Day 137

Friday 24th August

my alarm went off I silenced it then the next

it had just gone 7 when I finally emerged

Bugger in wanted to be up earlier. so why did switch of the alarms. I groggily got up visted the loo then the Bear box . there were so many hikers streaming out of camp as the shelter was packed last night. I made my way to the cooking area and made tea I was going to make breakfast too but I couldn’t be bothered .It was late and I knew it was going to.be a slow getaway.

I first needed to repair or sort out my pack . I grabbed my fanny pack the buckle looked similar. msy be thstcwould work . I cut off the buckles and removed the broken one from.my pack ureka!! it fits. thank god .

hopefully it will do until I can order a new one from Osprey.

As I walked out of camp I could still here the boys .

I continued up.the side trail back to the trail at the signpost to the camp I stared at it the distance was faded but read 1800 yards. still it was further than thst.

I pushed on happy thst my buckle was now fixed off would of been a night mare with out it and I would if probably gone into the first town.

The morning always start with a climb and so today’s was no exception. the views were great nut it’s a similar view for the last four of days stunning but once you have seen trees you have seen them domi pushed on and over more rock thst saps your strength and gets you’re heart pumping.

atvth

down I began to hear voices a d soon came across a group of 8 hikers . excuse me I said and they all stood aside to let me through. Thank you.

I pushed on while i had the momentum and energy. ha ha .

soon I was on the duck boards I like these as they are level and straight. meaning your not weaving in and out of the trees. which I find annoying once over the boards the trail dipped down and sharply.

This is the bit that kills my knees and it went down and down and down and down and down some more . the last bit was a stone stair case which again kills the knees I normally go down sideways as it feels better. but every now and then the step is steep meaning you really have to stretch your leg .

at last I was at the bottom and several creeks ran past

so Checked my map to see if I needed water or if I could push on. Nope there is plenty of water ahead . Great so less to carry. I did a small climb then I we in the forest on a smooth wide FLAT! path . that’s been a while such a joy to walk on I followed the creek along on this lovely path. I decided that I would take a break at 1pm or the shelter …..Whatever came first. It was the shelter..I dropped my pack and decided I’d make a brew. I was just pouring the water on to.my tea when iron man arrived.

he relaxed and had lunch as I did. Then a family and grandad and grandma. came along theyvwefe looking for a Falls . but I hadn’t see any neither had iron man. so they continued on .Then the Boys arrived Sasquatch and short mile looked as they had , had a swim. we exchanged insults then they pushed on as they were getting off at the road to resupply again in xxx xxx

after they passed kaleidoscope and ahem passed by. I packed up.and continued on

As I hiked on a man came up.the trail saying there is magic in the patking lot. Great thanks I said

I wasn’t long till I arrived there was Sasquatch short mile, Samaritan, Iron man, kaleidoscope Ahem and the lady doing the magic. we swapped a dozen more insults then the lady passed me a bowl of salad it was a chicken ceaser salad bloody tasty i washed that down with orange juics followed by a large chocolate milk. there were loads of muffins too..but a half hour before I had stopped for lunch typical .

the boys were going into town from here and the lady said that she would take them.I ambskways amazed at the generosity of people out here.

I wished them.well plus more insults and hiked out

thevtrsil goes down a d across a huge river.as I was emjoyingbtj view a customised car came by .itvwas a pickup and I lived it it had a 3.5 Chevy engine in it and looked fab

Once across the river it was approximately 7 more miles to camp and just for a change it was up

And steep I spent the afternoon climbing and by 4pm I was exhausted . as I sat on the top of another hill.

I checked my phone .I had service so quickly phoned osprey. I spoke to Christopher who was very helpful and would do his best to get the new buckle to me by Monday.

I felt chuffed. and as I hiked on was actually flying untill I got to the next big climb and my energy level dropped to empty.

how much further ..I calculated 6.30 and as I hike north the daylight is fading by 7 so dinner on the dark.

I pushed on my watch pinged 6pm great can’t be much further.. The trail has this annoying habit. that The last mile is like an army obstacle course thst true go kill you. and it’s even more fun when your knackered . tired and just want your bed..I was struggling fown The last climb when I heard voices behind me ..it was kaleidoscope and ahem..I let them pass. as thevtrsil to.the campsite was just in front.

At last I passed several tents , the privy and bear box. Then i saw Iron man..I set up.next to him then we ate together.

I expected Samaritan and his crew to arrive but maybe they have stayed in town

Night

Start. 1885
Finish. 1899
Miles. 15
miles left. 291

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Day 141

Tuesday 28th August

I had set the alarm for 5 am to hopefully hit the trail by 6 and claw back some of those miles.

But typically I woke to the sound of heavy rain so didn’t move until it began to slow.

Once it did I quickly packed up before making a brew and breckfast . I was sitting on a tree stump do ing my tea when the rain returned with vengeance. I covered up my pack and finished my tea.

My back groaned as I hoisted my pack I blame the wet tent.

It was just over 4 miles to the next shelter and up . As I walked my mind argues with it’s self ….You should of gone on . I needed to rest. I let them argue!!!!

