Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lions, Snakes, and Bears oh my

Writing this post from Whitehouse Station, NJ. We are staying at the house of our sobo buddy "Bewildered" who is off the trail for a few days w/ the rest of the jersey boys. He picked us up today in Culvers Gap and took us back to his house. We met his folks who made us feel right at home w/ a huge cooler of ice cold beer, fresh fruit, and other snacks. There is a big dinner/party planned for tomorrow night. Can't wait!

We will be back on the trail Monday...Headed for Pennsylvania. Hiking in this heat has been difficult. Mike and I have been trying to wake up early and get at least 10 miles done before noon. The humidity doesn't make things any's harder to breathe and the sweat truly pours off. There haven't been too many great swimming spots lately so a mid-day swim hasn't really been an option lately. Only a few more weeks of this type of brutal heat and we should be good to go.

Last night we stayed at the 'secret shelter' located just before high point mtn in NJ. It is owned by a former thru hiker who bought and developed some land near the AT. We walked a 100 yards down a gravel road and came to a large green pasture. There were several rustic cabins and an awesome hikers shelter. It featured...a HOT SHOWER...ELECTRICITY...AND A FAN!!! Once we decided to stay at this shelter, Mike and I jumped over an electric fence so we could check out the donkeys that Mr. Murray keeps on his property. They chased us out of their stable but we calmed them down by feeding them apples and pears from nearby fruit trees. We got some great pictures and a had a couple good laughs. After dinner, we were treated to a powerful thunderstorm. We sat high and dry in the shelter watching nature run its course.

Today was a first for me on the trail. I saw my first bear! I was walking down the trail when I heard a loud crashing noise (think Jurassic Park) Suddenly a large black bear rumbled out of the woods and on to the AT. He stopped and looked at me and then bolted off back in to the woods w/ amazing speed and agility. It really got my heart pounding and I ran down the trail to see if I could get another glimpse of him. No luck but I could hear him crashing through the woods for the next 100+ feet. I really wanted to see one and I was excited to have finally gotten my chance. NJ is notorious for its bear population so it probably won't be my last. I hope not!

So far Mike and I have seen 20+ deer, a HUGE rattle snake (on the trail!) and countless hawks. Mike saw a bear cub dart across the trail in NH and as mentioned I saw my first bear today.

Things are good on the trail. We're getting closer and closer to the halfway point w/ each step.

Thinking of you Aunt Mary.


At 2:43 AM, Blogger carlee13doris said...

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