Monday, July 28, 2008

Marsh achusetts

I am in Dalton Mass. The first day or so of walking the MA AT while water ran down like a river was sort of exciting. Hours of current watching, eddies, mini hydraulics. It was almost like paddling, but sans swimming and carrying a pack. Now however, nearly a week later of thunderstorms, mosquitoes, swamps, water, sloshing around, falling in the muck and mud, walking through lightning, my gear and clothes never drying- I am sick of it. I will likely stay in my first hotel room of the trip tonight- alone. Thank God. After being around 10-20 people most nights for the past week and unwanted male attention I want to spread out all my stuff, and sit alone, dry, bugless, quiet in a room. A couple miles south of town today I slid in the clay-mud walking down a mountain... I had to sniff real hard and deep not to cry... pulled myself back up... moped into town and found a vanilla chai latte. The library is a quiet drone of computer monitors and ac, sickly comforting. I will be in Vermont in a few days, and I hope the bugs and muck subsides. I dream of mountains, real trail, and loving comfort support by my side.
Geronimo is in Virginia at my parents house. After Maggie gets moved into her new WV place near the Dolly Sods he will probably stay with her until I can have him again. That will likely be before I go to Georgia, after the Smokies, or after I finish the trail. I'm not quite sure yet. He is fattening up and his feet are healed. I miss him terribly, but he's happier there than he would be here.
Love to you all =*

Monday, July 21, 2008


I know a lot of you have been squinting and replaying my photo slide shows. If you haven't figured this out yet... you can click on any of the albums. Once you click it, you should be sent to a website called picasa. There you can view the images larger, one by one, and as an album. Happy viewing!

I walked to New England

I have lived with a map of the AT in my bedroom for the past eight years. The lines are embedded in my mind, state boundaries, jagged trail, Atlantic Ocean, south, north. The miles I have walked and where I have been strangely enough are not constantly on my mind anymore. I dream and hope of things to come, above tree line gusts of wind in NH, fall leaves in Maine, cruising back south, the crisp October evenings below the mason dixon, wild ponies and no bugs. I was urged to check out a map this week. Along the NY/ CT border there are a lot of message boards with the standard AT strip map. I put a finger on Daleville and stretched my wing span to put a finger on Kent, CT. I couldn't reach. Marmot, a guy I was walking with reached up for me... wow I thought... The scope and reality for hiking the AT, what one goes through physically, geographically, mentally and spiritually are indescribable. I just started hiking fast this week. I used to average about 2 miles per hour. The past few days I've gotten up to about 3mph. It changes the pace and scenery, the way I experience a day. Right now the trail is a blur of dirt, rocks, woods, sweat, bugs, and charming men. Ever since getting off to go to the city each day is a very unique and distinct adventure. The full moon has all of us nature livers pretty squirrelly and one never knows from one moment to the next what might happen. Iccarus, Beershake, Mike and I spent one of my best nights on the trail watching the sun set from black mountain. The NYC skyline twinkled in the summer haze of heat and pollution as the moon rose over the Hudson River. We all shared water, blueberries and our dinners and fell asleep with a blanket of stars. A couple days later I found myself climbing up and down NY hills with Marmot to share a tasty pizza and calling it a day after 10 miles. Right now I'm hanging out with Walka Walka, Dingo, and Rocky at Young and Dumb's house in NY. Young and Dumb is a CT ridgerunner and 2007 thru hiker. He has graciously opened his car and home to us. Thanks Luke =) The Mikes told me "CT is a land of milk and honey" so far it's still reasonably difficult hiking but the swimming holes are phenomenal. So here's to New England, being alive, and being here now!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


As it turns out this trip and my life becomes wilder by the minute. I told Hasty the other day I've finally reached the point of throwing up my arms and hands and surrendering myself to the will of the universe. It feels good, but dizzying. After my first evening in Unionville with about 18 other hikers at the mayor's place I slackpacked 18 miles south to Uville and spent a second night. After talking to Angie, Butch, Dick, and Bill it seemed like the best thing for me to do was get on a train to NYC. Cap'n Jack Sparrow had missed his NJ Transit from Middletown while I slackpacked, so Friday he held my hand and showed me the ropes on our way to the city. "Is there any place I should avoid?" I asked him "Harlem" he answered with no hesitation. Upon reaching Penn Station and sifting through the subway system I emerged from underground to reggae/ latin music and not a single Caucasian person around. I studied the subway map harder... Harlem... I studied harder... W 126th St 5th Ave for the Spot Hostel.... Harlem. Sketchy I thought, and went back down to Central Park. I wandered around in the green island, transitioning from AT to NYC, and finally got brave realizing I HAD to find my bed for the night. Taxi ed for the first time. The whole trip was a madness of subways, street, central park, friends etc. Some highlights were my new friends and dorm mates from the NJ camp (gave me drinks and swiss rolls!), running into Bones and Mud Bug Sat morning in the hospital, Genevieve! an amazing photo arty bad ass that lives in Brooklyn because of her I ate Indian food and was able to stash my pack while I cruised the city, seeing Sex and the City in theatres!!!!!, Tiffany's, Alice in Wonderland Statue, A N G I E, late night Bryant Park picnic, etc etc. After a lot of wandering and little sleep I cabbed back to Penn Station to head to Middletown. I messed up the trains and found myself kickin it in Ridgewood New York for 3ish hours. I caught up on phone calls, ate more Indian food, resupplied groceries, and ate a doughnut! Eventually I made it back to my station, back to Butch, back to the mayors. I hadn't intended on taking so much time off the trail, and I'm quite a few days behind my friends, but it's nice to urban adventure and crash a little bit before getting back to the business of the trail. My burn is getting better, my hair is growing pretty quick, my legs and feet are nearly always stiff. Maine and the fall are coming... and I am forever lured North.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'd like to be a part of it... in old... NYYYYY

