Ben & Jerry’s

Salisbury
Day 110 (7/29/19)
Miles – 0.0
Total miles – 1491.4This was a very hard day. Our biggest issue was deciding if we should stay another day or not. Our day began with us trying to get out of town after The White Hart Inn provided breakfast. It was one of the best breakfasts we have had on the trail. The pastries, breakfast sandwiches, fresh orange juice, fruit were simple, but amazingly delicious. Next we sent out a number of blog entries. Bling and Papa Raven headed over to the store for extra lunch and stop by the post office to pick up our re-supply boxes. As we walked over we saw ADD and gang. They had come in this morning. ADD gave us some extra drink mix and tortilla shells that he did not need from his re-supply. After hitting up the store, Bling and Papa Raven picked up our two boxes. Back at the room we worked on the food and found that we were short a dinner, so back to the store Papa Raven went. Meanwhile, everyone else stayed in the room organizing the food and re-packing the back packs. Our original idea of starting hiking around 9:30 – 10:00 was quickly fading away. It is good that we had the room until 11:30. With the packs packed, we hiked out of our room at 11:28. Whisper announced she was hungry. Then Bling claimed he was too. Since it took us much longer to get going, we decided to stop at the Inns cafe for lunch. Stepping outside we noted that it was a really hot day. We all had panini sandwiches. As we sat outside under the cool shade of a tree, eating lunch, we started talking about the next section. For an hour and a half, we talked and laughed amongst ourselves. We were very relaxed and leaving at the height of day was not appealing. The longer we sat, the less we desired to leave. Hence, another night in Salisbury. After going back to our room, Mama Raven took a long nap, Bling, Whisper, and Papa Raven went to the grocery store for more Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, on sale for three dollars a pint. What a deal!

Into Salisbury

Salisbury
Day 109 (7/28/19)
Miles – 6.3
Total miles – 149Knowing we had only seven miles to town, we allowed ourselves to sleep in this morning. We began a half an hour later than normal. It was a hot morning, so we feel lucky to be off the trail most of the day. It was a typical morning of hiking, up and down, up and down in the trees. As we passed by many rock walls, we kept wondering the history of them? We have encountered countless miles of them. At some point, someone had to pick up every one of them and add them to the pile. Countless hours of hard labor! By ten o’clock, we completed the last down of the day and walked into Salisbury, a vary quaint high end community of Connecticut. The two bed and breakfasts were filled, and that left the expensive White Hart Inn, established in 1806. It has been five days to reach here, and five more till the next town. That is ten days without a rest or getting clean. Mentally we need the afternoon off. Papa Raven called upscale Inn. They gave him a descent price, but it would not be ready till three this afternoon. We hung out at the grocery store picnic area, talking to the few other hikers in town for the day. At three, we headed over to the Inn, but the room still was not ready so they put us in their finest suite for the same price. We have never stayed in a three hundred an ten dollar a night room before! We had bathrobes, separate rooms, two TV’s, two bathrooms, beautifully furnished. We really feel like royalty! The only item they did not have is laundry. We hand washed the important items, and hung them up in the closets to dry. If this was the average hotel we stay in, we would have spread out all the sleeping bags and clothes outside to air. We felt that it would not be proper for a establishment as fine as this to do so. What ever does not dry by morning, we will wear wet or hang off the backpacks. Atleast they will be clean. PO opens at 8:30 in the morning, so we probably will not leave until 9:30 or 10:00. There are lots of blogs to write and photos to edit in the mean time.

PUDs, oh joy

Outside of Amesville (1458.6)
Day 108 (7/27/19)
Miles – 20.1
Total miles – 1485.1

Another slow start this morning. This is becoming to be a regular occurrence. The sun hit the tents very early. This has not happened often because we are either in a deep valley or the trees are too thick. For the first thing this morning, there was more miles hiking next to the Housatonic River. We enjoy this greatly because it is flat, a rare event on the AT. Unfortunately it did not last long. A big up was waiting for us. There was a great spring right where the trail cut up away from the river. However we skipped it. Further along up the trail, there was another water source. Wanting to carry as little water as possible up the mountain, we did not take any water from the spring. We climbed out of the valley where Bling missed our best water source of the day. The trail had PUD after PUD. That really slowed us down and made us tired. The day was hot and a bit humid so Mama and Papa Raven drank a lot. Before we knew it, we were out of water. The next possible water source was at a shelter in which Bling walked right by again. Mama and Papa Raven went down to it anyways and filled their liter bottles, but we could not drink it because Bling had the filter. We hiked after the kids, hoping they would be getting hungry and stop soon. They passed up a muddy water source. Not a good one, but water is water when you are out. Finally after miles of trying to catch the kids, we found them sitting on a slab of rocks. Somehow we need to get Bling to stop more frequently. We filtered the two liters we got from the shelter and drank up. The map showed two possible water source in the next 1.5 miles thus off we went. Both turned out to be completely bone dry. The next water was near the Housatonic River, so down the mountain we went. An hour late we came to an ice cold spring. That was the best thing we have seen since early this morning. We filled everything and had dinner. With the last few hours of daylight left, we hiked along the river and up to Great Falls. About half of the Housatonic River goes over the cascading falls the rest is routed to a power plant. A little before dark, we found a good place to camp and settled down for the night.

