Click on picture to read Chaco's poems

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

No Rain, No Pain, No Maine!

Well true to form we start hiking to Maine today and its is RAINING!!! Mike and Sue will be dropping us at the trail near Bellvale, New York in a couple hours and the forecast is showers and more showers. But at least it is not cold and raining and I guess all the water sources will not be dry! Have to look on the bright side. We will have about 30 miles to get to Bear Mountain New York and finally get to walk through the ZOO there that Toesocks was looking forward to on last years hike. The trail passes right through it! There even looks to be a deli on the way according to last years Appalachian Pages data book! We will try to keep the blog updated as we pass through the trail towns along the AT. THANK YOU to ALL the friends and family who put up with us and let us stay with them along the way! Hope to see you all again when this journey is completed!!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Last Night in Trumbull

Toesocks and Chaco walking the Dogs
Shasha and Lucy

Toesocks and Lucy

Well its after 11PM and we hit the trail in the morning. My sister Sue and her husband Mike have kindly offered to drive us to Bellvale, New York and drop us at the trailhead there. There is a icecream stand there that Toesocks walked five miles on a broken leg to get to after falling near the NJ/NY border last year. We will start again from this exact spot. We are both what hikers call purists meaning that we hike every single blaze of the AT. We do not slack pack (hiking with a half loaded pack or daypack) or blueblaze (taking connecting trail shortcuts) or take shuttle rides further north to hike a section in a southerly direction because the terrain that way is easier. We will only hike every blaze (including shelter loops) from south to north, in order, till we reach Mount Katahdin, Maine. Tomorrow the dream to finish the entire Appalacian Trail south to north continues! Wish us luck and stay tuned for hopefully some great stories and pictures!

A Little Day Hike

Yesterday after most of the family left to return to Newport , Toesocks and I had a chance to get some walking in. We walked down to the Pequonnock Valley Trail which is a Rails to Trail system that follows a beautiful stream and goes through shaded woods. We walked along the trail not knowing how far it went and arrived at the next parking lot trail head after about 2 1/2 miles. Then we turned around and headed back to the entrance and walked into town and had lunch at a nearby Dunkin Dounuts. Then it was back to my sister Sue's for about a 7 mile total walk. After all this driving and eating so far it will be tough to get into the mind set of hiking the AT. Today we will go find a Walmart and buy 3 days food for the trail. Sue and Mike are driving us to Bellvale, NY tomorrow and our hike will begin again! We have 815 miles to hike to complete the entire 2175 mile AT. We also plan to hike the entire Long Trail in Vermont so we are looking at about 983 miles of hiking!! It has been fantastic so far on this trip, doing trail magic and seeing friends and family.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fun with Family in Trumbull, CT.

Well we got the car fixed and have been at my sister Sue's since Friday, her and Mike are driving us to the trail on Tuesday. We have had so much fun here! My other sisters, Carol and Deb and my Uncle Robert and Carol's daughter Sara all drove up here from Newport and we have been to Chase's (my nephew) Babe Ruth ball game, cooking out and eating non stop for two days! What a way to start off our AT hike, seeing family, eating and having a great time! Toesocks and I just got back from a 7 mile walk and very much needed to burn off a few calories. The weather is great here and its supposed to rain the day we get on the trail. All the "Newporters" drove back this morning and tomorrow Toesocks and I will start repacking everything for the trail and buying food to get us to Bear Mountain New York, our first stop after Belvale.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Broke down in Bridgeport, CT

Well we made it to Ct. yesterday and camped at a nice little State Park called Kettletown. It has been 3 nights camping and 3 nights very low budget motels so far. We are in Bridgeport, Ct. right now waiting on word on our car. It started running hot just this morning as we were in bumper to bumper traffic getting closer to my sister's house in Trumbull. It never did over heat and when it got to highway speed it seemed to run at normal temps. I cannot see that the electric cooling fan is coming on at all so that is what they are looking at. We are in a McDonalds just killing time till we hear from Roy's Auto Repair which is a one bay shop and gas station. At least if it had to happen we are not stranded at night on the side of some highway in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yesterdays visit with Sunny and Share

Sunny and Share checking the ATC Journeys magazine where they are listed with the 2008 Two Thousand Milers!! We had a great but short visit with them at Waterpenny Farm in Sperryville Virginia and they drove us into Front Royal for dinner. Great people working very hard and happy on their new farm internship. Hope to see them on our way back to Texas after the trail!

Grannys Motel

Wed. June 3, 2009
We are in Frackville, Pa. and had a coupon for $34.99.....but was it worth it just to save a few bucks?....will we ever see the light of day come morning??? Note the "childs' doll with no this an omen of whats to come?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trail Magic for Dan the Thru-hiker

We met Dan ( no trailname yet) at Newfound Gap in the Smokies and drove him into Gatlinburg to resupply and eat a pizza and then brought him back to the trail. He was astounded that as soon as he came out of the woods we were there to take him to town and then back again! We were more happy than him to do some real trail magic and pay back for all the great people who helped us on our AT hike last year!

Clingmans Dome

Had a GREAT day for the views atop Clingmans Dome....Highest point on the entire AT!!!

Neels' Gap and Toesock's Sandals

We were happy to see Toesocks sandals from last years hike hanging in the outfitters at Neels Gap!

Monday, June 1, 2009

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On the Road to the AT!!

Well we finally got on the road (it is now June 1st!). The first day out ( Saturday) we drove 735 miles to Cheaha State Park in Alabama just east of Birmingham. We didn’t get to the park until after it closed and despite a rumor that there was no gate, we found ourselves sleeping in the car in a parking lot nearby. Some time after midnight a security guard making his rounds saw us and stopped to ask if we would like to get inside to camp. “Well hell yes we would!” So he was kind enough to give us the gate code and we were soon inside and since it was so late we decided to sleep in the car anyways. We didn’t want to set up a tent so we just emptied out the back end and folded down the seats and got about 5 hours sleep. There is nothing like a good nights sleep……and THAT was nothing like a good nights sleep!! When we awoke the next morning ( it was fully light out at 5:30 AM!), it was still early and the camp store was not open so we decided to get on the Pinote Trail and hike to the first shelter. It was a nice hike and just 4 miles round trip so that by the time we got back the store was open. There was plenty of water flowing in the creeks and even some small water falls along the hike and we enjoyed reading all the entries in the shelter register. Of course we wrote our own entry into the log with our trademark CHACO & TOESOCKS logo! We then called Sheila’s sister in Jacksonville and drove into town to see her. We all went to Captain Dee’s for a fish dinner and had a nice visit and showed Nancy our new haircuts! I don’t think she was impressed!
It is now Monday morning and I am writing this at Vogal State Park in Georgia. We stopped by Mountain Crossings in Neel’s Gap last night but they were already closed. We will return there when they open at 8:30 and have a look around for Toesocks sandals to see if they are hanging from the ceiling! I will also get some AT stickers for the car and maybe one of there infamous hotdogs! Today the plan I think is to head for the Smoky Mountains and then get on the Blueridge Parkway and to the Shenandoah’s. It should be a pretty drive after all the interstates and we want to get closer to Waterpenny Farm where Sunny and Share are working and living. We will have to call them today and see when it would be good to drop in for a visit. We also want to start doing some trail magic for the thru-hikers once we catch up to where the majority of them are on the trail. We also will call Jason “TwoLions” who we met in Dallas while walking Whiterock Lake trainiing for the AT. He left on his thru-hike about May 10 or so. I wonder how far he has gone by now? WELL…now I see Toesocks strirring in the tent so I guess it is time to get some breakfast and get on the road again!


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