The trail wasn’t that nice rocky and twisty such fun…… As I made my way up the sun decided to come out and so it soon became humid and me soaked. It was just over 2 hours before I reached the shelter. It was deserted except for one lonely sleeping hiker ..Bless.

I carried on past and down the other side. It was bloody steep too steep for my knees that. complained. It was another hour till I was down and emerged into a lovely little campsite. This was my actual target for Yesterday. But the pond was my choice.

As I made my way through I noticed some huge tarps a d wondered if there was trail magic ? But couldn’t see anyone. I then had to cross a wide river and in the morni g light it looked beautiful.

I was now time for my second climb again steep as I made my way up wyman mnt I began to hear voices .I presumed other hikers coming down .But as I got higher I could see it was a trail crew. They were replacing/ building new steps. It’s quite fascinating to watch as i stood there panting the lady crew said yes this mountain kicks your butt.

Thanks for that I said you could of waited till I was at the top.

I carried on up and 10 minutes later came across another crew doing the same. They had a large block and tackle to move these giant rocks . again I’m.impresed and thanked them.for their hard work .

Yes she was right this mountain did kick my butt. at the top I collapsed and took off my shoes.it was a great view now as I rested and ate a few snacks

Okay let’s go 1 down 2 more to go Old Blue mountain was.nect and this was a killer

its not a gentle path up these mountains it’s hand over hand climbing and it’s not straight up .you climb a bit you go down a little then you doodle through the forest navigate a big or two then you climb some more. then it’s s huge down before you climb again. Old Blue took me 2 hours and as soon as there was a place I could collapse into then I did.

Omg I am completely knackered and I still have about 8 miles to go for my target and it was 2pm

So I made a brew and ate the rest of my snacks . As I sat there another exhausted hiker appeared. Take my seat in done.

I hoisted up my pack and continued on and of course down . After a while I came to a spring and watered up. I still wanted to get to the shelter but in case I didn’t make it. there was water on the trail and nearer but I like the dog I g water if possible as I do not filter. I pushed on . come Snail you can do this and headed for mountain no 3 Ben is mountain

The climb started similar then I was back to the boards . theses had seen better days and so it was a change drying to keep you feet dry. I kept pushing but didnt want to fall as the trail here was so slippery

As I climbed even higher the wind came. It was fairly terrifying as many of the trees were bending and groaning and the roots were lifting on some. Great I thought crushed by a tree

As I came to an opening I great a great view of some amazing lakes in the far distance one is Lower Richardson lake they look huge.

As I was taking more photos Peach zoomed past. You gpingvyp the shelter Snailtrainer,?

Yes if my legs hold out i said

Peach then vanished..I’m sure he’s half goat , the way he skips down the mountains.

I was beginning to tire it was 6.30 it would take me at least another hour as the trail was rock, bog and steep slabs. and when I’m tired I go slower as that’s when I fall and hurt myself.

Where is that shelter I crossed over big plates of rock

I was worried thst msy be I missed it as I should be there by now

It seemed to take hours untill I spotted a tent. Thank fuck I said to myself. as I had, had enough. The best flat spots had been taken but as I was so tired I didn’t care. and so quickly threw my tent up. Imeaditly made a brew then made a Ramin bomb, ramin and mashed potato . but I added cranberries and bacon. Bloody good .washed fown with a second brew.

It was now pitch dark so straight to bed.

The wind is howling high above me @!

Start. 1936

Finish. 1953

Miles. 17

miles left. 246

.

Day 142 to Rangely…!

Wednesday 29th Aug

I was awake by 5 but dozed to half past. then hot up and went to find the loo I should of asked last night as I wandered aimlessly around for 10 minutes

But wow what a loo it’s new and large quite grand in fact .

once back at my tent ( no food bag to collect as i slept with it .)

it’s not the bears it’s the rodents!!!!!!!!

I put my stove on for a brew and breckie as I stripped down.there was a girl at the back she got up and in seconds was packed and walking out amazing. sadly I’m not that fast .

I scoffed my instant oats .slurped my tea and then I was away .Snail today’s target was 17 miles can you do it ….

Well I was going to try .

I walked back to the trail .and I was away ..small climbs at first then I was up on the rock. I’m sure this trail was drawn as a doodle as I seemed to be going round in circles. But then wow what a view . the lakes … I stood for a few minutes then pushed on . It was going to be a lot of climb a in the morning then a straight down to Rangely . But my map often lies . The climbs were more up, up down up ,up down up ,up, up up down a bit then flatish .

The trouble with these is they kill me .. but I pushed on .I have to say trail was bloody good . nice and kind a few weaves and a lot of bog crossings which is FUN and challenging. ha ha

in the distance I began to hear cars . oh good a road. I chugged up a steep incline and then Wow..Bloody wow . what an amazing views of Rangely lakes.

Rangely is famous for its ski resorts. .it’s where the young Olympic hopefuls come to train and in summer it’s a fisherman’s paradise. so a busy tourist place.

There was a bench that I collapsed into . and as I was eating few snacks a German hiker called xxx came by.

we studied the maps together . cool 4.5 miles to the power lines then down into Rangely. but sometimes my maps lie

I headed off first, knowing he would soon whizz by me .Which he did .