Jimmy Trail

Into Connecticut

River Road (1438.6)
Day 107 (7/26/19)
Miles – 24.2
Total miles – 1465.0

One again we did not want to wake up. The trail is wearing us down. It happens to all our through hikers at some point, usually during the last two thirds, you get very tired. When breaks are taken, they last longer than normal. You do not want to get up in the morning. You are tired of feet hurting, tired of bugs, tired of water issues, tired of going to bed filthy, tired of carrying the weight on the back, tired of difficult weather issues, tired of hiking food, tired of PUDS, tired of heat rashes tired of friction rashes. We are tired of being tired! We have come so far, but still have far to go. Nonetheless, forward we go!Grudgingly all The Ravens found away to get moving. Within in only a half mile of starting off, we stopped. Mama Raven and Bling were totally out of water and Whisper and Papa Raven had just a few swallows left. There was a stream flowing near a shelter so we took the time to filter water. On this trip we have filtered water only about 5 times. Today we had to do it twice. Normally on the AT, we get most of our water from springs, which we do not filter. This is a debatable subject on the AT. Nonetheless, most of the times we have spring water we do not filter spring water. An exception would be a bunch of frogs or other critters swimming around the opening of a spring. After filtering water, we headed down a steep down followed with a board walk through a swamp. On the far side we came to an unmaned train stop. Hikers can flag down a commuter train on Saturday or Sundays and head to New York or wherever. This stop officially services the AT. We enjoyed a break on the benches. Just as we were finishing, a commuter train came blasting by at full speed. Being less than 5′ from a train moving that fast was a bit shocking. The force of it’s wind and the vibration caused gear to fall over and blow around. Hats were blown off our heads. We all were quit surprised as we decided that it was time to get moving. Over the next few hours, we climbed and dropped over mountain ridges. Trail magic any time is something hikers get excited about, but a double header is like Christmas morning. First trail magic we came across was Patches dad out doing a little magic. Sandwiches, drinks, chocolate milk, donuts, and cookies were out for all hikers. It was the first time anyone had chocolate milk for trail magic and what a treat for the kids. Even Papa Raven endulged. From that trail magic, we headed over another ridge, crossed in to Connecicut to the next trail magic. Jack was cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers as well as drinks, donuts, and chips. Everyone had hot days except Bling who had a hamburger. We were still full from the previous magic, so hot dogs seemed smaller than the monster size hamburgers he was cooking up. Despite our fullness we agerly ate. It was all very good and no telling when we would see more trail magic.. From there we climbed over Ten Mile Hill and dropped down to the Housatonic River. We hiked next to this river on and off and will continue to bump into it tomorrow. Right now we are camped near it under pine trees. There are oak trees also but we are trying to stay away from them because right now they are dropping their acorns in Mass quantity. Nothing like being woken up all night because of acorns pelting the tents. Right now we are going into Salisbury on Sunday but we cannot get out boxes until Monday. We will hike out mid morning on Monday.

Patches Dad

More of the same

1.8 miles from Telephone Pioneers Shelter
Day 106 (7/25/19)
Miles – 22.0
Total miles – 1440.8

We were slow getting up. Everyone was tired. Yesterday’s hiking was not hard, but our time in New York wore us down. After our Washington DC. excursion, we were exhausted. The same seems to be true with the New York tour. Today’s terrain was very similar to yesterday’s with the exception of two 500′ climbs. They were not difficult, infact none of today’s elevation changes were difficult. We were rewarded with a few views, which we have not had in quite a while. First view of he day looked down on Canopus Lakes. Second looked over a pastoral farm. Our first break was at an old cabin which has been converted into a shelter. It was good place to sit at a table and rest. Since we have been hiking next to lakes and marshy areas, the mosquitoes are out in full force. As usual, Mama Raven is the blood suckers favorite victim. Despite the pesky critters, we are moving quickly through this section. Timing is our only problem. Unfortunately, we will come into town on Sunday and we cannot get our boxes until Monday. As normal, we will adapt.

Surprise, a slack pack

NY 301 – Canopus Lake
Day 105 (7/24/19)
Miles – 18.2
Total miles – 1418.8

We all slept well after our long day in New York City. Christina prepared a breakfast feast of pancakes, waffles, eggs, and fruit. We talked with Adam about a slack pack, which we arranged to meet him at a road eighteen miles out. He would bring us our backpacks. Instead of carrying all our gear with us, we would just bring enough food and water for that day’s hiking Adam dropped is off at Bear Mountian Bridge at 9:30 and we started hiking. This is a very large bridge over the Hudson River. We were way above the Hudson’s muddy waters. A strong wind was blowing down river. It felt really good. The last time we were hiking the trail, the temperatures were over hundred. Other than crossing the bridge, today’s trail was uneventful. As usual, we hiked small ridges and valleys all tree covered. We did come across many dry stacked rock walls. Borders for property lines. There was one old barn foundation erected in the 1700’s. George Washington ordered it to be an inoculation station against small pox for New York troops during the Revaluation War. There was one surprise around lunch time. We came out of the trees to cross a road and there was a Shell gas station with a store and a grill! If we had known this we would have planned today’s food differently. Nonetheless, of course we were not going to pass up hot sandwiches and cold drinks. Finishing our hot lunch off, we had ice cream and fruit popsicles. Life’s little unexpected surprises on the trail are extra wonderful! We reached the road where we would meet Adam at nearly 7:30. We knew that he would not be there until around 9:00, after Dax’s baseball game. Thus we sat along the shoulder of the road had dinner, listened to our mp3 players, and scouted out a place for tonight’s camp. Time went by quickly. Bling fell deeply aseep on the ground. It was such a deep sleep we had a hard time waking him when Adam arrived at 9:20. He missed us first time around because of the dark and drove several miles before realizing he has gone too far. We text messaged him and told him we will have our phone light on this time around. It worked, he and his dog Sammy delivered our gear. After talking for a bit we said our goodbyes and thank you’s. Our visit with Adam and his family was a special treat. To say it was absolutely AWESOME is more accurate.

Bling and Sammy

Rest and sightseeing

Pleasantville
Day 103 and 104 (7/22/19 R and 7/23/19 R)
Miles – 0
Total miles – 1400.6

7/22/19

Today’s plan was to rest and resupply. First thing, after breakfast, Adam drove Papa Raven back to Fort Montgomery to pick up our boxes at the PO. Being Sunday yesterday, we could not do it then when we came down the mountain. Bling, Whisper, Alaska, and Dax, Adam’s fourteen year old daughter and eight year old son, had a busy day of trampolining, air hockey, swimming at a pool and attending a movie. Since before we left on our AT hike, Whisper new exactly when the new Lion King movie was coming out. She has been hoping somewhere along the trail she would be able to see it. Well today was her day. Adam and Mama and Papa Raven had a really great lunch at a New York style deli. You know it’s good when the line of customers goes out the door. Back at Adam’s house, we completed sewing torn gear, cleaned bite valves on our water bottles that become disgustinly moldy. Purchased new hiking poles for Mama Raven and headlamp for Bling (Adam took us to REI yesterday for this task). Tick sprayed socks, shoes, gaters, and shorts. Papa Raven and Adam worked on replacing Bling’s worn hiking pole tips. Cook pot was cleaned. Photographs were worked on and blogs written. Packs were packed and ready to go. Christina took us to the grocery store for additional food items. We wanted all chores done before tomorrows big adventure to NYC. The heat wave that has plagued this area broke today with lots of thunderstorms and heavy rain all afternoon and through the night. Christina cooked another feast for us of meatloaf, potatoes, green beans, brownies and mochi. As we ate, Papa Raven presented the latest photos of our three cats back home in California sent to us from our house sitter. All three together, sleeping on their backs side by side. They were absolutely adorable images! Meanwhile the thunder raged and the rain poured down. We kept saying to ourselves thank goodness we are not in it!! Instead we are nice and dry, in a beautiful home, being fed like royalty in Pleasantville, New York.

