October 28, 2012

Thank you everyone for following along on our blog! We had a great trip even though we didn't finish. Too many injuries and time off made it too difficult. One day we'll be back to finish it though! Thank you again!

September 18, 2012

Deer near the trail

Saw this little one at Skyland Meadows Resort in Shenandoah. Eventually another joined him and they've been munching on grass since.

September 16, 2012

So... Starting out with our dad 2 days ago out of front royal. Day 2 we run into a black bear on the path (see picture). today we have seen 3 bears and 3 deer so far... lots of bears so far, we hope to see more :D
CB#: 703-963-0641

September 14, 2012

Back on the trail

Got back on the trail today with Void and our dad. Short day starting from Front Royal to the shelter. Thanks mom for bringing us out.

Goal at the moment is to hike as much of VA as we can with our dad. We may jump part of the trail later to finish at Springer, just not sure when we'll skip. Time on the trail is more important than miles on the trail.

More updates down the trail.

September 4, 2012

New pictures are up

As promised to a few people, new photos from Void's travels in August have been uploaded and are available from the links on the right side.

As it looks now, I'll be getting back on the trail the middle of next week, give or take a day or two.

August 31, 2012

Trail Magic and Slack Packing

There are two posts within this post.  The first is mine, the second is Void's. I should have posted this yesterday but forgot.

Monday I went out to the trail to do some magic, slack-pack Void and anyone around him, and hopefully meet up with some friends from the trail. Slacked Void from Slatington, PA to Port Clinton, PA over two days. Monday night I met up with Misery, Snickets, and Ken Doll before heading to Slatington to pick up Shambo. A little after Shambo and I got back to the group, Void joined us. Stealth camped just off the road that evening and in the morning they slacked 16 miles to the road where I was waiting for them.

Prior to their arrival, I met up with Anchor, Starfish, Sherpa, Shipwreck, and Zen and gave them some trail magic. Starfish wasn't doing too well and asked for a ride into Hamburg to wait for the rest of the group. After dropping her off I headed back to wait for Void and group where I met another SOBO, Floater. Floater and I talked for a bit and he joined me for lunch before heading back on the trail. About 1:30, Void and group arrived and they had some sodas, candy, snacks, and sandwiches. About 2:30 they got back on the trail to meet me in Port Clinton that night for a total of more than 30 miles. While waiting for them, I headed back to town and met up with Starfish, then the rest of her group as they arrived.

Around 8, I got a call from Void that they were in town and I met them in Port Clinton at a member's only bar that is hiker friendly. We sat around for a bit eating and drinking, then headed to the town pavilion where they allow hikers to sleep. The next morning, I drove the group to the trail head at the railroad tracks and waved goodbye.

Once they were on the trail, I headed back to Hamburg to meet up with Anchor, Starfish, Sherpa, Shipwreck, and Zen and drive them around so they could pick up supplies. Someone mentioned (I believe it was Starfish) that the oldest American Brewery, Yuengling, was nearby so we got in the car and drove out for a tour. It's actually quite interesting watching all the activities associated with brewing. After the tour, we went out to lunch and then I dropped the group off in Hamburg where they were zeroing for the day.

I still wish I was back on the trail, but at least by doing trail magic I can still experience the trail while I wait to hike again.

~Shadow Grimm

Since my last update i have left New York. I then left New Jersey in a couple days and went into Pennsylvania. I've been making some pretty good distance days of over 20 miles too. Met up with a bunch of people I've known and have been hiking with them for a few days now. Made it to Port Clinton last night after Shadow slack packed me and 4 others for 32 miles. the day before that I did a 24 mile day and had lunch at a place in Slatington PA called Nicki and Lena's Amazin' Bites. They had an amazin' Hawaiian burger!

Last night after we finished we went to a bar in the basement of a firehouse. It was for members only but members are allowed to "invite" 2 hikers each so we were able to get in. they are very hiker friendly and the first drink was on the house. Let me tell you... frozen burgers are absolutely delicious after a day of hiking.

So far PA has been rocky. and its not the rocks that you can easily step on or anything, no, its the rocks that stick up with points about 2 inches above the ground and try to break your ankle every time you take a step. It was slower going for a while. but apparently the first 60ish miles are the hardest for SoBos and i am now about 75 miles in so it should hopefully get a bit easier! Lots of rock slides to climb over and there have been a couple of really nice views. probably going to take a decently easy day today and stealth camp somewhere. I'm also probably going to end up in Virginia hopefully by next Tuesday or so, i am probably going to take a Zero or 2 and if Olive Garden is still offering endless pasta then that is what i am going to do. I am also possibly getting my hair dyed... apparently it will be blue... haven't had my hair dyed for a really long time so i just might let Ken Doll or Snickets do it.
now for some funny quotes of the past couple days...!!!