My next target was the hut (lean to) by the lake that would be my almost halfway point of 8.5 miles. . I shortly came to the lake which looked so idyllic. the trail follwed it around and then There was the shelter whoop and itvwas only 12 pm To snail.you have got this .(nut I do not know what is ahead)

I got water from.the lake then walked up the side trail towards the shelter. There were several tent platforms.zi dumped my stuff then walked up to the shelter .I signed the register then walked back to my gear.

I put on a brew and ate snacks . a fellow hiker came and went as i relaxed in the sun.

It was whilst I was here ithst I noticed that my phone was low on charge

odd I thought and plugged in the battery . The battery said ” im Dead” Bollocks . not now I need you … Oh well It is what it is

Okay snail we need another 8

I pushed on and was so pleased when I passed the power lines .but then my God wouldn’t fix and kept telling me I had 12 miles to go . No no thst can’t be right . I ignored it and just hiked on. so spent the next hour crossing bog after bog untill at 3 pm I needed a break .It was at this time my phone died Great!!!!!

I sat and ate the rest of my snacks .I was Hoping to meet u.with a friend but with no phone I’m blind !!

I pushed on u till I came to so.e BlackBerry bushes here my speed dropped. As I gorged on these little gems ..

Come on Snail ……

I pushed on as my watch pinged 5pm oh god how much further Then i passed a sign day 1 miles. thanks Maine guys I like that. several bogs later and a few scary slab manoeuvres and i at the road. nut with no phone do.i go right or left .

As I sat pondering a guy got dropped off . Which way to Rangeley I asked. it’s left

nut walk on the left hand side until.your past the barrier

And there’s the hiker hut there . why don’t you stay there?

-I thanked him and set off up the road. Eventually coming to.a sign for the Hiker Hut. I stood there for 10 minutes with my thumb out. Before deciding to go check out the place.

I walked down and into a beautiful garden . sat at the table were the German duo of Father and daughter. The man in charge appeared any room.i asked I have only the tent. I looked, i liked . Yes that will do me . he then gave me supper $7 and i washed that down with two beers. He was then heading to town do I could grab a shower at the sorts ground and then vrsb a six pack . COOL I said jumping in his car.

The sports Center was a trendy Gym . I signed in and enjoyed a long shower. Input on. clean clothes then headed to the store. Xxx then arrived. and dropped me off at the store.

I’ll be back had said there are 2 other hikers in there.

O grabbed s basket got some more cash then began to shop.

I only came on for beer .but while I’m.here. Then i ran into the two hikers ….. It was Kalidascope and Ahem

Hey your clean was the conversation ….

I whizzed around grabbing nits then beer. I grabbed s six pack of Shipyard 5.5% yummy.

As I got back into the car it was an amazing sun set over the lakes but sadly no camera .

Once back I chilled with other hikers then off to my tent which i really like .

Night all

Start. 1953

Finish. 1970.5

Miles. 17.5

miles left. 220

Day 135 Zero in Goreham

Wednesday 22 August

I didn’t need to get up as I’m on a Zero

But I had chores to do, I finally

I emerged at 7 am .I looked at the sky it was Black. it looked very threatening. a few drops began to fall. Fuck it. I quickly dropped my tent and threw it into the barn. so had just fit it into the dry when it threw it down

I packed up and brought my pack upstairs. I continued editing video . phoned Big Agnes to get a new tent bag.

Samaritan and his team were going for breakfast so i tagged along. we walked to.the testurant in the pouring rain once at he restaurant , it was packed so it seemed to take a while to order and even longer to get our food. I had the hungry hiker thstvwas 2 eggs sausage home fries toast and French toast..I added bacon and a toasted blueberry muffin.

When it eventually came it was bloody good .

We walked back and I began to sort my gear again..okay I need to go to Wal-Mart.

I walked back down town and waited for the bus. itvwas 2 bucks .

I was soon At Wal-Mart. I looked again at suitcases and then brought a new drive to once again clean down my phone.

Once down I grabbed the bus back..Again I visted the post office and a d sent kit back.upthe trail.

Back at the hostel I relaxed.cleaned down my phone and watched tv.

At 5 I went and grabbed more beer then cooked pasta for tea. so made plenty and shared it with others.

Start. 1871

Finish. 1871

Miles. zero

miles left 319

Day 134

Tuesday 21st August

I was up. And out as I needed to get to north Compton Post office as I had stupidly sent a package there and hadn’t the cell service to change it.
The slog up the side trail that I went down last night was a struggle . How I walked down it in the dark last I don’t know.
It seemed to take me ages to get back to the Hut.

I went inside got my book stamped refilled with water  then re-joined the trail.
The start was a climb up Mt Monroe, and it was rock, and it was steep. The soles of my feet were sore from yesterday so ached as I walked hopefully, I can block that out .
As I climbed the views were amazing, but it was a tough climb. I was following the Cairns, but it was still hard trying to plot my route to the next cairn. I was soon puffing and panting . But the views were amaze g and typically Mt Washington was clear in the distance.

At last I reached the summit andd wow what a view . I stood on the top for several minutes just staring at the amazing views. But I was on a tight schedule as I needed to get go the post office.

