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Hello folks!

The Spring is around the corner with Phil the Groundhog taunts at us for a long and *wonderful* Winter….plenty of snow up here in Mid-Atlantic and New England states!  Anyhow, let’s start with a sad news that I received a couple of days ago…..Bill Irwin, First Blind-Hiker to hike the AT, has died over this past weekend.  Bill inspired Cane and myself before we started to hike the AT in 2010.  Cane had his book and he lent this book to me to read….I admired Bill’s courage and perseverance to complete the AT.  It did open up conversation between Cane and myself on many areas such as risks, preparations, communication system, and etc.  Cane and I had an honor or meeting him while we were hiking on the AT in 2011 at Pine Grove Furnace State Park – the midway point on the AT and where the AT museum is.  Bill happened to be there to give a presentation as we hiked through….perfect timing!  We were in heavens getting to chat with him with a help from wonderful staff at AT Museum who knew some sign language.  Bill is now joined with his beloved and loyal guide dog, Orient who hiked with him from start to end on the AT, in the heaven.  May they continue to hike in the heaven and remembered forever for their courage and steadfastness.

Now, here is a good news…..Cane, the team, and I are booked for a week from Sunday 22-June-2014 through Saturday 28-June-2014 to make a big climb at the Mt. Katahdin.  The details will come out soon, so keep your eyes out for that.

It is gonna be a short note if I can help with that.  🙂  We hiked hard and long for around 48.5 miles for 5 days in row with support and help from our incredible AT Crew – David W. (hiked with us from Jo-Mary Road to Pollywog Stream – around 31.5 miles), Daren R. (hiked with us from Pollywog Stream to Golden Road – around 17 miles), and Priscilla R.  We arrived at Daicey Pond in Baxter State Park tonight (Thursday) with *gasp* remaining 7.5 miles to complete our AT journey….gosh!  Cane and I became more aware and emotion as we got closer and closer to Katahdin (known as the Big K or K) and saw how majestic mountain was!  At Rainbow Ledge, Cane was looking at the Big K for 3rd time and began to weep….the ripple effect began….I weeped, then Daren R. weeped in turn.  Such a heart-touching moment to realize that Cane’s dream is within his reach….

Upon our arrival at the Golden Road, Cane and I hiked on our own – slackpacking – a special thanks to Daren R. and Priscilla R. for picking up our equipment, so we can hike lightly and easier.  Cane and I started to realize that we were abt to enter into the Baxter State Park and saw the Big K again….we cried!  *sniff*  All the way from Golden Road to Daicey Pond, it was our moment of reflection “walking” – remembering and talking abt our ordeals over 4 years of our journey….people we met and befriended with….and etc…

Ok, I should hit the sack right now…..plans to share some more stories later today (Friday).  Before I sign off, we plans to climb the Big K this Saturday!!  Woo-hoo! 

Hello, folks! Spring is approaching, but Spring seems to be here already…here in Northern NJ, we are in balmy low 70’s deg F! Unbelievable. That’s the ideal hiking condition, except Cane is in Maine and I am here in NJ. Darn! I am so itchy to get back on the AT. I am sure Cane is too. This Winter is strange….snowed once here in NJ. Hope we will not be whooped with snow, rain, tornadoes or anything later this early Spring.

Cane and I are working on preparation and re-organizing our equipment and food to get them ready for AT journey this year – our 3rd year of journey! Around 600 miles left. Here is a quick itinerary: Hike north from Kittatinny Visitor’s Center in NJ (Delaware Water Gap) toward North Adams, MA, then leap frog to Franconia Notch, NH to hike north through the White Mountains toward East Flagstaff Lake, ME, then leap frog to Monson, ME to hike toward the final destination – Katahdin. We already hiked VT and section between East Flagstaff, ME and Monson, ME two years ago. We are aiming to resume our hiking on or after 21-March which is this month. We hardly WAIT!!!! Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming news. 😎

We got to get together for some drinks and meal as Bear Jew and Rock Puncher arrived in Port Clinton, PA yesterday. We will miss them as they continue on their journey today. Since late April, we both stalking each other for heck of fun since the Pass Mountain shelter in Shenandoah National Park. They were being wonderful and patient with Cane which I truly appreciate having met and hiked with them. We wish them Happy Trails until they reach the summit of Katahdin!!!

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We elected not to hike today due to soggy and cold rainy day today.  It is not fun and easy to hike on the trail in that weather condition.  We are taking the “rainy day” today at Bears Den and hanging out with other hikers – Rockpuncher and Bear Jew – who have been hitching along with us since Pass Mountain Shelter after Thornton Gap in Shenandoah National Park.  They are fun and sweet couple from DC who wanted to hike from Swift Run Gap (a bit more south of Thornton Gap) to Katahdin.  Other hiker, Kermit, is a sweet woman who knows a bit of fingerspellings and sign language.  The hostess of Bears Den, Hopeful, knows some sign language because she wants to be able to communicate with her two children with “Baby Signs”.  Hopeful’s husband’s name is Red Wing.  He went out of the way to get me gluten free pizza, so I can eat it with other hikers who were having pizza last night at Bears Den.  After that, I got to wolf down a pint of Ben’s and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.  Mmmmmmm!

Not a bad idea to stay in on rainy day, eh?  😎  Our arrival in Harpers Ferry will be pushed back to this Friday.  We are looking forward to meeting our friends this Saturday.  I plan to post the schedule for this Saturday before this Friday at 18:00 (6 pm).  Stay dry and warm, folks!

We met some hikers on the trail before Waynesboro, VA.  Two thru-hikers that we met at the shelter and stayed overnight, so we chatted for some time.  Their Trail Names were Apocalypse and Boston Bones.  Apocalypse started his thru-hiking right after his college graduation in May – talking about late start and high mileages per day for him to catch up with the wave of NOBO hikers.  Both Apocalypse and Boston Bones were catching up and hoping to catch me to meet as they enjoyed reading my entries in registers at the shelter.  They were so delighted in meeting me and Cane.  Anyhow, they were hoping to reach Katahdin before 15-October, so we both wish them a good luck to carry out that.  Apocalypse and Boston Bones were nice to chat with and after we parted our way, I found their messages in the register in the shelter before Cane and I completed our section in Waynesboro, VA.  They talked about how inspiring we were and hope that we will be successful with our hiking.  It is always fantastic to meet hikers, both thru- and section hikers, from all kind of walk of life and find out why and/or how long they have hiked.

September 2020


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Appalachian Trail

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km - through 14 states - Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km

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