"Lets pretend to be homeless and exercise like crazy!" - Ken Doll

"I Slept like a baby in a shower" - Shambo

"Awkward girls can enjoy art too" - Shambo

Well, that's about it for now, looking forward to getting to Duncannon in a couple days and staying at the Doyle Hotel (apparently it is a crappy really run down hotel and should be destroyed, but all hikers need to go to it just to say they did and have the experience)

That's it Folks! Signing off, this is Void Grimm

August 23, 2012

Leg Update

Met with the doctor on Tuesday about my leg. MRI was negative for fractures but there was severe swelling in the area and the doctor diagnosed me with severe shin splints. Treatment is more rest, heat, stretching, and ice after I've been walking on it. I'm allowed back on the trail when I don't feel any pain. I'm hoping next weekend (labor day) but I won't know till later.

In the meantime, I'm going to head out to the trail for a day to set up a trail magic camp and deliver some things to Void. Already picked up a bunch of food and drink to share with the hikers that pass by while I'm there, just need to get the cooler out and decide what day I'm going.

~Shadow Void

August 22, 2012

Stayed with an awesome couple last night... Trail angels they were and got us showers, pizza, beer, soda, beds, and breakfast! into NJ and town for resupply

August 20, 2012

Made it to the top of bear mountain after leaving fort montgomery today. About 850 stone steps to the top not including regular hill climbing. Nice views tho!

August 18, 2012

Quick update on my leg ...

Second set of x-rays were negative so the doctor gave me an anti-inflammatory to see if that made any difference. I didn't notice any difference during or after the meds so the doctor sent me to get an MRI. My next appointment is on Tuesday to review the results of the MRI.

I can't decide if I want there to be anything in the MRI or not. If something shows up then I'll probably be off for another few weeks. On the other hand, if nothing shows up I won't know why my leg is still hurting. Guess we'll wait and see.

~Shadow Void

August 16, 2012

Dinner is served!
CB#: 703-963-0641
So the whole 16 miles today became 20 miles because i wanted real food and it was too early to stop... Done for the day and gonna get me some pizza!
Im in New York! this morning i saw 2 white tailed deer, a black squirrel, & a rabbit! goal today is 16 mi... made it 8 so far in 3.25 hrs, so a good & fast time

August 14, 2012

For anyones information... Cliff bar wrappers burn for a pretty long time considering its almost like paper... At least 2 minutes of burn time!

August 13, 2012

Kent connecticut is very hiker friendly.. Lots of hiker discounts... And even the rednecks were interested in tails of the trail!

August 12, 2012

Heading to Kent CT tomorrow to stop in and grab a bite and slingshot (theyre fun) gonna be going 10 miles a day till fort montgomery... foot gets a rest!

August 8, 2012

A couple of things...
First of all, I am taking a Zero day tomorrow, my legs hurt a fair amount from the mountains we climbed today (Lion's Head, Bear, and Everett). We (Lightbrite, Listen, and I) slacked 21 miles from Salisbury to Great Barrington (yes, this is a northerly route, but the hostel owner here makes it easier by allowing us to hike back to where our stuff is).
Secondly, My brother's cell phone keeps track of where we are on the trail using Google Latitude. Thus saying, since my brother is no longer on the trail and I do not have his cell phone, the map will not be very accurate. Therefor, if the map says we are in Virginia or some such ridiculous place, then do not trust it.
Third and last, Pizza at Manhattan Pizza in Great Barrington MA is absolutely wonderful.

Off trail for a few days, maybe more

As some of you know and others have probably figured out from the photos I just posted (link on the right side of the page), I'm off the trail for a few days. Whatever I did to my shin was more serious than I wanted so I came home to see a doctor about it. The 60+ miles I hiked while it was sore probably had something to do with that. Nothing conclusive yet so it's either severe shin splints (really hoping this is it) or a stress fracture (can take 4-6 weeks before x-rays show conclusive). I'm still resting it and heeding the doctor's advice to "let pain be my guide." As long as I feel pain I'm not getting back on the trail. It's more frustrating that I thought possible but at least I'm able to do it at home. I'm hoping I can get back on the trail next weekend at the latest but only time will tell. I'd rather take 2 weeks now to rest it than be off the trail permanently because I pushed it too hard again.

In the meantime, Void and I have swapped places and he's hiking the trail. It's not such a bad thing for him to have some solo days anyway, I know I enjoyed mine. Hopefully we won't be tag-teaming the AT anymore.