I headed down or rather to the ridge. The views were stunning . and I was just amazed at their beauty. I stumbled and hesitated my way down to a flat surface.

As I began to reach the tree line, I met an Australian south bounder  called shield maiden that made me smile as it’s a term .from. Vikings that is one of my favourite tv programs.
at last I was off the rocks. and began to head down into the trees .
I hadn’t gone far until. I ran into Passenger, Sir mix lot, bleep and Ossie. We exchanged verbal insults as they were slackpacking south as we continued our way. Next it was the commander and Wander Woman Wander Woman gave me advice about the trail.

At last the trail.be and less rocky and I was able to get some speed up.or rather I thought I was faster.

come on snail I urged my way on as I wouldn’t be at the trail head until 1.30 then I had a double hitch .
I was still heading down, but I thought I was going good on time
I crossed several creeks as I continued down from. Monroe.
Then  crossed over a large creek via a suspension bridge

I was busy stomping down the trail when I came snagged on s branch stupidly, I wrenched free, only to find that it was my tent stuff sack that’s caught so it was now ripped in two and my tent fluttered out behind me. I was more concerned that in May of ripped my tent, so I had to stop to. I investigate. Luckily not . so, had to carry out a quick repair / bodge on my tent bag then I was on my way.
I shortly emerged onto a road. shall I hitch I pondered.
as forestry can appeared and stopped so I asked the driver for advice on how to get to the post office. He recommended continuing to Pickcom Notch. Do that’s what I did. I soon began to see people which meant that I was close.
Soon I was there . I went inside to grab a soda. Outside was pippin and Sparks

I gave the normal abuse then headed for the road and to hitch to North Compton
It was 10 minutes before I had a ride .the guy was an all-round dude. hiker, surfer, skier etc. he made me feel quite dull .as he was my age May be older. but a great car companion. He ended up dropping me at the post office. I grabbed my new Snozzel bag from Xped posted my tourist stuff up the trail , then headed back to the road. my driver suggested that I walk to the next set of lights then hitch.

It worked  a lady stopped, she was retired and had just been fishing
As we drove, she said bugger my golf has been cancelled so  I might as well take you to Gorham. As originally, she was going to drop me off at the road junction.
Where do you want to go, she asked…?
I wasn’t sure so got out my phone. The Hostel. I said.
It’s right there she said pointing to the right.
She dropped me right outside the hostel.

I thanked her and lugged my pack. Up the driveway.
I pushed the bell.
Do you have a bed I asked?
Sorry we are full.
Fuck.it I thought…….Do you have tenting?
Yes, I have tenting .
Okay then that would be good, do you have a bed for tomorrow ?
Yes, I do .
Great so I booked in and paid.
I quickly put up my tent and relaxed.
Once settled in  I then walked to the Post office and picked up my
On the way back I got some snacks for tea and beer.
Once back I sorted through my stuff. The relaxed in the barn with my fellow hikers and relaxed.

Start. 1864
Finish. 1871
Miles. 7
Miles left

Day 101 a pointless day With a Sting.

Thursday 19gh July

My alarm went off at 5 and I was up..sleeping with out the fly helps.

I let down my bed and then went to retrieve my food bag. The. I began to pack up ..The orange tent was soon. packed up and the female occupant was on the trail by 6 I was impressed.No breakfast I heckled as she walked out.

I quickly finished packing then made a cuppa woofed a mars bar and was good to go..See you up the trail I said to my fellow hikers.

It was a bit more rock jumping then the soil returned an d shortly I came to a road.I. crossed over. on the other side was a water cache . I gulped down a good litre then toppedup my water. I drew a thank you Snail on the bottle and hiked on through more forest then I came to a

solid wall of rock.FUCK !! I am going up that. it was a vertical climb . ten minutes of huffing and i was at the top. This isn’t hiking to me .but apparently on the AppalachianTrail it is . I had just got my breath back when I had to climb another. Then another. this went on for most of the morning ups and down pointless stupid climbs .

At last the scenery changed and I was walking around some gorgeous lakes. But then I was back to rock climbing it took me a while to get up on the ridge but the views were only of trees. as I pushed I vould hear the sound of cars getting louder and louder it sounded like very busy traffic. i began. to drop down big rocks to begin with then omg is was more of a scree straight down. I really was not impressed with this. It was crazy I inched my way down , making sure my food held before lifting my other it took a long 15 minutes to get down. Once again there was a large water cache at the bottom so once again I camaled up.

I was just about to walk when my fellow hiker Sundance from last night appeared. None where impressed with this section and we all thought the same. Normally by this time I wluld have done 10 miles. Today with the stupid climbs I had only managed 6 1/2. which was crap.

I hoisted up my pack and crossed the road then walked up a side road. It crossed the busy freeway and railway. Once over it turned right and I was in another State Park. I hadn’t been in the park long when I saw my first deer then another. it was really pretty In here . I climbed several small hills then again I had more rock faces to climb. But after I was back in more gorgeous forest and I walked around another beautiful lake. After I climbed another small hill

THEN !!!! OMG …What the fuck is that. surely I do not need to climb that it !. it was huge blocks of granite. I stared at it for a few minutes. Then I dropped my pack and fastened my poles to my pack as I wasn’t going to need them for this . Omg it was tough .madness and. few other choice words .

in places I had to remove my pack and pudh it the ledge. stupid game . Eventually I was at the top I walked another half miles then stopped for a break. As I was lounging Ossy and commander and another came past we chatted for a few minutes then they moved on.

