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Hello folks!

After getting my car into the shape for long road trip from New Jersey to Maine with help of my dear friend, Ed M. and my dear father, I was able to drive up to Maine this past Wednesday 5-June at last!  Cane and I checked out the weather forecast for next few days and decided to wait out on Tropical Storm Andrea’s drenching rain.  We couldn’t believe that the hurricane season already began last week!  Gosh!  Hope for minor or less-impacted hurricanes/tropical storms this summer in New Hampshire and Maine area.  We decided on 4 sections of hiking we are going to do.  Here is the breakdown of sections:

Section 1: ~95 miles between Rt. 26 in Grafton Notch, Maine and East Flagstaff Road in Stratton Maine

Section 2: ~19 miles between Rt. 16 in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire and Rt. 2 in Gorham, New Hampshire

Section 3: ~32 miles between Rt 2. in Gorham, New Hampshire and Rt. 26 in Grafton Notch, Maine (notorious and infamous Mahoosuc Notch!)

Section 4: ~114 miles between Rt. 15 in Monson, Maine and Katahdin Mountain (northern terminus of Appalachian Trail)

We are going to do Section 1 as soon as the weather becomes calm for us to begin our hiking season of 2013 with 256 miles left to go!!!!!!  We have logged in over 1,900 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia (southern terminus of Appalachian Trail).  Unbelievable, isn’t it!?!?!

You might noticed that there is no section between East Flagstaff Road in Stratton, Maine and Rt. 15 in Monson, Maine (~57 miles).  We hiked that section in 2010.

We hope to complete our AT journey this summer without any major delays or injuries.  *crossing fingers*  I am so excited to get away from the civilization once again and hiking among the nature once again.  😉  By the way, for those of you who want to send me a care package, please get in touch with me via email right away to set up an arrangement.

Your steadfast support and cheering on us are much-needed and always welcome here!

Wish us well and happy trails on our first Section 1!  😉

Ok, folks…..here is a news…..We didn’t make it out of the Whites to Gorham…yet.  On the first day of hiking from Pinkham Notch to Gorham, Cane had an accident.  It happened last Saturday 7-July.  We were climbing the Wildcat Mountains.  We were doing well with our climbing until the last 1.5 miles from the Carter Notch Hut.  On the Wildcat Mountains, there were 5 peaks labeled as A,B, C, D, and E.  We got over E, D, C, and B in the order by going north.  As Cane was going down on Peak B, he was negotiating with large boulder while descending.   He was laying down on his side and using his boots to hold himself up.  As he moved his boots to the “pocket” part on the boulder, his boots slipped and he tumbled downward with his backpack on around 5 feet down.  He fell onto the tree that sticks out of the ground and slammed his right side torso onto it.  It knocked the wind out of him.  He was in excruciating pain at first – trying to catch some of his breaths and figuring out how badly hurt he was.  I already hiked ahead to Peak A to wait for him, so I waited for him around 45 minutes wondering what was going on.  He managed to get up and took the yellow whistle into his mouth to blow 3 times to signal an emergency from time to time.  He knew that as sun is setting, less hikers will be hiking on the trail.  He tried, anyway.  He forced himself to march toward to me to get a help.  I was working on my backpack and looking at the map and as I looked up, I was in shock seeing him hiking gingerly and awkwardly at same time with yellow whistle in his mouth.  I knew immediately that something was wrong with him.  He told me about what happened.  With my quick inspection, his injury didn’t look good.  We agreed that I hiked ahead to get some helps from the hut which was a mile descent to the notch.  I told him to keep hiking as possible as he was able to do so.  I hiked and arrived at the hut at around 7 pm which took around half an hour after leaving him at top of Peak A.  I told the Cross at the hut about what happened with Cane.  The hutmaster named Pat said that he will call his boss to organize search and rescue party.  I said, “Ok, is your boss named Eric?”  He looked at me in surprise.  I told him that he will find out why soon.  He called and came back to me saying that he and Becca will hike out to help Cane.  I began to tell him about Cane’s blindness and Pat quickly said that he knew since Eric filled him in about Cane.  I smiled and said that he was all set and good to go.  It took them 2.5 hours to arrive the hut after hiking around .7 miles where they found Cane.  The hut Croos, Ryan, Ben, and Phoebe, took care by feeding us and checking in with us from time to time making sure we were ok.  We looked at Cane’s injury and we cannot rule out if he broke his rib(s).  We stayed at the hut overnight.

