Almost go time. Just need to make a final decision on which layers and shelter I’m taking, throw it all in the pack and hit the trail. I’ve been watching the forecast and (fingers crossed) it looks like we may have some nice weather. I sure hope so because, with the exception of a few days here and there, it’s been wet and dreary here in the mid-west. Regardless, it will be nice to be back on the AT again. I’m 21 lbs lighter and in much better shape than last year so that alone should make for a much better trip. Maybe Deep Woods won’t have to listen to me whine so much!
Loonie has decided she’ll meet me once Deep Woods and I finish at Bear Garden Hostel. She and I will stay there for a night and then head north. The plan is to have Adam (aka “Stanimal”) from Stanimal’s 328 Hostel shuttle us from Waynesboro up to Simmons Gap in the Shenandoah’s…where she and I left off two years ago. We’ll finish the southern end of the park on this trip and then it will be up to Deep Woods and I to close the gap over the next couple of years. In October, Loonie and I will start heading southbound from the Pennsylvania state line at Pen Mar State Park and knock off Maryland and West Virginia. And then next fall, she and I will try to close the gap from Harpers Ferry to Thornton Gap in the Shenandoah’s…where we started our trip two years ago. If all of that comes together I’ll be just under 30 miles shy of the halfway point. Halfway to the summit of Mt Katahdin, ME. Sounds pretty convoluted, I know, but that’s the plan. We’ll see.
In the meantime, Loonie and I took advantage of a nice day over the weekend and went for a short, 2 mile day hike around the lake at Beaver Dam State Park. We were surprised by the variety of wildflowers we ran across. Tons of phlox as well as Trillium, Wild Geraniums, Violets, Spring Beauties, Larkspur, Spiderwort and Shooting Stars. Got me wondering what we’ll see out east soon. Hopefully they haven’t all faded away.
I am SO ready to go! FWIW, the new frameless pack isn’t even close to being ready. In fact, the prototype isn’t finished and there’s no way we’ll start cutting the Cuben Fiber until I’m sure the prototype is right. So, it will be either the old Cuben frameless pack, the ULA Catalyst or the old Osprey Atmos AG 65 for the hike with Deep Woods. The Cuben pack will be bulging at the seams with 7 days worth of food and the other two are HUGE! No worries, though. I’ll figure it out.
More to come…