Sundance shortly appeared again a few words then he was gone.

Okay Snail time to walk

I packed up and set off the trail being fairly gentle..After about 40 minutes I came to a sign pointing out the milages.

I snapped a few shots then moved on as unwanted those miles.

Eventually I came to a road. the hiker in front of me said I’m going this way

there is a vending machine.

that sounded a fab idea so I followed him down the road .6 of a mile. as I walked around the corner I was stunned to see a huge lake with a beach.

down by the beach were the vending machines and several pack. one was Sundance.

I quickly dropped my pack and fed a $20 into the machine and pressed the button for an orange ice lolly

For some reason I expected change in notes not dollar coins and quarters. The other guys laughed but then I fed them into another vending machine for lemonade. I quickly woofed my Lilly and guzzeld my cans of lemonade.

A lady and her son appeared and she was very chatty and very pretty . Her name was Domanick and she was fascinated about our hikes . we chatted to her for a while. I then put the rest of my change back into the vending machines for a other ice cream and another lemonade. It’s no good I need to walk

I visted the loo and filled up my bottles then said good by to every one . I was just leaving when Freight train and Pace arrived.

As I began to walk up the road Dominick followed me.

She wanted to leave some trail magic and wanted advice I suggested Sodas and fruit. satsumers, oranges . bananas.

Great she said. I pushed on back up the road then back to the trail. I was busy pushing when I stuck my pole in to a wasps nest..I was covered in the biggest I waved my hand dropped my poles and ran backwards I received about 8 stings 4 on.my ankle and leg 2 on my hands and arms.

But I had dropped my poles on top of the nest. It took me about 15 minutes to find a stick long enough to drag them to me with out getting stung again

I then wrote a note and left it on the trail. I think the best may of fallen from a tree.

When i was ready I ran across the trail avoiding angry wasps a d continued. but my side trip go the beach or vending machines and my wasp adventure had lost me a lot of time. I wanted another 8 miles but I don’t think it will happen but I pushed on regardless. I had just climbed Black mountsom and it was hot and then I decided Bollocks to it this will do. i quickly had my tent up . From the top of this mountain you get great views of NYC skyline. sadly my eyes see it better than my camera.

Then I put up my chair took of my shirt and shoes and made the most of the afternoon sun.

I was still relaxing when Freight train and pace arrived. Hey Snailtrainer is sunbathing again!!

Pace asks is he naked

we cook supper together then I turn in hopefully a better day tomorrow zzz

Day 91 zero in port Clinton

Monday 9th July
I heard several other hikers moving around at 6 am but I had chores to do so there was no hurry. at 8 am I got up for the customary see but as I was in public, I wandered over to the porta Potty.
I then returned to my bed. and was dozing when several ladies appeared bringing in food.
There’s going to be coffee and eggs one of the ladies announced.
so, I got up . and walked over to where they were setting up.
There was indeed bacon . boiled eggs and a sort of omelette that was so tasty. I also had coffee. then the ladies brought around juices . and bagels . then insisted that we have more .
Well that was unexpected and really nice .
Okay haircut time .I walked to the barber’s carrying my old poles and bits that I wanted to post.
I walked into the barber’s and was amazed it was like Aladdin’s cave. filled with memorabilia and brick a brack and all the chairs where rocking chairs
There was a man having his hair cut so good I will be next then I can get on
But No.
Once the man had paid .The barber began doing other stuff.
Then he looked at me . and asked do you want your hair cut?
Well yes, I do .

A few minutes he said and began to fill cases with silver coins and other trinkets .
Get yourself a coffee and pastry. there are cookies there and relax
Then the father and daughter hikers arrived but they just wanted a lift. One of my customers will take you. just relax.
Almost 40 minutes later he’s ready for me. but as he starts to cut my hair, he keeps having conversations with everyone as the shop gradually fills up.
Then 2 more members of staff arrive and again he starts to cut my hair then wanders off to chat to more customers .
I’m still sat in the chair when noproblama arrives . but only to charge his phone

omg a 45-minute hair cut but it did look good. I pay and go to retrieve my phone and noproblama laughs at the amount of time that it took .
Yes, I said as I need to get to the post office.
Snail.it doesn’t open untill.12.30 ,!!
Really, I say . bugger I was hoping to head straight back out well after tree hugger gets in
So, I grab a chair and continue to charge it whilst editing video
Then Tree hugger appears .
Snail is this yours .  he says passing me my puffy that I had left in the last motel
Well thank you so much . really appreciate it thanks again .

With us  all together I grab a photo if all if us and me in the chair.
Tree Hugger decides to get his hair cut .so I say my goodbyes as he is staying in a hotel in the next town .and it’s now 12.30.
I walk to the Post office and . hand over my I’d
there should be a couple of packages for me.
He comes Back with 4 ,my new poles, new tips, new socks and a case for my phone.
I box up my old poles and a few other bits then post them up the trail.

