Saturday, June 25, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Ben posted the information below on his facebook page. Given that some of you readers don't have facebook, I decided to post it here. Enjoy his final post before the end of his epic journey!
"I made it through the Whites and southern Maine which were definitely some challenging sections of trail, but also some of the most beautiful. I am headed into the 100 mile wilderness tomorrow and will be camping at the foot of Katahdin on Saturday! It's bitter sweet to see the end of this adventure but i miss family and friends and my body is pretty exhausted so I can't wait to come home. The SOBOS (Southbounders) we have been passing are covered in bug bites so i know some challenges lie ahead with the mosquitos and the black flies. Lord willing I will have the endurance to make it the rest of the way. The final 114.5 miles of my journey starts tomorrow which will include some pretty remote wilderness so i am very excited. My family will be coming up to pick me up and to hike the last 5 miles up Katahdin with me in just one week! Thanks everybody again for your continued prayers and support, I pray and think about you often and can't wait to see you when I'm home."
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
They only have 484 miles to go! They will try to summit in mid June. That's the plan right now. Of course, that can change."
Sunday, May 15, 2011
First I should mention that I have been hiking with a guy named Renaissance for the past 3ish weeks. He is actually from Marietta, Georgia and graduated from my high school just 5 years before I did. He has been a really awesome addition to our group hiking and we've had a lot of great times since we all started hiking together.
When we reached New Jersey a little over a week ago, 3 Stoves' aunt and uncle took us in for a night, gave us a bed to sleep in and great food to eat. As if this wasn't generous enough, they let us borrow their car to take into NY city for the day. Once again I am amazed by how giving people can be to thru hikers. Though I was excited to head to the Big Apple, the traffic to get there was quite terrifying. I'm used to Atlanta traffic back home so I know that part of my anxiety was due to the lack of exposure to city life. After reaching the city and finding a parking spot we decided to do what we do best; we hiked to the south of Manhattan. We stopped by ground zero and I was amazed to see the construction occuring to make both a memorial to the twin towers and in making a new world trade center building. Nearby was a small museum recounting the events of 9/11. It gave me goosebumps to imagine the craziness of that day and I was moved by the stories I read of acts of bravery people carried out to save others. The visit to ground zero definitely gave me a greater appreciation for our country. From there, we walked down to Battery Park and saw the Statue of Liberty, watched a street performance, took the subway to times square and walked around there, went up the Empire State Building, and finally found a really cool brick oven pizza place before heading back to New Jersey for the night. It was a very eventful day off the trail and we were all more tired after being in the busy environment of NY City than we are after hiking a 25 mile day on the trail.
When we got back on the trail, 3 Stoves had arranged plans that he wanted us to try to make it to. He is raising money for research for diabetes found in kids so he was going to meet some diabetic kids and family members to walk a 1 mile section of the trail. In order to make it to this walk with the kids, we had to hike 25 miles a day for the next week to get to Massachusetts where the walk would start. And so we pushed heavy miles for a week straight and were so excited to make it to the arranged walk except not even one of the diabetic kids showed up. Of course we gave 3 Stoves a hard time for this but we were happy to get to hike with his family members and friends for a few miles in Massachusetts.
3 Stoves goes to MIT in Boston so once again we headed to the city to see what there is to see. Again I was quite anxious on the car ride there but it was much less stressful than our trip to NY City. Boston was very cool and I loved how historic the buildings were. We enjoyed walking around the city and got to go to an REI for the first time since the start of the trail. After touring the city we said goodbye to Renaissance as he had to catch a flight home for a wedding he was attending. It was sad to see him go after hiking almost a month on the trail with him but he's from Georgia so we will get to hang out after the trip luckily. We headed back to western Mass. where 3 Stoves' house is. Once again we had quite a eventful zero day and it is supposed to be raining tomorrow so we decided that we should take another zero day tomorrow lol.
With a little over a quarter of the trail left I am begininng to realise that this trip isn't too far from its end. A thing I've learned from the trips to the cities over the past week and a half: adjusting to the busyness of normal life after the trail will take some getting used to.