Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hikers Welcome Hostel

Spence and I arrived at the Hikers Welcome Hostel in Glencliff, NH today at 6:45 pm after a taxing 29.2 mile day. Tomorrow we will begin our toughest section of the AT, the White Mountains. As tough as the terrain and weather will potentially be, we are really looking forward to it. We have just under 400 miles to go and seeing the end is bitter/sweet.

Tonight we are doing laundry/showering/eating at the hostel. Check our our photos too since we finally were able to update them! We'll try to blog when we can but the rest of our trip looks to be a bit more remote in NH and ME.

Bandanna Ben + Warpzilla

Monday, July 30, 2007

From Hanover, NH

Warpzilla and I got up early today (5:30) to make it to Hanover by lunchtime. We crossed the Connecticut River at 11:30 and are now inside one of Dartmouth's buildings using a computer. This building is the office of the Dartmouth Outing Club (similar to UF's TRIP program and UNC-Charlotte's Venture) so we figured we'd be able to put some photos online. But, it again says we only have permission to upload photos in groups of 5 so we'll have to wait. We are about to leave here and stop for lunch in town, at the Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream, and then hit the trail again and do another 11-16 miles today.

We are scheduled to hit Glencliff, NH tomorrow night and then begin the White Mountains the next day. Our plan for the rest of the trail has us doing the Whites in 5 days, re-supplying in Gorham, Rangeley, and Monson and then arriving at the base of Katahdin on the 16th of August and summiting on the 17th. It is so crazy to see the end like this but we know we have some of our toughest miles ahead of us. Thanks for checking in on us. We're off for food now!

Bandanna Ben + Warpzilla

Saturday, July 28, 2007

No photos

Sorry folks. We've tried and tried and cannot upload our photos at this time. ActiveX is our photo enemy it seems and we cannot seem to get certain computers to upload many photos at once. We could put them on one by one but having so many pictures it really isn't practical. We'll try again up the trail.

Bandanna Ben

Bandanna Ben and Warpzilla Hit the Jackpot

As Ben and I looked at our guide books at the trail crossing of highway U.S. 4, we saw a place called mountain meadows lodge just 4.2 miles up the trail. This morning we climbed of Mt. Killington and we decided we earned a nice place to stay. So we gave the lodge a call for the heck of it and they said that they were having a wedding all weekend, but might be able to squeeze us in. They called back shortly after we hung up with them telling us to come on! They cut us a really good rate and we showered up, threw some laundry in and came down to giant plates of leftovers from the wedding reception. This family-run lodge dates back to the 1950's and takes pride in specially taking care of hikers. We are still going to arrive in Glenclif, NH on Tuesday. This rest is well earned and needed as we prepare to enter the White Mountains of New Hampshire on Wednesday. Bandanna and I are going to try and upload some pics that ought to keep ya'll busy enough. Thanks for the support and we'll be in touch.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vittles in N. Clarendon, VT Good Enough to Call Home About

It wasn't just about calling home to say all is well...that he and Ben had had another successful day of hiking 25+ miles, hitched a ride from the Trail into North Clarendon (VT) and successfully received their food box for re-supply at the Clarendon General Store. Instead it was all about the Gobbler Sandwich, Turkey Dinner Special, and Ham Sandwich Platter!!!!! What a tasty dinner the boys devoured at the Whistle Stop - formerly a train station now transformed into a little diner with obviously some of the best food Spencer and Ben have eaten on the AT and perhaps ever! (For those interested, the Gobbler is a sandwich with thin slices of roasted turkey, Havarti cheese, cranberry relish, and moist, homemade herb dressing piled high between two thick slices of toasted sourdough bread served with homemade fries. And for the record, Warpzilla scarfed up not only one, but two Gobblers!!! Bandana Ben's dinner choices included a homemade turkey dinner with vegetables and a ham sandwich platter for dessert!) It was quite amusing for this Mom to learn the details of their dining experience and re-fueling. The two planned to waddle back to the Trail (almost 1 mile) and pitch a tent for the night. Without a doubt, they'll sleep well tonight with a full belly and a gentle rain falling bringing cooler temperatures dreaming about the last 505 miles left to go on the AT. Hooray!!!

