Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Let's Back Up A Bit

Hello Again Faithful Followers!

We are currently off of the Trail in Greenwood Lake, NY at mile 1363.6 after having crossed the state line from NJ yesterday afternoon. We are at a fantastic cafe, The Village Buzz, that has a computer right next to our table which actually has high-speed internet....definitely not in the South anymore! So now that we have a computer, we can back up a bit and review some of our off-trail excitements that the state of Pennsylvania brought to us!

It all started back when we arrived in Boiling Springs, PA. I was out at a tavern for dinner with our friend Blue Eyes when I met Roccko and Maggie, an engaged couple, alumni of Dickenson College, who were in town for the weekend for Alumni Weekend as well as to look at local farms for wedding ideas. Maggie's brother had hiked half of the AT a couple of years back before starting medical school, so she knew trail trash when she saw it and asked us if we were hiking. We hit it off with them and got talking about the trail, their barn wedding since I got to go to an AWESOME one (Nikki and Louis!), etc. They sneakily picked up our bar tab as trail magic, THANK YOU AGAIN!!!, and invited us back to Dickenson where the alumni had rented on-campus apartments for the alumni weekend. We hopped in the car and spend our Saturday night at Dickenson College partying it up with their alumni...way too much fun!

The next day we made it back to Boiling Springs, myself a little later, and hung outside of the gas station with some other hikers eating chips, rehydrating, etc. Jetpack had gone ahead on the trail with a friend while I hung back with Tippy Toes, Vinca and Poncho Verde. I hiked out with those 3 and Poncho and I fell behind stuffing our faces with mulberries. When we cought up to the two girls, Vinca was holding a tiny kitten. The girls had come upon 3 kittens on the side of the road that had clearly been abandoned and were emaciated. Thunder clounds were rolling in so we picked up the kittens, put them in our rain coats, and brought them about 10 miles to the next shelter through downpours, thunder, and lightning. Jatpack, along with everyone else at the shelter, was quite surprised when we rolled in with our kittens! The next day we split them up and I carried my favorite, Bob, into town.
Now let me tell you about Bob. He was clearly the runt, or at least weaker than the other 2, and was the sweetest little kitten - he didn't bite or meow incessantly like the other 2, and the best part, he rode on the back of my neck while I hiked.
From WV, MD, and PA
Bob and I had become good friends. I decided to take him to the vet for a check up since he was clearly in rough shape. They said he was 3oz and about 3 weeks old, clearly emaciated and dehydrated. We took him back to the town of Duncannon where everyone else was staying. Our fellow hikers had found a home for the other 2 kittens, but I had decided to keep Bob and carrying him another couple of days until we met up with my Mom. That night in our tent at about 1:15am, I woke up and went to move Bob over so I could adjust myself...he was very limp. I panicked and started to lose my cool, fearing the worst. Trying not to wake Jetpack, I took him outside and tried to give him water and feed him with my syringe that they gave me at the vet...he wouldn't eat and just kept meowing. He got worse quickly and could barely hold his head up. I knew what was going to happen so I brought him into the tent, wrapped him in one of my bandanas, laid back down and stayed with him until he was at rest...one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. The next day we burried Bob in a beautiful little patch next to the trail. Now I apologize for possibly ruining your day with such a sad story, but remember the story of Bob and spay and neuter your pets because this poor kitten was the result of neglect.

Feeling pretty miserable we carried on and went to bed early at a shelter so that we could get up early, restart, and hike 31 miles...until we heard our names called from outside of our tent. It was our dear friend Swift inviting us to a party at a 'modern house with showers, laundry, etc' that was at the bottom of the ridge. Apparently the directions that Swift had received to the party were to 'take a right at the privy and follow the deer-path down to the road, and take a right until we get to number whatever.' It was about 8:45, we were half-asleep, but we decided that we couldn't pass up that offer...we packed up and headed down with Swift in the dark with our headlamps on. We arrived and everything there was as promised...a shower, laundry, internet, great music, a bed to sleep in, and even home-cooked curried veggies with quinoa! This guy Rick, a contractor and member of a bluegrass band hosted a hiker party for all of us at the shelter!

We hiked out the next day, carried on the day after and then finally met my mom and brothers for my birthday weekend!!!!

We spent the weekend in a gorgeous MARRIOT HOTEL in Quakertown, PA as well as at my uncle and aunt's house in Coopersburg. They are avid followers of our adventure and we arrived to a chalkboard sign outside welcoming us (thanks Uncle Dave!). We had an amazing weekend with my 2 younger brothers, mom, and the Pauls (Auntie Jen, Uncle Dave, Jon, Steph, and boys, and Steven). For my birthday, my mom got us tickets to Dorney Park, an amusement park in Allentown where we spent the day with Andy and Chris screaming our heads off on roller coasters!! We hopped back on the trail late the next day.

4 days later we arrived in Delaware Water Gap, PA, just a mile or so from the PA/NJ state line. Auntie Jen and Uncle Dave drove up to bring us our food drop and took us to the fabulous WalMart and a laundry run and surprised us with some fresh fruit (THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!) It was so great to see them again (twice in one week!) and they also got to go into the hostel and meet some thru hikers!

Phew! Lots of stuff but there it is! A great time so far, an awesome zero in DWG and we have already crossed into New York! Only about 100 miles until NEW ENGLAND!!!!! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Aww, what a bummer about the kitten. :( I was hoping good was going to come out of it.