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Friday, May 8, 2009

Final Countdown

Well it is now only 22 days till we are officially homeless and head to New York to pick up our AT hike from last year after Toesocks fell and broke her leg after 1360 miles of hiking. Our plan is to drive to Bellvale New York, the location where Toesocks hiked out 5 miles on a broken leg that ended our 2008 AT Thru-hike. We hope to do some trail magic along the AT on the way up there and help out this years hikers headed to Maine. We had so much help from Trail Angels last year that it will be nice to give back to the trail. We will stop by Mountains Crossing at Neal's Gap Georgia to see if Toesocks sandals from last year are on display with the hundreds of hiking boots suspended from the ceiling in the outfitters. Then we plan to have a short visit with "Sunny and Share" (2008 AT Thru-hikers), in Virginia who are on an internship at Waterpenny Farms in Sperryville. We hope to get on the trail about the second week of June after leaving our car at my sister's in Conn. I hope to see some of my family there to see us off. We plan to hike the AT from New York to Vermont where it runs for 104 miles with Vermont's Long Trail then continue on the Long Trail to the Canadian border. Then we will hitch back to the place where the AT and Long Trail separate and hike the AT all the way to Mt. Katahdin Maine! That will give us a hike of about 983 miles before we reach Katahdin. If all goes as planned and we do not have any unforseen mishaps we should finish up around the end of August or early September. All our gear has been selected and we are going even lighter than last year with pack weights before food and water ,"base weights" of around 6 pounds. This includes sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tent (really just a tarp with bug screen), packs, warm jackets, raingear, long johns, balaclavas, umbrellas, sunhats, spare socks, bear bag rope, food bag, first aid & misc. kit, pack liners and maps and data books! Its amazing that modern gear can be this light. A "traditional" pack with this much gear can easily weigh 30-40 pounds. Some people think that we are just "dayhikers" with our small packs. At our ages this is not an hike at these distances over hundreds of mountains, going lightweight is mandatory. Is is also more fun and liberating to not have a 40 pound load making every step of the hike seem like a military forced march! We have frequently covered 10 miles by 10AM and 26 miles total on several days. That does not sound too difficult until you carry it up and down mountains, over and over and over! We will try and keep this blog updated as we visit trail towns along the way and include some pictures and hopefully some interesting events from the trail. Stay tuned!

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