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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. ūüėé

We went to Cane’s orthopedic doctor today and he gave his blessing. ¬†So thrilled! ¬†We plan to resume our hiking south from Monson, Maine toward Caratunk for next few days. ¬†Hardly wait to get back into hiking stride once again. ¬†ūüėé ¬†Thanks for all of your supports. prayers and cheers!

Cane and I are back in Augusta, Maine since this past Tuesday due to Cane’s injury.¬† Cane and I started our first day of hiking last Friday at¬†14:00 after Cane’s aunt dropped us off in parking lot on Route 15 in Monson.¬† The trail was challenging with sprawling uproots, scattering slates, talus rocks, and dense trees including pine trees.¬†¬†The¬†pine trees¬†are normally full grown¬†with branches from bottom of the tree to the top in upside down¬†“V” shaped.¬†¬†However, as the trail¬†was¬†being created¬†for Appalachian Trail,¬†I noticed that the branches on lower part of the pine trees were either not completely cut off¬†or broken off from itself.¬† It left behind some sharp¬†broken branches sticking out.¬†¬†It¬†worried the hell out of me.¬†

We were hiking around¬†2 to 2.5 miles.¬† ¬†Cane was behind me most of the way.¬† As I turned my head to check on Cane, I didn’t see him, so I thought he must have slowed down or stopped to take a restroom break or looked at something.¬† I hiked to the side trail which led¬†toward center of Monson.¬† I stopped and waited there.¬† After waiting for 15 minutes, I had a bad feelings and prayed that I was wrong about that one.¬† At 30th minute, I decided to search for Cane.¬† I began to backtrack on the trail and Cane just arrived at 17:15.¬† Whew!¬† I waited for him to come to me.¬† He said that he jammed his right hand into the tree and his finger was hurting badly.¬† It bleed a lot, so he took care of his finger by cleaning up and applying the bandage on it.¬† He asked me to take care of his finger when we arrives at the shelter which was around 6 miles away.¬† I told him that I wanted to see his finger.¬† I opened up the bandage and boy, what a mess it was as it was covered¬†in blood.¬† I cleaned it with rubbing alcohol to take a better look at his injury site.¬† I noticed that there was a large piece of wood splinter¬†stuck in his middle finger –¬† the upper part of his joint area.¬† I was going to take a better look at it by touching top part of his hand and he winced in the pain.¬† I was in shock and asked him to tell me if it hurts much when I touched non-injury upper part of his finger and hand.¬† He replied it did hurt.¬† I examined more by poking around and tugging at the splinter.¬† I saw how pain he was in.¬† He told me when he first jammed his finger into the tree, the bleeding did not start right away.¬† It took a few seconds for it to start bleeding.¬† It did bleed a lot.¬† Uh oh.¬† I¬†said to Cane “We have to go off the trail as your injury suspects to be¬†more serious ones.”.¬† He moaned and being mad at himself.¬† ūüė¶¬†

We hiked for a mile until we saw the house.¬† We asked for an assistance.¬† The kind man gave us a ride to the hostel named Shaw’s Lodging¬†as he said that they will be able to help us out.¬† When we arrived there, we asked for a ride to Emergency Room.¬† We arrived at the hospital in Greenville, Maine which was around 10 miles away from Monson.

The doctor examined Cane’s injured finger and¬†tried to pluck out the splinter from Cane’s finger with the tool and Cane winced in tremendous amount of pain that he asked for numbing medicine to be¬†shot into his finger.¬† The doctor shot the numbing medicine into his finger and tried to pluck it out.¬† The doctor was struggling for a bit then finally got it out.¬† All of us were¬†astonished¬†to see how big the splinter was!¬† It was like 3 cm length and 1.5 cm width!¬† The doctor cleaned out the injury site and advised Cane that some¬†of splinters¬†may be¬†left behind¬†and he may be¬†at risk for further infection.¬† Cane chose to see the specialist on Monday to discuss the options.¬† We spent the weekend with¬†Cane’s aunt at her beautiful cabin in Moosehead¬†Lake area.¬† We enjoyed ourselves by reading the book, going for some kayaking, hiking, napping and eating.¬† On Monday after the appointment with¬†the specialist, Cane opted to have a surgery next day to ensure¬†there wasn’t any splinters left behind¬†in his finger.¬† On Tuesday, the surgeon opened up Cane’s finger, then cleaned out and¬†discovered a tiny piece of splinter.¬† He removed it, then closed up his finger by stitching¬†it up.¬† Cane is to take it easy until next Monday for his follow-up appointment with specialist.¬† Meanwhile, we are in Augusta, Maine running the errands, working on videos and pictures from our AT expedition, doing some hiking on side, looking for “iron gloves” (jokingly¬†suggested by Cane’s Uncle Jean and Aunt Rose ūüėé ) to buy for Cane and relaxing.

We hope to return to the trail next week, but wait and see how Cane’s finger heals and performs by flexing and gripping his finger.¬† Hope for the best and as always, thanks for your support and prayers.

Hey folks, guess what?!?! We are back! We are going to hike from Monson, Maine to Caratunk, Maine then to Stratton, Maine for next few days. It is so good to be back on the trail. The weather is gorgeous –
in high 70’s and cloudy and sunny. Heard from a few friends of mine that the trail in Maine is daunting challenge especially with rock climbing. We plan to take one step at a time. Until next time, folks! ūüôā

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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