fixed. The mosquitoes are a big annoyance. I like the black flies better at least they are not bloodsuckers just biters. Heard about a free hostel in Dalton called the bluebird or something like that. Suppose to be the best hostel on the trail. Have to as around Dalton to find out where it is though. Supposedly they do laundry and such free of charge. Sounds good to me. Have to check it out. Check out all these hiker boxes for stuff I can use. Everyone is heading to Kay wood shelter today which is a 18 mile hike. I will probably end up there myself if I ever get out of this cabin lol. Then into Dalton mass tomorrow. Stopped at mtn Wilcox north shelter yesterday and found a pair of Hanes hp dry socks, a pound of oatmeal, and emergency blanket, a garbage bag to wrap my sleeping bag in. Screw fell out of my glasses when I was going down the trail. Had to stop and fix them with some fishing line. The guys at neels gap in GA wanted me to get rid of the fishing line. sheesh. It always seems to be something for all the good luck I have like with the insoles and blueberry pancakes this morning some bad luck seems to always follow. Like with my glasses. It is like sooooooo annoying like for real. Good thing I am like mar. fix it otherwise I like wouldn't know what to do. Time to get moving again. Kind of looks like rain hope not. Where is my Machete? Had to do some bushwhacking on the trail today. You just had to plow through the tall grass and such. It never ceases to amaze me how much "stuff" to put it nicely the AT seems to run you though. Nicely who am I kidding after awhile it just becomes crap. Today there were more tree roots on the trail then rocks which surprised the hell out of me. At times the AT seems to turn you right into a whole line of it. Like in the shinnies your on a nice tourist trail turn the corner to get back on the AT and it turns to shit. rocks, roots galore. But it is what it is. Better then going to work. Everyone is heading to Kay wood shelter for the day and I am heading there myself only another 9 miles. Only another 9 miles it just rolls off the tongue like no big deal lol lol. Replaced my book with the adventures of huckleberry Finn. Little heavier but more to my liking. That is if I ever get a chance to read it. From the weather report I got from a fellow thru-hiker 95% chance of rain Monday which is 5 days from today. It has been very humid the last few days. I woke up yesterday and my wood walking sticks had water dripping down them. My glasses kept fogging over I missed the trail once. My bandannas hanging on my pack were dry when I started hiking and didn't take long for them to get soaked and I didn't even use one of them. Headed into Dalton mass. from Kay wood shelter with peregrine and another couple. Hit some trail magic on the trail a whole case of mtn dews. Everyone was passing them up so I took theirs :) :) :). Caught up to moon doggie and his lady friend at Kay wood shelter. WE all stopped at the local cafe in Dalton had breakfast. The couple offered to buy me breakfast but I said no thank you. It is unbelievable how much trail magic and luck I am having. I always seem to be at the right place at the right time. I declined the couples offer on breakfast cause I didn't want to hear the other hikers groan about how lucky I get or how I should stop mooching off others. They may or may not be thinking or saying that but that is what goes through my mind. Did get a ride to the local grocery store price chopper for some resupply hen headed to Cheshire mass where I stayed at St. Mary's after taking the long way there cause my piece of shit guidebook. Long way meaning and extra two miles. Picked up some more oatmeal, pudding, and food from hiker box at St. Mary’s along with a pair of boots that needed laces and were 1 ½ sizes too big but they are a lot better then the ones PA took out. That 1 ½ will just give my feet plenty of room to spread out and swell on these long hikes. Grabbed another pack cover for my pack as well just in case I get caught in the rain my pack doesn’t increase in rain weight. Then it was a nice 1800’ climb to Mark Noepel Shelter in the heat/humidity. A couple of section hikers were there one of them unloaded his snack bag on me. Got Mt Grey lock coming up which is the highest point in Mass. Try to make it to Vermont today. We will see. Lost & Found still 3 days ahead of me. Should get some NOBO’s to slow him down J J J J. I am glad I got that 3l bladder pack. I drink a lot more water with it and definitely needed on these horrific humid days. Although 3l is 5 pounds of water weight UH!!!! Speaking of water that is something that still seems to be popular not carrying a lot of water cause of weight and depending on water sources. Which is stupid since the next water source may be dry especially in PA. Yeah I fill up with 3l of water at 5 lbs. but that is one thing that I have run out of before and don’t want to very often. So if I must carry something it will be water. I am still amazed at how many hikers have absolutely NO wilderness survival skills at all. I mean NONE. I would think if your going to spend 6 months in the wilderness you would at least like to know something. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and it doesn’t weigh anything. Made it to Wilber clearing shelter when I just ran out of energy and called it a 12 mile day. Vermont is only 7 miles north of here. Mt Grey lock wasn’t too bad cause you did the majority of the climbing before Mark Noepel shelter and the Greylock summit was only 3 or 4 miles north of that. The next tent I get is going to be completely free standing cause these “designated” tent spots won’t let you stake anything out. They are all either wood platforms,gravel or something else that won’t let you stake. But I got it figured out. I just throw a stake down where I can and run a rope everywhere I need it. Always solving problems out here. But that is all part of the adventure. I could have packed everything up and headed into the shelter before the rain but then I would be bombarded with the gnats and such . That wouldn’t work. There is one good thing about this wooden tent platform it is raised off the ground so no chance of my tent sitting in a lake this time. Found a new bottle of iodine tablets at Wilbur clearing shelter. Rained last night and I ran out of energy yesterday after only doing 10 miles so I am taking the day off. Sit and read the adventures of huckleberry Finn maybe tap a nap and be lazy J J J J. Set up camp next to a creek about 1 ½ miles from Melville nauheitm shelter and Aaron and big country show up. It was nice to see them again. Then another thru-hiker showed up. Once again he sees me and says you must be tree beard I’ve heard about you.
Gear List for my next thru-hike.
Then my tent pole snapped again this morning had to fix that. Walk about 1 1/2 mile round trip to delps spring to find it dry as a bone and it rained last night. Bonus miles I will have done when I get to Maine: 200. With water sources 1/2 mile from trail, town for resupply, and me just being a plain dumbass and losing the AT a gazillion times. All which are not counted nor is the 8.8 mile access trail to Springer Mtn. Everything is getting tore up on the trail. 1. Vestibule zipper went out. 2. Tent poles snaps 3 times. 3. Shoulder straps on pack break. 4. Brand new pair of boots I got right before pa are basically wasted on one state. 5. zipper on sleeping bag compartment broke. 6. Headlight doesn't work anymore. As far as me goes everything seems to be working as of now. No bruised muscles or anything just the sore feet from walking on rocks all the time and sore shoulders from wearing my pack all the time. Everyday I wake up thinking ok this is what I am going to do today but it never happens that was I always end up doing other things. Even tonight I didn't want to drag everything out of my pack but ended up that way anyway. Plus I am going to try to do some continuous miles without stopping every mile or so to adjust my pack or something. Yeah it is nice but when there is just trail and nothing else you just as well keep walking instead of dawdling and wasting daylight. Trail magic at park today. Lady gave me a whole watermelon that was already cut up and in Ziploc bags. So I sat there and devoured it all. Stopped at the church of the mtn hostel which was free to stay but had to sleep in the overflow shelter though which is an AT shelter. Got me another guidebook at the hostel. Plus I traded in my two metal water containers for a 3l bladder pack. Got myself another multi-tool, some food,band-aids,ducktape. Got rid of my rain gear. They had a hiker feed here at the hostel last night. I weighed myself on the bathroom scale here and I am now 127 lbs lost 20 lbs since GA. I got some nice cushy insoles from the hiker box here as well. Ran into a lot of thru-hiker friends here as well. Do What gave me a roll of duct tape. Got some food from a thru-hiker who was leaving the trail for awhile but coming back. Another pair of socks as well. Now I am organizing my pack for stuff I don't need and stuff I need. Downsizing basically. Some hikers want me to get rid of my stove and fuel and cooking gear and just go with cold stuff. I just can't do that. Finally getting out of PA. Thanks for ruining a brand new pair of shoes PA. FUCKER!!!!!!! Bruised my toe on a rock yesterday as well. Grabbed a couple of coke zeros for the trail. All they had. I know zero calories like I need to lose anymore weight. I just may have to get a can of lard. Seriously thinking about it. Brink Road shelter was nothing more then a mosquito infested rat hole. Was going to take a break there but said fuck it and filled up on water and got out of there while I still had blood left. Took a break on side of trail instead and still collecting blueberries for a snack. Rain day. Rained all day today so I didn't go anywhere. Wish I had a book to read but I don't 'read them enough to carry the weight. I suppose I could ready my journal though. I do still have that mini deck of cards though I could play with. I could just go back to bed as well. Hailed last night for a little while. I can continue writing in my journal as well. 860 miles to go to reach Katahdin. YAY :) :) :) :). It will be sad to see this adventure end but when I get to Maine I will find some work grab some new gear and hike the trail again now that I know what it takes and what gear I need and don't need. I may hit another trail in the country thought about maybe the Sierra Nevada’s in California. We will just have to see when the time comes. Ran into that thru-hiker that bought me those beers at Patty T's and took me to taco bell at high point shelter. Traded him a bic lighter for food. I think the jelly or something I got from him was bad cause I had an upset stomach later. Took some pepto tablets and called it a day. Woke up feeling fine. Went into Unionville NY and grabbed a few things from the grocery store then went over to the gazebo next to the post office where a nice looking young female thru-hiker was sorting through her mail drop. Chatted with her and she gave me her left over food from her mail drop. I just devoured a whole 12 oz bag of teddy bear chocolate chip cookies. I am going to have a cheddar broccoli rice side to go with it. It was fun walking though the mud/marsh/swamp of new jersey yesterday and this morning. Ran into moon doggie and a chic that is hiking with him in Unionville. Decided to run with them today. Although we set up camp way too late and had to make supper and the end of the day stuff by headlight which I don't like. I run on mother nature time. The suns comes up I get u p have breakfast and get going then have everything done like supper and such before sun goes down. I let mother nature do the lighting for me. Heading into Greenwood lake tomorrow for resupply. Then back on the trail. Going to give up the 2 or 3 lbs camp stove, 30 oz. fuel bottle, cooking gear except for my spoon and just go with non-cooking food. This is what I am going with for non-cooking food: pepperoni, summer sausage,flatbread,beef jerky,propel,combos,power bars, peanut butter,honey,chocolate,honey buns,spam singles,peanut butter cookies,coldcuts. I am running lean. What I have in my pack is: sleeping bag which is still heavy, tent,tent poles,tent stakes,pants,2 t-shirts,wallet,headlamp,which just needed a new battery to work again,multi-tool,2 bandanas,lighters,matches,magnesium strip,cheater fire starting sticks, iodine tablets,mini deck of cards,roll of duck tape,compass,pepto tablets,band-aids,needle/thread,some fishing line/tackle,deodorant,bottle of shampoo,pack repair kit,spoon,cup,3l bladder pack,camp shower,buttpaper,1/4" rope,ziploc bags,trash bag,sleeping pad,pillow. Of course food when I resupply tomorrow. Oh yeah and my pen/journal is still in my pack. Went into greenwood lake today. 