Saturday, August 19, 2006

Considerate Moose

Over the last 150 miles, Megan and I have been coming across all sorts of things that indicate that moose are on the move. We've noticed "moose" literature posted in the shelters and other helpful sites. We've spotted moose tracks/prints in the thick black mud of Massachusetts and Vermont. And we've even stepped over and around numerous piles of moose scat (poo). This being the case, I came across a poem written by a previous thru-hiker in one of the shelter journals the other day. I thought I might share it with you since it tickled me to death!

Trail Haiku

Considerate Moose,
You poop on the side of the trail
Not in the middle.

Author: Rock Chalk

I can hear you laughing. Isn't that great! I wish I remembered the rules of Haiku Poetry, because I believe I might be able to whip up some poetry myself if only I could recall how Haiku is written.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Vermonty Python

Have any of you ever had the Vermonty Python flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? I had the joy of finding a pint of this spectacular ice cream in Dalton, Massachusetts earlier this week. Megan and I have been anticipating our crossover into Vermont for quite some time, so it was only fitting that I buy and eat all of the Vermonty Python in one sitting! Delicious. I highly recommend it for any of you Ben and Jerry lovers out there.

And here I am today in Manchester, Vermont enjoying the much cooler temperatures of this glorious state! Here is something crazy -- we have hiked over 1600 miles, and only have just over 500 miles to go before reaching our destination! Chew on that a moment. Isn't that insane, I really can't even comprehend it all. Sometimes I stop mid-stride and look at Megan and say, "who does this?" "Who walks through 14 states, 2100 miles?" Thats just a bunch of foolery if you ask me. But here we are taking one step at a time...sometimes two steps at a time when I trip on a root or a rock.

A few days ago Megan and I enjoyed an insatiable sunset atop Mt. Greylock (highest point in Massachusetts). We also, simultaneously, watched the full moon rise. I can't really put it in words, I couldn't then, and I can't now. But it was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life. What a moment in life. I could go for a few more of those, please! I would have to vote that one of my favorite memories on the trail so far.

We are planning to retire Vermont by Friday (August 18). Take a zero day in Hannover, NH. And begin mentally preparing ourselves for the beloved "white mountains" of New Hampshire. Of course when I say, mentally prepare, I totally mean pig out at a buffet or two, sleep in real beds, and eat lots of ice cream and candy. We've been hearing about the "Presidentials", since Springer Mountain and are getting stoked about the treachery of it all! Vermont is doing a good little number on us to prepare our climbing legs for those hairy "Whites" (and no, Lana, I'm not talking about my legs as being hairy whites, although they are).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It is HOT out here!

Wow, it seems forever since I've been able to post an update. This is the first official update since Megan and I returned to the trail on July 12th. Life has been tough getting reacquainted with the Appalachian Trail. Megan's heels have been hurting, my boots literally fell apart, and the temperature has been steadily climbing for the last three weeks.

It is August now, I suppose we will have no reprieve from the heat until we climb to higher altitudes, therefore, we are busting tail to get to Vermont, where the "real mountains" begin once again.

The northeastern towns are not quite as "hiker friendly" as many of their southern counterparts. Hiker amenities (laundry, public internet access, hostels) are few and far between. Today we hitched a ride into Kent, CT just to use the internet at their library. We did manage to find an ice cream shop open and willing to serve two dirty, smelly hikers. Quite a treat. We are not looking forward to walking out of this air conditioned haven into the 100 degree heat outdoors. But alas, we still have five more miles to hike today.

We have been capitalizing on any type of "swimming hole" that we come across. Rivers, streams, ponds, lakes. Any of those will do, when you are running from the heat. No more beautiful wildflowers now. The trail consists of trees, mushrooms, insects, and snakes. That is the sum of it. Although we did run across a mink the other day in New Jersey, and a baby turtle in the river yesterday. Every now and again we see some unusual little organism.

We've caught up with some of our former hiking buddies, from early on (April/May). It has been fun surprising them and catching up a bit. We are slowly passing some hikers and making our way toward Katahdin.