Thursday, May 31, 2012

AT Day 23 Bake Oven Knob to Palmerton Jailhouse

Miles 8.2
Total ~242

Shannon:  8 short miles today.  We busted them out in 2.5 hours and then had our first hitchhiking experience.  Our hiking buddy, Colonel Angus, flaged down a tree planting truch and jamie and I piled in to ride the two of us the 1.8 miles to Palmerton.   After clambering out of the truck and littering the ground with all the gatorade bottles that spilled out after us ("toss 'em back in-i recycle 'em in Maine),  he backtracked to pick up our friend.

Palmerton is a great little town.  Lovely park and excellent resturants. Everythign seems to be situated around this one street, Delaware Street. The town is so hiker friendly that the city hall lets hikers stay in their basement for free.  Great.   After a shower,  laundry, library, frisbee, beer, buffalo chicken pierogies and deep fried cheesecake I feel i've really come to love palmerton and I'm ready for bed.

Jamie:  What a great day. It was almost like a zero. We cruised into town with no problem, have comfy accomodations (for free), had good food (three times) and beer.  Played frisbee, juggled and tried geocaching ( we failed but felt close and enjoyed the attmept).
It's been really fun hanging with Colonel Angus and we'll be sad to say byye to him as soon as he finishes this section...but maybe Burning Man?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AT Day 22 Eckville Shelter --> Bake Oven Knob Shelter

Miles: ~17
Total: ~234

Holy Rocks PA! We are done with you! Got my first blisters yesterday and today on the rocks was super painful. However, we did get a hiking buddy, Colonel Anges. We spent the night in the shelter and attempted an unsuccessful seach for pizza. Colonel Anges hiked with us today and will conitnue on with us tomorrow. Again, nice to have a buddy. He's really into Burning Man and has almost convinced me that we should go THIS YEAR. He's the second hiker I've met who is a big Burner. Ok. Back to today. The rocks were brutal-when they weren't just on the ground, they were massive boulders taht demanded lots of attention. Between the three of us I think we totalled 8 falls. The coolest part of the day was the "Knife's Edge" a ridge of rocks with drops on each side. Really cool. Really scary. Tonight we are joined with Rayo and Uno at the shelter. They are both hilarious-really fun duo. Happy to have them here.

Bake Oven Knob Shelter with Rayo and Uno

Colonel and Jamie on the Knifes Edge

PA Rocks.  UGH!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

AT Day 21 Port Clinton Pavillion --> Eckville Shelter

Miles ~15
Total: ~207
Sights: Pinnacle

Shannon:  Even though we were out of bed and walking to breakfast at 5:45am we didn't leave Port Clinton until 10am.  Breakfast, chatting, post all adds up.  The post office, by the way, is really hiker friendly. The post master is great and super friendly.  
The hike today was superb.  I wish we had left a little earlier so we could have enjoyed it more.  We were rushing so we wouldn't get in terribly late and we were trying to beat an oncoming storm (we didn't beat it). 
As for terrain,  they were two steep uphill climbs but then they were over and the last 5 miles wer emore or less smooth (for PA) roads. 
We ran into our pavillion mate, Tortise Chef, on the way out of town.  We wish him success and send him good vibes.  He's a big guy out on the trail trying to get his life straightened out and find soem direction.  He told us he spent 7 years living on the streets and was addicted to meth.   He moved to Hawai'i- got clean and moved back (to Vermont) becuase of health issues. Anyway, facinating story.
Tonight we're in the Eckville Shelter. A four-sided structure with a caretaker. (He brought us freeze pops and sold us cupcakes). The shelter has a solar shower and flush toilets. It's funny how differently I percieve thigns these days. While i'm happy to wash my hair, I could also live without the shower-I'm just gonna put on dirty clothes-and I clean up every night anyway. As for the toilet, in the middle of the night, I'm probably just going to go in the woods. I'm not gonna take the walk to the toilet in the dark and the rain. Funny. However, I am happy to have a roof over my head on this storm night and the bunks even have a bit of a cushion. Hoping for night 3 of a good sleep.

