Woah: its been a long time. Contrary to popular belief, we *are* still alive and hiking! At the end of our last post; we were about to leave rocky Pennsylvania (July 5th!) focused on Getting Home.
Post-PA was New Jersey, and we had bears in camp 3 out of 4 nights. One comrade had his food bag batted out of a tree like a Slim Jim and Snickers stuffed piñata. Bears aren’t hunted in NJ, so they aren’t easily scared by humans. This resulted in some close encounters; see the video below.
Then came New York. Rocky outcroppings. Beautiful Harriman State Park. Endless PUDs (pointless ups and downs). Wild blueberries. The hum of humanity (Palisades Parkway, I-84) bigger and closer than they’ve ever been.
Next: our home state of Connecticut!! We went to Laces’ home in Ridgefield and ate some amazing home cooking a la Papa Laces. Thus fortified, we ventured forth a few more days to Clover’s family’s beach house for a picnic and swim. M&M’s folks came to say goodbye before moving to North Carolina. Nieces and laughter and love and it was hard to say goodbye and venture forth.
Massachusetts brought more mosquitoes, bigger hills, and some great views. How amazing it feels to have walked some 1500 miles back to our native forests and the landscapes we call home.
We have been so blessed and cared for this leg of the journey. Papa Laces. Both sets of parents. Casey Palmer, for generously “buying Mya a bone.” To “DaVinci”, who brought the whole exhausted, bug bitten, sun-drained lot of us home in Great Barrington for showers and dinner and air-conditioned sleep. Mama Karen, who hiked with us into the Williamstown, MA forest for a fresh farm-picked veggie picnic on a tent platform. And M&M’s friend Bryan, for cold beers after a hot day.
Entering Vermont means there are only three states left of the 14 the AT passes through. It means the tough terrain will be returning. It means familiar mountains and the feeling of being home again. And wanting to savor each muddy, mossy, rocky, rooty, rainy, craggy, majestic moment.
Thanks for sharing it with us.