7/23/19

It’s off to NYC today. It was a perfect day with a temperature of seventy-one degrees and completely overcast sky with no rain. It is hard to believe our luck since just yesterday we were still in a sweltering heatwave in the morning and heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon. Adam had planned a route that would allow us to see a good part of the city, highlighting key destinations from our list of must sees. Christina sent us off after a breakfast of French toast, cinnamon rolls, grits and fruit. She stayed home to work while Alaska and Dax joined us on our big adventure. First we drove to Yankee Stadium to park the car in a paid parking structure. He said it was one of the more affordable ones however it closes at seven o’clock tonight. If we are late, the car will be locked in until tomorrow morning. Next our tour took us for a ride on the subway to the middle of Central Park. We were there at the height of the go to work crowds, so the subway was packed, just envisioned a New York Subway to be. We had four must sees and this was the first. As we walked into Centeral Park, the crowds of people disappeared and our surrounding environment became much calmer and quieter. That’s what nature does for you! Magnificent, towering trees soared above us as we walked on paths that meandered through large green fields of grass. Perfectly manicured flower gardens bordered the path ways here and there. It was a perfect park setting. Huge slabs of rocks were about for kids to climb on. Our goal was to walk across Central Park from west to east. When we we walked over to Belvedere Castle for a higher look about the park, we passed a large outdoor theatre were there was already a line of people to purchase tickets for tonight’s performance. After a quick stop by a turtle pond, we walked across to The Met. We thought about going in but the lines were too long and Adam said it would be an all day event. From there we headed south and cut back into the park to see the Alice in Wonder Land statue as well as the Balto statue. We had never heard of Balto but we learned he was a hero Alaskan sled dog that delivered medicine to the remote communities of Alaska during a typhus outbreak. Finally we reached the east side of the park at the Centeral Park Zoo. There was nothing disappointing about Centeral park. We absolutely loved it!We could have stayed for many more hours but there was still much to see of New York.

Next we took a long walk down 5th Ave past all the upscale apartment buildings and stores. Adam pointed out where Jacqueline Onassis once lived. We indulged ourselves in the Lindt Chocolate store. Passing through heavily armed NY City police, we walked into Trump Tower. There were several beautiful old churches along the route. Randomly we chose the Catholic Church. It was absolutely stunning with high interior arches and stain glass windows. Our tour continued over to Rockefeller Plaza. We stopped at a food cart for lunch. Continuing South we passed major News Network buildings, including Fox, NBC, Comcast and ESPN. Broadway was next on our pathway. Some of the marquis boards read Hamilton, Lion King, Tootsie, and Beetlejuice. Next stop was Time Square, our second must see. This was just a chaotic zoo of people. We keep looking up at all the amazing and gigantic electronic billboard screens. It was a visual overload at a monumental scale. Bling somehow got trapped with a reggae rapper who was trying to sell his CD to him. The young musician nicknamed Bling, W. Swager. Once we pulled Bling away from that predicament, we exited the area. Finally we walked south of Time Square and took a few minutes to walk through part of Macy’s, mainly because we knew bathrooms could be found inside. Adam’s tour next took us along the length of the High Line, a quiet path covered with trees and native plants on the old raised railway line. It is a relatively new area of New York City with new high rises amongst the very old ones. It was a much mellower section of the city than the loud and fast pace of downtown Manhattan we were just in. It also provided great views of the surrounding area. From there we took the subway over to the Twin Towers Monument, our third must see. This proved to be far more emotional than expected. We noticed certain names had fresh roses. Later we learned that a rose is placed by each victim’s name on their birthday. We did not have time to go into the museum so we just observed the monuments.

Running out of time for our seven o’clock deadline, we had just one more objective, to see the statue of liberty, our fourth and final must see. Staton Island Ferry passes close to it, so we quickly husseled to the ferry station where we went aboard and set out across the harbor. We had great views of the statue of liberty and Ellis Island. A tourist boat would have taken us closer but it would have been expensive and the Staton Island Ferry is free! Upon reaching Staton Island, we turned around and came immediately right back. With time running short, we caught an express subway all the way back to Yankees Stadium. Literally with only a few minutes to spare, we made it back to the parking structure before it closed. The attendant already had the car up waiting for us. Once in the vehicle, we all gave a big sigh of relief. Traffic was light as we drove home. We all were tired! Our day in New York City was a success. It was a whirl wind tour of the city in a day! To be honest, there was too much to see in just one day. There were many sites and events that had to be skipped due to time constraints. Also, it is simply humanly impossible to see it all in one day! Nonetheless, we saw a great deal and it would not have been possible at all without Adam who new the ins and outs of the city! Thanks Adam!!!

Alaska, Adam, Dax, and The Ravens

Out of the heat

Pleasantville
Day 102 (7/21/19)
Miles – 9.1
Total miles – 1400.6

It was a hot still night. Because of the heat, we should of woke early but we did not. We are worn out from the past two days and we needed the sleep. All four Ravens cannot wait to be picked up by Adam and rescued from the heat and humidity. First we had to climb Bear Mountain. Thankfully it was an easier climb than it looked however the day started hot and got hotter quickly. We worked our way up an old road before we reached a long set of stairs. Occasionally the trail would break out of the trees and we could feel a rare cool breeze blowing as we approached the top but most of the time it was just blistering hot. At the top of the mountain, there was a four story observatory. A faint view of the New York City sky line was visible from the top of the building. We found a place in the shade as Papa Raven went down to vending machine for cold drinks, six all toll. Nearby West Point Military Academy, was practicing their artillery maneuvers. Living next to Camp Pendleton Marine base, it sounded just like home with constant machine gun firing and other explosive devices. While sitting in the shade we ate a bit and talked with the other hikers. ADD and the gang showed up just before we left. We had not seen him or his hiking buddies since Boiling Springs, just before the appendix ordeal. It was great to see them. We were not sure if we would ever see them again. Like many hikers, they have been crawling along. Yesterday they spent the day at a lake swimming and hiding from the brutal heat and humidity. After talking with them for a while, we said good bye and headed down the mountain. The down off of Bear Mountain is a big one. Over 1,200 steps, dropping us to the AT’s lowest point of 120′ in elevation. We descended down the mountain quickly and spilled out in a packed lake of city dwellers trying to escape the heat from New York City. There were people literally everywhere. Trash also was everywhere. We parted the hectic lake and headed into a small zoo. Yes, the trail goes right through the zoo. The zoo takes in injured local wildlife, heals and rehabilitates them and releases if possible, or they keep them. It was much more peaceful in the zoo than the chaos outside. We contacted Adam to tell him we are down and ready for pick up. We took our time looking at the animals and slowly worked our way out the other side of the zoo. As we looked over the Bear Mountain Bridge, we saw Adam across the road. We crossed the bridge and loaded our packs in his car. So we were off to his house. Christina, Adam’s wife, made us delicious tacos loaded with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and our favorite, guacamole! We each had four of them. We spent most of the afternoon washing the grime and sweat off ourselves and our clothes. It has been a long six days since our last shower. We have gone to bed every night since then in drenched clothing. We were wet either from rain or sweat. We smell and feel like wet soggy dogs! A dry, clean night’s sleep is what we are so looking forward to. We will be spending the next two days with Christina and Adam and their two kids. One day for rest and the other to see New York City.