2 miles east of trail. About 50 cars passed me and not a single one stopped and offered me a ride into town. DAMN YANKEES. cvs/pharmacy was the only place in town to resupply so I got a few things just to get me to fort Montgomery to get some long term supplies. Fort Montgomery is only 2-3 days away. 90 degrees out today. They had 1.5 quart of Ice cream at cvs buy one get one free and sobe life water buy one get one free. So I got two sobes one orange tangerine and the other Fuji apple pear the Fuji apple pear is pretty damn good. As for the ice cream I got double fudge brownie and butter pecan gave the butter pecan one to a guy who lives in a camp in the woods outside of town. Sat and bullshitted with him for awhile. Ate the whole 125. quart of the other ice cream. UG I felt that afterwards. Some guy taking his bike off his car for a ride around the lake started talking to me about the trail. Telling me you have the hardest part coming up. UG. Everywhere I go wait till you get to this part or that part blah blah blah blah. Everyone seems to think their state is the hardest. You get there and it is no different than what you have already done. I asked the guy have you hiked the whole trail He says no. Then how can you say that is the hardest part. It is the hardest part you did Mr. Section hiker cause that is the only part you did. Time and time again I run into section and day hikers who think and talk like they have done the whole trail and always seem to be the expert and ones that talk the most about how hard this section or that section is. Yeah that section may have been rough but you can't talk about it is the hardest when you've only done that section of the trail. Yeah PA was rough on the feet and boots but as far as elevation it was pretty flat. New Jersey was mostly marsh/swamps and millions of mosquitoes. Every state has its thing as far as the hardest part I don't think any part is "harder" then another they all have their goods and bads. Just like weekender who came into a shelter bragging about how he just did 10 miles that day. I just did 20 today and do another 20 tomorrow so SHUT UP. Or the guy who was bragging I did 30 miles today and now I am going home. yay for you. 30 miles and now your going home to sit on the couch. I have done over 1,200 miles and still going so SHUT UP no one cares. I am going to try not to run out of food this time. But it is impossible to ration food out here. I have had several people help me out with food but still I shouldn't eat all my supplies up so quick but hard to when your always seem to be hungry and burning so many calories. Oh well it is what it is. I got my pack weight down but I just replace it with food weight. But food weight is different then stationary weight. Food weight goes down while stationary weight stays the same. So I got my stationary weight down to what I think is the lowest I can get. The sleeping bag will be next if I find a snuggie or something a lot lighter in a hiker box or shelter somewhere. Cause that sleeping bag is another 3 or 4 lbs of stationary weight I could lose. It is a pain in the ass to pack as well. Other then the sleeping bag that is pretty much it. Maybe I can pick up a lighter blanket at a local church or maybe even trade my sleeping bag for a light blanket at the salvation army or local church or clothing pantry. That will make a big difference. Then I can put my tent down there in the sleeping bag compartment with the blanket to take up the space. Have to check out Fort Montgomery for a salvation army or clothing pantry or something. I may even be able to trade one at goodwill you never know. It is an idea. I am always thinking always thinking. Since the ATC says Maine/New Hampshire are the hardest states "rolls his eyes" be nice to be as light as possible. Then you have the people watch out for the bears in the smokies, Didn't see or encounter a single bear. What are you going to do about snakes. Kill it and have it for supper. Everywhere I go people are always talking "horror" stories about the trail and woods like it is some spooky place. OMG it's a bear or EEEEK a snake. Yet they live in the city and gunshots don't even phase them. It is amazing how people are more scared of the woods and wildlife then the gang bangers and violence of these American cities. When fact of the matter is with a little common sense the wildlife leaves you alone if you leave it alone and most times is more scared of you then you are of it. Yep I can tell I was in New York today. Some guy at a gas station was parked where there wasn't a parking spot and some lady chewed him out about it. Then some lady was honking her horn for someone to hurry up and move their vehicle so she could use the gas pump and then of course she took up the whole side blocking both pumps. You find that all over the country but NY seems to have the rep for rude people and assholes. Then some dude came by and said just wanted to make sure someone was in the ten. Like someone is going to setup a tent and just leave it. Although someone did do that with that beer back when so anything is possible. Holy fucking humidity today. New York=up down up down up down up down up down up down. Rain into river rat again today. Had and his trail companion seem to drive north then head south cause I keep running into them. River rat gave me a snickers bar today. YAY. Did I mention holy fucking humidity today. My pack won't stay in place the sweat keeps making it slide down so all the weight is on my shoulders. Trying to get to fort Montgomery today another 20 miles to go then into fort Montgomery tomorrow. We will see what I get in this fucking humidity. Hiked ten miles today and had to stop on account of rain. Still twenty miles south of fort Montgomery. But it was a fuck of a ten miles up down up down up down with an unbelievable humidity one where you just stand there and sweat. But oh well it is what it is. Just glad to be in PARADISE. Get up early and head down the trail some more all you can do. Would have liked to do some more miles but you can't fight mother-in-law nature you just have to go with her. At least I got the tent set up before it came down. Isn't that wonderful wake up with a lake under my tent. The tent floor is flooded GREEEEEEAAAATTTT. Still raining have to move tent put tyvek down. First move tent then try to wipe/dry floor out then put tyvek down and spread stuff out to "dry". Joy Joy Joy. The wonders of the outdoors. AHHHH I'm LOVING IT. My next adventure or audition will be swamp thing plenty of practice here. So much for being a good tent. It doesn't keep me dry anymore. I have to rig it up to stay dry. The rain fly leaks now. I get splattered with rain when sitting on the inside. The rain just soaks right through the rain fly now. I have to add several sticks now to keep the rain fly away from the meshing and still get drips inside. Hate to say it but have to call a spade a spade. Every time it rains I am swimming now. I got a leak somewhere I didn't fix or fixed as best I could and still leaks. I mean the tent poles snapped on me three times. The zipper on the vestibule doesn't work anymore. The rain fly isn't waterproof anymore. I have to put sticks all over to keep the rain fly from soaking through even then I get drips onto the mesh even when the rain fly is not touching the meshing. Sit here and get splattered with mists of rain. Now I have to carry a 100 lbs pack 75 of it is water weight now. Oh yeah and the outrageous humidity. Oh well it is what it is. Just dry out when I can and try to stay as dry as possible all you can do. At least my journal is staying dry thanks to the miracles of Ziploc. Hopefully I took care of everything and stay dry now. This trip would be a lot better if I didn't have so many gear failures. I think 3/4 of my problems have been gear failures. But I am rolling with it and fixing the problems and still heading to Maine. I will get to Maine. on the bright side I haven't needed any braces or anything for my body. My body seems to be holding up better a lot better then my gear is. Well let's see if the inside of this sleeping bag is still dry hope so. Try to get some sleep. LOVING THE DAYS AND CHALLENGES OF PARADISE. 20 mile day into Ft. Montgomery NY to find nothing there. Just a little gas station. Got some trail magic at the lake by bear mtn and trailside museum and zoo though. Had brats,steak,pop. They gave me the leftover steaks, brats to go which was like 5 pounds of raw meat. Then went further down the lake and got fed again by some picnickers. The lake was full of people bbqing and having fun. The second group of people that fed me was convinced I was a homeless guy playing the part of a hiker. I couldn't convince them otherwise so I let it go. Setup camp at Hemlock Springs campsite. Cooked up the steak and brats for breakfast before they spoiled. cooked them over a campfire and made a grill out of some greenwood and laid the meat right on top of the greenwood worked out great. Ate my fill and saving the rest for supper or lunch. I am hoping peekskill ny has a grocery store. Otherwise I am heading to Stormville ny which is 25 trail miles from peekskill ny. Just keep moving down the trail till we find something. Someone left a blue foam sleeping pad at William Brien Memorial Shelter so I took that and left my Coleman max sleeping pad cause the blue foam is a lot lighter. Well I guess it is onward and upward. I'm off like dirty shirt. Got to the road that leads into peekskill ny today and where was an Appalachian market there which was nothing more then a gas station without the pumps. Just another short term supply place. Sat down at picnic table outside and a trail maintainer strolled up and we got to talking and he gave me a ride to a grocery store for some long term supplies. Then gave me a ride back to the trail. I went way too heavy on the resupply this time but then again I haven't ran across much other then gas stations and other short term supply places for awhile now looks like that trend may continue I am not going to spend $20 -$30 every fucking gas station or short term resupply my name isn't bill fucking gates. So I am just stuck carrying the weight. At least a lot of it is food weight and water weight that will go down as the days go on and not stay the same that is a good thing. Ran into moon doggie again at the Appalachian market. He must have came in while I was at the grocery store. Passed him somewhere on the trail the last day or so cause he was in front of me. But just think of the people back in the 60's and 70's before all this lightweight gear was available carrying around iron pots and skillets and canned food cause that was all there was and they did it and you can too. Didn't do much for mileage today only 10 miles. Eh no big deal. Got a late start cooking that meat this morning then the resupply at the grocery store plus the new pack weight plus I was running with moon doggie again today and decided to camp where he did. I will get an early start today and see where I get. Looking for 15 miles lunch then another 15 miles but it never seems to work that way especially with my boots wore the fuck out thanks to pa. But it is what it is. At least I am living the life. I am as free as a bird. No boss, no landlord, no noisy nosy neighbors, no set schedules, just me mother-in-law mature and father time. It doesn't get any better then this. Well I got an early start but ended up at RPH shelter which was 13-15 miles. They had leftovers from the trail magic over the weekend. I had the last bbq chicken and two ice cold diet cokes and some luna nutrition bars. There was a whole box of luna nutrition bars there. So I loaded up my pack with a bunch of them now my pack is insanely heavy again. So much for the miles today but 13-15 miles is still good. Like I said before always getting sidetracked when I want to get some miles in. Oh well I just can't pass up the treats and goodies and then afterwards get back on the trail. I just loose interest in hiking after a full belly and lounging around for awhile. But it is a voluntary hike though. We will just hang out and try again tomorrow. Boy what a rough life this is :) :) :) :). There are some steaks leftover as well if no one claims them I may have one for supper save my food. I would like too and trying to catch up to the other like Aaron, big country,sabretooth,lost and found but got to stop for the goodies though just can't resist the goodies then head down the trail afterwards especially when it is at a shelter. If it is just on the side of the trail with no place to camp or anything then of course I have no choice. Damn those are some hard decisions to continue on hiking a few more miles or call it a day and be lazy and bullshit with other hikers hmmmmm. Oh yeah made me some insoles for my boots out of the blue foam pad I got. Actually made two insoles per boot that gave me a little more cushion over all these rocks and gravel. Didn't get much sleep last night. Slept in RPH shelter but it was too hot to sleep in sleeping bag and the mosquitos,gnats,no seeums were driving me crazy when I would lay there with nothing over the top of me. But it was suppose to thunderstorm last night and didn't want another episode of the last time. Cut my sleeping bag in half and sewed up the open half. That was 2 pounds of stationary weight I don't have to carry anymore. Now I just have a 2 pound blanket essentially. But with the weather and season that it is that is all I need. Also sewed up the bottom of my boots with some shoelaces I found at rph shelter That helped out a lot. Now they are just like a pair of boots with half worn out tread. I went nice miles on them today and they are still holding up. Surprisingly since the AT is mostly coarse rough sharp rocks which is why I had to sew them up to begin with. They are calling for some thunderstorms today but it doesn’t look like it is happening. But maybe I just wrote too soon. No thunderstorms last night. Trail magic about 1/2 mile north of rph shelter. Cooler full of cokes,peaches,rice krispie treats. Drank a coke and took one for the trail and had a peach and rice krispie treat. Taking a break here at Morgan Stewart shelter rest my feet a little and enjoy this coke. sign on side of shelter says 734 miles to Katahdin. right now I am essentially just carrying food,water,shelter,blanket for warmth, pillow for comfort and padding for waist belt, then some misc stuff. I would say my food and water is 90% of my pack weight now and that goes down as the day/days go on unlike gear weight. Which I seem to find new ways to reduce :) :) :) :) :). 7 1/2 miles to the next shelter which will bring me to 17 miles for the day. May do more depending on what happens when I get there and how late it is.