At last I wander back to the pavilion. I cut the new ends into my poles. then sort out my other bits . The case for my phone is good but the glass is the wrong size and it’s not worth returning it. oh well my mistake.

I decide to sort out some paperwork and drink a few beers from yesterday. Then I decide it’s not worth hiking out now and as my foot is still painful  so a longer rest wouldn’t hurt
In the Pavilion. several other hikers are resting ,it seems a good idea, so I decide to do the same and grab fourty winks with my foot elevated.

At 5pm Robin hood decides to go for food
Where are you going, I asked
To the Hotel snail?
I don’t think they open on a Monday, but the fire station club is, and they do snacks and cheap beer.

You fancy coming Snail?
Yeah why not .
On the way to town  we decide to check  on the Hotel., but  it as we approach a lady shouts out
“They are closed on a Monday”
Okay then.
So, we head to the fire station and push the bell. when the light goes orange, we can open the door.
We enter then ask several patrons if they would mind signing us in .
Then we can order some beer. The local ale is yinglang. and it is served in frosted glasses.
I then order some food . which I soon dispose of.
I manage to make the whole bar laugh by asking for a serviette. The barman is confused. Oh, sorry I say a Napkin.

Several of the locals buy me beer and I’m just about to leave when 2 more beers arrive
I must go after these I insist .
When at last I exit the fire station there is a nip in the air .and wished I had brought my puffy which I now have back.
I must admit I enjoy the walk back at dusk watching the fireflies dart about

once back at the Pavilion I pack up my gear so I’m ready to go first thing.
Then I swallow a couple of Pm to help me sleep then I’m gone

Start 1185
Finish 1185.
Miles. ZERO

Day 86 Heading to Duncannon

Heading to Duncannon

I lay awake staring at the sky as I hadn’t had to put my fly on.
To my right I could hear someone packing up and so it was time to do the same. Groggily I unzipped my tent walked a few paces and enjoyed my morning wee.
I quickly packed up and then. Lit my stove as my neighbour hoisted his pack said the customary see you up the trail as he walked back towards the trail. I enjoyed my cuppa before finishing my packing .I then walked down to the shelter dropped my pack and headed towards the loo.
The loo here is known as the Taj Mahal as it’s huge . Bigger than some shelters I’ve seen
I was soon back on the trail and I only had 11 miles to get me into town whoop
It was early but still warm as made my way along the trail, but I was heading down . At last a breeze. that’s oh so nice.
The down didn’t last long and soon I was puffing up the obligatory up, but at a rather good speed and was soon catching another hiker in front . who turned out to be my last night’s neighbour.
I soon was at the top and the trail began to level out? in fact it stayed like this for most of the Day. Then the rocks arrived, and I was soon tripping over them and swearing. okay I’ll take a break in a minute I said to myself. Then I noticed another hiker in front sitting on a low. He was at the shelter when I arrived last night but hiked out. We chatted for a while then I. Pushed on a little way along there was a clearing giving me a great view of the river and town. I must be near I thought. As I carried on, I could hear voices below okay I must be going down soon . I could then see 3 people sat on a large rock outcrop. But by the time I had reached their level they had gone. The trail now dived down nut was made of rock steps. I tried to speed up slipped kicked a rock killing my toe and decided that that was not clever. I then did it again almost rolling my ankle. a string of rude words filed the air and I began to descend even slower.

At last I was standing on a road. But the trail wasn’t very clear. so, I checked my phone.
okay this way . the trail crossed a bridge then eventually would snake its way through town.
A little way in the distance I could see a garage. and a smile appeared on my face.
Oh it’s so lovely walking from heat into air con. I grabbed a basket and put in 2 lilts , a peach Snapple, 2 oranges, an Apple, a fruit jelly a pint of strawberry ice cream and a bugspray. I then paid walked across the street sat at a picnic table and ate and drank the lot . I was just tidying up when a man stopped his truck and came over to chat . although I wanted to leave. I was still chatting when three other hikers who were at the shelter last night arrived. . This man was interested in hiking so was hitting us for information and tips.
At last I escaped and walked on heading to Town . by now it was hot . But after my picnic in the park I really needed the loo.
As in was passing Doyle’s hotel I noticed a lady sat outside , who I presumed worked there so I asked if I could use the loo.
You a hiker?
Well yes I am ( Can’t you tell)!!
Come inside leave your pack. need fresh water?

I did as I was told and entered the bar.
Do you serve beer I foolishly asked.
Yes, she said pointing at the pumps?

I ordered a beer then noticed some familiar faces at the other end of the pub It was Sunshine, Mousetrap and nonproblem I think’s his trail name.

Snailtrainer they all exclaimed
So I had hugs l round whist catching upon the gossip. They were playing pool. With some locals and were losing badly. it appeared that Mousetrap and myself were next up, so I grabbed myself another beer. We played well but still lost .

These guys were staying at the local church . But already had reservations at the motel ” Red Carpet”. so, I said goodbye to my friends as I needed beer to take with me.
The Beer shop was huge and was very busy well.it is July 4th. Sadly, all  the beers I fancied only came in huge packs that no way could I carry .I was still pondering when another hiker arrived .Do you want to spit a case I asked?

