Spoke with Gary this morning and he said he would probably go 16 miles today. I didn't hear from him this evening so don't know where he is or how far he went. Pictures are from the mountains in New York.
A package was delivered today from Gary. It contained his watch, that I bought a service plan on, a shirt, book, pages from the AT book and a picture card that starts in Greenwood Lake, NY. I believe the scenery is nicer as he goes north. I sent a package to him today and he will miss where it is going so hopefully they will forward it to his next stop. Oh my, last night his plans were different. We are keeping the postal service in business this year. The pictures on this page are from Greenwood Lake, NY, his room had 2 double beds, a single bed and the fireworks went off late after the partying was in full swing. Guess you never know where or what your stay will be. I looked it up online and the site for the Breezy Point Inn is http://www.breezypointinn.com/#9 Looks like a nice place to go back to visit.
I got home from a conference and while I was gone found out that the stove and backpack I send Gary didn't arrive. It was refused and sent back to the company. The Becket Motel had a mail drop listed in the Appalachian Trail Book but didn't keep it for Gary. I am having it sent to me and I'll send it to his next stop. He called me Thursday evening and said he was in a Catholic church because there was a storm coming. Talking to him on Friday morning found out that he had spent the night in the church. I thought that was a great service the church provided. Gary said he gave them a donation and headed on his way. Today he crossed over into Vermont. It was still raining some.
I just got my internet back tonight so I haven't shared Gary's last few days. He walked 18.5 miles today and seemed really happy when I talked to him. He is at the October Mountain Shelter tonight sleeping in a shelter and tomorrow is going in to Becket, MA to spend the night and pick up the packages I sent there. He has food, a new back pack (Osprey has a lifetime guarantee and is sending the new one to the hotel), new stove and card for his camera. Gary had eaten cold food for a couple weeks and know he will be glad to be able to heat up his rice, etc.
More PA/NY pictures. I should get his new card in a day or two.
The fella that Gary started hiking with had a cousin that picked Gary up, took him to the store and back to the trail. Just having someone to visit with was a good thing as well.
Gary had an awful day yesterday. He only walked 5 miles and fell four times. I haven't heard too many details but should this morning. He did break the tip off his water bladder. Hopefully he will find a place in his next town to get a new one.
Yesterday Gary called to tell me he saw a timber rattle snake on his left. He moved to the right and there was another. He is still walking on big rocks. He waited a while and the left one crossed the path and on he hiked.
This evening he is staying in the first campsite in Massachusetts. He has about seven hundred miles left.
My router and modem are having problems so I can't put pictures on this evening. Hopefully I'll get a new one hooked up tomorrow.
Gary stayed at a bed and Breakfast last night and seemed really rested. The rooms had no TV so I imagine he went to bed early. The people picked them up and took them back so that was a nice surprise as well. He called this evening and said it was at the most beautiful camp site so far on the trip. He said it had a gazebo, a porch swing and even a pump. There were some other people there as well.
I am sending an envelope to see if I can get some newer pictures. Here are some more PA/NY pics:
Talk about a rocky path!
See the white Appalachian mark to show the trail....right up over the rocks.
A little "Trail Magic". Volunteers feeding and visiting with the hikers. He has run into that a few times on the trip.
Today Gary is leaving the trail to go into Kent, CT. He hopes to get food to last a week and do laundry, shower and sleep in air conditioning. The rocky trail is really rough on him and seems to be getting the best of him. I asked him to stay a couple days there to catch up on sleep and rest but he won't. He has had no days off...I don't believe he has had a 0 day unless it was when he was having foot trouble and maybe he stayed somewhere 2 days.
He will be home before you know it!
Looks like trail follows the road for a while. According to pictures' order, this is still along the Susquehana River.
For Friday the 13th I thought I would scare you with new pictures of Gary's broken nose:)
Just talked to Gary and he is at a shelter. No one else is there tonight. He sounded better and looking forward to going into town on Sunday. I will send out a package on Monday when he tells me where he will be in a few days. Hope there is a grocery store for him to stock up on food for this week.