Hopefully they hold. Got some new rice sides in Front Royal. Buffalo Chicken, Baby Back BBQ, Steak Fajitas. About 17 miles to Blackburn Trail center probably end up there tomorrow I hear it is worth a visit. So I am going to check it out. Maybe they have free tent and or pack repair definitely take advantage of that if so or maybe Harpers' Ferry has something like that. Just have to check it out and see. More roller coaster again tomorrow YAY ahhhh it is so much fun here in PARADISE. Took a ride on what they called the roller coaster but wasn't today. Took a break at Sam Moore Shelter. It was clear and sunny. Got about 1/2 miles from Sam Moore Shelter before I could get my tent set up it just down poured on me. The trail got flooded tent has a HUGE PUDDLE of water in the corner. Everything is soaked except for what is in my pack. It dumped several inches of rain in mere minutes. It is late in the day the rain is over and I'm a dumbass cause I should have just kept going through the rain would have been better off then where I am now. There is about 7 million blackflies between my rain fly and my tent. I guess I will just sit here naked on a half dry sleeping pad and wait till morning and head out to Blackburn and dry out. Running out of sun light here. I do have a dry set of clothes in my pack but with the tent floor being flooded and my sleeping pad damp no sense in getting those wet as well. If I would have just kept going actually I wouldn't have been any better been soaked with an extra heavy pack. Oh well it is what it is. Spend the night in the swamp and at it again tomorrow. Such are the days in PARADISE. Going to be a looooooooooooong night. But I would have a dry tent if I would have just kept going and set up after the rain. Just another should have could have but didn't moments I seem to have a lot of those. Although I suppose I could dump the water out of the tent and put things back instead of just sitting here huh. Everything is wet anyway right. There that is much better. Dried my tent out and hung all the wet stuff out on the clothesline to dry out. dried out my sleeping pad put on my dry set of clothes now it won't be such a loooooong night. Now I am sitting in a nice dry tent in dry clothes and on a dry sleeping pad. No pillow tonight though it got soaked and been to hot for the sleeping bag so it's staying in the pack for the night. So much for the data book it may be savable by morning not that it really helped any I was doing just as good just following the signs and white blazes then using that data book. Good thing I don't have a schedule cause every time I try one something always fucks it up. The gods keep reminding me to wing it and be a free spirit like I planned to begin with. I am so glad I got off my ass and cleaned and dried things out. So much nicer. I will just have to hike my wet clothes dry tomorrow. Only thing I can ask for now is the wind picks up no rain and dry everything out overnight. But it is what it is at least I am not sitting in a swamp. I just remembered there was a plunger in the privy aka: an outhouse at Manassas Gap Shelter nice touch lol lol. YAY I made it to West Virginia today. Took a break at Blackburn Trailcenter. I was a ghost town. But it is Monday afternoon when I showed up. So I headed down the trail setup camp at David Lessner Memorial Shelter. Going to hit Harpers Ferry and the ATC for sure tomorrow then maybe onto ED Garvey shelter and call it a day there. YAY I hit the 1,000 mile mark today. I figured if I did 15 miles a day and took a zero every 100 miles I would reach Katahdin by mid-september. What am I going to then? I don't know I haven't reached Katahdin yet. Still have 1,100 miles or so to go. What a loooooooooong strange trip it's been so far though. Stopped at the ATC today and got my picture taken and hung out for awhile. Saw a pic of the imposter tree beard that is north and the one south of me and just as I suspected neither one has any connection to the name what so ever. Made it to Ed Garvey Shelter and called it a day. Potomac AT Club makes the best AT shelters on the trail so far no one even comes close so far. Although not a fan of the tent pads though. You can't stake anything down although my tent is free standing except for the fact that I have to stake down the front and back of the rain fly down but I solved that problem. I just tied a rope around a stake where there ground and connect it the front/back of the rain fly. Great water source only it's 1/2 mile from the shelter. I found out that hot ass blondes trail name is tippy toes. Doc's son Do What was at the ATC earlier in the day that I got there. Doc is just ahead of me as well according to the shelter log. Calling for thunderstorms the day after tomorrow. There is a guy hiking in those toe socks deals that came out not too long ago. Yeah he is having fun with those on the trail since the trail is mostly jagged rocks and they only bother him when he is walking on jagged rocks lol lol. The complete and total Freedom out here is very addictive. That is what I love most about the AT. Get up when you want hike as many miles as you want got to bed when you want. You get to just sit and relax and enjoy the views and life and tranquility of nature without all the civilization development and noise of the cities. I have been telling people all the time if I can finance it or find a way I will spend/live as much as I can on the trail and in the woods just enjoying nature and life. I definitely found my place and it is out here in the wilderness WILD and FREE. I have another 1,100 miles to think about how I am going to be able to spent the winter months out here. Cause I truly don't want to go back to "society" and having to go to a "job" everyday. I am definitely going to look into becoming a Ridge Runner but as nice as that would be even that may interfere with my free spirit and longing to just "hang out" in the woods and watch the time go by. It may sound weird but going into town and sitting at the library even at the ATC I am always thinking about or worried that I am in someone’s way or someone is going to kick me out or say alright you have to get moving. Which is why I tent instead of staying in shelters cause I don't want someone bitching that I am in their way or something. I guess I just want to be left alone more times then not just do my thing without someone fucking with me about it. Which is why I love the AT. Cause I get left alone. Most of the time on the trail is spent in solitude and it just you the trail and mother in law nature. Nobody around to tell you you can't be there or you have to move on or bringing their bullshit. I can be left in peace and just be me without someone coming along pushing their bullshit on me saying I have to do this or that or follow this rule or that rule telling me I have to do things their way. I am sooooo done with all that. I just want to be free to do my thing and the AT gives me that. It doesn't care at all that I just spent all day sitting at a shelter looking out over the horizon it has no feeling one way or the other. It doesn't try to enclose me with rules/regulations and schedules and time. Time out here is irrelevant. Except for the changing of season I mean time does have its place. Time to know when the strawberries blueberries and other fruits and veggies are in full bloom which I am starting to see some wild strawberries start to bloom. Time to know when to prepare for the long winter ahead or the hot summer or looking at the sun to see how much daylight I have left in the day. It will be a shame when I get done with this trip and have to return to society with all their crap. The AT and wilderness is just there to enjoy and provide you with the necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, clothing if you want to go that far. And it is all FREE. Which is the best part. You don't have to kiss someone’s ass or pretend to like someone just to get paid so you can acquire food water shelter clothing. You don't have to conform to someone else's bullshit to make a living. It never seems to run out. Sure a stream or a spring my run dry but there always seems to be another one down the trail somewhere. Sure it take a lot of effort to live in the woods and to go hiking but it leaves it all up to you to make that living. It doesn't say sorry we don't have a job for you or we can only give you 20 hours a week or pay you minimum wage. It lets you take control complete control on whether you live or die or whither or prosper. You have no one to blame but yourself if you go hungry or thirsty or have no shelter. Cause it is forever providing for you. You just have to put forth the effort to reap the benefits. Bob Segers "Against the Wind" is another song that goes through my head a lot almost on a daily basis maybe a daily basis. Especially these lines: I found myself alone surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends found myself further and further from my home and I guess I lost my way oh so many roads I living to run and running to live never worried about paying or how much I owed. I found myself seeking shelter against the wind. Still running against the wind I 'm older now but still running against the wind. Searching for shelter again and again. Then there’s "Like a Rock" with lines such as: Like a rock I was strong as I could be like a rock nothing ever got to me like a rock I was something to see Something about hustlers and their schemes. If course "Free Bird" there isn't a part of free bird that doesn't speak to me. Especially part "this bird you can not change lord knows I can't change." Here is yet another one. "The Bandit" They call you the bandit an outlaw untamed shackled only by freedom you wear no mans chain some say they despise you well maybe they do but deep down in side them I bet they wish they were you. I think that describes me perfectly to the letter. Oh yeah I am in Maryland by the way now. Made it to Pine Knob Shelter today. Visited a Washington monument in Maryland, Did a lot of walking and hiking today. Also checked out some more confederate sites as well. Tomorrow Devils Race Course Shelter. Stopped mentioning climbing and rocks cause that is an everyday thing. Always seems to be walking on jagged rocks and climbing mtns. I was #428 going from GA to ME at the ATC. Calling for thunderstorms today. It is already raining off and on this morning. So I am going to sit here and eat breakfast and see what happens. My next destination is only 12 miles away. I planned out about 15 miles day or close to 15 depending on where the shelters are. If I follow those it will get me to Katahdin by september 17 if you figure in resupplies as well. The hard date is October 15 so I am good so far. I only take zeros on rainy days and if my body says so like with my shin and hip back when. Otherwise I am doing at least some miles everyday. I still have 28 snickers charged left so I am good still. Shelters are good distance markers cause they all have a sign that tells you where they are. Most of the other places like white rock cliff, lambs knoll, crescent you can easily pass by there is nothing there to tell you. So you can't tell where you are and how far you have gone. Well it has stopped raining her for awhile pack things up and head out if THOR let's me. AW shit just saw in the shelter log at Phillip Conwall Lost & Found called me out and threw down to catch him. He is nine days ahead of me. The hike is on through PA to catch him. I will catch or pass him going to hike night and day. This is going to be a blast. Finally have a game to play and I play to win!!!! THE HIKE IS ON!!!!! 17.5 mile day today. Hoping for a lot more tomorrow if I get up early. I hope I do. Look out Lost and Found I am coming after you :) :) :) :). One of the guys that was staying at the campsite here went to bed without his rain fly and it rained last night. Hoped he put his rain fly on in time. I talked to Goldie today and he did get his rain fly on in time. My first 30 mile day today. Actually 31 miles Caught up to Doc and his son Do What at Birch Run Shelter. Moon doggie was there as well. Then did another 3 miles before I ran out of sunlight stealth camped 3 miles south of Toms Run Shelter. Now I am up extremely early cooking breakfast and hitting the trail again for another 30. Doc I think is worried I am going to wear myself out trying to catch Lost and Found which is a legitimate concern but if it get to that point I will just take a few zeros and rest up. I made it this far no way I am quitting. Especially with a lot of people I know still on the trail. Hit Yellow breeches creek today and it I got time head into Boiling Springs for a resupply. Didn't make it to Boiling Springs. Made it to Pine Grove Furnace state park and stayed for the hiker festival and checked out the AT museum and hiker feed. Met and talked with the second guy to thru hike the AT. Sat and listened to his stories. I am talking about the second guy not the second one this year THE SECOND ONE. I am always getting sidetracked but that is not a bad thing at all. It is great to see the sites and sounds along the way. You can tell I am a thru hiker cause I took my own butt paper to the restroom here in the park that already has butt paper in it. Force of habit. Today was an interesting day to say the least. Started the day with plans to go into Boiling Springs PA to resupply and then call it a day at the campsite 1/2 mile outside of town. Then I hear Mount Holly Springs has a dollar general. OOOOOOH OOOOOH. SI check the data book which is basically useless. I do just as good just following the white blazes. So I get to a road which I think goes into Mount Holly Springs but there are no signs telling what road it is you just guess. I stop at this house and ask the guy living there if that is the road to Mount Holly Springs. He says no that road is Whiskey Spring. GREAT. I am 4 miles beyond the road into Mount Holly Springs. So much for that. Then he suggested your best bet for food would be Boiling