August 7, 2012

Getting Around

Since being back on the trail, I have logged a 10 mile day, 11 mile, and two 14 mile days. taking a break at a place owned by 2 former thru hikers (Buttons and Bearwalker). it was pretty tough getting a ride into town i wont lie (if you see a hiker trying to get into town, please help them out... hikers are wonderful (and yes smelly which is negative) and great people to talk to). Scrum, Listen, and Anchor are here and so is Lightbrite. Going to be doing a 21 mile day by slackpacking tomorrow. i'll be able to drop a whole day off my time to get to salisbury by doing that hopefully. well logging off for right now, ill be back on at some point

August 5, 2012

Stopped for the night at goose pond today... panca...

Stopped for the night at goose pond today... pancakes in the morning :) stayed at the cookie ladies house last night for cookies!

August 2, 2012

Pushed too hard

Same night I had dinner on Bromley I saw the rainbow in the attached image.

Last few days I've been meeting up with the NOBO bubble. Nice talking with them & getting advice about the trail ahead.

I've been pushing miles the last few days to make Dalton, MA before Void joins me again. Pulled a couple 20s and was doing well but was having issues with my shins that just wouldn't go away. Managed to get to Bennington yesterday amd got a ride to the North Adams Regional Hospital for x-rays. Nothing there but the doctor said to take some time and rest the leg. Zeroing until Saturday and will see how I feel then. Better to rest a few days now than many days later.

I did manage to catch up to Listen just after Manchester and we hiked together for two days till I pulled off yesterday. She pulled a 28.5 mile day and is taking a zero with me. It's always good to catch up to old friends from the trail and see how they're doing.

Trooper may join us tonight if she can get a ride from Manchester.

July 29, 2012

Dinner on top of Bromley Mountain.

360 degree view of the area, sun is out, and I get to watch the storm clouds roll in the distance. Should be a gorgeous sunset!

July 28, 2012

Weather Delays

Weather really screwed up my mileage. Will be in Rutland tonight. Hoping to make Manchester Center on Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. Eating some trail magic oranges while I wait for Trooper and Riffle.

Oh, forgot to mention I saw my first bear a few days back on my way down from Smart Mtn.

July 25, 2012

Stopping in West Hartford for the night. 33 miles planned for the next two days when we stop at Killington. Time for dinner now though.

Tarzan, your guess was spot on, I ran into your roommate Meat this afternoon between Happy Hill Shelter and West Hartford.
for all you people at home (like me at the moment) pictures are uploaded to Picasa and you can view them through the link labeled "Pictures!"

Welcome to Vermont

Woke up to another day in Hanover after a night of thunderstorms. Decided to wait for Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang, and Little Foot who were just a few miles outside town as of last night. Spent some time in town with them getting their free stuff, then arranged for a place to stay with Betsy in Norwich, VT. The trail angel programs in Hanover and Norwich are amazing. Crossed the Connecticut River tonight and will continue farther into VT tomorrow. Bev and Riffle are meeting us in the morning and hiking with us to West Hartford where we plan to stay at a house with a natural spring fed pool.

July 23, 2012

Apologies for the scattered topics in the posts but I wanted to give some more details about some of the things I've done that occurred after Mt. Washington and up to today.

One of the important opportunities going through the Whites is the chance to do work-for-stays at the Huts. I briefly mentioned this in my previous post when I summitted Mt. Lafayette in that storm. A work-for-stay requires you to arrive relatively early to ensure you get a space, of which there are limited opportunities for thru hikers. You are served dinner and breakfast (after everyone else eats) and given a roof to sleep under. Sometimes you are lucky enough to get a bunk. One work for stay I slept on the porch under a starlit night sky that was beautiful with a nice cool breeze and the other was inside in the dining hall (Lafayette). The only other work-for-stay I did was for dinner alone because there was a huge group of kids at the Mizpah Hut. After so long on the trail, large, loud crowds are not exactly welcome; it's just too much. The work-for-stays are a great chance to conserve my food reserves (still carrying a dinner from my original packing in Gorham) and sleep indoors.

I mentioned that I stayed at Chet's Hostel which gave me the chance to slack-pack through Kinsman Notch. The views of the Whites were amazing and I was able to see everything I had already come over and Mt. Moosilauke which I would eventually summit. Since Moosilauke I have put on some decent miles and plan to continue doing that. My average over the last few days has been around 15 miles. May have pushed myself a little harder than I should have or even needed to in getting to Hanover and now I'm taking a zero to rest my right calf muscle. It's already feeling better so it won't be long till I'm back on the trail again, soon as I can restock.