Yes, snail that’s a great idea

so, we  brought a case and split it  Result. Outside we carefully put the bottles into our packs. I waved goodbye then rang the motel to organise my ride.
He arrived within 10 minutes . I put in my pack then got in. The motel was several miles along the freeway. so not good to hitch.
I checked in got my quarters  for laundry then walked to.my room it was big and spacious.
I quickly transferred my beer to the fridge, Next was laundry so I rounded up all my smelly stuff and walked to the machine, I loaded it up then returned to my room.
I stripped off  and then I jumped into the shower and relaxed under the soothing spray for 20 minutes.
OMG that’s was so good. I walked back to the laundry and transferred my clothes to the dryer.
Now it was beer time. I exploded my pack all over the room and began to sort through my gear. I made a pile of items that I wanted to Post. ( tick).
Then I wrote a letter to exchange my socks ( tick).
I drank my beer as I did my chores.
I retrieved my clothes from the dryer, the two pairs of “Holey” socks I put in a Ziplock along with the letter. I will post tomorrow.

The motel said that they would run me to the restaurant and pick.me up so I walked to the reception . A young lad drove me, but it appeared closed ( July 4th) . Okay where next.
I was now getting a burger and fries it looked huge. I grabbed my food and walked back to the motel. On the way  back I passed a hardware store.(( I should have  got gas !!)).

Once back in my room I owned another beer and stuffed my face with burger and chips.
Once full I did more chores, ordered. Tyvek, and a phone case and then relaxed and watched Tv drinking more beer.

Start 1138.6
Finish 1147.9
Miles. 11 miles

Day 85 a Day of Magic

Tuesday 3rd July
After hitting the hiking wall, I was really looking forward to a good night’s sleep………
The train tracks were miles away but when these huge long locomotives pass by crossing, they toot their horns that seemed to echo around the mountain that I had thrown my tent up on . Then it seemed that airplanes high above me hit their turbo or afterburner setting . . At last it went quite .until the sky lit up with lightening. perfect I thought as I waited for the boom of the thunder.
I sleepily got out of my tent and put my fly on . pegged it down then got back into.my pit and closed my eyes and waited for the downpour…. Which never came.
After my poor day yesterday, I decided to get up. Early to beat the heat. so, my alarm went off at 4.30. although it seemed I had only just gone to bed. It’s a fairly good idea to get up early except it’s dark and you can’t find anything.
I hit the trail just before 6 and felt really pleased with myself. Although I was amazed on how warm it was. I pushed on finally escaping from this mountain. it was good trail apart from a few steep climbs to bitch about . I walked for 30 minutes .Then saw bumblebees’ tent, I was impressed that she had got this far as she too looked knackered when I saw her. I saw movement so shouted get up you lazy cow. As I walked, I passed by 4 more tents spread out in various places along the trail. The last tent barked. I recognised it as that annoying dog that I passed yesterday.
A little further along I passed a creek so decided I ought to top up my water as I believe it was a long stretch to the next. Typically, once I had the added weight of water it was time for another climb. Once at the top of course there was nothing to see , although there was a plaque.
I soon headed down then I was in farmland. and it stretched for miles. in the distance I could make out some one walking a dog. .Around the outside of the field there were a few very nice houses. Yes, I’d like that one. Once I was across my first field the trail took an immediate right and crossed another. Barley on one side and grass on the other I . followed this for a while until it promptly stopped by a road. I looked around for the next blaze. It was on a hidden post. I walked a little way up the road until the trail dived into another field. Maize this time and again it seemed to stretch out for miles.
I am so glad that I got up early as these fields would be murder in the sun
I followed around several headland until. the trail headed back into the forest. But it was more of a hedge and I emerged out the other side by a railway track.
I crossed over and in was in the town of springs xx I walked over the bridge and was greeted with a large boating lake. as I walked around it, I noticed a white blaze. oh, so this is the trail.
I asked a lady walking her dog if any shops were open to grab a cold drink ?
The cafe is open at the end if the lake turns left.
I thanked her and set off
It wasn’t far and soon arrived at the cafe which had a Mexican theme, I asked a man seated outside if they come out or do, I have to go.in ?
You go in if your ordering breakfast he said.
I dropped my pack and walked in the air con was lovely and cool I was trying to make up.my mind when a lady began to talk to me . and ask me about my journey and the trail. She then insisted on buying me breakfast. I thanked her so much. The waitress then gave me a number I poured myself coffee from one of the numerous flasks then went to sit outside.

Come join us the lady said. her name was Sandy and she was visiting her sister. we chatted while we ate, and I was so relaxed. but it was getting hot and I needed to push on .
So, I thanked them once again and began to leave. I had just put on my pack when bumble bee appeared .She looked exhausted and hot. zits got aircon if you want to sit inside, I said. but I need to go.
I walked back towards the lake and the AT Centre , outside was Tree Hugger hello you I said . He was interested in my mileage . but I was being coy. whilst here I got my passport stamped filled up with water then I was ready.

