Friday, August 28, 2009

Rangeley, Maine

I am in Maine, and I have 22o miles left. That is 10%, I really cant believe it. Anyhow, I went through some really tough sections of the trail, the first few days in Maine really tested my will to continue this hike. It was raining and foggy, and just plain shit. Maine is all roots, mud, and slippery rock slabs. But, then the sun came out. It is so beautiful up here, it is truly like I thought it would be. Ponds are everywhere, the mountains are beautiful, and there is little development. I am running into resupply issues with food, since we are hitting small town general stores, so I am going to the grocery today and bouncing a box forward to somewhere along the trail, just to be safe. Anyhow, I have to run, much to do. I will update soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Suzie Creamcheese this is your conscience...

So I have taken on another alias Suzie Creamcheese....

In other news, I took a zero here at M&M's place. Pad Thai with Tempeh for dinner, yum.

I just watched this movie "Hard Candy", what an absolutely disturbing film. Castration is a scary thing, it is what all males fear. At least that is what my feminist film teacher told me.....

I don't know which story to tell today... so everyone get gather around the fire. I will start with my Bennington, Vermont story:

I met his random hiker named JJ. JJ had thru hiked last year, but he didn't stop, he is what we call an official trail bum. He is part of the landscape now, just like the trees and squirrels. Anyhow, JJ tells us of a hiker feed in Bennington, VT on August 1st. The only problem is I was going to be way past Bennington by then, but as things go, Massachusetts was really slow because of the rain hostel hopping almost every night. We called it the no-camp state challenge. :) We almost made it, we only camped one night in the whole state of Massachusetts.

So I was hiking with Lisa and Toothpick and we pass through Bennington and push on to Manchester Center, hoping we can hitch back to the hiker feed. A little clarification: Hiker feeds are worth going to for many reasons:
  • You get to see hikers you haven't seen in ages
  • You get to eat free food
  • You get to drink free beer and some South Carolinian ends up peeing on someone (more on this later).
Me and Toothpick in Kent, CT.

So we get to Manchester which ends up being this horrible little town, its raining, and the hostel is full ( Hostels that take reservations and only have 10 spots=dumb). We end up getting a place to stay with some burned out Dead Head who just mumbles a lot, and won't let us do laundry because it is too expensive, even though she just pocketed $60 cash for letting three hikers sleep in her house. Anyhow, the next day we are off, and it is raining as usual and we make it to Griffith Lake. The rain lets off and everything is good, but we are on tent platforms. Tent platforms are great in theory, they reduce impact, but they also are a hard surface that rain likes to pool on. So we get hammered the next morning by rain, and everything gets soaked. Toothpick has a down bag, so his sleeping bag is worthless for that night, and with the temperature dropping at the time, things were looking questionable. So we all start hiking and everything is rainy and foggy, and the trail is a ragging river.

I am feeling fine, but Toothpick was loosing his mind. We get to this USFS road and he says he needs to get off the trail, everything he has is soaked and I think he was heading toward hypothermia. Here we are, Me, Lisa, and Toothpick sitting in a Privy (toilet) deciding what to do. We make the decision to hike 3.5 miles down the forest road to get dry place that isn't a thunderbox. Meanwhile we have to give this attempting thru hiker Ace a bunch of our food because he says he is running low (again more on this later). Well, Toothpick is loosing his mind, he is screaming "help!" as we are hiking along the road. "Help I am being raped!" Me and Lisa and laughing because we don't know what to do, or why he is screaming rape, he just snapped because he was soaked and tired. Then I asked him where his poncho was, which he just gotten a few days prior. He grew quiet, he had been hiking the past few days with a brand new poncho in his backpack,and forgot he had it. This was to funny, I was like you are screaming rape and you have a poncho in your pack! So to cut it short we got a ride from a nice couple who gave us a ride to Manchester Center.

While we are waiting for the bus in Manchester to get back to Bennington, we are approached by a lady eating Cool Ranch Doritos (known as 'Cool American Doritos in Iceland.. fun little fact). When I say eating, I mean eating, her mouth is so full of Doritos her corn snacks are flying out of her mouth like projectiles. To top it off, she has a massive wet stain around her crotch area (Toothpick fails to notice this, but Lisa does).Please notice the stain

So this lady ends up paying all our bus fares, buys us all a bar of Hershey's chocolate (don't worry I didn't eat it). On the way to Bennington she tells us of her travels to Texas and her true love who lives there, and how it was his turn to chase her. She gets off the bus at the post office, but not before she informs us that it was Jesus that told her to help us. Thanks Jesus wherever you are.