Good night to the hikers! Call again soon and we'll talk some more about the scrumpdillyumptious dinner you enjoyed at the Whistle Stop!! :-) Love, Mom

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goodbye Massachusetts Hello Vermont

Spencer called his Momma on Thursday, July 26 around 6:00 P.M. I was especially pleased to hear from him because it had been several days since any immediate family had received a call. But not to worry...he and Bandana Ben are doing well. They are approaching areas where cell phone signals and connections are not the best. As a matter of fact, we were disconnected 5 or more times during our brief conversation. While we were connected and talking, there was a lot of static. I think I understood him to say they were close to the intersection of Highway 11 and State Road 30. Whatever the roads are, they are currently in Vermont. The weather has been gorgeous, they are feeling good, and they are just hiking away with plans to be in Clarendon, VT by Friday evening, July 27.

At the time of Spencer's call, they were still on the Trail with plans to hike another 5 miles before nightfall. Spencer reported that he and Ben had studied their map and itinerary over the past 2 days and with the progress being made, they are scheduling themselves to complete the hiking of the AT (at Katahdin) by sundown on Saturday, August 18. (That'll give Spencer plenty of time to get back home to Raleigh from Maine, travel to UNC Charlotte, NC and be in his seat right on time for his 8:00 A.M. class on Monday, August 20 for the beginning of the fall 2007 semester. Yep! Plenty of time! Don't you think? Ben's fall semester at the University of Florida begins on August 23. Whew! It all sounds whirlwind-like to me, but we know it will all work out.)

For now, however, we'll stay focused on today - wishing the boys a safe journey as they continue along the AT. Keep up the great pace, fellows! We're sending lots of love and support your way for a successful completion as you hike in memory of your good buddy, Steve. Love, Mom

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dalton, MA

Bandanna and I arrived in Dalton, Mass around ten after two today after a twenty one mile dash from Upper Goose Pond Cabin last night. We are glad to be in town to get yet another fabulously packed and mailed resupply box on this dreary New England day. We have checked in to our room and done our laundry, so now it's time to kick back and relax for a bit. Foot long subs were for lunch and a dinner decision will be made shortly. Since Kent, CT (our last post) we have had wonderful weather (despite today; drizzly and cool)and received some fabulous views as the terrain is kicking back up. The forecast is looking promising as we enter Vermont and onward the next few days! Thanks you for all the comments on the last few posts and to everyone thinking of us. Unfortunately, the town of Dalton's library does not allow you to upload pictures from their personal computer devices...I guess they don't understand the content of these priceless photographs. We will attempt to get them up as soon as we can!

Friday, July 20, 2007

We're 2/3 there

Hello all.

We are still in Kent, CT. We got to bed at a decent hour and slept until 8 this morning. It felt great to sleep in for a change. We packed up our stuff, went to the supermarket, stopped by the ATM, and we to Caralee's Restaurant for some real breakfast. After breakfast we stopped by the public library which is where we are now.

The plan is to get 103 miles up the trail to Dalton, MA on Monday. We are doing great and are in awe that Kent marks the 2/3 point of the trail. 1451 miles down, 722 to go. Wow. Spence and I are looking forward to the coming weeks as we encounter the northeast but are expecting a very challenging section up there too, especially the White Mountains.

Last night I looked at the numbers and saw that we covered 442 miles in 15 days since Harper's Ferry, WV. This equates to an average of 29.5 miles a day. Our goal was 30 a day and it is pretty cool to see that we are pretty much there.

Well, it may be a late start for us but we will still do about 21 miles today before camp. Thanks again Ron and Christine for coming to see us and for making our stop in Kent more enjoyable.

Bandanna Ben and Warpzilla

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Arrival to Kent, Connecticut

This was posted by Spencer's Mom.

Spencer called home Thursday night, July 19. (I really like this routine - hearing from him daily!!) He sounded very good. He and Ben had arrived in Kent, CT early evening. They hiked 29 miles on Thursday crossing over the NY / CT state line. The last 10 miles of the hike were fairly slow going because of a heavy rainfall. They were in high alert mode for the final stretch since the rain makes everything so slippery, especially the rocks. According to Spencer, the terrain is definitely beginning to change and there are more and more rocks.