Unionville NY has treated me to a shower, free ride, dinner, laundry, and lots of smiles at the MAYOR'S house. More good times to come I'm sure. So the deal is I've been in NJ a few days now. I've seen my first glacial lake, 1.5 bears, an amazingly hospitable night at Mohican Outdoor Center, some swamps and nasty bugs, really incredible views, great lake swimming, the highest point in NJ, and just may find myself in NYC in the next couple weeks. I'm looking forward to Pawling NY and amazing amazing Angie, I'll stay in NY state for awhile by this weekend. Geronimo is with lil pig Fisch and his boyfriend Jeb right now, seems to be having a good time. I finally been making/ sticking with buddies out here and it's really nice. Circumstance, Mooch, Buffet. I met a lot of few folks while hiking south and now a bunch of old buddies and new friends are all kickin it at the Mayor's, talking life, philosophy, the trail, real world, etc; always a welcomed respite. I may be in the market for a bug net very soon. My gear overall is doing well, but it's so muggy and humid around here. This morning as Circ and I hiked along the ridge to High Point State Park we swore an ocean breeze was driftitng in from NYC blowing the bugs away- very refreshing. I'll try to post more pics soon. I keep forgetting to mention a few more valuable trail lessons:
I've been peeing standing up since my first week on the trail.
I've lost 13 pounds.
When you hike alone you have no one to complain to.
Hanging your hammock in a shelter is not a bad idea.
Drink at least one beer nearly every chance you get.
Smile at strangers and friends often.
Being a southerner with a western flair is a glorious thing.
Hikers appreciate Opera and many other finer things in life; we are simple, but constantly seeking beauty.
When it rains the newts come out =D
I love Camp Alta Mons fiercer than words could ever tell.

Botetourt Commons folks: I think about my old life and your smiling faces and hope you're all doing incredibly well!
Alta Mons: You KNOW you are in my heart and prayers. I am sorry our lives in the woods keep us from talking more but I know soulfully we are together.
VA friends: Thanks so much for Geronimo shuffling, trail pep talks, stashing my stuff at your places, running errands for me, etc.
MT and western friends: I WANT TO SEE YOU AND THE WEST SO BAD =) We'll see how life goes after this adventure.
International and rambling nomadic buddies: I often day dream about where my travels and your travels are taking/ will take us. I am amazed at what this world puts before our feet, I hope sometime very soon to see you again with a warm embrace. (veg, you little stalker, you're gorgeous and I want to meet Anthony, and I still have my matching thigh scar from my river kisses and your bear attack... just so you know I'm not holding out pictures on you ;)

Muchos amour =*

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jersey girl?

SOOOOO. Last two weeks- tough. Many thanks and love to you all for words of support, prayers, calls, travel, etc. I have many trail angels and feel pretty darn magical =) Geronimo and I hobbled into Port Clinton PA last Sunday greeted by cold beverages and food from a young PA couple and Bag of Tricks. After a refreshing night with a really good crowd of nearly 20 thru hikers, beer, Knob Creek, and trail stories Geronimo and I found ourselves driving North to Deleware Water Gap. We exausted our options to get him off the trail, then Ron my 2nd cousin called "Hey Rebekah I'm about 30 miles from DE WR gap, what do you think about Geronimo riding around in the big truck with me for a week?" So Geronimo found himself riding shot gun in a tiger striped tractor trailor, ac, bug free, bottled water, stealing hot dogs from dash boards, as I braved the nasty rocks south bound from DE WR Gap back to Port Clinton. After some Spring Ale, a sandwich and good conversation with some guys I met in SNP I headed south. 6 miles, 17 miles, 19.5 miles, 17 miles, 15 miles of rocks, climbs, decents, little water nasty gash on my leg, boiling water burn on my hands, stomach and thigh, then, PORT CLINTON. Spent July 4 night in the water gap and enter NJ very soon. Very glad to be out of PA. For this week Geronimo is with little pig Fischa and his boyfriend Jeb, I just hope he actually rests at the cabin. I am closer and closer to the other pig, miss Angie, and hope to be at Omega teen camp NY with her in less than 2 weeks! It is weird and a little lonely hiking solo without Mo, but I love him too much to put him through some of the hardships of this life. You guys can check out the pictures, some places this past week I literally had to rock climb with my pack. Descending Lehigh Gap at 2pm in my 19.5 mile day was the toughest thing I've done on this trip. Yesterday was my first- walk all day in the rain- experience, it was soggy, chilly, slippery. I wore my Chaco z2s the whole time, and I was glad to not be in shoes. It was kind of nice actually, a change from the daily scene and routine. I find myself wanting water from these mountaintops anyway possible; rain, rivers, springs. My final mile to Port Clinton was river on one side, tiger lillies on the other side of a greenway in the rainy mist. It was really beautiful and soothing. I'm taking a chill day today to catch up on internet, laundry, gorceries (things I haven't done in two weeks). I was elated to be dropped off at a movie theatre, and devastated to find Sex and the City is no longer in the theatres ='( tragedy. I'm trying to wrap my head around being Nobo solo and all the wildness to come. I believe things will get better, know I'm getting tougher, relize you all have a lot to do with my strength and will to continue. My library time is about expired, so more stories saved for later. I love you and miss you all, thanks for everything =*