TLGs email to Whisper

Ok, today was hot!

Seven Lakes Road
Day 101 (7/20/19)
Miles – 18.8
Today miles – 1391.5

We woke an hour early. Whisper did not like this. She has never been a morning person thus she was a bit cranky this morning. To be honest, we should have gotten up at four, but we were so tired from yesterday, all we wanted to do was sleep longer. The night’s are even hot. Too hot for our fifteen degree sleeping bags. In an ideal situation, we would have sent home our warm bags and exchange for cooler summer bags. But since there are four of us and one bag costs between three hundred to four hundred dollars, we do not have the funds for such luxuries. We make do with with what we have. Anyways, we managed to be up by 5:00. We were hoping to get a few miles in before the heat of the day started. As for the heat, our only saving grace were the trees. Deep shade held the cooler temperatures and we relished hiking in them. The thing that set us back the most was the rocky PUDs that required lots of scrambling with hands to crawl up. Mama Raven has problems climbing rocks. It’s just not her thing, but she did it. She says the climbing is fine but the heavy packs on the back and such high temperature and humidity make it nearly unbearable! Yesterday, she took a hard fall on a steep rock slab resulting in both of her hiking pole tips to snap off. She spent several hours yesterday hiking without poles over the rocky terrain. Whisper lent her her poles. Whisper and Bling with great agility, move like mountain goats over the rocks. Poles are not necessary for them to maneuver over the rock fields. In a few days we will buy new poles for Mama Raven. With Whisper’s pole, Mama Raven was more confident climbing up and down the rocks. We are finding water stashed at road crossings and one location someone had left a few soft drinks. There has been very little water in this section. even the shelters do not have water. Although this mornings shelter we went to, had a small spring flowing that was filled with large green frogs. We had to spend time filtering the ten liters of water we needed. Despite the frogs, we were relieved to have found cold, clear water. The water stashes provided by trail angels has been priceless!!! Without them, in this triple digit heat, the hiking would be impossible. At our second break, we were lucky enough to stop at a very small stream flowing between two lakes. We took off our shoes and soaked our hot, swollen feet. Today’s hiking speed kept dropping as the temperature rose. With each rock cliff that had to be climbed up, we grew more tired. It was a bit discouraging. Late in the afternoon, at the bottom of a mountain, we came to the largest water cache yet. Over 50 gallons in the shade of a thick stand of trees. We stopped for a long rest and dinner. Since we had the water, we fixed a dessert, a raspberry crumble that we keep putting off having because of the lack of water. While there, we drank as much as we could. Leaving around 6:30, we hiked into the dark. It was much cooler and we covered the distance better. We are going to bed with wet clothes that are as wet as if it rained on us. Instead of rain, we are soaked from pure sweat from the high humidity. We are exhausted from yesterday’s and today’s difficult hiking. There are not too many hikers on the trail right now, most are hold up somewhere till the weather changes Monday. However there are a few of us out on the trail, moving very slowly. Tomorrow we will reach Bear Mountain Bridge and Adam will be picking us up and relieving us from the triple digit heat. A little vacation from the trail is badly needed right now. We have a case of the doldrums going on, and our bodies just do not want to move right now. We will be staying with his family for several days. One for those days, they will be taking us into New York City.

To tired to think

Bellvale Mountain (1340.8)
Day 100 (7/19/19)
Miles -20.1
Total miles – 1372.7

That was a rough night. The snoring from Memorial and the other gentleman, who we shared the shelter with were tremendous. First it was just the one man, and then Memorial joined the chorus. Mama Raven had the worst time getting asleep. Now we know why shelter users always wear earplugs. Memorial says being a “shelter rat” as he calls himself, earplugs are mandatory. Nonetheless, Bling fell asleep the minute his head hit the pillow. He never even heard anything. Whisper eventually fell asleep followed by Papa Raven. That left Mama Raven wide awake listening to the chorus of snores. Somewhere along the night, she too fell asleep. Since it was going to be a hot day in the triple digits, we wanted an earlier start. All six members of the shelter agreed to get up at five. We succeeded at getting up early but we were slow to pack. It took time to sort the piles of gear. Things were not normal for us sleeping in a shelter and we were out of our routine. Our morning efficiency was thrown out the window, if there was a window in the shelter. Nonetheless, we hit the trail by 6:30, a half an hour later than desired but still earlier than normal. Today and the next two days are supposed to be hot. The local weather service has issued an extreme heat warning. This morning started out with low clouds that lingered from last night’s rain storm. The longer they stayed with us the better off we are. Throughout the morning, we had a number of small PUDs and then we came to a swampy marsh. There was an elevated walkway that meandered through for over a mile. We enjoyed the walk above the swamp. At the far end, was a small store and bakery. Of course we stopped in. We purchased a huge almond pastry ring, drinks, four nectarines, ice cream, and cookies to take out on the trail. Across the road was a hot dog stand that the other hikers went to after the bakery. We were too full to endulge in any more food. To our sadness, the clouds broke up as we ate. This is where Memorial, Puma, Drop Sticks and Pusher were hitching to a larger town and going to wait out the hot weather. There was supposedly free camping at the drive in movie theater where the speaker hooks up to tents. Tonight’s movie was Toy Story. They tried to get us to join them but we knew we had to make it to a certain location by Sunday to meet up with Adam and family.