Spencer and Ben had learned a day or two prior that they would be greeted by Tim Harrington's sister, Christine (sp) and Ron upon veering off the Trail and heading toward Kent. The guys called Christine mid-afternoon to explain their delay due to the rain. Christine was willing to go to the Backcountry Outfitters in Kent to pick up the boys' food box (which the Harringtons had mailed) since it would be closing at 6:00 P.M. and the boys didn't think they would make it in time. (Thank you very much, Christine! )And once the guys arrived in Kent, what a treat it was for them to learn of the cool and comfortable room they would enjoy for the night at the Fife 'n Drum Inn, compliments of Christine and Ron. How wonderful! Thank you to the "off the Trail Angels" for the fellows are most appreciative.

After a little clean-up for the hikers (or perhaps a lot), the four enjoyed dinner at Kent Pizza Garden. (Your generosity is most appreciated, Christine and Ron. Thank you for taking such good care of our hikers!) With a tasty Italian dinner under their belt (well, in their belly for they're wearing no belt...), there was plenty of energy to do some laundry and re-supply their packs. Unfortunately, they have no access to a public computer. (The Kent Public Library closes at 5:00 P.M. and does not re-open until 10:00 A.M. on weekdays. As a result, they will be unable to post upload any photos while in Kent.)

The guys plan to get a good night's sleep so they'll be prepared to hike 30+ miles
on Friday, July 20 to Salisbury, CT. Hopefully, the rain will only fall during the nighttime so the Trail will be dry for hiking.

Safe travels to you as you get closer and closer to Maine! Zoe

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hiking through New York

This was posted by Spencer's Mom.

Spencer called home on Wednesday evening, July 18 to report that they continue to hike through the state of New York.

On Tuesday night (July 17), they camped on top of Bear Mountain under the stars. They got a great night's sleep until they were awakened abruptly at 5:30 A.M. by a very loud clap of thunder, lightning bolts dancing throughout the sky, and a sudden downpour of rain. YIKES! They scrambled to get their sleeping bags and other supplies packed before they were washed down the mountain!

Since going back to sleep was not an option, they began their daily hike extra early
on Wednesday. It continued to rain for several hours. However, by noon the rain stopped and it was overcast which can be great for hiking. By the time they walked 36.8 miles on Wednesday (July 18), their tired legs were ready to call it a day. They were pleased that there was room for them at the Morgan Stewart Shelter for the night. Spencer said he was unsure if more rain was on the way, but it sure was muggy and very foggy, especially since nightfall.

With just a few more miles to hike in New York, the guys plan to reach the
Connecticut State line on Thursday, July 19. They should arrive in Kent, CT by suppertime. In Kent, they will re-supply with the food box that awaits their arrival.
If they locate a computer with public access, they'll post to update all.
Happy trails to our thru-hikers! Zoe

Monday, July 16, 2007


No, no we did not forget that we had a blog. Besides stopping at hotels with wireless internet, we are rarely running to an internet connection. Even if there is wireless, we don't have a laptop or means to connect to blog. We made it through Pennsylvania with minor aches and pains over the infamous rocks of the state. Now that we are through the state and we know that we are not jynxing ourselves by saying it, "the rocks were not that bad". However, they did not instantly stop at the state line. In fact, the rest of the Northeast will be nearly as rocky as some of the rockiest parts of PA. New pictures are up as well, I hope everyone enjoys them. Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with the blog and even commenting, we love hearing from you!

Warpzilla out

We're in NY

Hello from Warwick, NY. We made it into town at 6:00 on the dot and are about to go eat a dinner in town and get back on the trail tonight. We are well and are scheduled to get to Kent, CT on Thursday. We'll post more and add pictures in Kent.

Bandanna Ben + Warpzilla

Sunday, July 15, 2007


We met Ben and Spencer on Friday night. It was a pleasure to finally meet them after following their travels on the webpage. Their tenacity and determination to finish by August 18th is unbelievable. We would have expected to see two guys to be dogged tired but they looked great and were anxious to get an early start on the trail the following morning.