Eckville Shelter and Colonel Agnes whom we shared the shelter with

View from the Pinnacle

Snake at the pinnacle

View From the Pinnacle
Tortoise Chef

Monday, May 28, 2012

AT Day 20 Black Swatara Spring to Port Clinton Pavillion

Miles: ~13
Total: ~193
Stops: Eagles Nest Shelter

We "booked" it into Port Clinton after breaking camp at 10am.  Last night we got poured on and our tent leaks after a few minutes of the rain so we pulled the footprint out from under our tent and draped it over the fly.  That worked great but as everything was so wet we hung out for awhile to dry things out.
The hike into Port Clinton was lovely excepting the verticle decent at the end. 
Tonight, we just got back from a great bit of trail magic. On the way into town, there's a house that let's hikers fill up water at their house. After setting up at the Pavillion we walked back down there to fill our nalgene and with the intention of getting beer at the firehouse and food somewhere intown. The family and neighbors were eating in the garage and after we thanked them for the water they offered us dessert. Of course we said yes, and then we asked them if they knew where we could get dinner. They told us "nowhere" and promptly began to fill plates with food for us to eat. We sat and ate with them until about 9pm. Turns out they're the towns "trail angels". Fred and Anna Kauffman and their neighbors Luke and Annamae. They help out hikers and mow the lawn at the pavillion. They had great stories to tell about hikers that they've met in the past. When we left the sent us off with cake, toothpast, toilet paper and painkillers. Who could have asked for a better evening?
Fred Kauffman

Walking over the river into Port Clinton

Sunday, May 27, 2012

AT Day 19 William Penn Shelter --> Black Swatara Spring

Miles ~15
Total ~180
Shannon: We had a little rain storm last night but we were cozy in the shelter to no harm done. The hike today was longer than we realized, around 15 miles. It felt fine though. We hiked 5 easy miles to the 501 shelter where we took showers, did laundry and chatted with the caretakers. 501 was lovely, like a real cabin. Next we hiked past some scouts and ended up meeting up with them for lunch. As we started up again, the thunder and rain threatned so we should have camped early but as i was determined to get the extra mile we got drenched. Bummer. Of course it stopped raining the second the tent was all set up.

Campsite in Black Swatara Spring, note the pitiful footprint over the top.

Caretakers at the 501

PA Boulder Field

Saturday, May 26, 2012

AT Day 18 Rauch Gap Shelter -> William Penn Shelter

Miles: ~13
Total: ~165.3

Shannon:  The hike today was pretty great.  A NOBO slowed down a bit and hikes with us.   "Peep Show" is his trail name.  He had a great story about how hiking the AT got him a promotion.  Originally his boss siad he couldn't hold his job for him.   Then, when it was obvious he was going anyway, his boss begged him to come back and offered him a promotion. HA!
The terrain today was fun-the initial climb was hellish but it was smooth sailing after that.  We didn't have many landmarks to check mileage so we were going by our pace-2 MPH but ended up at the shelter an hour early!  We were cruisin!

Jamie:  Toughest day for my so far.  That climb we did was pretty crazy-straight up with no switchbacks (sounds like a hiker's drink:  Bacardi, 151 and yellow gatorade mix maybe?)  
We are sort of filled with dread over todays prospect of PA's finest skree, rocks, pebbles and boulders.  YAY!

Friday, May 25, 2012

AT Day 17 Campsite --> Rauch Gap Shelter

Miles: ~13
Total: ~152.3
Stops: Yellow Springs Village Site
Sights: 2 rattle snakes and many many orange salamanders

Shannon:  I LOVE the aircast.  13 miles felt great.  I was tired but my ankle felt fine.  I'm sad this is our last hike with Eleanor. It was fun to have a buddy.
We're in Rauch Gap Shelter tonight with four others: Snarf, Eleanor, John, and Glide. 
Mentally, I'm feeling great. Took a little nap at lunch , had a millipede crawl across my toes and then, when we got going again I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. One more step.  When I first saw it, I thought "oh, how nice" but then it rattled. Scary!

Jamie:  Not to much to add. The rattlesnake business was a trip.   For the rest of the day I was jumping at every little noise/motion in the forest.  Six of us at this little shelter and one camping nearby-popular spot.  Had a great time seeing all the wildlife (except the crazy bugs that keep kamakazi-ing into my eyeballs)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

AT Day 16 Clarks Ferry Shelter --> Campsite

Miles ~11.5
Total ~139.3
Stops: Peters Mountain Shelter

Shannon: I really love the ankle brace! It feels so good to walk in and is really comfortable. 
Last night we met a girl at the shelter.  Eleanor. She's hiking PA to Maine.  Our pace is similar so we hiked with her today and will again tomorrow. It's fun to have a hiking buddy.  She's 30 and lives and worlds on a farm in South Carolina with her boyfriend.  She's also really knowledgeable about plants so it's been fun to hike with her and Jamie.  It's like my own personal nature walk.