Back on the trail, we climbed a steep 800′, which we took slowly in the warm weather. On the way up, we met Marmot, a women that triple crowned back in the nineties. She said she had an erge to hike the AT again, so here she was! We spent the rest of the day walking PUDs, in the heat. We passed several small lakes and left New Jersey. We now have to cross a section of New York. We are camped in the middle of nowhere because that is where we ran out on energy. It has been a very difficult day of hiking with the heat and humidity, causing us to move slowly. The rocky terrain required much endurance to get up and over each pile of huge boulders. These areas were exposed to the intense hot sun that beat down on us. We were always thankful when the trail retreated back into the shade of the trees. Despite our slow pace, we somehow managed to still hike twenty miles today. We are hoping for another twenty miles tomorrow, but it is suppose to be even hotter!

Marmot

Trail Angel

Pochuck Mountian Shelter
Day 99 (7/18/19) R
Miles – 18.3
Total miles – 1352.6

It rained most of the night. It did let up just before we ate breakfast, so we packed quickly before it rained again. Bling and Whisper’s new tent worked out so much better than their old one. We are so relieved to have the new tent. We hiked out into a fog bank. After several hours, we came to High Point visitor center. Just as we went inside, it started to rain. We stayed for a long time waiting for it to stop. As we sat warm and dry, a slow trickle of hikers came in to do the same. The AT goes real close to New Jersey’s highest point, which has a tall monument at the top. We decided to take the time to stop by the land mark. When the rain let up to a fine mist, we headed back outside. Whenever we have a weather front with this much rain on the west coast, it comes with dropping temperatures. Not so here. When we stepped outside, it was really warm outside, too warm to put on rain gear. The mountains were still shrouded in a beautiful fog that gave everything an ethereal look. Quickly we reached the monument and of course it was hidden from view by the weather. It was barely visible as we approached it. It was just a vague dark object shooting up into the misty grey sky. After entering, we climbed the 220′ tower. Why we did this we are not sure. It is a long way up and when we got to the top all we could see was nothingness of thick, dense fog. Once down, the rest of the morning and into the afternoon were spent heading to Unionville. Since the tents, sleeping bags, and other gear were wet, we had been hoping for the sun to come out to dry out. It did not. Low clouds sat gloomily overhead. When we reached town, our first stop was the general store with a deli at the back. They made the biggest and most delicious subs! We ordered one each and ate half, saving the other half for tonight’s dinner. As we were eating on the stores front porch, a past AT thru hiker, Bonsai, stopped to talk to us. He says he likes to stop by the store periodically to say hello to the hikers that come through. We learned that he was the pastor at the local Presbyterian Church. He offered the use of his drier. Thus, off to his house we went. It took about an hour to dry our wet gear and sort the food for the next section. The tents we air dried the best we could. They were too dirty to place in his drier. Everything else that was wet got a quick spin in the warm drier. Tonight we can look forward to dry sleeping bags. We meet his wife, Hot Drinks, and their adorable nine month old daughter, Maple. Bonsai is hoping too eventually set up a hiker hostile in Unionville, which would be very useful since there is no where to stay here. Finally, we said our thank you’s and we headed out of town. First we had to make a stop for one more round of ice cold drinks.

The rest of today’s hiking is bonus miles. Shortly after leaving, what we were hoping not to happen, happened. It started to rain. At first it was light, but as time went on, it got heavier. Once again our packs, shorts, shoes and socks were wet. The upper body stayed dry because of the umbrellas. It is simply too hot to hike in rain jackets and skirts. However, next time we are caught in wet weather, we will try the skirts. Hopefully they will not be too uncomfortably warm and they will keep us much drier. If the wet gear was not bad enough, we would have to pitch the tents in the rain again. There was a steep up we had to climb before we reached the shelter. Upon arrival, several tents were already set up around the hut, and four people were inside. Afterplacing the packs under the eaves of the building, we sat in the back of the shelter and ate our submarine sandwiches. It was very comforting to be in a dry environment as it poured down rain outside. Memorial was one of four people. Two of the others were just fixing dinner in the dry shelter and had pitched their tent else where. This left plenty of room in the shelter for the four wet Ravens to sleep tonight. Memorial said we should give it a shot. As the rain came down outside, Mama Raven agreed it sounds like a good plan. The thought of setting tents up in rain was not appealing to any of us. Tonight, we are sleeping in a dry shelter. It was a little awkward without privacy. There was no place to change out of our wet clothing therefore we went to bed wearing them! We were too tired to actually care. Tomorrow the rain should end and it will be getting hot, very hot for the next three days. Some hikers are talking about finding away out to somewhere and wait out the hot spell that is coming.

Data and Puma (in back)

Hot Drink and Mable

Caught again by a thunderstorm

1 mile before Rutherford Shelter (1303.9)
Day 98 (7/17/19) R
Miles – 20.7
Total miles – 1334.3

We were all tired, except Mama Raven, and it was difficult for her to get us moving. However with enough cajoling, we got going. Our first concern was water. First water source of the day was a stagnant stream. We past this by. Second source was an even worse spring thus we past this one by also. While we were there, a big black bear came sauntering by nonchalantly. He was totally unafraid of us. It was as if we were nothing more than just another tree in the area. However, not trusting him, we made sure it kept moving on by talking loudly and clapping our hands. Third water source of the day was near a shelter, which was a little ways off trail, but we needed the water. With great relief, this spring turned out to be very good. It had a good flow of clear cold water. We filled everything. From the spring we were planning on hiking six miles to another lookout tower for a break. That plan changed when we hiked up to trail magic supplied by Moose. He had a lot of fruit, nibble food, sandwiches, and drinks. Memorial was there. Several weeks have passed since we have seen him. Data, Drop Sticks, Puma and Pusher were also enjoying the trail magic. We helped ourselves to his generous table as we stayed for an hour before moving on. We offered him some money, but he declined as most trail angels do. Moose is up here seven days a week, providing special magic to the hikers. What he does is a huge moral booster to all of us. As he goes home each night, he re-supplies for the next days trail magic. He probably spends a hundred dollars a day for food and drinks for the hikers. Thank you so much for your time and money. The Ravens really appreciate it. After we left the magic of Moose, we did stop at the lookout tower long enough to climb it and look about. What concerned us most was the thunderhead building to the west. Shortly after leaving, it started to rain. We pulled out our umbrellas and hiked on. The rain let up after 30 minutes or so. New Jersey back country has miles of old property border rock walls. We keep wondering how old the rock walls must be? They may have been built as far back as the 1700’s? We do not know. We have seen them in other states on the AT, but none as prolific as New Jersey. Our mid-afternoon break came when we were at Sunrise Mountain Picnic Shelter. It was a very large timber framed covered building, open on all sides, with views all the way around. We could see other thunderstorms building to the west and north. It looked like we were going to get more rain. We hiked on although we stopped briefly at Mashipacong Shelter for water. The trail runner had left bananas in the bear box so we shared them amongst ourselves. The thunder started soon after we left. We looked for a place to camp but there was nothing flat without ground cover. Day time was being replaced with night time. Finally we found a place, but as soon as we started to setup the tents the rain came down. Then it picked up to a down pour. It would have been nice to be inside of the tents, but we weren’t. We all got very wet. It took awhile to dry off and settle in, but we are all good for the night. The rain did let up around 8:30, long enough for dinner to be made and tomorrow’s breakfast.
The rain is supposed to continue through the night. We hope that we get a chance to dry out tomorrow. We are only eleven miles from Unionville, our next food drop. Our plan is to hike in and hike out, taking just enough time to repack and eat something. If we can do that in two hours, we will be doing very good. We are trying to meet Adam and his family on Sunday and we will be taking a few days off for home cooked meals and a trip to New York City!