So we get to Bennington and we get to Chris and Arla's house.
They are some of the coolest people I have met on the trail, and let us sleep on their front porch. I end up meeting a bunch of hikers I didn't know, and we all went out for some pricey Mexican food. It was at the Mexican restaurant that I notice that my licence is MIA, which is a total bummer, because the man likes to know who you are. So the next day the hiker feed starts around 5pm, and they have vegan boca burgers! The guy doing the grilling asks if it is okay that he is using the same grill for the cow corpses, which I informed him wasn't a problem. (Usually it is, but if the foods free, then what can you do?) Anyhow, I return a few minutes later for my boca and not only is it on the same grill, but the cow is on my boca, leaking its juices onto my boca burger of vegan justice! OH NO! I get the cook to give me the boca burger next to it, and crisis was avoided.

It was a good grill, very relaxed, a whole keg full of beer for the hikers, and the normal frisbee session. What was even cooler was that I got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen since as far back as Virginia (Hobbit, Kanickers, Tag-Along/Tagless, K-bar & Soundtrack), so that was "a real nice suprise". To make things even more amazing, on a whim I had called the grocery in Manchester looking for my ID, and they had it, and to make it better the woman who answered the phone lived in Bennington. She said she would deliver my ID later that night, so everything was going a-o-k.

So the feast wraps up and we are playing pool and listening to Tenacious D in Chris and Arla's barn... life can't get much sweeter.
I then realize that it was 10:30 and I had to meet this woman for my ID, so I walked next store to the Friendly's and there she is. So I ask her if she would like to join the party and meet some hiker trash. So she comes next store and proceeds to hang out, but then asks me if I would like to go to a local pub down the street where her friends were hanging out. I didn't really want to go, because the vibe at the barn was good, but I thought it would be fun to see some of the VT locals. I am glad I did. We get to this bar and there is this AC/DC cover band called Loose Change playing. So I just tried finding them on google, but who knew there was more then one Loose Change? They even had a sign, so I was hoping to find a picture, but this picture will do (they weren't much better looking):So they are playing all this AC/DC music and it was fun to watch the locals, so much diversity. Buzz cuts meat heads, the elderly, the young guys wearing Fox racing shirts. Overall a good people watching experience, but then I saw her. She was well in her 60's, long flowing white hair, orthopedic shoes, black slacks, and a floral shirt holding it all in. She hit the dance floor with a storm. Listen, I have been all over the world and I have never seem moves like these. It was beautiful, it was free, and more then anything it was fucking hilarious. This woman was just throwing down, like she had just escaped from an old folks home where dancing was a crime. I was almost on the floor watching this woman (sorry for the 90's pun), get jiggy with it. What was confusing was that no one was laughing with me, and it made me sad that I didn't have a camera with a video function. Being Dick Tracey and all, I put it together this woman has been around the block so to speak, dancing every week to bad cover bands like 'Loose Change'.

So in comes my grocery store friends---friend. He is this overweight monster of a man, with a high voice, huge gauged ear cartilage, really expensive SLR camera around his neck, all topped off with a nice Kangol cap. Fast forward to later in the night, and we go outside to get some fresh air. Well he starts telling me about his overweight girlfriend, who he really doesn't like but she has a nice place and drives him to work everyday. They all work at the Grocery in Manchester by the way. Anyhow we get on the topic of hallucinogens, and this guy eyes light up like a fat kid on a cookie. He proceeds to tell me that he was quite into LSD at one time, but now he stays away from it. He told me a story that I will never forget. It goes like this: "So this one time I had an eye dropper full of LSD, next thing I know its 5 days later and I am in Buffalo New York with no idea how I got there." :)

So I don't know how I get myself in these positions, but I realized long ago that 99% of Americans are on drugs, so they are all just stories for the book, or at least a blog.

I get dropped off later on back at the Barn where I proceed to get in my tent, because all the other hikers are passed out around the pool table. I am on a nice knoll that overlooks the barn, so I have a birds eye view of what occurred. Enter the South Carolinian pee'ers. So I am making myself a P&B wrap in my tent when I hear some commotion coming from the barn, where I see Snarky and Story Teller walking out of the barn with all there bedding. I didn't know what to think of it, so I just went to bed. The next day I find out what happened. Slapshot, form S.C. woke up at some point in the night, and proceeded to start to pee in the middle of the floor. Well hearing the sound and wreaking some of the splatter, K-bar yells: "Slapshot, Are you Peeing?"Me and Slapshot
I would like to point out that Slapshot has a mullet, but a joke mullet. Anyhow, Slapshot wakes up mid pee and is like, "I guess I am peeing." He walks outside and finishes off in the grass, but not without casualties. Toothpick's crocks got hosed, and a few hikers got some splatter, but it could have been worse. I have seen worse(Jack Pond you still have take the cake), so I guess people got away pretty clean, again forgive the pun. Anyhow to make it better, Toothpick, also from South Carolina, may have had a problem holding his pee on the front porch, because Walk about and Rocklobster both agreed they got wet when Toofy walked by at some point in the night.