Some of the trail magic I've encountered is just amazing. A few days back in the Whites we passed Rt. 302 and met a previous thru-hiker named Rock Dancer who sits out on the trail head with drinks and food for the hikers passing by; he does this for 2 days. Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang, and Little Foot and I arrived about 2pm and ended up staying and talking with Rock Dancer till 5. At that point we decided to stealth camp in the area, just off the railroad tracks and go to dinner with Rock Dancer who also took us to the Irving to get some supplies. Rock Dancer was a wealth of information about the upcoming trail. I also had the opportunity to meet the ice cream man just before Moose Mountain. Bill Ackerman (the ice cream man), gives hikers free ice cream and water out of his home. I was even luckier that evening because his niece, Sarah, and her children were visiting and they decided to make popcorn and lemonade and share it with myself and two other hikers. While visiting, I found out that Sarah is a doctor at a hospital in Maine who treats lyme disease. I spoke with her about Jonathan's condition and she recommended he be tested again because of the time it takes for antibodies to appear which will give a positive result on the test; too early and the test will come back with a false negative. Hopefully that's not what he has but every little bit of information helps. Bill even let us pitch tents/hammocks in his yard. This was my first chance to pitch my hammock on the ground and it worked really well. There are a few things I'll do differently the next time but those are just to give myself a little more space.

Had a slight hiccup in my resupply schedule when the box that was sent to Glencliff wasn't there when I showed up. Slightly disappointing but the lady who dropped me off at the post off also took me to the local mart where I was able to pick up enough supplies to get me to Hanover.

Met many great NOBOs who shared invaluable information about Hanover and the upcoming rail; Five Pair, Shy Dog, Frenchie, Salt Bomb, Nutter Butter, BP (Bottomless Pit), Pepper Boy, and Duke (a dog on the trail following Pepper Boy though he's another hiker's dog). One of the major discussion points has been water as there has been a stretch with limited or weak water. Thankfully there's been some trail magic in the form of 5 gallon jugs of water we can top off with and I'm taking every opportunity I can to fill up at each stream I can get water out of. The other major discussion point has been the free things you can get at the trail towns coming up; specifically Hanover.  Here you can get a free slice of pizza, a snicker's bar, a free cup of coffee, and a free bagel just for being a thru-hiker. Hanover is extremely nice to thru-hikers and even has a list of numbers to trail angels you can call who will put you up in their houses for the night. It fills up quick though.

I'm planning to camp outside town again like I did last night. The weather's been great so no need for a rain fly and the temperatures are cool enough that just my liner is enough. Weather for the next few days is for some chance of rain but no more than 50%. Will be nice to see the streams, creeks, and brooks up a little more. My fear is the high temperatures continue as I get farther south. I've been hearing that NY, Pennsylvania, and VA are having issues with their water sources. Hopefully each state will have plenty of rain right before I walk through them but far enough ahead for the trails to be mostly dry. I've been blessed with good weather so far and only a few bad days though I anticipate running into more as hurricane season really kicks off and I get farther south.

This morning I took a shower and did laundry at the community center. Feels good to be rinsed of all the dirt and sweat, though I still have some of that natural hiker musk. Not only is it hard to get rid of (will probably need to wash for at least an hour and soak in multiple tubs of hot water when I'm done) but it helps keep the mosquitos at bay just that little bit more. After my shower/laundry, I headed into town to get all my free foods and look through the outfitter shops to see if there was any gear I wanted. I have everything I need but there's always a chance I may find some new, lighter-weight gear to replace something I have. I finally found new socks when I took the free local transit bus to West Lebanon to the EMS there. I'm going to go through a bunch of socks but feet are important on the trail. My socks might have lasted me another 100 miles but no sense taking the risk. After that I picked up my resupply package from the post office (glad this one made it) and came here to the library to post.

Hoping Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang, and Little Foot catch up to me tomorrow morning.  They are supposed to be making it to Etna tonight which puts them about 6 miles outside Hanover. I'm going to hang around and wait for them probably.

Some minor highlights since my last post:
- Hiked up Cube Mountain
- Hiked up Smart Mountain and climbed to the top of the fire warden's tower which had some amazing views
- Watch the new Batman movie last night

I may have missed a few things but I left my map with my gear in the community center. I figure if I can't remember it, it can't be that important.

~Shadow Grimm

July 20, 2012

Mt. Moosilauke

Summitted Mt. Moosilauke slightly ahead of schedule. The hike up was long and slow but not as difficult as I was led to believe. Planning to stop at Jeffers Brook Shelter for the night, then hit Glencliff tomorrow.

July 19, 2012

Kinsmen Notch

Woke up this morning at 6 with the intention of getting an early breakfast and on the trail by 8. Diner didn't open till 7 and it took me a little while to get a hitch to Franconia Ridge where I ended yesterday. Started on the trail at 9 and arrived at the Lonesome Lake Hut at 10:30 for a snack and chat with some day hikers. Made it up to North Kinsman Peak at 1 for lunch and talked with Joe from Hanover who was doing a day hike. Left the peak at 2 and continued on to South Kinsman Peak, then some descents and ascents before I got to Mt. Wolf. Finally got off the trail just before 7 and got a hitch from the second car to pass by. Now I'm having pizza for dinner, ice cream for dessert, then bed. Mt. Moosilauke tomorrow!

