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Hello folks. My car has been out of commission, so I was car-less pedestrian for a long while. Thanks to my dear friend’s help, my car is all fixed up and in good shape again. I just got it back a few days ago. Cane’s health is ok now. He just needs to watch how he eats to avoid recurring heartburn. He needs to cut down on fatty food and desserts. Anyhow, since our break from the Appalachian Trail expedition in New Hampshire, there is a new development – Aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Irene came ashore on last weekend of August which left many areas in the Northeast (between New Jersey and Maine) flooded and/or destroyed. Many trees fell along the trail. Even there was a 3-inch hole in one of shelters. The famous boardwalk over the swamp in New Jersey is closed due to flooding. Here is the link to trail updates complied by ATC.

Cane and I discussed today and made a decision to hold off our AT expedition to between March or April. That way, we can start off from Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey and walk north toward North Adams, Massachusetts. That way, we can start to build up our endurance and stamina and get ready to conquer the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Katahdin in Maine. It also gives the trail maintainers some time to work on restoring and cleaning up the trails.

I found this lovely poem at Goddard Shelter in Vermont while I was hiking on Appalachian Trail.

For example, what the trees do

not only in lightening storms

or the watery dark of a summer’s night

or under the white nets of winter

but now, and now, and now – whenever

we’re not looking.  Surely you can’t imagine

they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing

to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting

a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly

more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just

stand there loving every

minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings

of the years slowly and without a sound

thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,

and then only in its own mood, comes

to visit, surely you can’t imagine

patience, and happiness, like that.

From the soaring redwoods and ancient mangroves, to the silent blades of grass beneath our feet, plants are our teachers.

From time to time, I have contemplated how the plant world embodies such pure life and beauty…..as if they do not know its constant anxiety to be somewhere else. Wherever it has possession, a plant lives out its purpose with unrestrained “green joy”.

They find a space of earth, a position of sun, and settle into the long cadence of days and nights, and yet for years, they quietly becoming themselves.

surely you can’t imagine they just

stand there loving every

minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings

of the years slowly and without a sound

thickening, and nothing different unless the wind

Perhaps we can imagine it. With the breeze of the wind and the revolving of the year, perhaps we can even imagine they dance.

A thicket upon a barren grassland leans into the stream of air and itself becomes the fulfillment of the landscape.  Beneath a canopy of elder trees, a sapling seeking sunlight reaches out for that golden touch and, over time, becomes the conduit of its own seeking.

surely you can’t imagine

patience, and happiness, like that.

Perhaps we can.

RamSham

Cane’s Uncle Jean and Aunt Rose were able to join us to celebrate our milestone of midpoint/halfway at Blue Benn Diner, 1940’s diner based on diner from Paterson, New Jersey (yay! Can you detect pride of Jersey Girl?!) It was soooo nice to see them again! We left to hike in wet shower on Saturday 16-October.

We arrived in Williamstown, Massachusetts on Sunday 17-October. We were thrilled to complete our hiking in the state of Vermont. We enjoyed its hospitality, new and old friends, foods, and environment.

Upon our arrival in Massachusetts, Cane came down with a cold and some coughing. We stayed at Williamstown Motel for a couple of nights before deciding to hop on the bus going to New York City today. We will decide whether if we want to continue hiking for a few more days or hang up our boots for hiatus until next Spring. We plan to keep you posted.

We are off to hike toward Bennington, Vermont – our midpoint/halfway of our AT expedition (1,089 miles out of 2,179 miles)!!!! We are so stoked! We plan to celebrate this Friday evening in Bennington. Claire S. and her family will join us.  Anyone is welcome to join us as well.  Just drop us an email by this Thursday evening.

We thank from our bottom of hearts to Silver Fox for all of her support with our expedition – staying at her cozy place and having a grand time together at evenings.  We love her.

Dani Stoskopf hails from Rochester, New York came up to Manchester, Vermont to join us for a day hiking today.  It is good to have a company.  Even more, she gets to see gorgeous fall foliage around here.

We are lollygagging in Red, Orange, and Yellow Mountain State (AKA the Green Mountain State – Vermont) with the company of Golden Ray (deaf hiker) until tomorrow to meet up with one of my favorite hikers – Silver Fox!!!!!!!  My beloved friend, Dani S., plans to meet us to join with us hiking for a few days in Manchester.  It is going to be a good exposure for her to take a taste of what AT is like.

Meanwhile, we are enjoying our slackpacking and stay with our trail angel and family in Rutland for past few days. Food, drinks, laughs, and chilling outs are part of our daily evenings…..Life is grand!

We are rejoiced to wake up in the morning with Mr. Sun peeking out among the clouds!!!  Finally, we and our equipment are all dried up as bone-dry and good to go!  We plan to hike to Rutland and stay there for a night at Back Home Again Cafe/Hostel.  The hospitality at Mountain Meadows Lodge is wonderful and would definitely recommend it to anyone who stays in the Killington area during any season.  Have a sweet and fabulous weekend, folks!  😎

We arrived in Killington, Vermont at Mountain Meadows Lodge last night after dealing with all-day on-and-off heavy rain for around 16 miles.  UGH!!!!!!!!  We were soaked right through to our bones and as wet rats!  We are taking a zero day today since it is still raining for 2nd day in row.  We just found out about Tropical Storm Nicole paying us a visit without warning.   It is not fun to slosh and trudge through mud, puddles, and mini-waterfalls on trail! It is so nice to be here at lodging – watching movies, reading books, hanging out in sauna, and etc. 😎 Stay dry and warm, folks on Northeast coast!

We really enjoyed being with O. family for a few days.  It is time for us to get back on the trail.  We are going to hike south from Woodstock toward Rutland for a few days.  We plan to arrive in Rutland this weekend.  Fall foliage is still around here in Vermont.  Have a good week, folks!

We hitchhiked for a ride to Woodstock, VT on Rt. 12.  A nice lady named Lindy gave us a ride.  She mentioned that her daughter was SOBO and flip flopped on AT last year.  Woodstock was a very nice town, but packed with tourists due to fall foliage and famous Quechee gorge which was a few miles away.  Cane and I had a fabulous lunch, after-dinner coffee, ice cream and coffee while waiting for Keri O. to pick us up.  We are spending time with her and her family over this weekend.  We plan to attend a one Deaf-Blind man show tonight at University of Vermont in Montpelier as part of Deaf Awareness Week program-  THE UNSTOPPABLE RENé PELLERIN” Hardly wait to have some belly laughs and fantastic night to meet some new and old faces.

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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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