Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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
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
Friday, July 27, 2007
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
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
Friday, July 20, 2007
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
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
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
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.
Chuck and Marybeth
Tory, Kristen, Gavin and Dylan
July 13, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
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
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)
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
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
Tuesday, July 3, 2007