July 18, 2012

Franconia Ridge

Spent last night at Greenleaf Hut where I did a work for stay for dinner, lodging, and breakfast. After yesterday's weather and the threat of today's weather, I decided to do a short day. Back up and over Lafayette, traversed Franconia Ridge, and climbed a few peaks through there. Beautiful views along the way with some light cloud cover. Pictures cannot do it justice. After that it was down to the Flume Gorge Visitor Center. I grabbed a shuttle ride to Chet's hostel where I'll be staying for the night. Chet was doing a thru hike a few years ago when his MSR stove and canister blew up on him putting him in a coma and wheelchair when he woke up. Now he runs a hiker hostel out of his house for donations, barter, and work for stay. Thinking of slack-packing the next 16 miles, then heading on to Glencliff the next day.
Felt good yesterday to put on some miles; even if they were in the rain, hail, wind, thunder, and lightning. There's something primal about a storm at the top of a mountain peak that's simply amazing.

July 14, 2012

Summitted Mt. Washington

Summitted Mt. Washington today the proper way. Did the Auto Road last weekend while Void was sick. Weather is great up here, 60s with a nice breeze and minimal clouds. Much nicer than last time though still a limited view at the moment. Headed to Nauman Tent Site, maybe more after lunch.

July 13, 2012

Back on the trail

Back on the trail again, headed for the White Mountains and the presidents. Void is headed home for some medical attention but he'll be back on the trail later.

