Perfect hiking day…

When I last left you all, I was headed into Manchester VT for a resupply. I had to hitch a ride into town from the trailhead. About a five mile ride. I was quickly picked up by a local carpenter who was excited to hear I was from Cooperstown. He was an ex pro baseball player, farm league single A and had actually played in Oneonta thirty years ago.
Bought groceries and then went to local outdoor hiking store where I had to buy new poles. One of mine snapped in two hiking down slippery rocks a few days ago.
Last several days have been hiking with Chip and Jan from Parkersburg WV. He’s an engineer with specialty in solar power and she is a violin teacher so we’ve had interesting talks about all sorts of things. Although I’m hiking “alone”  it’s amazing that usually within a day or so I meet and hook up with compatible hikers. We generally walk as a group during the day and tent next to each other at night. Very easy to meet nice new friends
After our resupply, we all stayed at hiker hostel in Manchester :the Green Mountain Inn. A clean bed, laundry, one free soda, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and full breakfast for only $40!
Started hiking next morning up to summit of Bromley mountain.
This was the “perfect hike” : Started out on a full stomach, beautiful sunny weather, NO aches all morning while hiking!  Feet didn’t hurt, knees OK, crotch and butt didn’t itch, no shoulder pain and generally had lots of energy :

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Black Diamond Run on top of Bromley

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Later that afternoon we reached the bottom of the mountain and camped in front on a small Vermont Lake. I took a dip and then went fishing in my underwear. That’s my definition of a perfect hiking day

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Today was another story. Lots of ups and downs hiking in the rain. More aches and itches. Pitched our tents in the rain and ate a rather wet dinner outside. Fortunately, right now I’m composing this blog lying in my nice warm dry tent. Here are some views of the day

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Tomorrow my son Bob is meeting me to join the hike for the next several days. More updates soon.

Busy week…

One last day hiking with Ben with a final night tenting behind the Toy makers  Cafe. Awesome breakfast there next morning.

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. This is Ben and me thumb wrestling in front of Thumb Rock:

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We were picked up in Salisbury CT by Ed who took both of us home to Cooperstown. Short weekend for me to celebrate Father’s Day and my anniversary.
Grandpa, my sister Jane and me for picnic at Three Mile Park.

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Stephanie and me celebrating anniversary 34 at the Otesaga

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Me celebrating summer in Cooperstown

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June 23 back on trail. Dropped off at Williamstown MA to continue my journey. Last September I did a big chunk of AT hiking in Massachusetts with friend Tom B. I’m skipping MA now so I can hike as much of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before my Aug 15 deadline.
After just a few uphill miles I’m at the VT border. The AT through VT shares part of the Long Trail which traverses all of VT north to south

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Next morning rained pretty hard for 2 hours. That wasn’t so bad, but I had to climb down some steep rocks that afternoon. I think the most dangerous part of the hike so far is hiking downhill and not slipping or falling. I’ve done both so far. Minor bruises only.

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No more rain and a nice Thai dinner that evening.

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Today was a tough uphill to the top of Stratton Mountain. Rewarded by a firetower with beautiful 360 view

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Tonight I’m stealth camping alone in the woods. Hope no critters around

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Tomorrow will go into Manchester for resupply.
Do my best to keep these posts coming.

A few more Bauers join the hike

Ed left the trail on June 7 and that night I spent a comfortable sleep at the Bear Mountain Inn. Early the next morning, I crossed the Hudson River via Bear Mountain Bridge :

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A few not so bad ups and downs hiking solo that day. I ended up at a nice campsite at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center,  which is a Franciscan monastery. Although hiking alone all day, there must have been at least 10 AT hikers at that site that night.

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Next morning, woke up to sound of gregorian chants in the background.

Hiked solo again through hills, lakes and streams, ending up at Clarence Fahnestock State Park. Food was not too bad!

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Next day was a busy one. My son Ben joined me for several more days of hiking. Unfortunately, his initiation to AT hiking starting around noon was a wet one in the pouring rain.