Gary called a couple times today. Again, he seems down. Guess this heat, etc. do that to you. He is sleeping on a hill tonight. In NY the shelters seem to be farther apart than in other states. Any he stopped at Clarence Fahnestock State Park and had a cheese burger, hot dog, 2 ice cream cones and 2 soft drinks for dinner.
I received his card from the end of PA. I will add some of those pictures.
When I dropped him off last time in Duncannon, this was the bridge he had to cross:
Gary called this morning and sounded down. I think the heat and rocks are getting to him, as well as being alone most of the time. He said he had to sleep on the side of a hill so that wasn't too great, either.
I just talked to him and he had passed a store and said he had eggs, bacon, sausage, ham and 4 pieces of french toast. I think that made him feel better. He has less than 800 miles to go!!!
Gary called from a taking a rest on a big rock above the hills in NY. He said he was 51 miles from New York City and at times you could see the skyline in the distance. He is taking pictures so hopefully I can post later.
He went through an area called the "lemon squeezer" yesterday and for one person it was hard to get up through the narrow area with a back pack. With more than on person one would go up and then take the packs and then the other would go up. He said it was to the point you had to hoist yourself up, with your pack, with your arms. This part of NY is really tough and the miles per day are getting less.
I talked to Gary twice today. This morning he was sitting on a rock looking at a lake. Said it was as big as maybe Summersville Lake and very pretty. He was at a shelter (alone) this evening and I always hate hearing that. He says with a few there the snoring is really bad and hard to sleep. He sounded, for the first time this trip, like he was exhausted and had only walked 12 miles. I guess the heat and rocky trail are getting the best of him. He did send his camera card and hopefully tomorrow I will have new pictures of NJ and NY to share.
I was looking at the final ascent of the trail on Mount Katahdin, Maine and saw a poem written for a couple of guys that were finishing. Gary is walking alone but made a couple good friends that keep in touch with the phone as they are walking. They got separated with the other two having to go here and there and coming back to the trail. I imagine they will remain friends for a long time.
Here is the poem:
Georgia to Maine -- Are You
Written by: Debra Blohm (As a
gift to Ben & Billy on the completion of the A.T.)
Once upon a time
there where two young men Two strangers walking as their journey began One
named Billy and the other Ben They found in each other a life long
They left civilization as they knew it To climb to the top of
every summit To walk every valley, over hill and dale Nothing would stop
them - they would not fail!
You awake each morning and make your
plan To climb huge rocks and boulders higher than a man You scramble and
hold on the best that you can Trying hard to avoid Troy and his
Putting one foot in front of the other day after day Admiring the
works of mother nature along the way Sky touching misty mountains Drinking
cool clear water from nature's fountains
Bright blue skies without a
cloud in sight Beautiful star filled summer nights You've worked to make
your backpacks light Together you have witnessed some amazing
Mountains that are too beautiful to see Yet there is where you
want to be Valleys far too lovely for human eyes Walking on clouds with
your heads in the skies
You've hiked from Georgia, now to Maine Not
for worldly wealth or fame You hike the trail because it's there It's now
a friend with which you share
You've shared the cold, you've shared the
heat You've shared the mud beneath your feet You've shared the black flies
and the rain You've shared the joys and shared the pain
To not fall,
to not fail... Through the snow, rain, sleet and hail To keep on walking
until you're there Even though you're frozen to your underwear
nine to five yeah, it's fun if you're insane Get up everyday and subject
yourself to pain Walk no matter what the day may hold in store You just
keep on walking more and more and more
You've stopped and taken some
breaks along the way Some were for rest and some were to play Here we all
are on this glorious day And we've just three words we want to
You Made It!!!
Here are some pictures of Mt. Katahdin
Looking forward to seeing Gary's picture of this and hoping maybe I can be there.