21 days… 9 pounds

Sure fire weight loss program… Hike 8 hours a day every day and it will happen!
Actually writing this post from my hotel room in Reading PA, taking my first ZERO  (Hiker slang for a complete day off with no hiking at all).  Waiting for Stephanie to come pick me up by car to take me back to Cooperstown for a BRIEF break. Will see my dad for a few days then off to Providence RI to see Ben graduate college. Then right back on trail.
Past few days more of the same up and down PA hills and rocks. Some highlights :

Through the woods, under and over bridges.

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Stayed at “501” shelter which is a hiker favorite. It’s very large, completely enclosed. Best part is that it’s 5 miles from a pizza shop that will deliver!

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I sent above picture to my boys by phone so they would know that I wasn’t suffering too much. Got back a quick text from Ed who thought that guy in the front right reminded him of a former grad school classmate. I spoke to the hiker and sure enough, he knew Ed from back in school in New Mexico!
Next day was perfect hiking weather. Most days have been rainy in PA this week.

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We stumbled upon a real nice tenting site that night a few hundred yards off the trail. An old abandoned power dam from many decades ago.

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Next day seemed quite uneventful until we stumbled upon this creature. Look closely.

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Look more closely for this critter

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Loud rattling gave us plenty of warning. Lung Ranger did not have to resort to using ProAir inhaler to fend him off.
Yesterday came into old railroad town Port Clinton

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Awaiting arrival of Stephanie for the four hour drive back to Cooperstown. I definitely feel like my hiker legs are “starting” to arrive. I’ve met many interesting and friendly AT hikers. Most glad I was able to hike my first three weeks hooking up with Morocco Mole 

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and Adventure

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both who made my start on this thru hike a real pleasure.
Finally, for those who have conceptions that it’s all fun and enjoyable times…
It does have many of those moments, BUT its also VERY HARD WORK  MOST OF THE TIME. The physical hard work is part of it, but as long as I take my time and have good fortune not to get injured I think I should be OK. Also hard “mental work” realizing that to complete my goal I need to hike up and down hills 8 hours a day every day, regardless of weather or aches. Anyway, mainly glad to report success so far. Look forward to hiking in NJ, NY and CT next several weeks. Maybe I can meet some of you along the way!

3 comments

  1. daN baueR · May 22, 2016

    Enjoy your break from the trail and congratulations all around for Ben’s graduation. I’m sure Stephanie can left you out of the car 10 miles or so from home so you can keep your hiking legs in shape. 😉

    Like

  2. Tom Breiten · May 22, 2016

    Give a call when you get back to C-town. We would love to hear of your adventures (and can help fatten you up for the rest of the trek).

    Like

  3. John Rowley · May 25, 2016

    Great update. Glad that you are off to such a good start. Hope to see you while your home, but I know you’ll be under high demand while your here. Congratulations to Ben and enjoy the ceremony

    Like

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