Moose

Drop Stick

The Peach vortex!

End of Lone Pine Pond (1283.5) R
Day 97 (7/16/19)
Miles – 19.6
Total miles – 1313.6

Our plan was to eat breakfast right when the hotel restaurant opened and then hike out. We walked down at 7:00 but it had not opened. By 7:30 it still had not opened. The bakery where we had had lunch yesterday opened at 8:00, so we closed our packs, checked out, and walked down the road. Whisper ordered a bagel with cheese and two eggs in it. Everyone else had two eggs and sausage inside rasin cinnamon French toast, of course with powered sugar and maple syrup. It was really good! We finally got hiking right at 9:00. An hour later than we wanted however the breakfast we had was worth the delay.The trail took us across a busy highway bridge, which crossed the Delaware River. midway across, we left Pennsylvania and entered New Jersey. That makes seven states done and seven more to go. We had an easy climb up away from the river. We followed a stream for a ways and then climbed up to the ridge. A mile or so beyond that we came to Sunfish Pond. We hiked to the far side and took a break by the water. We enjoyed the gigantic chocolate chunk cookies we bought from the bakery. Stopping next to a lake has been rare event on this trail. Thus we took our time as we relaxed. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. In our case that means get walking. The next four hours we hiked the ridge. We did get out of the trees a few times, but only once could we see anything. At this vista, we ran into a day hiker that said she had cold drinks in her car 2.5 miles ahead. An hour later we were at her car. Come to find out, she completed the AT last year, which was a very difficult year to hike the AT. Two hurricanes past through. There was only a nineteen percent success rate and she was one of them. He trail name is Peach and is from Philadelphia. It seems to me she and Icarus need to meet each other. I, Mama Raven, do not mean to be doing any match making, however, these two really need to meet each other. They are two very sweet young human beings that love the AT. We sat and talked with her for a lot longer than we should have, but she was great company and cold drinks, oranges and chairs were a pleasure. Finally we felt the urge to get moving again and we said our goodbyes. A short time after leaving the road, we past by a pond full of water Lilly’s. Next came a ridge walk. It would not be the AT without one so back up to the ridge the trail went. Throughout the mid-afternoon, we kept moving at a good pace. We stopped to climb an old fire lookout before continuing on. All The Ravens were dragging and it was easy to understand why, we had only eaten breakfast, one chocolate chip cookie and a small orange all day. A thunderstorm started off to the north so we found a place to camp before it rained. After setting up the tents, dinner was in order. Now everyone is settled down for the night. It is hot and muggy and it has been sprinkling on and off for the last hour. Bling and Whisper’s new tent is working well. Tomorrow is suppose to be harder rain, thus we will have a better chance to test it out.

Peach and Whisper

Delaware Water Gap

Delaware Water Gap
Day 96 (7/15/19)
Miles – 9.2
Total miles – 1294.0

On town days, we usually are in a rush to start hiking to reach town as soon as possible. However this morning we slept in a bit. Once we began hiking, we covered the nine miles quickly. There were the usual Pennsylvania rocks here and there, however for the most part we walked on dirt! This is what made the miles go by fast. We took one short break and realized that we had only two and a half miles further to go. An hour later we were in Delaware Water Gap, which is situated on the Delaware River. It is an old, quaint town, established in the late 1700’s. Although here they call it a Borough. We have noticed that the word towns is not used officioally, Instead, townships and Boroughs are the preferred titles. Talking to a local older gentleman, who has lived his entire life in Delaware Water Gap, we learned this community was once a vibrant vacation distination with fifty hotels. Fred Astaire, Gingner Rogers, and Ronald Reagen were once regular visitors. On the way to the cheaper of the two hotels, we picked up our re-supply at the PO. After unloading the gear, in our room, it was time to eat! We walked over and had a hot dog and a slice of homemade apple pie for $2.95. Several hikers were already there ordering their second round of lunch. After we were done with ours, we went back for the homemade ice cream. The rest of the day was spent getting ready for tomorrow’s next section. Most of the hikers we talked to planned on coming into town, re-supply quickly and then leave the same day. However the last few days of the Pennsylvania rocks has exhausted the hikers. Everyone has sore feet and ankles and are very tired. The church in town hosts hikers in their yard. It is filled to capacity! Even our hotel has quite a few hikers spending the night. Many are taking a zero and taking a river raft trip down the Delaware River. As much as we would like to, we will be moving on tomorrow.

My First Blog

Camp after Wolf Rock
Day 95 (7/14/19)
Miles – 22.3
Total miles – 1284.9

We still woke at are normal 6:00 even though we had a late night. Today we had two small ups and a lot of level trail that is covered in rocks. Everyone talks about the rocks in Pennsylvania and we can now with first hand experience, claim the rumors to be true. But most of the state is not an issue. It is only the last 2 or 3 days we have finally seen a lot of rocks. Yesterday, Icarus told us that the rocks should drop off quickly in New Jersey.

