Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mud! Mosquitos! Mountains!

Cute Husband and I set off North for a 3 day, 38+ mile hike to finish off NJ and start our adventures in NY. We met our shuttle, Bob (trail name Shamrock), and his two golden retrievers at High Point State Park.

Shamrock was kind enough to share his knowledge of the area and trail crossings as he drove us to our drop off in New York.
We will have completed 1/4 of the trail after this hike!

BirdCouple's boots in a new AT state!

BirdCouple's wet boots in a new AT state...

As soon as we got our bags strapped on, I found one of these little guys just begging to have his picture taken.

This is a Red Eft, or Red Spotted Newt. They like wet forests. We were going to hike through a lot of wet forest.

Within the first couple of miles we came across our first thru hikers of the season heading North.

We love it when they have a few minutes to stop and chat.

We met Carpenter who packs about 80lbs on his back because he can not feel complete without his shampoo, conditioner and loofah.

After spending a couple of days in wet muddy woods, I understand the absolute need for a loofah.

Every hiker we crossed during the drizzly morning warned us of the wet slippery rock scramble up ahead.

Super slippery wet rocks.

And, every time we thought we had mastered them, another one loomed ahead.

This was a nice wet cliff that made for a gripping adventure.We took what the trail gave us, even if it meant taking our bags off and scooting down the wet rocks on our buns.

I may have scooted for a couple of miles on my buns for fear of taking a header with my less than hiker legs.

Hi Wet Boots.

The rock scrambles were followed by trail wash outs. We have had a lot of rain on the East Coast this year.

Cute Husband and I must have stepped through or in 20 or so wash outs, which soaked our boots through to our socks.
Sometime during all this morning fun, our cell phone went nutty from the humidity and the camera stopped cooperating.
I thought I was taking a snapshot of the border above, but apparently I was just cursing on video at the camera.

And, it was fun.
The birding was outstanding.
Warblers in their last efforts of breeding were still calling from the swamps and treetops.

And, it felt great to be back out on the trail.

Mostly it just felt great to be with Warren for days on end...

We also met a thru hiker named Iron Man who was walking the trail in memory of his wife. With a little over 900 miles to go, he had some great stories of his adventures and hiking mates.

Apparently, he hiked with a guy from Miami for a while who was less than the naturalist.

When he saw his first chipmunk, he thought it was a gerbil.

I think Cute Husband and I will laugh about that for the next 20 years of hiking....

We shacked up at the Wawayanda Shelter and finished dinner and got in our tent just as the first rain storm hit.

Our socks were banned from the traveling LoveNest tent, as they reeked so bad they would make one gag.

We are all about packing out what we pack in, but those socks...

They hung outside by pack for the remainder of the hike. Downwind.

In fact, the sock perfume scared away the one (very large) bear we saw on our way to get water.

He high tailed it once he picked up their scent.

We dodged ominous sounding thunder storms the entire next day, which made us rush through the boardwalk and bridge at Pochuck Creek.

We woke at the Pochuck shelter after a night of listening to early fireworks in the distance to a gorgeous dry 4th of July day.

The last day of hiking up to High Point was heaven.
Hiker's dream path after days of mud and rock:

We crossed cow fields full of butterflies And a peace sign in the middle of the forest.The High Point Monument from 5 hiking hours away. Five hours later, we missed the side trail up to the monument.
But, hey, we are purists.
We stick to the white blazes.
Besides, my legs weren't doing any more up with the car within a mile or so.
Cute Husband says off with the heavy bag as we reach the car on the best 4th of July ever!
The AT in VA is calling next...


Kelly said...

Wood and Thrush,

Congratulations on your amazing miles! GG and I think of you so often and just had to check your site for an update. It looks like you both have been truckin' along like champs!

Your pictures bring us so many happy memories. We remember practically sprinting across that bridge over the Delaware River to leave PA and enter NJ. We liked PA, but our feet were screaming from those crazy rocks. Plus, I have relatives in NJ, so there was a definite pull for good food, family, showers, etc.

We must have been camping near the Wawayanda Shelter about the same time you were, just two years earlier. We fell asleep to pre-Fourth of July fireworks off in the distance. When we packed up the tent the next morning, we were amazed to see that a bear must have visited during the night. There was fresh scat not more than 50 feet from the tent. Thankfully, we had no idea THAT was happening while we slumbered. It's amazing how exhaustion can make one sleep so deeply.

You have many wonderful areas to enjoy in the near future. NY has some nice little ice cream stops mentioned in the trail book, and New England is breathtaking.

Thanks for bringing us such joy though your words and photographs. We miss the northern states but are enjoying our periodic weekends out closer to home in NC. We adopted a dog recently and took her backpacking in Pisgah National Forest to check out an area called Shining Rock. The four-legged hiker (Moxie, named after Moxie Bald in Maine) was a champ! We'll go back to this area for sure. Transylvania County, NC, has 1,000 waterfalls to explore.

Happy Trails and enjoy your summer!

Rhodo (Kelly Gaulden)

~Molly~ said...

Wow!! My little brother did the AT two summers ago, got almost to the end and had to come home because his girlfriend needed hernia surgery(she didn't hike). He picked up last year where he left off and finished. Now he's looking at the Land to Sea(?) trail across North Carolina. He lives in Burnsville, NC now. Don't know when he'll take off to do that one. I'm sending him your blog link!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!


Bevson said...

Hey, you hiked past my house. WEll, almost, I live 1/4 mile from the trail. I am on the AT often, (most weekends and take water into a few spots.) I sounds like you had a great time in NJ.

Anonymous said...


[b]Xrumer SEO Professionals

As Xrumer experts, we possess been using [url=]Xrumer[/url] for a large leisure things being what they are and remember how to harness the massive power of Xrumer and turn it into a Spondulix machine.

We also provender the cheapest prices on the market. Numberless competitors see fit expect 2x or temperate 3x and a destiny of the time 5x what we pervade you. But we feel in providing enormous mending at a small affordable rate. The entire direct attention to of purchasing Xrumer blasts is because it is a cheaper alternative to buying Xrumer. So we focusing to keep that contemplating in recollection and afford you with the cheapest standing possible.

Not solitary do we have the unexcelled prices but our turnaround in the good old days b simultaneously for the treatment of your Xrumer posting is super fast. We compel have your posting done before you certain it.

We also outfit you with a sated log of well-heeled posts on contrary forums. So that you can notice seeking yourself the power of Xrumer and how we get harnessed it to benefit your site.[/b]

[b]Search Engine Optimization

Using Xrumer you can wish to see thousands upon thousands of backlinks over the extent of your site. Many of the forums that your Place you intent be posted on have exalted PageRank. Having your tie-in on these sites can deep down serve establish up some top-grade grade help links and really boost your Alexa Rating and Google PageRank rating utterly the roof.

This is making your put more and more popular. And with this inflate in regard as grammatically as PageRank you can expect to lead your place definitely downright high in those Search Locomotive Results.

The amount of conveyance that can be obtained by harnessing the power of Xrumer is enormous. You are publishing your situation to tens of thousands of forums. With our higher packages you may even be publishing your locale to HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of forums. Imagine 1 brief on a in demand forum drive inveterately get 1000 or so views, with communicate 100 of those people visiting your site. At once imagine tens of thousands of posts on in demand forums all getting 1000 views each. Your freight ordain associate sometimes non-standard due to the roof.

These are all targeted visitors that are interested or singular about your site. Deem how assorted sales or leads you can succeed in with this considerable number of targeted visitors. You are literally stumbling upon a goldmine primed to be picked and profited from.

Reminisce over, Shipping is Money.