Jamie:  Started off super foggy but the sun came up by mid-afternoon. Terrain was much improved as well. At Peters Mountain Shelter (huge, btw!) I felt like I was a Shaolin Monk in training.  300 stone steps to the springs. Tonight we had to camp becuase it was to far to the next shelter-we are pretty close to the trail but it's a nice spot.  we are testing out using just our footprint and ruainfly to see if we can send the tent portion home.  It isn't raining thought so not sure if it will be a good test or no.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

AT Day 15 Doyle Hotel to Clarks Ferry Shelter

Miles ~4.5
Total: ~127.8

Shannon: Finally left the Doyle after 3 zero days and the swelling in my ankle has gone down.  I wore the aircast-that seemed to work well.  We'll try to go slow for the next few hundred or so. We're not interested in getting re-injured.
On the bright side, we were both feeling good and refreshed on our hike up here.  I was worried getting back on the trail would be painful but it felt great. 
Also, we stopped into a fun antiques  market that had an old penny arcade.  Really fun!
OH OH!  And as we were crossing the bridge over the Susquehenna River we were followed and yelled at by some hawks that must have a nest underneath. The followed us for about half the bridge.  It was partly terrifying/partly amazing as the hawks were so close and it was a unique experience

Jamie: Ditto on that Penny Arcade.  We had a good day today, it was humid but the train never came.  Ordered a smaller pack from REI yesterday. YAY!  Should be waiting for us in Port Clinton within a week (unsure of our arrival time at this juncture).  WE also sent home a few things, totalled 2.5 pounds.  Mostly it was my clothe so that frees up some weights so i can help out with Shannon's weight while she heals up. Glad to be going again and hoping for good weather tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 13, The Doyle, Duncannon PA

The Doyle, Duncannon PA

Miles: 0
Total: 123

This was, hopefully, our last day at the Doyle.  I spent it practicing Ukulele and talking to the other thru hikers.  Our friend from NY-"Homemade" "shortleash" and "slammer"- caught up with us yesterday so it was nice to talk to them again. And then John McCrillis came into town too. Nice little reunion we had.   Yesterday I went to see the Doctor who gave me the go-ahead to continue hiking.  She said that if my ankle didn't' feel weak that I was OK to walk carefully.  Then I ordered an "aircast" from Rite Aid.   We picked it up today and I've been wearing it. So far it feels good.  Tomorrow we'll head out to the next shelter.  We're going to stop at the first shelter-only 5 miles on.  We thought a nice slow day would be best to test our bodies.  (well, mine).   I've really enjoyed the vacation from our vacation but I'm happy to get back on the trail tomorrow.  I hope everything goes well.  

Also, today we dropped by the post office and packed off 2.3 pounds of unnecessary stuff.  Very satisfying!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 12 The Doyle, Duncannon PA

Day 12 The Doyle, Duncannon PA

Miles 0
Total 123

Spend the day at the Doyle recuperating. Ankle still swollen and sore. We at breakfast across the stree at a place called "Goodies" and had dinner at the Doyle.   We took a short walk through town and chatted with a lot of hikers last night.  "JC" is starting his own business making gear.  He's currently hiking with a homemade bag.  After graduating from school for Entrepreneurship and then managing his family business for a few years, he's decided to move away from his fundamentalist christian family to live with his girlfriend in Atlant.
I really enjoyed chatting with his him as we talked about injuries and hurts and i felt much better about taking time off and being a bit hurt.  When the bar closed we transitioned outside with "hotsauce" and "twocents" and got to hear their crazy hitching stories and how they try to look "hungry" to get food from peopel.  Best trick, put change in yoru hand and go up to someone asking "Where are the vending machines?" 

NOTE:  Thru hikers are almost always very hungry and will always appreciate food.  Feeding them most certainly brings good luck.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 11 Darlington Shelter to Duncannon PA

Darlington Shelter to Duncannon PA
Miles: 11
Total 123
Stops: Cove Mountain Shelter
Deer count: 8

Shannon:  I twisted my ankle again. this time hurt real bad, but once we started moving i felt OK.  However, I spent about 2 hours thinking i would have to quit the trail.  I'm still pretty bummed but feeling optimistic.  The rocking coming into Duncannon were real scary-apparently there's more of those to come.  Some little five year old was skipping up the hill as we were struggling to go down.  She stopped and asked us, "Are you going down?"   "yes" we replied.  "well, you better be careful on those rocks."  Noted.