July 9, 2012

Challenges and Choices

Seven days since our last post and much has happened. We've been remiss in posting but we've had a bit on our minds. July 2nd we summitted Wyman Mountain and ended our day at the Frye Notch Lean-to. July 3rd we summitted Baldpate Mountain's East and West Peaks. That day, just before lunch, we passed through a parking lot for day hikers climbing Baldpate Mountain and hiking the neighboring trails. Just before the parking lot, I passed a few groups of hikers from nearby summer camps. One group in particular from a local girls' camp flagged me down and began asking me questions about what I was doing. The girls in the group ranged in age from 12-15 and had never heard of the AT or thought of doing such a huge hike. They asked questions like how I took showers, how we got water and food, and how we slept at night. I answered their questions and talked about the trail and the experience, took some photos with the girls, and then they started their hike. That night, we camped just short of Mahoosuc Notch after passing Speck Pond, spent the night with a group of NOBOs, and shared some trail stories and information. The next day we began our hike late due to the pouring rain that morning. Our hike started at the Mahoosuc Notch, went over Fulling Mill Mountain's South Peak, continued over Goose Eye Mountain's North, East, and West Peaks, and ended at the Carlo Col Shelter. The morning of the 5th we had to make a decision and chose to take the Carlo Col Trail in order to get to town. We finally managed to make it over the Maine/New Hampshire border but not quite in the manner we expected. Our original goal had been to reach Gorham for the 4th but we were delayed because of a few injuries and issues in the group. The major issue for Void and I was his health. The evening of the 2nd Void wasn't feeling well and each day continued to get slightly worse. At first we figured it was just something he ate combined with the activity of the day so we relaxed early and took it easy. The next morning he was fine and only got worse toward the later part of the day and his symptoms were getting worse. He was suffering from headaches, decreased appetite, weakness, and a slight fever. We took a long snack break in the afternoon and gave him plenty of liquids thinking he might be slightly dehydrated. The evening of the 4th, with no improvement, we decided to arrange for a pickup so we could get him to the hospital for some treatment. When he doesn't have an appetite, you know something is wrong. The morning of the 5th we took the Carlo Col Trail to Success Pond Road. While the overall trail was shorter than hiking the AT to Gorham, we didn't quite realize how far the trip along the road to the parking lot would be. Making matters worse, it was hard to get Void to eat much of anything and it was a challenge for him to walk more than 15 minutes, even along a fairly smooth dirt road. To make it easier on him I ended up carrying his pack for the last few miles along the road until the EMT unit from the Berlin FD found us. It was a relief that they decided to travel down the road instead of waiting for us at the parking lot which was about 6 miles from where we were picked up and we had only hiked along the road for 3 miles. The EMTs took us to the Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, NH. Throughout the day, his temperature ranged from 102.7 at its peak in the hospital to 100.2 while in the ambulance. At the hospital he was treated for exhaustion and deydration, given tylenol for his temperature, and 2 liters of saline. During our stay we were moved to 3 different rooms and even resided in the hallway for some time. He was finally released from the hospital at 5:30 and we stayed till 6:30 when Linda, a nurse going off duty, gave us a ride to Hiker's Paradise in Gorham. Special thanks to Andrea for all her help while at the hospital; from being Void's nurse to bringing us food and drink while we were there. Over the last few days, Void has slowly started to feel better; his temperature has dropped back to normal, he's staying hydrated, and his appetite has begun to return. Some of this is because I've been constantly tellingn him to eat and drink and the rest is because I think he is starting to feel better. Hopefully we'll be able to get back on the trail late next week, a few days after he feels ready to hike, so we can make sure he is good again. Nothing would be worse than to get back on the trail and have to jump right off again if he started feeling bad again. At the moment our plan is to skip hiking the Whites and come back at a later time to hike this section. We will either start at Mount Mousilake or just after where the terrain is fairly flat and we can get our trail legs back without having to put Void through a lot of strain. We stayed at Hiker's Paradise the night of the 5th. Hiker's Paradise gave us beds and a chance to do laundry but the place is fairly rundown. There are holes in the floor and the place is in general disrepair. That night we went to dinner with Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, and Little Foot at Mr. Pizza (www.mrpizzanh.com) in Gorham. We ordered the 384 sq. inch super stomper pizza with pepperoni and ate all but 8 slices. Had we not wanted to get dessert, we would have finished those last slices. For dessert I got a slice of blueberry pie and Void, still with a diminished appetite, chose to skip dessert. The next morning we went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. After breakfast we headed over to White Mountain Lodge where the rest of our friends had stayed for the night and spent a few hours there. As we were going to be in town for about a week so Void could get back to normal we decided to find a hotel that would offer us a good weekly rate. After making a few calls, we settled on the Northern Peaks Motor Inn (www.northernpeaksmotorinn.com) after the lady offered a room for $200 for the week. Hiker friendly places are always where we want to be; the people are more relaxed and they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. Our room has 2 beds, floor space (for other hikers to crash), shower, and mini fridge. While we didn't have a microwave the first night and we told the ladies we didn't need one, they promised we would have one the next day and, sure enough, they bought one and brought it to us the next day. In addition to the hotel room, I decided to find a rental place that had something large enough to fit at least 5 people plus backpacks. For the vehicle I found a Hertz in Glen, NH that offered a Chevy HHR; a crossover SUV that I've been enjoying driving. It could be a little larger but it gets the job down and allows me to shuttle friends and other hikers between trail heads, lodging, walmart, and outfitters. Carpe did this for us while he was out and I figure I could continue the tradition while we're off the trail. I didn't realize how fun and enjoyable playing trail angel could be until I started doing it. I've been having a good time but I wish we could be on the trail instead. On Friday night, Caroline, Void's girlfriend, stopped by for the weekend. She is working at a Girl Scout Camp in NH and wanted to see him while we were in the area. Her stopping in was good for him, though he was still pretty weak still, and I think it helped bring up his spirits and encourage him to start getting better. Since we've been here, we've met many NOBOs and kept in touch with many of our SOBO friends and made a few new ones. Having a hotel room and a vehicle makes this somewhat easier to do. Two NOBOs we met, Tarzan and Rafiki spent some time at Northern Peaks with us and we traded a lot of information and stories of the trail ahead. Tarzan is keeping a blog at http://hike2012.blogspot.com/. Speaking with NOBOs is always interesting because they've been on the trail for longer than us, have had different experiences, and have hiked areas that we will be going through. We get to hear about all the people they've met and everything they've been through. It's nice to make note of the things they say so we know where to stop, where we may encounter issues, and where we can look for trail magic or other good things. Nothing else to say at the moment but I'll try and make some more posts this week, though they will be short since we're not doing much. Hopefully Void will continue to feel better and we'll post more as we go. ~ Shadow and Void Grimm

July 1, 2012

Rain, rain, go away!

Since the last post, we've put in some additional miles and a lot of elevation. We made it to Stratton on the 26th after our very own trail angel (thank you Carpe!) picked us up in the rain. It was a lousy day for hiking but we've been in worse. Burgers for lunch at the Looney Moose were great, a while pound of burger with bacon and cheese. Picked up our drop box so we could restock on food and snacks. Heard from some other SOBOs that the ford we needed to cross the next day was impassable so we decided to slack-pack Crocker Mountain and see for ourselves. The 9 mile hike was a challenge with all the water in the trail bit we made it up and over in a few hours and went to check out the ford. As told, it was impassable. The water was moving too quickly to even attempt a crossing to put up a guide line. Instead of waiting for the water to recede, and with more rain that night and the next day, we decided to head over to Rangeley and continue the trek. On our return we saw Pikey and Hoofer who we hadn't heard from in awhile. They ran into a bit of trouble on Avery Peak but made it back. We're glad you're both doing well and hope to see you both down the trail. That night we ate wolf burgers (1lb of meat with sausage patties, bacon, and cheese) at the White Horse Lounge & Bar followed by apple cobbler and strawberry rhubarb cobbler. After getting dropped off outside Rangeley we hiked three days to South Arm Road where Little Foot's mom picked us up and brought us back to Rangeley for chili, chocolate chip cookies, showers, and a night's sleep indoors. Staying by the lake at Town and Lake Motel was very relaxing. Today (July 1) we got back to the trail where we hiked 1200 feet up, 1300 feet down, and 1500 feet up over 4 miles to get to the campsite. We're hoping to hike into Gorham on the 4th, otherwise we'll be there on the 5th. Hopefully we'll be able to post some pictures of everything we've mentioned over the last few posts when we get the card reader for Void's memory card. ~ Shadow and Void Grimm