After a short night sleep, we climbed the small but very rocky mountain( although it was pretty small). Right around 10, about the time of our first brake, conveniently there was trail magic at the Smith Gap road. It was a dirt road. There was cucumber, drinks, yummy brownies, chips, hummus, and potatoes salad. We left after about an hour. We ridged walk on a very rocky ridge for miles until we reached Wind Gap where there was a little town. At the little parkinglot area, some man gave Bling a jug of water. The whole day there was no water so we where watching our drinking, so we would not run out. When we got the jug of water, we split it between us and another group of hikers. Next we had the second climb, 500ft. It was pretty steep. After that climb we ran, yet again, another rock ridge for miles. In his section Whisper saw a racer snake, but only a baby. We were trying to get to one of two different places: a Wolf Cliffs Detour which had a spring there. This detour would skip a rocky climb on to Wolf Cliffs and had a possible camp. The other place was the shelter, which for sure had water. We needed water for dinner because we did not have enough. We got to the spring and in was a beautiful one. It had lots of water that was cold and clear. We were going to take the detour because in would be fastser and less rocks. Sure enough Papa Raven messed up (thanks dad)😒😣😬. We ended up going over the Wolf Cliffs which actually were kinda fun. Then we started down. Soon after we got off and out of the rocks, there was a camp waiting patiently to be taken. After we pitched tents, two hikers past heading to the shelter. They said they saw a bear and she started singing Queen music to it. She said the bear clearly did not like Queen because it ran away. I guess it was not that kind of bear that liked Queen music. Now I am writing this blog because I am bored and trying to figure out if there is a mouse running around outside our tent

Written By: Whisper

Surprised

Little Gap Road
Day 94 (7/13/19)
Miles – 21.6
Today miles – 1262.5

No one really wanted to get up, but we had to. We need to keep moving forward. For most of the day the trail was not difficult. There were times that the trail would go through rock fields, which really slowed us down. Throughout most of the day we bumped into Buffy. Her friend Sunflower got off the trail due to severe tendonitis in her achellis(misspell). She will be pushing beyond us because she is trying to get to Bear Mountain Bridge two days before us. We stopped at two shelters for cold spring water. The first was a long walk down from the shelter and we had to fill everything. The second shelters water was right next to the trail. Soon after leaving the last shelter, we reached Lehigh Gap and that is where our day took a twist. This gap has a busy bridge crossing the Lehigh River and two towns. One up river and the other down. The gap was a rare one because it was tree free and completely exposed to the hot sun. We had a good size down to get to the bridge and there was a big up on the other side. As we came out of the trees on the south side of the river someone gave Bling and Whisper three cold drinks. They were mineral water, which we are not fond off but they were atleast cold. Plus we were appreciative of the person who gave them to the kids. We all shared them. We crossed the river and climbed up away from the busy road. As we began to cross a small field near the trail head parking lot, someone called out to us. A trail angel name Icarus was passing out drinks. We each took one and talked with him for a few minutes. Icarus had hiked the entire AT in 2013. He warned us the climb we were about to start was the steepest up south of New Hampshire. He offered to slack pack us the five miles to Little Gap Road. He would even loan us his a day pack. Eagerly, we took him up on the offer. We would meet him up the trail at 7:00, two hours from now. Off we went. Yesterday and today, Mama Ravens lower back had been hurting her. The bottom two discs in her spine have degeneration and are worn away. Before we left to begin the AT, she got a steroid injection that has done really well to reduce pain. But all of a sudden, her low back has decided to flare up causing great discomfort for her. Not having a pack on made this difficult climb much easier. The climb was steep! We had to use our hands to climb up some of the rocks. It was hot, sweaty work. The kids were like mountain goats and were up it in no time. They liked the up. Papa and Mama Raven were not as excited by the up as the kids did, however we enjoyed the traverse toward the gap a lot more. Bling reached the gap at 6:59. Icarus was there. A number of other thru-hikers, whom we have not seen in a while, were just being dropped off and enjoying Icarus’s trail magic. We sat and talked with Icarus for awhile. Then he offered to take us to get a bit to eat. He drove us the a grill at a ski resort just a next to the trail. We sat and talked for a bit, waiting for a table. The food was great. Mama Raven and Icarus had shrimp and bison sausage and a bed of mashed potatoes. Whisper had chicken quesadillas. Bling had a burger will a spicy sauce. And I had a meatloaf sandwich. We finished with four small cups filled with four different desserts. It was an amazing dinner. Icarus then drove us back to the gap. By this time it was 10:30, well past our bed times and Icarus still had to drive home to Philadelphia, an hour away. We walked a short distance back up a road and set up camp. We so enjoyed our visit with Icarus. He is a young man that looks like he just got off the trail, lean and in good shape. He even had a beard. He is not a large man, but he has an enormous heart. He loves the AT and the hikers that hike it. It was a previlage to meet Icarus!

Buffy

Icarus

Onward

After Allentown Shelter (1210.7)
Day 93 (7/12/19)
Miles – 19.0
Total miles – 1240.9

We were in no hurry because we would not be able to get a ride back to the trail before 9:00. The free Cabela,’s shuttle for AT hikers was in an accident late yesterday and is out of commission. Thus we had to find another method back to the trailhead. We ate breakfast and then Mama and Papa Raven walked over to the Walmart and gas station for some last minute items. When we returned to the hotel, we got the phone number of someone who provides rides for a small fee. One call later, we had a ride back to Port Clinton. Twenty minutes later Steve and his Boston Terrier, Sizzle, picked us up and dropped us off at the PO in Port Clinton. We shouldered our packs and started the climb out of town. It was a steep slow climb, but it was not too long, just about 2 miles. Over the next few hours, we did the ridge PUD walk then dropped down to Windsor Furnace area. Back in the 1700’s, there was a furnace here, but we saw no sign of it. It was a pretty park like setting, with a stream, cut green grass fields, and gravel paths leading in all directions. It was too nice of a spot to just pass through so we took a break. From there we headed back up to the ridge top. We encountered some other hikers that were slackpacking in the other direction. We have seen them numerous times but never had the opportunity to talk with them. We said hello and they mentioned this was there first time of slackpacking. Hiking without the heavy pack on the back fills light and airy! Every part of the body appreciates the freedom from the heavy burden, especially the feet! Eventually we dropped of the ridge and crossed to the next one, finally climbing up to Dan’s Pulpit. A good spot for our next break. We were running low on water so we headed to the Allentown Shelter. We filled everything plus extra for dinner at the spring. Buffy and Sunflower, who we have been bumping into for many weeks now were already there and setting up for a night’s stay. Briefly we talked to them before heading out. We were not planning on staying at the shelter so we pushed on, even though it was about 8:00. After about a mile and a half, we found a place that would fit our two large tents and settled down for the night. Just after leaving the spring, Whisper almost steped on a rattlesnake. It was on the back side of a rock in the trail so it did not see her and she did not see it.. We all pulled back and waited for it to move off. Since we left so late this morning, we were surprised how many miles we covered today? We are happy with that.