Jamie:  Difficult day, emotionally and a little tough physically.  We started out by getting soaked in the dewy long grass of the narrow field paths that make up the AT in the Cumberland valley. Then Shannon slipped in some mud (it wasn't even the rocks!) and hurt her ankle real bad which was upsetting. She pushed through but it got worse from there so I found I watched her footing as much as my own.  It was relieving when we finally got to the Cove Mountain Shelter for a rest.   Anyway, the 4 miles from there to Duncannon was tough and we were thrilled to make it to the Doyle.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 10 Boiling Springs to Darlington Shelter

Boiling Springs to Darlington Shelter

Miles 14.3
Total 112.3

Shannon: You know, while birds sing and the animals make various rustles-it's really the insects that you hear most consistently in the forest.
Today was lovely. I don't feel quite so tired as before when we did 14 miles.  We had a real slow start this morning. We both decided that five cups of coffee was better than rushing, and you know what?  It was.  Getting ready for bed but supposedly there's a renegage porcupine that steals sneakers.  BRING IT ON!

Jamie:  Someon left a fog horn in this shelter.  So. Tempting.  Today was an easy hike, a lot of flat farm land, very narrow mostly though so the tall grass got a little annoying pretty quick.  With all our new food weight my pack was causing issues again. Enough so that I called the company-maybe some options there.  Moosejaw is a no-go on return. We'll try REI.  Maybe we bought it from there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

AT Day 9, James Fry Shelter to Boiling Springs

Miles: 12 Miles
Total: 99.4 (but let's round up, shall we?)  ONE HUNDRED
Alex Sherman

Shannon: We woke up this morning with the intention of heading out by 7 but, once again, we moved a bit slow.   Our morning routine has been pretty wonderful though.  We wake up in the morning, make coffee, eat breakfast, relax and pack up.  After watching so many hikers run past us I was getting anxious about going "slow." But, in reality, we're "fun-employed".  What's our rush?  SO, we woke up, lazed about and headed off. The hiking today was pretty mild, but we did get a bit of a taste of the infamous Philadelphia rocks.  There was a portion that had huge rocks that we had to make our way though.  In the guidebook, it was named "the Maze." While I was mildly worried about twisting my ankle, it was pretty fun.  The trail took us over and under and through all the rocks.  I really enjoyed it.
We stopped in at the Alex Sherman shelter for lunch/snack and met up with the people we shared last night's shelter with. All three of them are from New York, a married couple from Manhattan and a man from Brooklyn.  We spent lunch chatting with them and I even gave them a Ukelele Performance.  It was a really lovely lunch.
We finally wandered into Boiling Springs.  Lots of excitement in this town.  An AT office is here so we stopped in there.  Then a man came over to ask if we were hikers and could he take our picture.     After three or four different photo locations we found a good one.   He does this as a hobby - taking pictures of hikers and fly fisherman.  Very fun.
After the office closed and we finished up in town we wandered over to eat at Cafe 101.  While we were eating this lovely couple who had came out to eat at the same restaurant asked us some questions about our travels.  Before we left, they asked us if we needed anything and offered us a shower.  How could we say no?   Our other option was to go to the campground with no water or bathroom. So, as soon as they offered, we jumped up and hopped in their car.
Our hosts are Marcia and Ron Golembeski.  He's in law enforcement and she works in the registrar's office at Dickinson college.  They have three adorable bunnies-Digger, Floppy and Cinnamon- and a cat named Shadow.   They are incredibly kind and have a wonderful home.   They let us shower and do laundry and we'll spend tonight here.   Great couple and we are so appreciative to be clean.  To be honest with you, I hadn't washed my hair until today (although I had showered)  so I was super happy to have the shower with shampoo.
We are the first hikers that they've helped and I hope we were a good first experience and they are able to continue to help hikers in the future!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

AT Day 8, Tom's Run Shelter to James Fry Shelter

Miles: 11.1
Total: 87.4
 Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Appalachian Trail Museum

Shannon: Today was lovely. We slept with a birds' nest last night-very fun-and in the morning we saw a woody woodpecker bird.  We hiked three miles to the Pine Grove Furnace State Park. That was a lovely stop. We visisted the AT Museum, saw Gramma Gatewood's shoes and then headed to the pond to swim and shower. Then a few hikers gave us their left over bars.

