From Springer Mountain Georgia to Mt. Katahdin Maine

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


In Kent, CT at the moment on a public library computer. The weather says bad storms are coming in and there is a nasty rocky descent north of here. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church lets hikers camp on the grounds (or sleep inside in the AC if it's raining!) so I think I'm going to stay here for the day.

Let's see, when we crossed the NJ/NY border, we literally sprinted Indiana Jones style to make our bus on time. We knew it was leaving at 8:20pm and had about 19 miles to hike. Normally the mileage would not have been an issue.. except that in NY the terrain got super hard again! Our soft legs had been used to the flattish ground of PA & NJ and these climbs really wore us out. We finally made it up to the ridge line. Tater & Pants carry the AWOL guide book, which includes elevation profiles. The ridge line looked like it would be flat (easy!) but it actually was a long stretch of boulder hopping. Fun & thrilling, yes, but I was a wee bit scared that one of us was going to break an ankle at the speed we were running. Luckily we made it down to the bus station with a whopping 5 minutes to spare - just enough to gather snacks & phones for the bus ride. We arrived around 11pm at Port Authority, right in Times Square. All of us were pretty exhausted & culture shocked - especially Gribley & Pants who had never been to NYC before. We hopped in a cab and headed uptown to my good friends Ashley & Jim who so (incredibly!) kindly offered to let us stay for several nights. We picked up shampoo, pizza, & beer before arriving at their apartment. After the welcoming hugs hello, it was so great to be with old & new friends, sharing drinks & stories until late in the evening. When the clock hit midnight, indicating it was July 7th, we clinked glasses of Scotch, wishing Gribley a happy birthday. Eventually we headed to the showers & to bed, so excited to sleep in air conditioning.

Saturday morning, we woke up and hit the town! The only problem was that we hadn't really made any plans and it was so hot out that all we wanted to do was sit inside in AC. I'd been wanting to see the new Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom, so we looked up movie showtimes and headed over. We LOVED the movie! Afterwards, we went to Magnolia Bakery for some birthday cupcakes for Gribley. We finally decided to head downtown to the new REI in SoHo. I remember when it opened last winter thinking, silly New Yorkers, what do you need an REI for? But as thru-hikers, it was a dream. Pants & Tater are both members of the REI co-op, which I will be joining as soon as I have another big gear purchase to make. It sounds like a really great program and their customer service sounds too good to be true. Gribley bought himself a new pack for his birthday and everyone figured out new gear or gear replacements. Finally, we decided, it was time for cold drinks. We fantasize a lot in the woods about mojitos, and so I led the way to Mexican Radio, a great little spot, and actually the bar I went to the first night I lived in NYC. After too many rounds of mojitos & margaritas, we made the foolish decision to skip any dinner plans and head up to Reunion Surf Bar, where Mr. Fabulous was hosting a big party. Overdrive, Peach, Shanti, Babe, The Voice of Reason, and Catnap all were there too. Too many drinks, too much dancing, too much singing, too much fun.. actually I think it was a perfect amount :) Around 11pm (which felt like 4am) we were tuckered out and left to crash at the apartment.

Pants flagging a cab, Bruce Springsteen style

Reunion Surf bar, sadly the only picture I have of the night..

Feeling like death Sunday morning, we realized we never had any real meals Saturday.. just popcorn, cupcakes, and chips & salsa. I left to get everyone my favorite New Yorker hungover breakfast - bacon, egg, & cheese on a roll with a large iced coffee. We moseyed across Central Park to the Met. Afterwards I made everyone get Mister Softee, the best truck icecream in the city. We went back to the apartment for naps and then met my old roommates, Melissa & Sean at a grill uptown.

Ice cream in the park

Monday I met Cole/BeBop for lunch and had dinner with Ashley & Melissa. I kind of sneak-attacked NYC and felt badly not getting in touch with more people, but was utterly overwhelmed coming from the trail back to the city. Tuesday we bought groceries and hit the trail!

The rest of New York state in the next post..

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