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It stopped by mid afternoon and we were picked up by car just off the trail by friends Deb, Jim and their daughter Rachel. After only 3 hours hiking, Ben and I had a rough night at their beautiful house on the lake

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Actually did some serious hiking the next day

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By following morning we were in Kent CT and were joined early by my cousin Dan who hiked the entire day with us:

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Glad you could be part of our hike Dan!

Next two days Ben and I went through fields, then up and down some tough hills

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Right now getting ready for bed in my tent after mac and cheese dinner with Ben. We’re both getting picked up tomorrow for a quick Cooperstown weekend visit with family. It’s father’s day Sunday and my wedding anniversary Monday. Thanks for reminding me Stephanie!  Although, really.. When have I ever forgotten!?!?
Back on trail early next week.
Great hiking with Ben this week who got a real flavor of what his dad is doing.

Big day for me !! ??

After hiking some lowland swampy areas of NJ, we went up and down some modest hills. During a drizzly light rain it was very  slippery, so Ed had to pick me up a few times.

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Really nice waterfall early in the morning :

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Late in the day, we passed a road and found this cooler right on the side of the trail. This is called “trail magic”. Left by kind souls, it’s usually some treat for thru hikers to enjoy. This cooler had fresh fruit and soft drinks.

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Got an early start the next morning and our first challenge was to fit through the Lemon Sqeezer.. Since I lost all this weight, I had no problem fitting through this VERY narrow passage :

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Mountain Laurel is at it’s peak

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Last night we slept at the West Mountain Shelter. High on the ridge, it offered an amazing view of NYC 40 miles to the south.

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This morning we hiked up and down Bear Mountain.

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After lunch at the base of the mountain, Ed’s friend Kwan, picked him up and brought him back home to Cooperstown. It was great having Ed with me for the week. Grandpa has hiked the AT with me. Three more Bauer boys to go. Any other takers out there?

Finally, why did I title today’s blog “A big day?!”  BECAUSE.. Today is my birthday and look at my new Birthday card:

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I had a great day with Ed, and am now finishing my post packing some ice cream calories. Awesome.

Starting some solo hiking tomorrow.

Back on trail!

Left my hiking “crew”, Morroco Mole and Adventure on May 22

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All wives met us in Hamburg PA, home of world’s largest Capella’s. The guys kept hiking,  but I went back to Cooperstown with Stephanie for a few days of real life at home:

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The main reason for the hike detour was to travel to Providence RI to see our Ben graduate from Brown University.

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We all had a great time. All four boys have finished college!

Another highlight of the weekend was a brief stop at the AT trailhead off the Mass Turnpike in Lee MA. My dad Alex, age 94, wanted to hike some of the AT with me and his wish came true:

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On May 31, after a 3 hour ride back to High Point NJ, my son Ed joined me on the next leg of my hike.

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Notice my six week beard is gone!  Starting fresh this next leg.

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High Point had some nice views

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Last night we stayed at a great shelter with potable spring water and a mowed field where Ed and I camped in tents without needing our fly tent protection, so we had a nice view of the stars.

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Today we over did it a bit with a 15 mile day. Varied terrain in New Jersey with hills, swamps, and pastures :

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Relaxing after dinner now. Plan for a bit less challenging day tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted….

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!

Almost 200…

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In a day or two I should be close to 200 miles. Started off at 6 ¬ 8 miles a day and now up to about 12+. Goal is to get to at least 15 a day. No injuries so far, and I think that’s because I’m increasing the miles slowly.
After Cumberland Valley, we climbed up a PA “mountain”,  about 2000 feet elevation with a great view of the Susquehanna river in the background.

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I’m trying to figure out the “meaning of life” in this next pic. Promised Stephanie I would have some great new insights by the end of the hike. Still working on it.

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Late that day we came into Duncanon PA and stayed at the Doyle Hotel. A favorite for hikers since rooms only cost $20.