June 25, 2012

We hiked for a few miles and camped at Pierce Pond. This is where Parkside drowned only a few days prior while swimming.

The next morning we went to Harrison's and had 12 apple/raspberry/blueberry pancakes, 2 eggs, and 3 sausage links. Wonderful breakfast!

That's it for now, hanging hammocks in a lean-to tonight with TZ Brown, Next Time, Listen, and Little Foot.

We'll catch you in Stratton tomorrow Carpe!

Live the adventure!

~ Shadow and Void Grimm

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Apparently Randy was telling his boat that as I crested the last class 4 near where they were eddied. Lucky for me he's quick with a throw bag and his aim is particularly good. The rope landed right ahead of me and I was able to grab it with one hand, run it over my shoulder, and grab on with the other hand.

Apparently, the force of a single person going through those rapids with 4800 cfs propelling them is enough to jerk a raft out of an eddy. As I was being pulled in, I felt a bump on the back of my head (my raft) and something grab my shoulders. Nick, the guide from my raft had caught me so I threw back the safety line and was hauled into the boat. One hell of an awesome experience!

After that, we spent another night in a log cabin at Northern and added 3 more to our group for a total of 17.

The next day we were ferried across the Kennebec with much lower and slower water by Steve who was celebrating his 55th birthday.

Cont'd on next post.
During the trip, we went through a bunch of class 3 and 4 rapids on the Kennebec river. I was one of three lucky rafters to be tossed out at the first rapid in a 12 mile stretch of white water.

That section is called Upper Alley. I absolutely enjoyed the ride and was having a blast. With me for this were Carpe and Chitty Chitty. Carpe seemed to have a decent time of it but Chitty Chitty did not have such a good time. I floated along near her for most of the ride and ashely told get things to do to distract her and keep her as calm as possible. Eventually she and Carpe were picked up by our raft but I was too far off for that.According to Randy, the guide for the other raft, Upper Alley is the worst section to go involuntary swimming because if the rapid classes through that section and how long it is. If you're not picked up at the end, it's a long ride till the boats can catch up.

cont'd next post.
Been a few days on trail since the last update. Sitting in a lean-to waiting fire the rain to slack off a bit. Not sure whether we're going to camp here for the night, continue to the next campsite, or grab a ride into Stratton, ME. So nice not having to force decisions and live easygoing.

The group of 8 jumped to 14 while we were in Caratunk and we ended up spreading ourselves over two logdominiums at Northern Outdoors. Carpe and I spent about four hours grey blazing in order to find some of out hiking troop, which we have begun calling "The Merry Hikers of Sherwood."

White blazing = hiking the AT.

Grey blazing = driving down ATV roads or any gravel roads.

Yellow blazing = driving on paved roads.

Blue blazing = traveling down waterways near the trail.

Earlier that day, 14 of us went white water rafting, as Void mentioned, filling two rafts. It was a great time with a nice lunch of steak, chicken, pasta salad, and beans. Our guides, Nick and Randy were amazing.

cont'd next post.

