Monday, June 8, 2015

628 Miles To Go ...

Next week I'll start the final leg of my Appalachian Trail section hike. I'm meeting Blue Jay in upstate New York, and we'll drive up to the trail crossing near Manchester, VT where I got off in 2012. From there we'll hike south to the Connecticut border where we'll likely part company. I'll then continue to Harper's Ferry for the big finish.

We may be doing some kind of car cross where he drops me off, drives south to the next road crossing, hikes north until we meet, hands me the keys, and then I'll drive up to pick him up when I get to the car. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Blue Jay La Fey Or maybe not.

We both pretty much disdain a lot of pre-hike planning. We met on the trail in Virginia last year, hiked a bit together, and argued incessantly about who was the slowest, most slackful hiker on the trail - till it was decided for us that we were both equally slackful, and that we oughta just shut up about it and be friends. So we did.

Since then, we've been talking about stealth camping sites, the metaphysics of sobo vs nobo hiking, summer music festivals, and talked trash about popular online hiking forums.

We did not talk about miles per day, resupply points, drop boxes or wearing coordinated hardware store shirts ...

We did agree that we ought to stop by Alice's old restaurant in Stockton, and maybe the Guthrie Center at the old Trinity Church in Great Barrington. Maybe try to find that secret trail that may or may not lead to Arlo Guthrie's house ... But that's about the extent of any planning.

As for gear, I haven't made any big changes this year. Got a new beanie, and one of those tiny Swiss Army Knives. I sent my clothes to Insect Shield to be treated with permethrin ...

It looks like it can get as cold in Vermont in late June as it did in Virginia last May, and I had a couple of uncomfortably cold nights then. So I packed a couple pounds of warm clothes that I'll be happy to mail home as soon as it warms up.

I've updated my gear list for anyone who wants a peak inside my pack.

Overall, the hike should take a couple of months or so. It'll take me out of the Green Mountains, thru the Berkshires and across the Taconic Range. I'll summit a few of the state's highest peaks, drop down to the lowest elevation on the trail, and cross the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge. I'll cavort with the bears of New Jersey along the Kittatinny Ridge all the way to Delaware Water Gap. In Pennsylvania, I'll pass thru the Palmerton superfund site, tip-toe thru the infamous rocks there, stay at the historic Doyle Hotel in Duncannon, and cross the Cumberland Valley. I'll blast thru Maryland, and probably get to Harper's Ferry before the leaves start falling back home ...

Will I see you along the way?

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