Next day on Sunday, Pat asked for our plans.  I told him that I was going to hike out on the side trail, 19 Mile Brook Trail, around 4 miles to Rt. 16 then hitchhike for a ride to Pinkham Notch to speak with Eric and make some phone calls and send some email.  Pat asked me if it was possible for Cane and I to hike out.  I told him that it was nearly impossible due to earlier in the morning, I asked Cane to pick up his backpack and he couldn’t.  I picked it up for him and put it on his back.  He tried to walk around with the backpack and he was grimaced in pain and walked very awkwardly.  He was still in some pain and unable to breathe deeply.  Cough hurt him the most.  After evaluation, I knew that it will not be an easy task to get him out of the woods with his backpack along with his injury.  Pat said that Cane was welcome to stay at the hut for one more night and he needed to hike out the next day.  Cane asked Pat if it was possible for someone to carry his backpack out.  One of the Croos, Phoebe, had a day off, so Pat asked her if it was ok with her to do that.  She agreed and we could pick it up when we hike out.   Bless her!

I hiked down and went to Pinkham Notch.  Eric and I discussed and agreed that I was to hike back to the hut in late afternoon with my almost empty backpack to carry Cane’s stuff and assist Cane to hike out the next morning with assistance from one of the Croos.  We contacted the hospital in North Conway to request for a sign language interpreter and they advised us that they did not have interpreter, but they had a TTY.  I wasn’t happy with this arrangement, so I got in touch with one of interpreters in Maine named Sarah L.  She was a great help by getting the information to me where we can go to the hospital that provides sign language interpreter without having to do a battle.  I hiked back to the hut half an hour before the dinner served at 6 pm.  I jumped into one of their two lakes and swam remembering The She-Goat’s advice that we must do that.  The water was a bit chill, but helped me to cool down.  Nice feeling.  😎  We stayed at the hut for another night.

On Monday, we got our breakfast and Becca agreed to assist with me to hike Cane out.  We didn’t have to hike the entire 4 miles as there was a cut-off at 2.5 miles where we can cross the dam and get into Eric’s 4X4 truck and go down on wood/fire road.  Cane popped in 600 mg ibuprofen and managed to hike out for 3 hours.  He was such a trooper!  Becca was a great team to work with.  Eric met us and got us into his truck with Cane’s backpack.  We got to my car and we went to Pinkham Notch to fetch our lunch before going to the hospital.

To make the story with hospitals short, we first went to the hospital in North Conway and couldn’t get an interpreter confirmed after an hour of discussing forth and back between Cane and the hospital staff.  We decided to go to different hospital which was around 40 minutes drive away in the Maine – a town called Bridgton.  The hospital had a connection with interpreting agency.  We arrived and they provided us an interpreter.  Cane was told that from his X-ray results, there were no obvious broken bones and none of his bones punctured into his lung.  However, it is possible that he may have hairline fracture on his ribcage bone, but we cannot confirm.  His doctor advised him to rest for at least one week and take painkiller as needed to help him to manage his pain.  It may take anywhere from one to six weeks for him to fully recover as the fracture bone takes between 4 to 6 weeks to heal.  The nurse showed him how to use intake breathing machine by forcing some air going into his lungs to reduce his risk of exposing himself to catch a pneumonia.   He was to use it for one to two hours on daily basis until he was able to achieve certain number of air volume going into his lungs.    With my dad’s help, we went to hotel in North Conway to spend a night rather than sleep in the car overnight.   Jean, Roger’s uncle, was with us from hospital in North Conway until Cane’s discharge from Bridgton hospital.  He went home which was around 2 hours driving – in Augusta, Maine.  It was good to see him and have him around with us – familiar and kind face and support system.  😎

On Tuesday, my dear new friend, Sarah L., invited us to stay with her and her family in Portland area this week.  It is generosity of her and her family to let us to get some R & R’s and enjoy their company along with dogs.  We decided to wait out one week to see how Cane feels.  If he can resume his hiking next week to finish out the Whites, great.  If not, we will need to discuss plan B or make decision with our hiking for this month.  While we are grateful that Cane isn’t seriously injured, please pray for Cane’s quick recovery and for us to resume our journey to finish up with the Whites.

Here is a quick statistics for the countdown:

Carter Notch Hut to Gorham (to finish out the Whites) – 15 miles left

Carter Notch Hut to Maine borderline- 31.7 miles left

Maine borderline to East Flagstaff Road – 110.3 miles left

256 miles left to finish our AT journey by summiting the Mt. Katahdin

We are back in the Whites – last section to hike in the Whites….21 miles in stretch from Pinkham Notch to Gorham.  Cane is feeling better and in less pain now.  Looking forward to spend some time in Carter Notch – maybe swimming in one of their two lakes.  Have a good weekend and stay cool, folks!

We are going to hike from Crawford Notch to Pinkham Notch – around 25 miles in stretch including traversing the Presidential Range and climbing the Mt. Washington.We are going from hut to hut – Mizpah Spring to Lakes of the Clouds to Madison Spring – around 4 to 8 miles in between.     We hope that we will not getting blown off from the range.  😎  Wish us a best of luck to get through in one piece and hope for no-rain weather.    We hope to arrive in Pinkham Notch on America’s Birthday.   Stay cool and have a good week, folks!

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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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