To make it better we were being followed by this random hiker, Ace, who I mentioned earlier who has some type of mental deficiency. He may have autism, but we were unsure. He had a pack the size of a Camel back and had nothing but Power bars for food. I tried to help him because I knew it was bad news if he didn't have the right gear in the mountains, but he was hopeless. We tried to get away from him to make it to the bus back to Manchester, but he was right behind us. So he is on the bus and he says he is going to the EMS to check out a new pack, which we were happy to hear. But he doesn't get off at the EMS, but proceeds to get off at the same stop where we planned to hitch, following us like a little dog with purse for a backpack, with four Power bars, half a jar of peanut butter (that I gave him), and a bag of Cheerios. Me, Toofy, and Lisa looked at each other, because we all didn't know what to do, if he followed us, we would have to keep him alive out of our food bags.... So I told him to get back on the bus and to get a bigger pack and more food. Luckily he got back on, I have seen him since at the Long Trail Festival, with the same Osprey pack as I have (which is a bit creepy), and a six pack of Odoul's non alcoholic beer.

Anyhow, that is only one of the many stories that happened in the great state of Vermont. More to come, I need to get to sleep. When you do, dream of this face...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

White Mountains

Ace, Col. Mustard, and yours truly

So I have made it to Pickham Notch in the Whites. I summited Mt. Washington today which was cloudy, and to tell you the truth, an ugly ass mountain. Well, to be fair, all the overweight tourists and the antenna's were the culprits, I am sure the mountain would be beautiful otherwise. I did a solo mooning of my white ass to the patrons of the Cog Railroad, twice actually , but no pictures because none of my fellow thru hikers waited for the train like I did. The way I see it, I didn't get to do the half gallon challenge because I don't do dairy, so missing out on another tradition was not going to happen.
I am zeroing at M&M's house, who hiked the AT previously. My knees hurt, and my face looks like a tomato, as I should have put on some sunscreen. Everything is going well, the mountains are truly pushing my mind and body, but that is a good thing.

I know I owe you guys some stories, but I will do that tomorrow, as I have had a few more adventures since we last spoke. Namely, a hut caretaker named Stinky who won $185,000 in the lottery and blew it all in 8 months, but had the time of his life doing it. He went to Disney World 4 times :)
Col. Mustard above treeline

On the trail to Mt. Washingtong with Lakes of the Clouds Hut visable

Cup of Joe, Col. Mustard, Me, and BlessedShot today on top of Mt. Adams

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hanover, N.H.

I have been having so much fun on the trail the last 2 weeks. I am truly falling for Vermont, even through the mud and the rain, it has been great. I have had 3 or so days of awesome weather, and made the push into Hanover yesterday. I had a crazy hitch back into Rutland for the Long Trail Festival, but not crazy bad, but crazy good. I honestly have to sit down and think it over, because so much happened. I will give you a taste: hitching with a paper bag sign, getting picked up by this wonderful woman who lets me shower and gives me beer, running over the quiche gorge where people like to committee suicide, sitting in front of a gas station eating a sub where a hot air balloon lifts off out of nowhere, staying at the 12 tribes commune, and a crazy ridge runner who tried to off someone with a maddock. :)

This trail is out of control, and I still have 450 miles to go. I will update again soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

519 Miles to go...Danby, VT


Progress has slowed consideribly for many reasons. I was pushing high miles for so long, and I am finally in New England, and with 500 miles to go, why rush? The weather has also been slowing us down, it has been raining almost daily, and it is heavy wet rain that can last for most of the day. When the rain stops, the sun doesn't come out, so we get little time to dry out. I am doing well, luckily I have my trusty synthetic sleeping bag (down with the down) and decent rain gear. My feet are doing well, but the moisture is taking its toll. Hmm, I just called my mom to send in my winter gear to Hanover, N.H. The cold is starting to roll in, and you never know what you are going to get in the Whites or in ME. We are in Bennington for a hiker feed, free food/music/beer. The bad part is that I lost my licence. :(

I am finally getting my new shoes from Salomon, after it took close to 2 weeks for them to arrive in Dalton, M.A. then I had to have them sent to Rutland. Oh well, what can you do. The saga continues with gear issues.

Overall things are good, I have hiked over a few of the local ski resorts like Stratton and Bromely. I have some live music awaiting, so I must go...