The trail follows the road for a while then it heads back into. The Forrest. Oh, and mud, but luckily not too bad to get over and aground. Then I was back into the countryside again . God it was hot and no shade as I pushed on down the trail I then past a lad a d his dad who were out for the weekend. I crossed over a road and into another field. At the next road a voice said do you need anything cold?
It was a lady sat by her car with a large ice box .
yes, please is always the answer.
Yes, passed me can ice cold peach tea Snapple. I hadn’t had one before and it’s taste really hit the spot. oh, she said I’ve ice pops
I devoured 3 before I left .thanking her .
I pushed on crossing maize field after field . the Sun trying to set me on fire.

I crossed another road then crossed a small footbridge and there was another ice chest full of coke, iced tea water and sandwiches .
I chugged some iced tea . which was really refreshing. Then grabbed a coke and sandwich. enjoyed the moment before hiking on .

I checked my watch I was on target, but this heat was relentless. I. Pushed on more farmland .more fields at last I dropped into the forest, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the varied scenery of today.

I walked around the boundary of a farm and chatted to the cows. who were mostly lying down  sheltering under trees ? which is where I would rather be.

After chatting to the cows, I emerged onto a main road the heat radiating from it was intense
I walked quickly to  try to get out of it and back into the cooler field. After 20 minutes I crossed over another road and began to drop. Down into the valley. as I crossed a large stile my water ran out .Mm that’s not good . I stopped and removed my back I carry a pint inn the side pocket.my back us. I poured that into my bladder and repacked. I then checked my map for where is the next water .

I was just leaving when a hiker came the other way.
There’s trail. Magic by the bridge.
Where is that I asked,
1/2 mile not far.
That news urged me on, and I was soon crossing the bridge.

To the left there were several ice chests . As I walked towards them a lovely lady said help yourself there is sodas on the red one Gatorade on the blue. and snacks take what you want. I removed my pack and set in the shade for a few minutes. Then walked a d grabbed a soda. There were 4 other hikers here. 2 were waiting out the heat . I had another soda. some chocolate and some crisps.

I checked my maps again . whoop only 5 miles to go . I was pleased with today’s progress.
But it’s up one of the hikers said and no water.
Bigger I thought so I decided to take water with me . and in the heat. But sensibly I did wait another 40 minutes before heading out.

The first few miles were nice and gentle then it was up and up and steep .Omg it was steep I was soon soaked and puffing and still it climbed and climbed. and the bastard flies began to attack. . I saw a rock chair and collapsed onto it. puffing and sweating. it was then I noticed the stunning view. I relaxed for 5 minutes. until I had the energy to carry on. At last I was at the summit and there was a sign pointing to the shelter.
I walked down the Blue blazed trail and there was the shelter.
I said hi to the occupants then went and put up.my tent.

I was pleased with my day but was tired so quickly cooked tea and went to bed

Start    1115.6
Finish 1138.6
Miles. 23

Day 81 Maryland day 2

I slept well considering and was up and on the trail by 6.30 I waved goodbye to bumble bee and then did the same to Dog whisperer . it was a cool morning as I stopped up. The trail at the road crossing there was a bag of fruit, so I grabbed an apple
I crossed the road and again there were many signs telling the history of the civil war.
I crossed through a field then began to climb again but it wasn’t a huge climb and so was soon st the top. the trail was graded well then signs began to appear telling you about the life of George Washington. st the top was a monument dedicated to him .

There were great views from here. I was just leaving when Bumble bee arrived. dis she fast today or me slow,
I took off again determined not to stop for 5 hours. I climbed I descended I avoided the bogs and sticky mud. I said morning to everyone who past and stopped to chat to others. then I came to rock and slowed to a crawl . I just can’t walk over it

At last I was back to nice soil, but it was now 11. Okay a break . I began to look for a suitable spot .Perfect
I dropped my pack plugged my phone into its charger as it was low. Then I brewed tea and ate lunch. I was still relaxing when Bumblebee arrived.
She was heading to the next shelter but would get there by 3. I may see you there. but I too wanted more miles even though that would be 18.
I watched her go then began to pack up as several more hikers came past.
I was soon back on the trail when I found a bandana, I picked it up and soon caught the last two hikers .
it was indeed hers. we chatted for a while . They were getting picked up at the road. When we arrived, their friend asked if I fancied a cold beer so joined them just off trail.

We chatted for ages drinking several cans of beer.
Then a ranger arrived he was chatty, and I told him about the inconsiderate hikers. he filled on a report and copied their photos. If they misbehave again, they could be banned from state parks.
I had one more beer .packed one out then headed back to the trail.
I was a little annoyed with myself for wasting so much time. but it was enjoyable.

I pushed on and on .But it was hot come on miles. But I was low on water so needed some . At last a creek I guzzled down a litre then topped up my bladder maybe too much. As the rest of the trail was up.
I checked the next shelter was near but dry so at the next creek I filled up again dreading the last climb.
It was steep it was long it was hot my pack creaked under the weight. Finally, a sign . SHELTER. I made my way down the side trail . The shelter was nice new. there were dad and daughter who were at the camp yesterday.
I paused for a while trying to decide whether to go on or not . then went and put my tent up.
I cooked dinner early then retreated to my tent as I needed my sleep
It was a good day, but I wanted more miles . Maybe tomorrow?

Start    1041.9
Finish 1060.8
Miles 19

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