Sunday, July 17, 2011

HELLO Massachusetts

Salisbury is a quintessential New England town, with white houses and quaint little churches set next to cobblestone sidewalks. I came in for lunch and relaxation, eating a nice deli sandwich and re-fueling my body with electrolytes and caffeine (oh yeah, I am definitely addicted). Its sunny and warm today, but still pleasant and breezy. I've got another 7 miles that looks like its going to be a tough climb and then I cross over the border to my 11th state, Massachusetts! Connecticut has been tough in spots (more steep rock scrambles), but easy walking for a good portion of it, too (like the 5 or 6 miles of flat trail next to the Housatonic River).

I met my first Southbounder to my knowledge yesterday. His name is Jason and he started a month and a day ago from Katahdin. It was cool talking to him about the Trail that lays ahead. He described Franconia Ridge, a 5 or 6 mile ridge above treeline in the Whites, by saying it was like walking on the Great Wall of China. We had such mutual respect for each other, as we each have done what the other hopes to accomplish - put us together and we've done the entire Trail.

I came across a Coke machine this morning unexpectedly, and as I downed my second soda, I realized I've had a soda every day since Delaware Water Gap. A New Zealander, Vegemite, said he's had a soda every day since Waynesboro, Va. There's got to be some sort of Trail challenge to that. Caffeine, sugar, and carbonation makes the perfect hiker energy drink. I thought this thru-hiker, Hobo, was strange for packing out a 2 liter of Pepsi from Catawba - it had to have been warm and completely flat after the climb to McAfee. But not anymore, I completely understand.

So to finish off with something other than talking about caffeine and how much I love it, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey. Your words of encouragement, financial donations, or just reading along as I head North - it all has meant so much to me!

While hanging out at the 501 Shelter in PA, I read an article in AT Journeys about a father and son completing a thru-hike together. They started when the son was 5 and had done sections for nearly 20 years, to get to the 100-mile wilderness in Maine. The son decided to do a thru-hike of his own in 2010 and his dad joined him for the final stretch to Katahdin to accomplish their hike of a lifetime together. The article was full of pictures from their various sections, and it reminded me of the many trips I took with my mom growing up. Those trips were what led me to this hike. I could see an innocent look of amazement in the sons face, as he looked out at a vista as a young kid, that reminded me why I'm out here doing this - its always been my innocent, childhood dream. I still have to pinch myself as I near 1500 miles. I'm actually doing this!
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1 comment:

  1. Yes--I sometimes think my fascination in youth with going to camp each year, where I could hike and wander about alone in nature, is what has founded my need to be in motion and connected to nature each day.

    Yay for childhood dreams that come true!