My introduction will be short, because I have not one but two journal entries to share with you. That’s right, readers – Adventure Girl updated her journal twice since last week. That said, this post is a long one.
You may remember, as of last Saturday, Adventure Girl was located along the Taconic State Parkway near Shenandoah, NY. Early this morning, June 11th, we received her message indicating she was now located in the state of Massachusetts. More specifically, she was along US Highway 7 near Sheffield, MA. However, as I mentioned last week, Adventure Girl is stepping off the trail for a few days. June 12th, Adventure Girl is boarding a plane and heading home to Atlanta to attend college orientation at my Alma Mater, University of Georgia. I am going to call Adventure Girl early Monday morning, while she travels to Athens, GA. My goal is to interview her. Do you have questions you’d like to ask adventure Girl? If so, please be sure to leave your questions in the comment section.
I can’t believe how fast I am rolling through states these days! After being in Virginia for so long, it feels weird to be hitting a new state after just a few days. As of now I am a little over 25 miles from CT! Which is nuts! I can’t believe I walked all this way. It really hit me as I was crossing over the Hudson River. I walked there. I walked to NY. Who does that?! haha Well apparently I do and I loved every minute of it. Ok so maybe I didn’t love EVERY minute wasn’t, but I sure have loved most of them.
We had a few hot days last week and that really made hiking less enjoyable, but since then the weather has cooled to a much more reasonable temperature and for that I am extremely grateful!
After leaving Vernon I made my way to the NJ/NY boarder. That was really exciting! Though I must say I was sad to be leaving NJ… it is actually a really pretty state and the people there treated me so well! I had a lot of interesting conversations with people I ran into and the weather in Jersey was awesome while I was there. I guess, because the state is so small I didn’t have enough time to get sick of it! haha
The day I left Vernon was a really hot one and from the ridge we could see this big, beautiful lake that was just calling our names, so we ended up going into Greenwood Lake, NY and stayed at Anton’s On The Lake. The place was awesome! It was right on the lake and to top it off at the road crossing to go into Greenwood Lake there is a Creamery! We all decided it would be a great day to do the Half Gallon Challenge. I can now say I have eaten an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting. It is not nearly as much fun as one would think. I didn’t feel very well after completing the challenge… but I was glad I did it anyways.
The next day was absolutely gorgeous! I got to go through the lemon squeezer, which for those of you that don’t know is a point where the trail goes between two rocks that are really close together. It was less of a squeeze than I was expecting, but I think I’m ok with that. After the lemon squeezer the trail went straight up the side of a rock and on a tree just before the rock face there was a sign that said Easy Way and pointed to the left. I being the determined person that I am, was not about to go the easy way. I took the sign as a challenge, as though the sign thought I couldn’t do it. I sure showed it! haha We stayed at the William Brian Memorial Shelter. That place is seriously disgusting. I opted to tent. I have actually found myself wanting to tent more, I think its to make carrying the tent weight feel worth it.
The next day we got to go through the Trail Side Zoo and thus we hit the lowest point on the A.T. I am really glad the bears in that cage were not the first ones I had seen on the trail. I also saw an otter and its cage was really small, it had a tiny little pool of water to swim in and it just kept swimming around in circles. It was so graceful, but I couldn’t help thinking the poor guy was going nuts! If I had to swim in circles all day I KNOW I would lose my mind… It was another beautiful day and since it was a Friday there were a bunch of kids at the zoo on a field trip, they asked me lots of questions and it was fun watching their jaws drop as I answered them.
The next day I headed to the RPH Shelter and enjoyed yet another beautiful day! We are kind of hiking in a bubble of no people and haven’t seen too many other thru-hikers recently. I’m sure all that will change though once I get back from orientation. Next week I am taking 4 days off to head home in order to take placement tests and such for school in the fall. I have mixed feelings about this forced break. It will be really nice to see people and be home even for a short period of time, but I also feel the trip home could be a curse. It may cause me to lose momentum. I am getting close to finishing this adventure and I most certainly don’t want to quit, but the friends, family and amenities at home may prove to be a huge distraction… I guess time will tell!
Hope all is well for everyone! I can’t believe its JUNE! Yesterday [June 5] was my 3 months on the trail date! THAT’S CRAZY! “
“Well tomorrow is the big day. I will be catching a flight back to Atlanta. At this point I’m excited! It is going to be such a weird feeling being in my house again after over 3 months! I sure hope it hasn’t changed to much!
This past week has been fairly hot, but the terrain has been nice so it wasn’t too bad. I must say the water sources in Connecticut were far superior to those in NY. NY had awful water. It was either really sketchy looking or few and far between. People had put jugs of water out, but they were always empty when I passed them which was quite disappointing to say the least.
The past 4 days we have done rather big mile days all of them being 20 or more miles, yesterday I did 30. That was so stupid of me. My body hurt so bad… It was the second 30 I have done and I didn’t enjoy it any more this time then I had the first time, but now that I get to sit here and do nothing all day it does feel worth it.
Yesterday was by far one of my toughest days on the trail. The morning started out great. I was loving the terrain and the area I was walking through was so pretty. It was much cooler than it had been and I was just feeling really good. By the afternoon however, I was miserable. I have been damp for days on end now, be it from sweat or walking through damp grass or the evening storms we have been getting (more on those later). This dampness caused multiple issues including, chaffing on my hips where my pack rests, a rash on my rear, and hot spots and blisters on all of my toes. Not ideal. By the end of the day I was sick of it. I knew if I stopped at the shelter 8 miles from town everything would just get worse as nothing would dry do to the humidity, so I forced myself onwards. I was miserable. When I had two miles left I literally sat down on the side of the road and cried. I haven’t cried like that on the trail to this point, so I guess you could say yesterday was my all time trail low. That being said I didn’t want to quit hiking all together; i just didn’t want to hike any more that day. The funny part is I met a lady from St. Louis and she was surprised when I told her I was a thru-hiker. She said I looked too fresh to be a thru-hiker. Now I may have been ripe, but I know for a fact I wasn’t fresh…
I also encountered the worst mosquito problem of my life! I was literally running down the trail and still slapping 5-6 Mosquitos at a time. It was pretty terrible. This happened at the end of my day yesterday of course and it may have been the straw the broke the camels back and lead to my road side melt down.
This entry is starting to sound really down and depressing, but it was really just yesterday afternoon that rained on my fun parade. Yesterday had many good points too. I crossed into Massachusetts. That was pretty exciting! I also saw some really pretty waterfalls and creeks that I would have jumped in if I didn’t have a 30 mile day planned. Over-all I had a really great day yesterday, until the last 8 miles. I think not having a melt down until after your 3 month mark is pretty good.
Alright well I’m going to go enjoy town and prepare myself for my journey home! “
Remember, while my niece is in town, I am going to try to interview her. Do you have any questions for Adventure Girl? If so, please let me know the questions you have for her. I’ll include her answers in Adventure Girl’s Trail Tails: Update #12.