Springs. Now if you continue down this road take a right at the stop sign about 3/4 of a mile then Boiling Springs is only a couple of miles down the road. The trail goes right through town. So I get to Boiling Springs and resupply at Karn's Grocery store which was a mile into town. Then I stop of the local tavern and find it closed NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. No beer sales on Sunday. So I head to the campsite and call it a day. Headed out of Boiling Springs fully supplied and on my way to catch Lost and Found. Took a break at Scott Farm Trail work center and checked the logbook and find lost and found is seven days ahead of me. Met some more snobby thru-hikers. Set up camp at Hawk Rock and a BIG STORM blew in. It just pissed pounded for a few hours. Headed into Duncannon, PA stopped at gas station had a couple of sausage egg and cheese croissants and a vanilla coke. Passed "the cabin" while going through town. A gentlemen's club which was ever so tempting but it happen to be 8 am I believe and it didn't open till 5 pm :( :( :(" :( :(. It was a nice little climb from US 22 to Clarks Ferry Shelter. US 22 being at 380' and Clarks Ferry Shelter at 1260' and only 2 miles of trail between them. Then called it a day at Peter’s mtn shelter which is in memory of Steven w. barber. I have been using "white gas" for a few days now and I am liking the unleaded gas better. The gasoline doesn't put such a high flame like the "white gas" does. I mean the white gas flame engulfed my pot to where I can't even grab the lid. Lost and Found now 6 days ahead of me. Setup camp about 1/2 mile north of Rausch Gap shelter. Ran into some trail magic where they guy had rice krispie treats, trail mix bars, Gatorade and other drinks but he was pushing his pasta salad and deviled eggs on everyone. He would ask what we wanted and someone would say I’ll take some rice krispie treats and he would frown and say how about some pasta salad or deviled eggs. So we took the pasta salad to be nice. Except for one of the snob thru-hikers who insisted on a rice krispies treat. Took a break at William Penn Shelter with several other thru-hikers. then went onto 501 shelter where I met up with the rest of the guys. Sat there and had pizza, garlic bread, and a thing I can't remember the name but it is triangular in shape made of pizza dough and filled with meats. Big Country gave me a better guidebook then the one I had and burned my old one. Then one of the other hikers came out looking for the guidebook big country had given me. I gave it back to her and now I am without a guidebook again. Thanks to big country burning my old one. NO he never heard the end of it and never will hear the end of it every time I see him on the trail. If I see him sitting at a shelter I will come crawling in on my hands and knees going "water, water, water" Maybe I will find another guidebook somewhere down the trail. Stopping wherever here is. It is a campsite with a creek running next to it. Have lunch and move on. Got 3 miles north of Eagles Nest Shelter setup camp for the night 18 mile day. Heading into Hamburg PA today pick up a few things at Wal-Mart. The first Wal-mart I have seen on the trail that wasn't on the outskirts of town. So you can actually walk to this one. Then of course head down the trail. Stopped at port Clinton to have lunch. PA is one BIG ROCK GARDEN/PATH/TRAIL for the most part. Tearing the FUCK OUT of my new boots. I know it was 3 miles north of Eagles Nest cause I copied some info from someone else’s guidebook. My feet are angry at PA. Went into Hamburg stopped at wal-mart and ran into another thru-hiker and he took me to patty-t's and bought me a couple of beers and played some foosball and pool then took me to taco john's for something to eat. Then we headed back onto the AT. Camped out at top of mtn. Stopped at shelter and found 3 inertia trail food meals and a pair of merrel shoes with good tread on them still. Which is good cause PA is tearing the FUCK OUT of the ones that I am wearing. Then made it here and set up camp. It better not rain and is that a bear I hear? I heard from another thru-hiker the next shelter is only 2 miles from here. Stop there tomorrow and see what's what and move on. Stopped at the Allentown shelter for a fill up on water. Was looking to do some more miles today to catch up to lost and found but that didn't happen. I was taking a break and these two ladies each one with a dog went by me then I heard a dog yelping. I got to see what's what and the lady say's threes a snake up there. I am thinking great lunch. I set my pack down and check it out. Yep a 3-4 inch in diameter black rat snake under a rock. So I take a stick I brought with me and a rock and position his head on a rock and smashed his head flat. Now it is a dead snake. It didn't have any fangs. It must have got itself stuck under the rock cause I ripped it in half pulling it out. Here is your snake ladies. They said thank you and went on their way. Being that I kill for food/survival I decided to skin/gut the snake but I forgot my folding saw/knife/multi-tool in Front Royal VA. So I had to pull a Cody Lundin and resort to stone tools. So I banged,flaked,flintmapped whatever you want to call it a sharp piece of stone and skinned and gutted the snaked and put the muscle in a plastic bag and threw the rest in the woods for the animals. Showed up at Bake Oven Knob Shelter and started a campfire and cooked up the snake. There wasn't a lot of meat on it but enough for a snack. A couple who was section hiking gave me some peppers and onions to go with the snake so I put them in my ramen and just ate the meat right off the snake. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM snaaaaaake. Taste like chicken So that is my first snake on the trail. Calling it a night here I heard from the section hiker couple I was only 7 miles from Allentown oh well. Like I said before I get sidetracked doing other things then hiking but it sure is fun though :) :) :) :). There was another snake just like the one I killed in the rafters of the shelter but not there now must have smelt his buddy cooking and figured I better get the fuck out of here. Everyone is tenting so I think I will use the shelter tonight looks like I will have it to myself. Get up early and rock on to make up for today. What a lovely day in PARADISE. Found me some blueberries today. Collected a whole bag of them and ate them all of them at the next shelter. Found some mulberries as well and ate a bunch of those as well. Sitting here cooking something to eat may call it a day here. We will see after I get done eating. This morning got up and started making breakfast then tipped the pot over spilling water and ramen all over the inside of my tent. Did about 3 bonus miles wondering around yesterday trying to reconnect to the AT. Then on of the zippers on my pack broke when I was putting my sleeping bag away luckily it has two.
Lost the trail on Dragons tooth went 1/4 mile straight down mtn no white blazes so climbed back up oh did I tell you it started raining as well so now everything is slick. Found the trail again yeah it went down a sheer rock cliff. They had a few foot steps on the side of some rocks. I came close to visiting Valhalla today as well. I took a tumble down the cliffs. Wish they would have said something about rock climbing gear. Cause that just stupid climbing down a sheer cliff in the rain with a loaded pack and no climbing gear. Surprised I didn't break something or get severely injured. I am definitely going to put some rock climbing gear in my pack next trip. That was just plain stupid. It was not crazy, not insane, just stupid climbing down dragons tooth with no hooks or anything in the rain. Did I mention how stupid that was? Set up camp in the rain. It was a FUNDAY IN PARADISE. I have my sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent on the outside front of my pack and when I went down the cliff I fell backwards onto my pack which I am sure saved me a lot of injury. Up down Up down Danielson. I felt like the Karate Kid today. Set up camp at Pig Farm campsite before another storm came in. There was nobody at the campsite. I went down to the water source which was 1/2 mile from the campsite to get water and found 5 Milwaukee’s beast ice sitting in the creek. I didn't see a soul around wondered why someone would leave 5 full beers and just leave, so I took them back to camp and got drunk. YAY for me. It rained again last night. Everything has been in a constant state of wetness for the past 4 days and they are calling for another 4 days of rain. My clothes are soaked with no chance to dry out with the rain. When it is not raining they are soaked with sweat cause of the high humidity in the jungle/woods cause of the rain makes everything muggy. My other tent pole snapped on my last night setting up outside Daleville VA. Good thing I got that rent repair kit. The other pole snapped on me as well just outside of Pearisburg VA had to fix it now I have to fix the other one. The zipper on my vestibule went out as well. All the rain and dirt and crap did that one in. But in these conditions setting up and tearing down everyday especially packing a wet tent a lot tends to wear on it. Such is life. I got into Daleville at 7pm according to the bank sign. It was a 21 mile day today. I resupplied at grocery store because there was no DG :( :( :(. My right shin was on fire on my hike/climb into Daleville. But I think that is from walking along the side of mtns. The trail is flatten out some so it is walk able but still goes at a slant. Sprained my finger as well took a spill in the mud on a down hill outside of Daleville freshly resupplied pack of course. Stopped at fullhardts knob shelter and fixed my tent pole. I did a quick fix on it last night just to get me through the night. But a bad day in PARADISE is better then a good day at work. Wonder what PARADISE will bring me today. They have a rain harvesting system at fullhardt shelter which is sensible since it sits on top of a mtn. It started raining minutes after I got there. Gipsie Girl came by about 45 minutes later. It stopped raining and I set up a clothes line and hung my wet clothes out to dry. It rained one more time a down pour for about 15 minutes then quit the rest of the day. I spent the night at Fullhardt knob shelter bullshitting with other hikers. I taught another hiker how to start a fire and the physics of fire making especially in wet weather. It seems the worst weather and conditions are where you want the fire the most. I woke up and my clothes were still wet. Looks like I'm hiking in my last set of dry clothes, which is my pants and long sleeve shirt and wet socks. Rain expected the next three days then suppose to clear up. Oh the wonderful days in PARADISE. It didn't rain today sprinkled a little here and there but sunny most of the afternoon. Fucking down 4100' to war spur shelter. Shin felt fine till I took a lunch break at Wilson Creek Shelter then it was all downhill for the shin. Apparently on my pill on dragons tooth and on the trail where I took a spill in the mud I bruised the front muscle of my shin. Made it to Babblets Gap Shelter and called it a day. I am going to take a zero tomorrow to let my shin rest. Hopefully be up and climbing/hiking again. Read in the shelter log that Wild Rain is thinking about slowing down that will make a lot of guys happy that is for sure. Weather: They are saying rain next five days. We will see. Good day to take a zero. It was raining most of the day today. But rain or no rain I am heading back on trail tomorrow. Did a 14 miles day to Bryant Ridge Shelter shin feeling a little better can walk in stride now. 14 miles is good enough on a bum shin. Been falling behind everyone since Damascus but everyone has their pace Hike Your Own Hike they say. Everyday is a climb. Made it 700 plus miles so far :) :) :). Just doing my thing and trying not to injure myself to the point where I can no longer climb/hike the trail. I am hoping my shin gets better just like my hip did. I am sleeping in shelter tonight just not up to setting up the tent. Normally I set up the tent but Bryant Ridge Shelter is such a nice big shelter. A lot of people are not even stopping at shelters that are not right on the trail anymore. ROCKS that is it for that day ROCKS. I had a double lunch today at Matt's Creek Shelter today. Then I got a ride into Glasgow. I resupplied at DG :) :) :) :). Got a ride back to trail from same couple that gave me a ride into town. I spent the night at John's Hollow Shelter. I met some more Germans. Been two days no rain hoping all this rain is done for awhile. Hung my clothes up last night to dry and then hung them up again tonight to continue to dry. She goes down she goes down down downtown all night long. I had a long downhill climb to Matt's Creek Shelter. That song gets stuck in my head on the long downs. I got back on pace with a 16 mile day. I slowed down cause of all the rain. Now I am fully stocked and hopefully clear skies ahead I can continue my pace. We will just have to wait and see. Goodnight from PARADISE. Life is Good. It was a 2,500' climb up in a couple of miles. That will get you warmed up and blood pumping in the morning. After 14 miles and a ton of climbing the last 4 miles was downhill setup camp next to Little Irish Creek for the night. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day. Came across Pedlar Lake and decided I am going to setup camp and go swimming today the sun is shinning and I am doing too much hiking/climbing and not enjoying the woods as much as I was at first. So I set up camp and as soon as I got done setting up camp wouldn't you know it THOR ruined my plans and starts raining on me? Oh well I got supplies I can wait to go swimming when the rain stops or tomorrow. I have a mini deck of cards I can play if it rains all day. But I am going swimming in this lake and relax and have fun instead of just climbing/hiking day in and day out. It is time to stop and enjoy the little things and stop with this damn miles/schedule crap. I came out here to enjoy myself not see how many miles I can get in. It was never suppose to be about the miles/schedules. I lost sight of why I came out here to begin with because everyone seems to be miles/schedules. Sure they want to finish the trail before they run out of money. But me I am here to enjoy it if I get to Maine I get there if I don't I don't. It has been too many miles and not enough enjoyment. Why they didn't put a shelter next to this lake I don't know it would be a great spot for hikers to relax and to take a swim and have fun. That is what I am going to do after this rain passes. The only lasted about a half hour then the sun came out and I went swimming in the lake YAY YAY. Although it would be a lot more fun and enjoyable if there was someone else here. It is a lot more fun and enjoyable when you have someone to enjoy it with. I always shake my head and roll my eyes when I hear I can't get a fire going the wood is too wet. I guess because I can get a fire going in any condition I suppose. But not surprising that most hikers don't seem to have any wilderness skills at all and most can't even get a fire going unless the wood is boned dry and still sometimes have trouble without resorting to alcohol or some other way of doing it like fire sticks or something. It was a 21 mile day into Seeley-Woodworth shelter today. I didn't plan this 21 mile day just ended up that way. Had that 80's ballad stuck in my head today "Can you take me higher"? No more going 1/2 mile off the trail for a shelter just to have lunch. Some of the elevations for today are: US 60-2,065'-mile170.4,Bald Knob-4,059'-mile 173.2,Cow Camp Gap-1/2 mile off trail-3428'-mile174.2,Cold Mtn-4,022'-mile175.4,Hog Camp Gap-3485'-mile 176.7. Some of tomorrows elevations Fish Hatchery Road-3454'-mile-186.7,Main Top Mtn-4040'-mile 187.5, Cash Hollow Road-3280'-mile189.6,The Priest-4063'-mile191.8,Tye River-970'-mile196.1. About 3 days to Shenandoah National Park. I am hoping for a bunch of trail magic in the park been short on that lately. But it can't be expected it is just something that happens like magic. Keep hearing about another guy using the name tree beard. Every time people tell me now you look like tree beard. The "Imposter" doesn't wear real tree clothing or any "tree" type clothing has a little scruff of a goatee from what I am getting he doesn't fit the name at all. The general rule in trail names is there has to be a story behind it or it is just plain obvious like me I am dressed in all real tree and have one hellacious beard. After this adventure I plan on getting everything RT again I believe they sell RT material at Wal-Mart. If so I will get some and find someone who sews and have them cover my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and bags they come in all RT material. That way people will know why I am called tree beard of course get another RT External frame pack. Plus I won't be such an eyesore on the trail if you’re going to have a trail name you have to fit it. I did a short 12 mile day today. Get a chance to relax at the end of the day and eat and such. Found a nice campsite next to Tye River. Leaving the rain fly off tonight hope it doesn't rain. Harpers Creek Shelter is 3 miles up from the road and probably no one there anyway. Seem to be in a hiker bubble in between packs of hikers. There were only 3 hikers plus me at Seele-Woodworth Shelter last night. Beside that I got in too late to chat/bullshit anyway and they were all in their tents due to the biting flies being out of control in the area. Shelter is not as full if full or even half full these days unlike GA. But with people dropping out or going more miles then me it is to be expected. Except for when you get the weekenders or section hikers. Looks like it is going to rain at least it will if I don't put the rain fly on that is. Gods why do you toy with me?? Of course it won't rain not that I am ready for it. Isn't that how it works? Nope it didn't rain last night figures. I took the Mau Har trail instead of the AT to Maupin Field Shelter. Waterfalls and swimming holes seemed more appealing then more mtn. rocks. My lunch got away from me. Had this nice size snake pinned on the ground with a stick behind its head bent down to cut its head off and the stick snaps and the snake crawls under the rocks. Well GOD DAMN IT. First snake I saw that was worth cooking too. Oh well it is that time of year I am sure to find some more and more game along the trail. Start fishing and maybe trade them for other food since I am not a big fan of fish. Mainly clear skies this late afternoon. Take a chance and keep the rain fly off again, unless it starts to downpour. I spent the night at Dripping Rock. There are only 20 more miles to Waynesboro, and only 15 to Shenandoah. Maybe I will get some trail magic from the tourists in the park one can hope. Just when you think everyone is ahead of you people pass by after you call it a day. Sabretooth and the guys who I haven't seen since Damascus came by and woke me up from my nap. I thought they were days ahead of me. And it was a good nap too damn them :) :) :) :). Missed another snake today got to quite daydreaming and pay more attention. Up/Down/Around/Over up/down/around/over up/down/around/over up/down/around/over up/down/around/over. That hot blonde that I left at Fontana Hilton caught up to me at Paul C. Wolfe shelter. We talked bullshitted was nice to see her again. I got a ride into Waynesboro to resupply at DG. Then I got a ride back to the trail. Memorial Day weekend here in Shenandoah. I got two beers from a young couple in parking lot and a beer for the trail. Made it to Calf Mtn. Shelter and had supper before it started raining. Sat on second floor of shelter and enjoyed my beer. Probably be a shelter rat hare just like in the smokies unless the shelter is full then I have to tent. It is nice not having to find a spot and setup/teardown a tent. But still prefer my tent over the shelters though. Plus I get to sleep next to that hot blonde as well. So that is a plus side to sleeping in the shelter. It was a 13 mile day today. Humid and 12 mile stretch of no water. There is plenty of water from here to the end of the park though :) :) :). They have these rock posts with metal rings around them that have directions embossed on them but you have to look closely too see that they are signs. Climbed 100 yards from the top of Black rock mtn. Which is a 3100' looking for sign for Black rock Hut. Leaning against a rock post to take a breather and saw the rock posts were signs and it said Black rock Hut was 1/2 mile behind me. FUCK!!!! I won't make that mistake again. I am going to keep the miles to 15 or less. 20's only to resupply. 15 gives me enough time to set up camp, eat, BS, relax etc. Fucking kids burned my walking sticks, didn’t notice till the next morning when I went to grab them and they were gone. So I made new ones. There was trail magic at Loft Mtn campground today. I had 2 hotdogs/hamburger, chips, pop, cookies etc. And 2 12 oz cokes for the trail. I also got 30 oz of Coleman fuel as well. Then it was onto Pine field Hut where I spent the night with roadrunner and snickers. $1 for a 5 minute shower here in the park. I should have just waited to hit the next lake or river. Only 8 mile day today. The next shelter is closed die to a naughty bear. A bear tore up mooseheads tent at Bear fence Hut. Spent the night at Hightop Hut. Can you take me higher It's never over yesterday was just a memory of climbing I was running from the mtns I wasn't looking for anymore. Bear fence was still closed today so I got to set up camp at Lewis Mtn campground and didn't have to pay the $15 camping fee :) :) :). The biting flies are out of control here. Maybe cause I am soaked to the bone in sweat from hiking. As soon as I stop at campground to setup they swarm me. I set up my tent up no rain fly in like 30 seconds threw everything in it and jumped in and closed the door ASAP and killed what got in. I have well I quite counting at 20 biting flies swarming around the outside of my tent. Another 12 mile day tomorrow. Got to Rock Spring Hut today and found a goldmine. Issue of June Maxim, practically full 14.5 oz bag of David sunflower seeds 4 packets of oatmeal, pair of flip flops which I turned into insoles to replace the tire ones. A lot more comfortable. Bandanna, full bottle of sunscreen 85 spf, new journal book not the shelters register or journal, lighter. I find all kinds of stuff people leave in huts/shelters. Matches/lighters,food,clothes,books, mags etc. A guy at Hightop Hut left a towel. Talked to a hot female park ranger toady said it was still a couple of weeks early on the wild blueberries. I was hoping for a snack today too. Maybe I will get lucky and find an apple tree or something it could happen. Spent the night at Byrds nest #3 picnic shelter. Had a deer grazing right in front of the shelter. 17 miles to Gravel Springs Hut today. Caught up to Sabretooth and the guys and gave me a beer. Nobody wants my sunflower seeds I can't give them away. Then this chic shows up with beer and pizza. Had a slice of pizza and a couple of beers. Once again I get people saying you must be tree beard I have heard about you. Then they all toasted to tree beard. Getting quite the rep here on the trail. All I need to do now is catch some game and cook it up at a shelter :) :) :). That would really add to my rep :) :) :). The time will come there is plenty of game out there to hunt. Hell of a party here tonight. Good times with great people. Times like these makes it all worthwhile. This trip is so worth the effort still have another half of the trail to go. A short ten mile outside the park and to Tom Floyd Wayside Shelter. Go into Front Royal to resupply. Hope they have a DG :) :) :). Spending the night here at the shelter then into Front Royal in the morning. Hit some trail magic on the way into Front Royal had a cooler sitter there with ice cold sodas and packages of ramen noodles. Then I got a ride into Front Royal. Spent a few days in Front Royal seeing the Confederate sites and such. Had some more trail magic in town this old lady took me to Wal-Mart and bought me a new pair of hiking boots. Then I donated my winter jacket and stocking cap to the salvation army since I won't be needing one till probably October and I will be done with the trail by then and don't need to carry the now useless weight. FINALLY got my sleeping bag in the sleeping bag compartment on my pack. YAY YAY. Had to cram the fuck out of it but it finally fit. was 97 degrees to 100 degrees the few says I was in Front Royal yeah I am not climbing any mtns in that weather. Decided to head out today resupplied at the Food Lion. There was a DG but I didn't want to wait around for it to open. I know I know the DG is fucking awesome but it meant me waiting 3 hours for it to open and there was a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms. That's still no excuse where's your loyalty damn it. Got a ride back to the trail. The high for today I believe was 93 degrees. I t didn't rain but I was still soaked in sweat. 93 degrees and I am climbing mtns. with a 50 lb fully stocked pack. Am I out of my fucking mind? Had to stop at the top of everyone to catch my breath and relax cause I was way way way way overheated almost passed out on a few occasions. Then ran into more trail magic. Meatball subs, turkey sandwiches, blue yes naturally blue potato chips so the package said. Although I think papa smurf had a hand in the growing process though. Potato salad macaroni salad chips dips sodas etc. I had a turkey sandwich large one with tomatoes ranch dressing and cheese. some macaroni salad potato salad homemade brownies chips dips coke. Then made it to Manassas Gap Shelter and called it a day. Only 10 mile day but I couldn't do more then a mile or mile and a half without having to stop and rest so I wouldn't get heat stroke or exhaustion. Cause one I am not trying to kill myself. Two I have no schedule other then the hard date of October 15. They won't let you climb Katahdin after that. So what if I only did ten miles there is no set amount of miles you have to do. Don't forget that this is a voluntary hike no one is forcing me to do this and no one is going to come along and say you have to keep moving or anything. It is complete and total freedom out here. Get up when you want hike whatever miles you want go to bed when you want. I am taking my old boots that got me over 900 miles to Harpers Ferry maybe they have a display for used hiking boots. If anything I am going to show them to the ATC when I register and get my picture taken for credit for what I have hiked so far. If anything I will just throw them away when I leave Harpers Ferry. I completely walked a hole in the bottom of them clear through. I am hoping the new pair will get me to Maine if pa doesn't take them out first. Came across a new test snickers bar in front royal as well called snickers charged with caffeine and ginseng added. They had them on sale for 3 for a dollar so I bought a box of 72 count for $18. 8 lbs. of snickers yeah that is a little heavy lol lol. 60% chance of rain thunderstorms tomorrow. Took a break at Dicks' Dome Shelter today. Was a little cooler today then yesterday but not by much. Took a break at Sky Meadows State park side trail to watch a group from Texas to Maine performing "Christmas Carol" play. Then both my pack straps broke on me just north of Ashby Gap and 3.5 miles south of Rod Hollow Shelter. Then of course it started to Thunder and rain. So I had to quick fix them one with a needle and the other with a safety pin and double-time it 3.5 miles to Rod Hollow Shelter. It rained a little bit but wasn't too bad. I was surprised me quick fix held up for the 3.5 miles especially being a full pack which is why they broke obviously. Must have been all those snickers lol lol lol. Got to Rod Hollow Shelter setup camp and sewed my shoulder straps back on.