We went to the Grille in Delaware Water Gap for dinner and a belated celebration of their birthdays. We had plenty of questions about walking the trail and after dinner they took all of us to the trail and showed us the different trail markings they follow. Unfortunately, the evening went by much too quickly.

We wish Ben, Spencer and Garrett good luck and Godspeed as they make their way up the Appalachian Trail to Maine.

The Harrington’s
Chuck and Marybeth
Tory, Kristen, Gavin and Dylan

July 13, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

There was yet another birthday celebrated on the Appalachian Trail this week! Happy Birthday to Bandana Ben who turned 21 on July 10, 2007!!! Wow! What a milestone and what a great place to be on such a special day. Ben is exactly where he would most want to be to celebrate and that is on The Trail. We all hope you had a terrific day, Ben!

Spencer called me early afternoon on Tuesday, July 10 just as he and Ben were hopping off the AT to go have lunch with some friends of Ben's family. (Ben and Spencer are currently in Pennsylvania between Duncannon and Port Clinton.) After showering at the friend's house (Gail Backfish), Ben and Spencer were treated to a birthday buffet lunch at a restaurant in town. Spencer and Ben were then given a guided tour of the town and area and were running some errands with plans to do some laundry. He and Ben re-thought their plans for the day and since they had already hiked 17 miles and since the current temperature remained at 94 degrees Fahrenheit, they accepted the Backfish's offer to stay the night and get a fresh start on Wednesday, July 11.(Thank you, Gail and your family, for all the hospitality you showed Ben and Spencer. What a treat for them!)

He and Ben thoroughly enjoyed their unexpected air conditioned environment and opportunity to relax in the comfort of a home environment. Though access to the Internet was not an option, the next best thing happened: I read them the recent blogs and comments. Spencer and Ben said to keep those comments coming. They love to know that folks are keeping up with them and appreciate all the support. Spencer signed off saying that they only had 994 miles left to go until they reached Mt. Katahdin; that sounds much different from the initial 2,175 miles when they departed from Mt. Springer). Spencer said they expected to cross into New Jersey sometime this Friday, July 13. Until then... happy trails!


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Happy Birthday, Spencer David McKay, born July 8, 1987. What a proud Momma I was and continue to be! How fabulous for you to be spending your 20th birthday on the Appalachian Trail. You have dreamed of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail since the 8th grade. I, along with family and friends are thrilled that you are living your dream and doing so in honor of your longtime friend-in-Scouting, Steve. Many people continue to follow your daily progress (along with Ben's and Garrett's) and look forward to your completion of the AT.

I was unable to post at the end of June when Randy and I met Ben, Garrett, and
Spencer where they hopped off the AT at Rockfish Gap and we spent the night in Waynesboro, VA. That was well over one week ago and many miles have been trod since
then; however, allow me to re-track back to the dates of June 28-29 to simply say
it was fantastic seeing the guys! We enjoyed an evening of eating, relaxing at the
Quality Inn, eating again, shopping at the Super Wal-Mart, eating again, visiting
the local laundromat, and oh! did I mention that we ate! Each group of family / friends that meets the hungry hikers joke about how many times they go have supper!
It's incredible to see just how many calories can be consumed in one sitting.
And all of you who know me know that I was continuously suggesting vegetable servings, fruit servings, and milk (instead of sodas) to drink. The only thing I would
have changed about our visit in Waynesboro was to have had more time to visit with the boys. It was not nearly long enough. However, we all knew that an early start back on the Trail (June 29) was necessary to stay on track!

After the guys' grand departure from Rockfish Gap, Randy and I drove south to
Catawba, VA and did a little hiking on our own. We hiked the Dragon's Tooth
Trail all the way to the top. I'm unable to publicize the record time in which
we hiked it. (Ha!) Spencer told us he was proud of our accomplishment and said it
was great preparation for our trek to Mt. Katahdin in August. (Randy and I are
looking forward to hiking the final 5 miles with the guys in August!!)

We all continue to look forward to reading the posts from the boys and their
photos and wish for them a safe journey!