June 20, 2012

It took 3 days to hit it up at Caratunk, ME. We are staying with about 6 or 7 others in a cabin. There is a pool and hot-tub so we are gonna be taking a dip sometime in the very near future. Tomorrow we are planning on going for a white water rafting trip and head out again to Stratton the day after. As Andy (or rather, "Shadow" as his trail name is) has started saying, "Hiking the Appalachian Trail is just a really long adventure broken up with days of hiking in between". Caratunk is pretty empty, there is nothing really here except a couple lodges and white water rafting groups.
Met up with a bunch of folks we've been staying with on the trail usually. We have, Pikey (he's pretty awesome, great stories and lots of advice about almost anything), Hoofer (Pikey's girlfriend and she is an all around hilarious person (gotta get a link to the video when it goes up on YouTube of her "trampolining" on a water trampoline), Carpe (He got injured a bit ago and has since been traveling with us via vehicle and just having fun with us and driving us places, badass that he is), Anchor (he is a funny man and great hiker, haven't been with him for too long though but he fits in pretty well), Littlewing (his older but shorter brother is apparently named Condor which is pretty funny, and he is trying to do the hike before he has to go back to college), Scrum (He's been around for about 2 days and he has a very awesome laugh), Bev/Trooper (we all call her Bev, but have since trail named her trooper for now but still call her Bev, she is awesome, hikes at her own pace and has a dog that everyone loves), and lastly we have Riffle (Bev's dog. He loves Pizza, and he apparently has more energy at the end of a hike than everyone in camp put together. and i quote "He finished the hike for the day, played fetch with a stick for an hour, and then rolled around and tore up ferns all over the camp area").
Andy has been trail named "Shadow" as i said before because i am the one always in front and he is always behind me like my shadow. I am trail named "The Void" because i eat so much. and together, Shadow and I were trail named "the Grimm Brothers" by Pikey and Hoofer.

Anchor and Littlewing didn't see our tracks going tot he top of Moxie Bald Mtn yesterday so they said we hadn't (we have pictures though) and then we said well, Shadows don't leave footprints and if they did, Voids would suck them up anyway.

Lastly, Pleasant Pond Mountain was a pain in the butt... and that is putting it very VERY gently. what Anchor and Littlewing thought would take them maybe 2 hours to do took them more like 3 or 3.5, what we thought would be about 2 false summits ended up being more like 7+ and we went downhill about 5 times as much as we thought we were going to have to. Instead of climbing about 1400 feet like we had expected it was more like 1800 or 1900. It has since been renamed "NOT-Pleasant Pond Mountain".

Signing out and going for a swim,
Void and Shadow Grimm

June 14, 2012

Andy and I made it to Monson. 100 Mile Wilderness is over with! we've decided that more food would not be a bad thing if we can manage it. Sending a bunch of stuff home to lighten our packs. Met some awesome people along the trail and in Monson. Taking at least one 0 day. We stopped off at Hiker's Haven (a re-opened stop near the end of the wilderness going SOBO) and had some absolutely phenomenal burgers. If you hike, I say stop there. We are staying at the Lakeshore House/Pub while resting. (www.thelakeshorehouse.com) Its nice and cozy with a largeish town not too far away with some extra things we can do. Food is delicious.
Andy and I at the top of Whitecap Mountain. It was a very nice day, about 6 days after we hiked Katahdin. You can see Katahdin in the background.

June 8, 2012

In two days. Katahdin was

In two days. Katahdin was wet and cold with 60+ mph winds. Been fairly relaxed pace and weather since then. Next update from White Cap or Monson.

Almost halfway through the 100

Almost halfway through the 100 mile wilderness. Sumitting White Cap Mountain

June 2, 2012

May 31, 2012

We now have a map! and this map will even have our location (every time we update it which should be decently often)!

Packing is going well. mostly done. We leave early in the morning, go up to Massachusetts and visit Caroline and her fam. Saturday we go up to our starting point and take it easy and relax. Sunday we hike up Mount Katahdin and on Monday we start the trek (hiking up Mount Katahdin is a day trip that goes North, but you do it to say you've done the whole thing).

Alright. so this is the last post (until we get back home) from the house. and we shall be stating soon enough!

May 30, 2012

Getting packed up, food has been got (Mrs. Alspaugh would have a fit if she saw me use "got" that way), and most of our necessities have been found/bought. heading out Friday early morning, supposedly going to be a get together on Thursday... but I do not know when where or how. I'll try to find out for those around the area that may be interested.

On a side note, if you want to meet up with us at some point along the trail, please find out where you would like to be notified and such that we will be around. Let us know who you are and your phone number too because sometimes comments and such appear as anonymous... and that does not help me much. well... I hope to see you on the trail!

oh, and on a final note, some quotes from 3 nights ago's dinner conversation. (to the best my memory can remember)
Andy: "I'm only afraid that we won't have enough food"
Matt: "Yeah, Jonathan does eat a lot"
Jonathan: "Andy's going to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of the stove going, look out and see me sitting over the stove with a pot, and all the food for the rest of week laid out around me with the last spoonful in my mouth. He'll ask me what the hell I am doing and I'll say 'But I'm hungry!'"
Andy: "And if that happens I'm going to buy some honey and wait for you to fall asleep then pour it all over your hammock for the bears to eat you"

peace out world!

May 19, 2012

So, the background is Mount Katahdin. This is the starting point for our trek. This means we are starting in Maine and hiking south bound (SoBo) ending in Georgia.

May 17, 2012

First post, Thank you to everyone who is helping make this possible, especially Andy who is pretty much funding the whole venture. Well, its like 3:00 in the morning and i should sleep, so goodnight everyone!