Jamie:  Not to bad a hike today and wonderful weather. The park was nice (got a cherry coke, some free bathroom type stuff, free shower, and our first "trail magic"). The staff at the musuem were very eager for visitors and very friendly. We also saw some college kids get busted for having twisted tea at the pond.  Oh, America.  
James Fry Shelter has both a birds' nest and a hornets' nest, so we'll try not to bother them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AT Day 7 - Quarry Gap - Tom's Run

May 15 - Day 7
Quarry Gap - Tom's Run
Miles: 13.7
Total: 76.3
Birch Run Shelter for a snack

Shannon: My ankles felt much better today and the hike was really mellow so it was easy to make 13 miles for us.  We were a bit hungry though because we had rationed food but were feeling better after dinner.

Jamie: Wow!  One week finished! 76 miles down!  Today's terrain was very easy, which gave us the chance to cover some ground, even with injuries.  Ran into an interesting trio: bobber, Hawk and Les.  And John again at Tom's run.  Rained a tiny bit off and on, but nice day and nice trail otherwise.
Hungry though.

Monday, May 14, 2012

AT Day 6, Caledonia State Park to Quarry Gap Shelter

May 14 - Day 6
Caledonia - Quarry Gap
Miles: 2.6
Total 62.6

Shannon: I hurt my ankle yesterday so we stopped in Caledonia.  It was still hurting today so we hiked slowly 2.6 miles to Quarry Gap.  We were here for 9:40 AM and have been chilling out all day (it is raining anyways). We met a guy named John there - he spent most of his life in the military doing anti-terrorism work and combat diving.  He talked a lot about his time in Lebanon trying to get them to make peace with Syria.  Anyway, it was really interesting listening to his stories.  Also he is from Salsbury MA, AND his daugher's name is Shannon and his son's name is Sean.  Strange.

Jamie:  Rainy day!  It's OK though, we needed to take some time to see how Shannon's ankle is.  Interesting to share this space with people, as it feels like the story "Inn at the End of the World" in the Sandman by Neil Gaiman, but with less food, drink, and mythical creatures.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

AT Day 5, Deerlick Shelter to Caledonia State Park

May 13 - Day 5
Deerlick shelter - Caledonia State Forest
Miles: 13.5
Total: 60

Yesterday we met the other thru hiker, hurt both my ankles, stopped at Caledonia state park and had our first night in the rain.  The squirrels were so brazen that one kept creeping up to us and our tent while we were eating dinner.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

AT Day 4, Ensign Cowall Shelter to Deer Licks Shelter

May 12  - Day 4
Rocky Run Shelter
Pen-Mar Park
High Rock Cliff
Miles: 15
Total 47

Shannon: Oh man do my feet hurt.  It started yesterday and has continued on.  the balls of my feet hurt, like Iv'e been wearing high heels.  I'm not sure if it's the shoes or the new activity.  I'll monitor the situation.  Also, my hips feel  a little bruisy but nothing terrible.  Like after a night of dancing.  But I' still feeling great about hiking.  We finished one state (albeit a tiny one).  We also crossed the Mason Dixon line and met the other flip flopper.  Great day over all.

Jamie:  What wonderful weather today!  I still wrestled with my pack (I cut off a portion of my sleep pad to add some waist girth - I think it will work with a second one), and that was at least a little more manageable it seemed.  Very tired today, but we had a fun time.  There is a nice little family sharing the site and they have a cute young girl who has taken to Shannon.  Not as many millipedes on the trail today, but we saw the bluest of all the birds (hard to see in the picture as it was far away and our zoom isn't that great).

Friday, May 11, 2012

AT Day 3 Dahlgren Campground to Ensign Cowall Shelter

Miles: 14
Total:  32

Shannon: Today was great.  I felt like we really hiked. However, it may have been a bit much to soon.  We are both exhausted. Our feet hurt and Jamie's hips are feeling bruisy.
there was a little stretch that was all rocks but it wasn't hard as it was flat, however it was slow going.
We stopped in at the Free State Hiker Hostel to get our food box but ended up staying to order dinner and I took a shower. It was real nice.  The owner hiked the trail in 06 in four months and when he finished he opened this hostel in a section of his house.  Real nice, 12 to 15 beds, shower, gameroom-it was great.
Then we hiked over to this shelter and we'll chill out for the night.
My hip twinged a few times today but nothing much.  Just enough for me to notice.

OH!  last night while we were sleeping some big animal sniffed our tent and then left us. TERRIFYING.