-Zoe (Spencer's Mom)
Writing to you from the desk of the Scaff family here in Pennsylvania. They are the Uncle and Aunt of a friend of mine from when my family lived in New Hampshire. It ended up working out perfectly for us to walk down two roads from the trail to their house and have a wonderful lunch with them. We are very grateful for all the hospitality shown to us from people that don't even know us. Today is also Spencer's birthday so it comes on a great day as well.

Yesterday we hiked across the official halfway point of the trail at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, home of half gallon challenge. It is thru-hiking tradition to stop here and eat a half gallon of Hershey's ice cream. We both opted for Neapolitan ice cream so we'd have a variety of flavors and started eating around 12:20. By 1:20 i was just over halfway done but decided to call it quits. Spencer kept on trucking and finished his ice cream in its entirety shortly thereafter. Check out our new photo album for pictures of the whole event.

So far PA has been a great state in terms of trail conditions and even better people here. Everyone has been quite friendly and willing to lend a hand. We're headed to Duncannon tonight and on through the state to the NJ-NY border Friday night. Stay tuned for more from us down the trail.

Bandanna Ben + Warzpilla

Friday, July 6, 2007

Harper's Ferry

Julie and I arrived in Harper's Ferry around 1:30 to find the boys sitting in front of the AT headquarters. They were on a zero day and ready for some R&R at the Hampton Inn in Martinsburg. The guys all looked fantastic, though I must say that Spencer looked like he had a bad day at the acupuncturist with the hundreds chigger bites on his legs. After hot dogs in Harper's Ferry and a quick stop at Chick-Fil-A, we checked in the Hampton around 4:00. As I made dinner reservations at the Outback, the guys got busy with laundry,resupply,blog updates,etc. Dinner at 7PM was just in the nick of time, then to Wal-Mart for food and stuff, then back to the room for Zoe's homemade birthday cake(Ben 21,Spencer 20). We were able see fireworks from the hotel parking lot which was nice of the town to do for the boys half way celebration.
Nobody wanted to jog with me the next morning, so I slept in and woke up to the voices of guys planning the next thousand miles or so. After breakfast, we were packed up and on our way back to Harper's Ferry to continue this incredible journey. Ben and Spencer were off about 0945 and Garrett was underway after a trip to the outfitters. Great job guys! Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Harper's Ferry - A Zero on the Fourth

We all enjoyed a fantastic zero day in Harper's Ferry, WV and Martinsburg, WV. The Harrington's arrived around 1:30 PM at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters located in Harper's Ferry. From there we partook in the local 4th of July celebration with a low-carb hot dog (they ran out of buns), some watermelon, chips, a cookie and a coke. All of that for a dollar! A quick rain storm didn't drown our hunger so we headed to Martinsburg for our Hotel and some more eating. We ate the last Chic-Fil-A we would most likely have until we return back below the Mason-Dixon line, and then settled into our hotel. Yet another meal at Outback followed just a few hours later as we stuffed our faces with appetizers, and STEAK. A trip to Wal-Mart was then in need to get food for our dinners the next few nights. There were quite a few firework shows (including all of us in the Hampton Inn parking lot with sparklers) which were quite enjoyable. New pictures have been added of the past week as well. We are looking forward to the second half of the trip and are ready to really crank some mileage out! That's all for now, stay tuned.

We're halfway there!

Hello! We are in historic Harper's Ferry and having a great time with the Harrington's. We are about to go to Outback Steakhouse for some dinner and then do some grocery shopping for the next segment on the trail. We will blog more after dinner but i wanted to post quickly and say we're here and I've updated the Actual Mileage and added another album to the photo gallery.

More later,
Bandanna Ben

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Harper's Ferry, WV

I just got in to Harper's Ferry. If you haven't been to this historic town it is full of Civil War era buildings and a lot of history so check that out sometime. In other news I was visited by a dear friend of mine from Cornell last night. We day hiked up Stony Man Mountain in the Shenandoah park, watched a beautiful sunset, and brought some cold ones and drank with some other thru-hikers while watching the sun drop. It was nice to perform a little trail magic of our own and the sunset was incredible. Today we drove up to Harper's Ferry to meet up with Spencer and Ben who should be here this afternoon. More to come later on today and tomorrow as we take a zero day with the Harrington's for Independence Day. God bless America and all of you who are following our trip with your thoughts, prayers, and support.