What a spread, huh? Pennsylvania to Vermont. Hiking has taken up a lot more of each day lately, and as a consequence blogging has taken up a lot less. Well, here we go!
We left Boiling Springs without Animal, who stayed for a second zero. We had one glorious day of walking through flat farmland, then the rocks began. We’d heard so many horror stories that for awhile we talked about how it wasn’t as bad as expected. Animal caught back up quickly. We had some really hot days, but we also got extremely lucky with the weather. I’d prepared for the worst of summer, but we got quite a few “cooler” days, in the 80s. The rocks got a little bit worse each day, culminating in about 40 miles of hell to end the state. When I look at videos and pictures of that section now, I can’t believe we actually went through that.
I was happier to get out of PA than I was to reach the halfway point or Harper’s Ferry. New Jersey was impressive from the start, with lovely Sunfish Pond and views from the ridge line. We took an excellent zero at Maureen’s house on the lake. The rocks didn’t magically disappear, but they got a lot better. Our last night in Jersey we got hammered by mosquitos terribly for the first time.
New York was rough. That trail was relentless in its ups and downs. We climbed a lot of rocks. But we also drank a lot of soda and ate a lot of ice cream. We got the most magical trail magic from John and Susan. We felt the nearness of NY City (lots of people). And then went into Connecticut! I was very happy to put the mid-Atlantic lowlands behind us and enter New England.
We started to notice a difference in the forest right away. More water, more roots, more mud. The trail was pretty gentle for awhile, then started taking us higher in elevation. On Mount Race we walked along the sheer edge of a cliff overlooking the huge valley below. We hit 1,500 miles, and ran into Walter White, whom we hadn’t seen since Damascus. We hiked with Rottman for a couple of days.
Massachusetts brought more big rock slabs, more roots, and tons of mosquitos. Our organic essential oils bug spray was helpless against them. We stayed in quaint little Great Barrington, and I finally got to eat Thai AND Indian food. In the same town. Yay New England.
Then, we climbed over Greylock and entered Vermont. We’re sharing space now with a lot of Ivy League pre-orientation groups. It’s exciting to be starting the final big three: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I’ve entered the mystical far north, a place I’ve wondered if I could make it to.