Jamie: Oye! Aching a bit today after our 14 miles.  We'll do some jury-rigging on my bag tomorrow to improve the fit. Some neat terrain today and wonderful weather.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

AT Day 2 - Ed Garvey Shelter to Dalgrene Campsite

May 10
Shannon: We hiked 11 miles today, playing leapfrog with some international friends we made that morning, Gideon and Rafael.  We ended up eating breakfast lunch and snack together.  The guy from South Africa was quite the storyteller and had some great tales for us.
Hiking felt really good today.  I'm interested to see when it will feel different.  I bet come New Hampshire and the hard mountains I might change my Pollyanna attitude about movement.
Jamie: 11 miles felt fine on the feet but my shoulders are aching.  Still have not found the perfect pack set-up.  Nice day otherwise, the weather was great for hiking and we got a nice vista to boot.  Our campsite for the night is lovely- thanks to the state of Maryland for the free hot shower (we did our laundry there too,take it when you can get it!).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

AT, Day One, Harper's Ferry to Ed Garvey Shelter

Tuesday, May 9th! We're finally starting.

We've started the AT.  We began at the headquarters, got a membership and chatted everyone up.  It was very exciting to be leaving a town like harpers' ferry as everyone wanted to talk to us about our plans and intentions. It was great to get so much good energy to start.
The Ed Garvey Shelter is super cool.  Didn't expect this much.  it's a double decker, even has windowns and a door. I twill be fun to stay the night here-a great start to our journey!

Miles hiked: 7
Body weight (with clothes and shoes) Shannon: 160
Pack Weight with food and water, Shannon: 33
Body Weight (with clothes and shoes) Jamie: 188.5
Pack Weight with Food and Water Jamie: 37

At the ATC 

 Our first shelter

The bathrooms! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Hi Friends!
We are finally going to hike the AT!  We're so excited.  We left Boston yesterday night and tonight we're sleeping at a youth hostel, The TeaHorse, in Harper's Ferry.   We'll start bright(ish) and early(ish) tomorrow morning after our complimentary waffle breakfast.
In terms of blogging, hopefully we'll be keeping a journal on the trail that I can copy into the blog when we get into town. I'm going to try to post both logistical information- miles hiked, shelters visited, gear failure/successes- as well as reflections on attempting to hike 2,300 miles.  Pictures will be dependent on computer compatibility. For example, while I currently have internet, I have no way to upload my pictures as we didn't bring the USB cable and this IBM ThinkCenter doesn't seem to have an SD card reader. 

While I am unbelievably excited to be hiking the trail, I'm also a bit  nervous. I'm concerned for our health (but not safety). In Korea I developed this minor hip issue. It's a soft tissue issue that is possibly, although I'm not sure, related to my IT band. It's not debilitating and it hasn't stopped me from any movement but I have had it for over 6 months.  While I think spending all my time hiking and stretching will probably be good for it-I'm still a bit worried that it will cause me some problem and force us off the trail. I'm not certain if this is a serious concern or just lingering emotional stress from trying to figure out what the issue was while living in Korea. The saga of this hip thing started with a reference to surgery, took me to three different doctors, put me through various X-rays and a bone scan.  phewf.  Anyway,  now you know about it so if I'm referencing it you know a bit of the background.
 Aside from that however,  I'm not concerned about the bailing on the physical work or the possible tedium.   I love movement.  Everytime we go out for a hike or walk I feel so joyful.  Action is, in it's own way, a great meditation and I'm looking forward to doing something physical everyday.  I'm also curious how my moods and thoughts will vary as we encounter different things on the trail.  
 A friend asked me if I was worried about hiking with Jamie, she wanted to know if I was worried about fighting with him on the trail. I think not.  If we made it through Korea, various Southeast Asian countries, amoebic dysentery, being stranded with only $30 in Thailand, and threats from North Korea I think we can make it through this. 

Well, I've got to get back to the common area.  Jamie and our new hiker friend, Rambo, are chatting it up and I don't want to miss out on any useful tips.  (he's already given us a few).

Monday night:
Mega Bus: depart Monday Boston 11:20p arrive DC 9:20a.  Cost, $20 for two

Lunch with Aida 1:30 pm (even though she forgot about the fact that we made a plan for noon)

Amtrack Train: Depart DC 4:05p, Arrive Harper's ferry 5:15p. Cost, $24 for two

Lodging: Teahorse Hostel 
Free pick up from the train and great company. Cost, $56 for two (including breakfast)