Sign said Clyde Smith Shelter 3.3 miles N. 3.3 miles my ASS. Don't know where they get their mileage from but it has been screwed up since Springer. People say it is the pack weight but I disagree. It is the 45 degree up climb on a mtn for several thousand feet that is the problem. I can carry my pack all day long if I am not going up and down mtns. all the time. Even without my pack I get winded climbing up a mtn. after getting water from a spring. Oh well just slam some more honey or a couple of snickers and go back at it. Tomorrow is another day another couple of mtns to climb. It is just another day in PARADISE. Holy Fucking wind today, climbing open pasture mtns. today winds had to be about 50 mph coming in from the side had to hold my hat the whole time. I took a break behind some rocks to get out of the wind. Found an army ammunition box for a m-13. Full of mostly crap but did have some bounty to go and a 3x5 memo book that I took. A big storm is rolling in tonight. I broke a nail today DAMN IT. I had to quit for the day after that :) :) :). Ran out of snickers today I seem to go through that faster then water but with these mtns. no wonder. I am still wondering if I am going to have any weight left when I get to Maine :) :) :). Happy B-day Uncle Adolph. The stoners on the trail told me it was 4-20 today. Sky was looking pretty dark this morning. Took a break at Mountaineer Shelter which is the first shelter I have seen with three floors to it. Skies cleared up around midday sun came out and I continued down the trail. More storms for tonight they say. No storm last night. Most people still seem to be going for those miles while I am just enjoying the view. Virginia is coming up soon. Be a nice change of pace from mtn climbing. 0-100 miles climbing 100-200 miles climbing 200-300 miles climbing 300-400 miles climbing. Saw the widest waterfall on the AT today, took a swim and washed. Another Hellacious climb up out of the waterfall as well. Woody unloaded his food bag on me again. So much for that energy bar and protein drink before the climb. More trail magic at the park, bologna sandwich/chips/oatmeal cream pie/soda. The mtns were laughing at me again today. Saying you want to get somewhere today HA!!!! You have to get over me first and I am a 5000' 45 degree or more climb. The mtn after that says the same thing and the one after that and after that. But I was pushing it really hard to try to catch Wild Rain who was doing 25-30 miles a day. It was misty all morning. I finally got to Vandeventer Shelter started raining. Can Man showed up and gave me a data book. I had lunch, stopped raining still misty decided to stay though hip was on fire on the way to Vandeventer going to let it rest for the day. I burned my hip up chasing that hot piece of ass Wild Rain. Plus stay warm and dry as well. Write in my journal and read a book left in the shelter entitled "one day at a time" by Danielle Steele. If you happen to lose the AT pick the trail that goes up that is usually the one it loves going up. Besides we all know how much joints/muscles love the cold/wet weather. It cleared up in the afternoon sun cam out turned out to be a beautiful day once the morning mist burned off. Group of boy scouts showed up and camped at the shelter. They had trouble getting a fire going after awhile I gave them some of my birch bark from my pack to help them out. They still couldn't get a fire going. So finally I grabbed one of my bic lighters and put a handful of birch bark on fire and got it going for them. Then I explained to them the physics of wet fire making/maintaining and showed them how to maintain a fire with wet wood. I think I pissed one of the adults off because he was there trying to help them get a fire going with no luck either then here I come and get it going and explain to them what to do. I paid it no mind. If you sit here and pay attention you will know the next time. Then the boy scouts were trying to cut trees/branches that were three to four inches thick with a Swiss army knife saw. I let them use my folding saw which is still a chore with trees/branches that thick. Lost and Found showed up at the shelter but continued on to a campsite because the kids were real jumpy and his dog Eloise was not fond of that. Caught up to Lost and Found the next morning and continued down the trail with him and Eloise. It was a big 22 mile day today, although the AT still never fails to go up whenever possible. I want to ride a roller coaster baby baby I want to ride a roller coaster. I wanted to get as close to Damascus, VA as possible. I stopped at Abingdon Gap Shelter for the night. I have only ten more miles into Damascus now. Went into Damascus and resupplied at DG. I bought all the snickers there which were 50. Upset some hikers but there were other places in town to get snickers. Went to grocery store and grabbed a couple of steaks to cook at campsite. Found magic box full of sodas and snacks. Hip held up better then expected considering a 22 mile roller coaster. I love my solar shower especially when the water source is 1/2 miles away from the shelter which is a 1 mile round trip. One trip and I have enough water for supper/breakfast to do dishes etc. There is 464.4 miles of mtn climbing from Springer to Damascus. Suppose to flatten out after Mount Rogers which is about thirty miles north of Damascus and is 5000' YAY. It is just another day in PARADISE. Hip bothering me again today but only when I am not carrying my pack figure that one out. I camped out at campsite 1/2 mile up Iron Mtn. No water had to hike to bottom of mtn to road for mtn spring. Filled five gallon solar shower full lugged it up to campsite which was crazy insane. Lost and Found camped at same campsite bought/shared 12 pack of beer with me got drunk and sat around campfire bullshitting till way past hiker midnight. Going to take a zero tomorrow maybe hip will be better after that. As you know I burned my hip up chasing Wild Rain. Hot little number has every guy on the trail chasing her. If your not on top of a mtn your not on the AT. Good night from PARADISE. You win for they day mtns but I will be back at it tomorrow. Lost and Found went down the trail today. I took a zero. Went into the grocery store and bought a couple of steaks and some propel singles. That should help replace some of the fat/protein. Drinking the last three beers and getting fat and happy today. This is the life, just sitting in the woods relaxing watching the time go by. I got me some vitamin water as well. Yeah after the steaks/vitamin water it knocked me the fuck out. I took another TBPNT. Waist belt on pack won't go any tighter. I am heading down the trail myself in the morning if it is not raining. If your not climbing up/down a mtn your not on the AT. I climbed out of GA, NC, and TN now climbing out of VA. VA is flat my ass, still rollercoaster. More "S" or switchback bullshit up/down mtns. Saw a box turtle right on the trail today. Have a full pack of food though otherwise I would cook him up. Holyfucking wind again today. Walking in open prairie today winds had to be 50-70 mph. kept blowing me off the trail practically blowing me over. The wind is coming from the side. Blew my hat off once lucky I got it back. Big Storm coming through suppose to rain tonight. Skies have been dark all day but rain has held off so far. Thomas Knob Shelter was full so I went off to find a campsite. Found a pristine camp spot. Got pine trees all around me and nothing above me but sky. Still windy as fuck but absolutely no wind where I have my tent setup. I am walking on rocks and on/over boulders for 12 miles today of course up mtns DUH. I surprisingly have not twisted an ankle yet. My hip is back to normal again. Thanks THOR for keeping the rain off me today. I love my Coleman Max tent. Weighs only 4 lbs. 10 oz. packed weight and it 6.6 x 4.6 so quite roomy and big enough to spend the day in if I need too. It has kept me dry so far. More rock climbing today. I spent the majority of the day rock climbing walking on/over rocks/boulder. The wind still wants to knock my hat off. Had a horse and her young one follow me today. The sign says 1 mile to Hurricane Mtn. Shelter. That was the longest mile ever. The shelter was on top of a mtn with no tent sites and you had to walk back down to get water. So I just set up camp down near the water source. Got to a parking lot at Dicky Gap and this guy gave me some food and a beer. 3 or 4 days of walking on/over jagged rocks= fun. Climbing everything like a little kid= fun. Enjoying another day in PARADISE = Priceless. To the left of the trail no rocks to the right of the trail no rocks on the trail rocks galore. It must be someone’s idea of some sick joke. We'll make hikers walk on jagged rocks all day that will teach them to hike. And I wonder why I can't walk after a break or in the morning I get the hiker hobble all the time. Bit is an extraordinary adventure too bad the climbing gets in the way. Lost and Found is only a half day ahead of me. I should catch up to him tomorrow. Would have caught up to him had I not did 3 miles southbound by mistake and camping early instead of making it to Partnership Shelter where he was at. Stopped at Partnership Shelter took a shower and continued down the trail. I am going to sop looking at mileage sign they only piss me off. I spent the night at Chatfield Shelter. Started hiking the next morning went about 1/4 mile from the shelter and it started raining so I double timed it back to the shelter. I stayed at the shelter for awhile. Quit raining. Then I decided to give it another shot. I got about 2 miles from the shelter and it started raining and spitting again. I continued down the trail into Atkins VA. I got wetter from walking in the wet grass then the rain. Stopped at Gas Station in Atkins and grabbed a few things. Stopped and took a break at Davis Path Shelter or what was a shelter. No side or roof just a floor picnic table and privy no water source. Over 500 miles I am no longer a hiker I am officially a mtn climber because I am still climbing up/down mtns. There is no hiking to it. I passed a school house from the 1800's. I checked myself in mirror at Gas Station bathroom. Yeah my beard is completely out of control. LOL. Oh well. 11 more miles till we get to heaven. 