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After showering we went to local grocery for next 5 day food supply :

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Next morning up another mountain for an even better view of the Susquehanna

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That afternoon, along the mountain Ridge, we passed a group of boy scouts learning how to repel and climb up a 100 foot shear rock face.  Seemed like they had excellent instructors. They wanted me to try, but I declined. Sorry Paul T.  and Michelle M-S

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Passed a few nice trout streams and then set up our tents. Still wish I had my fly rod.

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Today was an easy 13 mile hike though the woods. Finding a nice meadow this afternoon was the highlight.

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Finishings this post lying in my tent now. Hiker’s midnight is usually as soon as it gets dark, so off to bed soon.
Thanks for following my blog!

Cumberland Valley

Nice easy FLAT  hike over Cumberland Valley PA.  Much different scenery. Expansive farm fields. Tomorrow up in the hills again.  Here are some pics of the day.

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Hiking over the stiles into another field

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Acres of wheat

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I wish I had my fly rod

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Up Dog Down Dog at the end of the day with fellow hikets

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My hiking buddies past few days:Morroco Mole, Adventure, me (whitecloud) and l’le woof. The dog has been hiking the entire trail with us.

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Brew Pub at the end of the day. How do you like that Boys!

Day 11…still strong

Just finished 11th day on the trail, just shy of 100 miles. Still only about 2000 more. Trying to convince myself that the uphills are getting a little bit easier. They say it takes 4-6 weeks to get your hiker legs. We’ll see. Pennsylvania is truly a walk in the woods, but when you get up high in the hills it gets VERY ROCKY.
Meeting lots of new people every day. Trail is a slice of humanity. Young(mainly), and old (like me), couples, single hikers, occasional doctor. Seems like people often find small groups of like minded hikers to spend time with for extended periods. This past week I’ve been hiking and camping with two guys my age. One, a retired air traffic controller and the other a professional forester. Both have extensive hiking experience which is good for me.
I’m starting this hike with a similar group of “flip floppers”.  This means we are starting in the middle, headed to Maine, then coming back to the middle and heading south to Georgia. Flipp floppers usually start around this time of the year. The vast majority of hikers started back in Georgia in February and March. That big bubble of hikers will soon be catching up to us and passing us.
Thanks for everybody reading this blog. Always nice to hear comments and encouragement.

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This spot is technically the exact middle of the At

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Hiking through a tunnel of rodadendron trees

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About quarter mile of hiking through a stretch called the “rock maze” up, down and through huge boulder field

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Cheeseburger :I’m not starving!

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Had to be sleep here

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have Couldn’t sleep here

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Still not starving

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Hike through a big cornfield today

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Tents drying out after a rainy night

Bye for now..

5 days and still hiking!

I’ve just finished 5 days “real hiking”, and still ready for more. It’s been a week of firsts.
Big decision each night is weather to stop at a Shelter which are big 3 sided cabins that will protect you from the rain. Tend to be many people there, sleeping side by side. I have diagnosed many new cases of sleep apnea and will be making appropriate referrals to Dr.  E. 
Other choice is to camp in the woods or campsites using your tent.
It’s been raining almost every day (and night).
One night I decided it was this for me to camp alone in the woods. Turned out it poured that night. I did stay warm and dry. However, about 2  AM I heard rumbling outside the tent.  Checked outside and saw what appeared to be  a large grizzly bear. Fortunately,  had my albuterol inhaler.  Two  puffs of Proventil and he ran right back into the woods. No problem for w rest of the night. I did have to pack my tent and equipment in the rain to get started that morning. Sounds like  fun  right!
I would say  40% of the time I’m thinking this is really great.  That is usually when there are great views and sights or waking through the woods on level ground. 50% of the time is usually up and down rather steep terrain, and I’m thinking “this is tough, but I’m pretty sure I can get better at this”  10% of the time, I’m thinking “what did I sing up for here!.  Legs, knees, back and feet seem to be holding out so far. Main concern is stumbling or tripping on rocks with my pack of.
I really appreciate comments from my subscribers and always like to hear from you in any fashion.

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Out of Maryland into Pennsylvania

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