Layover

Hamburg
Day 92 (7/11/19) R
Miles – 0
Total miles – 1221.9

We have settled in for a day off. The rain is supposed to come in early afternoon. Bling, Whisper, and Papa Raven need new shoes. New shoes usually are obtained every four hundred miles. Mama Raven got hers back at Duncannon. Bling’s bottoms are peeling away. Whisper’s are flat at the bottom after nearly eight hundred miles. They should have been replaced long ago but she did not want new ones earlier and we lost track of time. Papa Raven’s are flat at the bottom also, but his are only four hundred miles. Since they have the world’s largest Cabela’s in Hamburg, we went over to see if we could find new shoes. With luck, everybody has new shoes now. Upon Whisper’s request, Five Guys was for lunch. This is her favorite restaurant. Next, we headed to Walmart for a few missing items. The rest of the day was relaxing. It did rain a bit but not heavy nor hard. Tomorrow we head back to Port Clinton and then northward.

Muddy

Hamburg
Day 91 (7/10/19)
Miles – 18.8
Total miles – 1221.9

We wanted to make it to Port Clinton before the PO closed at 4:30, almost 19 miles away. A long distance to hike by closing time. Why it is important to make it in time is the PO does not open till 12:30 the next day. We will have to wait around several hours in a town where there is nothing, not even a gas station convenient store. Thus we woke up at 5:00 and got going. We were on the trail by six. There trail to town was mostly down so we moved quickly. The only problem we ran into was mud. A lot of it! Our pace would slow down as we would have to walk on the edges of the trail and push through the plants. When not bogged down, we had a brisk pace and covered the distance toward town. The last mile down to town was a 1,000 foot intense drop with deep steps that where one and half to two feet deep. It was a down we never, ever want to have to go up! We are hoping the up out of Port Clinton is nothing like the down. Nonetheless, we walked into Port Clinton around 3:30. We got our two boxes and stared looking for a way to Hamburg. Port Clinton only has only a B&B and no stores so it is not the best place to re-supply. The worlds largest Cabela’s is in Hamburg and they have a free shuttle service from Port Clinton to their store or the Microtel Inn. We gave them a call and a short time later the shuttle showed up off to town we went. Getting into town so late we will need more time to do our town chores, plus new shoes are badly needed.

Beaver pond

Hertline (1168.4)
Day 90 (7/9/19)
Miles – 22.8
Total miles – 1203.1

We were all a bit tied from yesterday’s hiking. Having so many days off, it is hard to get going. Grudgingly and slowly we got moving. Last night was the first time the kids used their new tent. None of us have been happy with the Six Moons Duo. Condensation had been a large problem. On rainy night’s it seemed to drop as much water inside as out. When rain drops hit the tent it would splatter condensation down on to the kids. Another problem was that the tent would collect deep pools of water at the bottom ends of the tent. When they would eventually over flow the water often times headed directly into their tent. The tent would be fine in a drier climate, but it has been a disaster out here. Grandpa Bob and Grammie Melody offered to buy the kids a new tent like Mama and Papa Raven has, which is the Stratosphere II by Tarptent. It took longer than we liked to receive because the tent was on back order, but it all came together and we picked it up in Boiling Springs. Last night was the first night the kids slept in it since we received it. Bling and Whisper were so excited for their new home in the evenings. We even think they are looking forward to a night of rain! Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!
Today’s hiking was not hard, just a great deal of ridge walking. It seems like that is all we did. Although we did have to cope with a large beaver dam first thing this morning. Since we have had rains recently, the dam was overflowing it’s entire length. We have hiked over half the AT and this morning was the first time we had to take off our shoes and cross a water source in our Crocs. It was very muddy and cold. Sometimes the feet would sink so deep into the mud that the Crocs would not be released and the feet would come up without the shoes. It was if the mud was a big suction cup and held the Crocs down in the mud. Actually the crossing of the beaver pond was fun and something different from the monotonous green tunnel we hike in daily. After cleaning up and drying off from the adventures of the beaver dam, we continued on. We were completely out of water this morning, so we were very relieved when Bling noticed a spring flowing off the side of the trail. It was a spring that flowed strongly and was icy cold just the way a good spring should be. We filled up, and continued on. Shorty later we came across Mr. Zip and his wonderful trail magic. He thru hiked the entire AT last year, and this year he wanted to provide magic to the hikers! And that he did with sodas, fruit, snacks of all type. Simple acts of kindness like this are awesome moral boosters. Thanks Mr.Zip!There was not much to see today as we traveled along the ridge. We did stop twice at rocky overlooks to eat something. Pennsylvania is known for its rocky trails, and today it lived up to its reputation. Atleast they were not steep rock outcroppings to get up and over. Instead it was one boulder field to the next to wade through. This was slow walking because each foot step is a potential for disaster if not done carefully. And to slow us down even more, if there was not rocks in the trail there was mud! We forgot to stop at the last shelter for water and found ourselves empty again. Nighttime is drawing near. Unlike last night, we did not even have water to cook dinner with. To make matters worst we have not seen water since this morning. Mama Raven, who is a true tree hugger at heart went up to an old moss covered tree and hugged it and said we need a spring. The rest of The Ravens thought she was rather silly, but that is the way of Mama Raven. We continued on and before too long we heard a river with lots of water flowing below us. Well, it was not a spring but it is water! However as Papa Raven scouted out the water source, he discovered that the river is actually coming from a large spring with an enormous quantity of water flowing from it creating the large river as it traveled down the hill side. It was icy cold too. Mama Raven just smiled as we thankfully filled our water bottles. She later admitted she too thought it was silly to hug a tree and ask for water. And she added, maybe I need to hug more trees more often. Since it was nearly dark, we found a semi level spot further down the hill. Actually the spring is one of the prettiest we have seen as the water tumbled over tree roots and moss covered rocks and ferns that lined the river’s edge. As Mama Raven would say, the woodland divas are hard at work here. All is good out on the trail!
Our next re-supply is eighteen miles away at Port Clinton tomorrow. Our re-supply box is in the PO and they close at 4:30. I’m not sure if we will make it. Once we arrive to Port Clinton, we might head down to Hamburg, which is only three miles away, for the night. We are also hearing a large storm system is due for Thursday.

Mr Zip