11 more miles we get to the chicken ranch/knot, those 18/22 mile days make for a looooooong day. Bland VA is only 2-3 days away. Resupply at DG there :) :). Get me some more combos :) :) :). I ran across some more trail magic honey buns/sodas. The AT went though some private property and they had some ladders you had to climb over to get over the barbwire fence. While I was doing that all I could think of was Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket and the Sarge yelling at him well what the fuck are you waiting for get up and over get the fuck off my obstacle private Pyle. You worthless piece of shit I am going to rip your balls off so you can not contaminate the rest of the world. Get the fuck off my obstacle. It is funny moments like that that put me back in a good mood and laughing cause this climbing up never fucking ends. I use the same full metal jacket scene on some of the huge mtns as well. The sarge in that movie is hilarious always puts me in a good mood. Lost and Found is still a half day ahead of me. Wild Rain is 4 or 5 days ahead no chance in catching that ass. Chestnut Knob shelter is the first stone shelter with four walls and a door. WOW!!! They even have Plexiglas for windows. They got the fireplace half done and gave up on it. Heard from the sarge again today come on Private Ryen get up that mtn. Come on the fucking war will be over by the time you get up this mtn. Don't you dare quit on me Private Ryen don't you dare quit. Another 10 miles to Jenkins shelter they say it's downhill but I'm not convinced I'm on to this trail I know its tricks. Oh after the gnarly climb up to chestnut I'm home free and then BAM!!!! A million ups and downs too intense and small too make it on the map. All of a sudden the 20 you were hoping for isn't. But we will see what I get out of it. Would like to catch Lost and Found but what I get I get. Now drop your cocks and grab your socks you have another 10 miles to go :) :) :) :). 20 mile day reached Jenkins Shelter after dark. I am not going to do much more of those. Too loooooong of a day and you barely get enough sunlight to set up camp and eat and forget about relaxing. I want to enjoy this not walk all day. But I think the reason people do big miles in VA is cause of the absence of water along the trail. You fill up on water then the next water source is 4 miles or more down the trail at one point it was 8 miles. Well I will go into Bland VA to resupply and then hit Helveys Mill Shelter that will be another 20 mile day if I make to the shelter. I will just suck it up cause of the resupply. I ended up walking a mile away from Bland because the book said east so I got out my compass and went east. Come to find out when the book says east it really means right and when it say west it really means left. So I had to walk back a mile then another 2.5 miles into Bland and resupplied at DG and then hiked another 2.5 miles back and another mile to get back on the AT. Didn't make it to Helvey Mill Shelter after all that hiking I called it quits for the day and setup camp next to Kimberly Creek. Of course no one picked me and took me into Bland were you thinking people were nice??? Good thin I didn't go to the shelter yesterday. It was a 2 mile climb straight the fuck up the mtn. Where’s the water? It is at the bottom of the mtn. Where does the trail go? It goes up to the top of the mtn and stays there. That is why people do high miles in VA because the water sources are so far apart. Kind of makes you wish it would rain so at least you can harvest to rain water. Reminds me of a few times where everyone is just hanging out and someone would ask where's the water source? You see that stuff falling from the sky. That's your water source. It was a little chilly last night at Jenny Knob Shelter had to wear my stocking cap over my nose. It didn't seem to warm up at all yesterday. It is now may and still cold. I guess it never really warms up in the mtns. Yesterday couldn't find water for nothing. Today water is everywhere on the trail. Lowlands-water high mtns/top of mtns= no water. I played in dismal creek falls today. Wow my calves look huge at least twice as big as when I started. Chow down on some more dried fruit and then hit the trail some more. Although it doesn't seem to matter what I drink or eat I still lost weight. My hip belt on my pack won't go any tighter. :( :( :(. I miss my love handles. I want my love handles back. WAAAAAAH. BOOOfuckingHOOO. That dehydrated fruit is great and loaded with vitamins but it gives me terrible gas. I suppose it is the fruits way of giving me a little extra push up the mtns. EH?? Camping in some lowlands today by a creek hopefully it will be warmer then yesterday. I finished the day at 18 miles. Tents are a lot warmer then the shelters are that is for sure. They say 10-15 degrees warmer but I don't know if it is that big a difference. Gipsie Girl came hiking by me today. She is a 68 year old woman who broke her leg on the trail last year and is trying the trail again this year she is from Australia. Another day with no water sources on the trail. I filled up at the creek this morning. Finally after walking all day found a spring and campsite. Heading into Pearisburg VA tomorrow to get a few more items make sure I have a full supple cause Pearisburg VA is the last resupply for awhile like 70 miles or so I believe. Then it is back to PARADISE again. Sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows watching the time go by AHHHHHHHHH what a life. Now ain't that some shit. The trail goes down to the bottom then you go back up when you get the road in to town. Left Pearisburg got back on the trail and holy fucking up. Straight up. I did about 1500' in a couple of miles. After that I said screw Rice Field shelter where the water source is 1/2 mile away from the shelter. I set up camp near a spring and cooked up 2 1.25 lbs. steaks for supper and 2 snickers along with 2 bottles of Sobe vitamin water mango melon. A south bounder stopped by and said that this was the first time he saw a thru-hiker cooking up steaks at a campsite. Another thru-hiker stopped by and took some pictures of me cooking up the steaks. Then a hiker from Germany showed up and asked if he could camp. Of course you can I wouldn't mind the company. I think that makes 6 Germans I have met or heard about on the trail so far. It started raining this evening. Some other hikers showed up in the rain. Trying to make a serious effort to replace the fat and protein and vitamins electrolytes I am using up with propel singles summer sausage steaks vitamin waters. It sucks to be the hikers that just showed up setting up tents in the rain. But it is what it is. I had to fix one of my tent poles today as well. Good thing I carry a roll of duck tap and a tent repair kit with me for such things. Especially and of course it rains when something breaks luckily I got it fixed and everything set up before the rain. The gods seem to love me because I have been very fortunate with the rain. Thank You Odin, Thor, Freya. Until next time same PARADISE time same PARADISE channel. Why didn't you stay at the shelter? I would have if I could find the SOB. They sometimes seem or feel like they are past bumfuck at times. I was a little warm today. Once again there is only one water source between Rice Field Shelter and Pine Swamp Shelter. I was full on water when I went by that one water source. Had to stop on a few occasions started getting light headed and really low on energy. It is 2.5 miles till pine swamp shelter and water. I will call it a day at 15 miles for the day. According to my data book the trail had water everywhere north of the trail again. 12 water sources in the next 30 miles. I had some section hikers share their pizza with me. Took a nice walk little walk on rocky road today. Boulders all over the trail you had to step on/over. Then it was up up up up up straight up again to Baily Gap Shelter. Stopped there took a break. Then it was holy Played runaway hiker going down that. Let's put gravel/loose rocks all over the trail that a great idea. The downs are more dangerous then the up because you can blow out a knee ruin a shin trip and tumble down bust an ankle all more prone to do so on the down then going up. There was a straight up climb to Laurel Creek shelter of course after going down to war spur shelter. They have these little paths along the side of the trail for rain run off but I like to call them runaway hiker lanes. One thing I don't like about these data books is their use of n, s, and e, w they say such and such town is so many miles e or w of the trail on such and such road. But what they really mean is it is either left or right cause if you’re using a compass it is not even close to e/w. So why don't they just say L/R instead cause if it is not e/w why say e/w just say take a right/left at this road for this many miles to this town. Found April's issued of playboy at Laurel Creek Shelter and a couple pair of socks as well. I got to the trail that leads to Sarver Hollow Shelter which was 1/2 mile down the mtn from the trail. I decided not to stay there. Left my pack at the top next to the sign and went down to get water and check out the shelter. It was a kick ass shelter but a little too far from the trail if your not going to spend the night which I suppose is why it is still a kick ass shelter. Found a mini deck of cards and some waterproof matches. Headed back down the trail and got a couple of miles before I had to setup camp right as soon as storm was hitting. Set out my rain harvesting gear so I could have water for breakfast cooking. I started the day with some rock climbing over ridge of mtn. I took a break at niday shelter. I came across the eastern continental divide trail as well. Saw a tire on side of trail at Craig Creek Calley stopped and made some new insoles for my boots out of the tire. I should be good for another 30,000 miles. Fixed my boots and cleaning up the environment at the same time. Found a magic box at the top of the Audie Murphy Monument full of sodas ice cold sodas. I spent the night next to trout creek. The AT is very stubborn about going down it seems to find another little hill to go up or keep you at the top for awhile not really wanting you to go down the mtn. I guess it feels that you are leaving it because the AT loves going up and being at the top of mtns. I went rock climbing again today. Thought I was going to meet Odin, Thor today that is how high the AT was taking me today.
I got off the bus in Gainesville GA. It was raining. Walked to the city park and camped out in the backwoods near the lake. The next day it rained till about noon. Then I packed up camp and started towards Amicoala State Park. I kept running into dead ends trying to get across the lake. Stopped at a gas station and grabbed a soda and this guy in a truck pulled up and asks me where I am headed too. I tell him I am headed to Amicoala State park but can't seem to get passed this lake. He says well I can give you a ride up to hwy 400 which will get you passed the lake. I said that would be much appreciated. He dropped me off at a gas station on hwy 400. By then it was getting late about 4 or 5 pm. So I went across hwy 400 into some wooded area and set up camp for the night. I got up the next morning packed up camp and headed down hwy 400. A guy pulls up and gives me a ride a couple of miles down hwy 400. I continue walking. After awhile I decide to sit down and take a break and eat a snack. Sheriff pulls up and says he got a call about a terrorist sitting on the side of the road. He saw my pack and immediately knew I was headed to the AT. Called my ID in anyway and said he could give me a ride to the end of his zone which was hwy 136. I said I would appreciate that. I threw my pack in the back and got in and we headed down the road. We got about a mile down the road when dispatch comes over the cb and says to give me a ride all the way to the state park. We passed a kangaroo reserve on the way to the state park. Yes a kangaroo reserve in GA who would have thought huh. When we got to the state park there were some people in the parking lot. They had a worried look on their face when they saw me get out of the back of the sheriff car and head into the woods. Kind of like you are letting convicts loose in the woods now. Got to the top of Frosty Mtn. and set up camp for the night. I got to the top of Springer Mtn. the next day. It was extremely windy so I slept on the second floor of the shelter that night. Had three other hikers where as well. A big storm blew in over the night it was pouring rain the next day. So I did what everyone else was doing and put on my rain gear and headed toward Hawk Mtn Shelter. Got to Hawk Mtn. Shelter and set up camp. I spent the next day at Hawk Mtn. trying to dry stuff out. I Met Guitar and the Roman Prophet there as well. They were spending the day trying to dry out as well. Guitars tent flooded the night before. Didn't get all my stuff dried out and woke up the next morning and it was 17 degrees with a layer of snow on the ground. Of course everything that was wet is now frozen. I just packed up camp and put on dry set of clothes and headed down the trail. I spent the night at Gooch Mtn. Shelter. I Got to Woody Gap the next day and this guy cooking up hot dogs and giving away fruit and snacks for hikers. I stopped had a few hot dogs and took some fruit and snacks for the trail. I took a break at Blood Mtn. Shelter. I didn’t stay because there was no water source. I continued on down to Neels Gap/Mtn Crossings Big Outfitter there. They got me for a $21 pair of socks. He said they would get me to Maine. I said they better get me to Saturn and back for $21. I camped out behind Mtn. Crossings. I met Tramp there who has been backpacking all across the country. Couldn't find any water between Neels Gap and Low Gap except for at Whitely Gap Shelter which was 1.2 miles off the trail and I didn't feel like doing that. So I set up camp at an already used campsite and set out my camp shower with a plastic bottle in it for a funnel and my pot and water containers and wrapped my hat in my pack cover and set them out to collect the rain overnight. The next day was misty and raining off and on so I spent the day there. I did manage to keep a fire going in the rain. Everyone who passed by was in "Awe" that I had a fire going in the rain. The next day went on and spent the day at Blue Mtn. Shelter. Setup my camp shower and took a shower. Woke up and back on the trail. Got to Unicoi Gap and started walking down GA. 75 into Helen GA which was 9 miles from the trail. I got a few miles down the road when a cab pulls up and gives me a free ride all the way to the Dollar General in Helen GA. Helen is a nice German themed tourist town. Resupplied at DG then started walking back to the trail. I stopped at gas station as well to fill up my fuel bottles. I would get stopped now and again by tourists asking questions and taking pictures. A couple of miles outside of Helen heading back to the trail another thru-hiker and his folks saw me and gave me a ride back to the trail. Just Burly was the thru-hikers name. Had to dig deep to get to the top of Rocky Mtn with a full pack. The climb went from 2949' at Unicoi Gap at mile 50.5 and went up to 4017' at the top of Rocky Mtn at mile 51.8 made it to the cheese factory site and called it a day. I Reached Tray Mtn. Shelter the next day was thinking about calling it a day there but decided to move onto Deep Gap Shelter and spent the night there. I came across a couple of guys’ slack packing or "cheating". That is where someone takes your pack further down the trail for you and all you carry is a day pack. I Went from Deep Gap Shelter to Muskrat Shelter. I took a zero day at Muskrat shelter. I met Fishing Fred and Gatorade near Mooney Gap. They were serving hot dogs, cokes, snacks, energy bars etc. I shared my Hershey bars and Reeses with them and other hikers. Met Doc and his son Do What. I got the trail name Tree beard cause of my Real tree outfit and beard. I spent the night there. Big Storm blew in overnight. I met another thru-hiker named "that one guy" carrying 25 lbs. of philosophy books. I gave him some of my food so he would have enough to get to Franklin NC to resupply. Fishing Fred made pancakes in the morning and Gatorade made coffee. Back on the trail next stop was Rock Gap Shelter. One of the guys cheating between Tray Mtn. Shelter and Deep Gap Shelter called it quits. All I could say was nice knowing you I am heading down the trail. I had someone wake me up at 6 am. That one guy and another hiker and me headed out on a 4 mile hike to Winding Stair Gap to catch the Free Ron Haven Shuttle Bus into Franklin NC. Resupplied at DG and grabbed a couple of steaks from the grocery store next door. Then took the shuttle bus back to Winding Stair Gap and got back on the trail. That one guy had to get off the bus early to hit the outfitter for alcohol for his stove and I never saw him again. Stopped at Siler Bald Shelter which seemed like a lot further then the half mile the sign said it was. Cooke up the steaks on the grill over the fire pit and sold one of them to a couple for $5. I setup camp for the night. It rained all day the next day so I spent the day there. Had this family come in and hang their wet clothes all over the shelter so you had to walk through them to get into the shelter. They took up the whole picnic table with all their cooking crap. I went back to my tent and spent the rest of the day in my tent. Inconsiderate pricks. I came across a guy cooking hamburgers/chips/cokes. They call this Trail Magic when someone cooks/leaves food or sodas for thru hikers. day. I setup camp at A. Rufus Morgan Shelter. A bunch of thru hikers showed up as well and nobody slept in the shelter everyone tented. I met this HOT ASS blonde chic there as well. Yeah I didn't catch her name but the black tights she was wearing OUCH!!!!!! Went through NOC and turned a pair of jeans and long sleeve shirt into shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I was collecting birch bark at Sassafras Gap Shelter for kindling/tinder and stabbed myself in my left thumb. I used superglue to close the wound. My left hand became unusable for a few days. Next stop was Fontana Dam where I spent the night at the Fontana Hilton. Took advantage of the shower they had there in the bathroom. That HOT ASS blonde I met back at A. Rufus Morgan Shelter was there. She went to a hotel while I continued on into the smokies. Got stopped by U.S. Government Agent and had my ID called in and had to fill out a backcountry camping permit. I made it to Mollie Ridge shelter which was 9.9 miles from the U.S. Government agent so the sign said. By now everyone loves my fire making skills. The shelters in the smokies have fireplaces in them but a lot of good they do when the fireplace is right next to the open side of the three stone walled structure and all they have for a fourth wall is a tarp. Doc took a picture of me and the kick ass fire I made in the fireplace. Slept in the shelters all the ways through the smokies and you have to have a permit to stay in the shelters. Clingman's Dome was cool but a bitch to climb. I was sitting there taking a breather and some of the tourists thought I was homeless and asking if I had enough food and giving me food. Some tourists were in awe/omg you walked from GA and you are going to Maine on foot. Rocky Top you'll always be home sweet home to me good ol'rocky top rocky top Tennessee. On top of ol smoky all covered in blood I shot my poor teacher with a 44 slug. I went to her funeral I went to her grave some people threw flowers but I threw grenades. These are just some of the songs going through my head at the time. Sang if that ain't country, country boy can survive, just a white boy looking for a place to do my thing, God ol Boys, Good ol Rebel were songs I sang out loud on the trail daily. Long haired redneck was another daily song I sang. I sang these boots were made for walking a few times as well. I got caught in the rain going to Tri-Corner Knob Shelter. When I got there two city snobs were trying but couldn't get a fire going. So I went out into the rain and collected some wood. Used my dry birch bark from my pack and got a fire going for them they ignored it and went out on the front porch and played cards. Didn't help collect wood or anything. So I said Fuck it went to bed let the fire go out. I woke up the next morning to snow. Yes snow in the smokies who's a thought huh in April. I spent the rest of the day there next to the fireplace. I came across some trail magic at Davenport Gap. These ladies took my picture then made me a ham sandwich/chips/candy/candy bars etc. I came close to eating myself sick. Took a bunch of candy, apples, oranges, etc. for the trail played in the waterfall right before I-40. Which was refreshing to say the least? I had a hell of a time climbing Snowbird Mtn. I almost passed out climbing it. There is yet still more climbing. Been a month everyday a new mtn to climb FUCK!!!!! I reached Walnut Mtn Shelter which had no roof on it at the time. Continued on till sunset setup camp after going up and coming down Bluff Mtn. Only 8 1/2 miles to Hot Springs which is my next resupply and the trail goes right through town. They even have these little AT plaques imbedded into the sidewalk as trail markers. Yes there is still more climbing. Finally make it into Hot Springs where Lost&Found is serving up some trail magic. I resupplied at DG. LOVE DG. Should find out where the rest of DG is along the trail. I setup camp next to the river outside of Hot Springs. OMG a Mtn Dew tastes AWESOME after days/miles of just water. I am going to try to keep up 15 or so mile days with full pack. Next shelter is 12 miles away. I bet there is more climbing. I got to roast marshmallows with saber-toothed and the guys before it started raining. This trail seems to go up every chance it gets. Climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb climb. Took a nap on the side of trail finally found shelter right on the other side of the 4th mtn I climbed today. How are you supposed to get any miles in when you have all these mtns to go over all the time? Where the HELL is Virginia?? Have to start hiking the trail earlier so I can beat the heat/sun. Done I can do with pack weight just have heavy gear is all. Just have to go with what you can afford doing well for never climbing mtns before. Tomorrow is a new day with a new mtn/mtns to climb. Best trail magic today. Old couple had trail magic at their home. They served plate size waffle, big ol bowl of soup with boulder size pieces of meat, full banana length size banana split. Then back to climbing through Cherokee National Forest. Got about a mile or two down the trail and took a nap on the side of the trail. Got into Jerry's cabin shelter after dark seem to take forever to get through Black Stack Cliffs. It is raining off and on again today. After Springer no more starting hikes in the rain. Met guy named U-Haul carrying 100 lb. pack. His grandmother makes his food for him. He has got soups, spaghetti and such in big Tupperware containers. His food bag weighs more then my whole pack. I spent most of the day sleeping in my tent. Fallen trees are starting to look like the rooftops of shelters. Woke up and some dude was sleeping on the picnic table. Turned out to be sunny but didn't seem to warm up much. I came across a grave site right next to the trail. Just when you think your coming up to the next shelter add 4 miles and 3 mtns. And you will find it. More trail magic papa smurf was serving ham sandwiches/chips/sodas/homemade brownies at rice gap. Felt like shit today. It is still averaging 50/50 on the warm/dry cold/wet days. I think the cold/wet days are getting to me finally. Didn't make it to Hogback Ridge shelter today got tired of walking feel like complete shit Ferris I can't go anywhere you know what my diastolic is. Ran into another mtn. camped out. Tried hiking this shit out of me today didn't happen maybe tomorrow. Does it ever warm up in the mtns? It is just another day in PARADISE. I climbed two more mtns. before reaching Hogback Ridge Shelter. There was some trail magic on the other side of Sam's Gap at the bottom. I had three hamburgers some homemade chocolate chip cookies and took some apples and oranges for the trail. I got about a mile down the trail and ended up taking a TBPNT (Tree beard Power Nap Time) then back to climbing. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. Wake up have breakfast start climbing have lunch back to climbing have supper bedtime. But remember it is just another day in PARADISE. Me -----------------------------------------:
------ Resupply/Shelter. They call these switchbacks. I call them FUCKING "S" Bullshit. I met Wild Rain on the way to No Business Shelter. Big Storm supposed to be coming in tonight. So I stayed at No Business Shelter and Wild Rain went on down the trail. It was a short ten miles that day.
It started out to be a great sunny day. Took a spill trying to get by blown down tree slipped on wet leaves left hip landed on a hidden rock OW!!!!!! Woody unloaded his food bag on me at No Business Shelter. Doc caught up to me right after my spill. Said he did 67 miles in three days and won't do that again. He wanted to get into Erwin TN. to celebrate his anniversary with his wife. Stopped at the hostel outside of Erwin and doc unloaded his food bag on me. I met up with Tramp, Guitar and the Roman Prophet while I was taking a break at the hostel. They were all upset because the weather man said there was 100% chance of rain but it was blue skies and sunny 70 degrees. They ended up paying for another night at the hostel based on what the weather man said. Of course I rubbed it in saying what a beautiful day for a hike it was and I think I will take a hike today as well as I was leaving :) :). I got to Curly Maple Gap Shelter which was 4 miles down the trail. Took a break there during which time the sky turned dark and it got COLD. So I decided to stay there for the night. The day started out great though. The low is 35 degrees they are saying for tonight. 35 in mid April in Tennessee. Woke up with a BIG OL knot on my left hip. Where's the trail maintenance? Hell of a climb up Unaka Mtn 5,180'. Saw the site where they had Cloudland Hotel. There was a mailbox along the trail in an open pasture in nowhere Ville that said "goat info" on the front and had into on goats inside. Thought there may have been some info on Josh in there :) :) :).