Monday, July 30, 2012

Loner beyond Kent, CT

Sorry I haven't written in a while, still not feeling myself, a few complications along with the Fibromyalgia, probably not Lyme, my doc says since he's only seen in case in SC and he's been in practice a long time.
But Loner had better news - he may be in Mass, his home state by now.  He last wrote to me on July 26th and posted 9 more videos on his You Tube Video blog at Loner2012AT.  And he's finally met up with Fatherman in Kent, at guess where?  The laundromat!  It would either be that or the library where they both go to load videos.  Loner has posted his meeting with Fatherman on his You Tube video blog but not sure if Fatherman had the chance, last time I looked he hadn't.  It was funny - they were both filming each other!  I sure do hope they get to meet at Trail Days. 
There's lots of cool and interesting bits in the new videos, more trains, a steam machinery exhibit for all my steampunk friends, a zoo that the AT passes right through, owls, expensive and antique cars, cool little towns and a lot of great museums Jeff took the time to visit on mining, Native American, arrowheads and more.He's met some cool people too: a Hudson River Painter named Clay who was painting pleine air on a bridge over the Hudson River.  Clay was so kind as to stop and offer some great Trail Magic after they talked a while.  Clay stopped painting and drove Jeff 9 miles to Walmart to get a new camera, after Jeff's broke in New York.  Jeff also met hikers who were skateboarders, Alf - a 3-time thru-hiker and then to top it off Fatherman.  Jeff even got to sleep behind one of the old blast furnaces. 
His birthday video is on there too and it was a great birthday with lots of Trail Magic and other types of magic - he even found a a blue arrowhead.  Loner is very invested in arrowhead, artifact and fossil hunting. That's why he kayaks so he can get to places you can't walk to. He's been collecting since he was about 14 years-old and travels to hunt various areas. The Pickens County Museum in Pickens, SC, which has a huge Native American collection, once tried to buy Jeff's collection but he's never sold one piece. 
 So now I don't feel so bad that we didn't get to share his birthday with him this year.  He had more important experiences in store for his 40th birthday which started out with waffles and orange juice from Trail Angels!
There are some days I wish we lived closer to the trail in one of those cool little towns so we could easily go do trail magic.  But we're going to try next year however we can do it. I think it would be a great experience for my granddaughters.
It's been a long journey and I have to admit we all miss Jeff  alot. Here's a photo of my smallest granddaughter, Deven who is only 7 months old. The giraffe represents Jeff, since that's one of his totem animals. So Deven has to substitute a stuffed animal until Jeffrey gets home and Kendall misses him and asks about him all the time. Both girls will be so changed when Jeff gets back, Kendall is taller and no longer a little girl, but a young lady of 9 and Deven couldn't even sit up or talk when Jeff left.  Now she says Mama and Dada and something that sounds like "What's that?"  but she touches us and whispers "Idat."  And she will be so changed. She now sits up, feeds herself small little pieces of dry cereal, and stands in her crib.  She may even be walking by the time he gets home! Her sister walked before she was a year. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Loner's bday & Appalchian Trail blogs & videos


Tomorrow is Jeff aka Loner's birthday anbd unfortunately his sister, Beth, nieces, Kendall and Deven and I won't get to celebrate it with him this year.  I can'ty remember a year we didn't get to see him around his birthday.  But he is having his great adventure and a birthday he will never forget and we'll make up for it when he comes home, that's for sure.  We'll do a belated month of birthday celebrations.  So as Loner rests his feet, kick back, as family and friends do on birthdays, gather round meet the people we now count as out AT family!
And don't be surprised, as he months go on, the 2012 AT family gets larger as we communicate through rough e-mails, facebook, White Blaze and You Tube.
I complied this list months ago but never got around to posting it - so it's about time. Enjoy!  This is a list of  blogs, video blogs and websites which hold the AT family together, as they pass along important info and adventure stories, jokes and gear suggestions, but most of all camaraderie.  After all the AT thru-hiker class is a moving city of 2,000 folks and their support teamns, followers and future 2013 and 2014 thur-hikers.
 Fatherman, is ahead of my son,  and  Loner's been watching his videos since Fatherman took off from Springer a month before Jeff.  Over the course of Fatherman's You Tube video blog, Jeff learned a lot about the start of the trail and is now hiking two days behind him.  Loner hopes to meet him (and I've asked him to get me his autograph) because Fatherman has become somewhat of a father figure to hikers  who follow behind him.  Fatherman is very much a people person and his videos are populated with all kinds of folks, hikers, family me4mbers, college students our for a weekend. He lets know what's ahead to both hikers and families and keeps a great spirit as he hikes along with some of the same folks and then an ever changing cast of interesting characters, Medicine Man in his kilt.  Fatherman takes time to see the areas around and takes zero days too. He's proving to be somewhat of a celebrity this year.  He introduces the viewers to lots of other AT 2012 thur-hikers, section hikers and ridge runners, as well as showing lots of the trail, what the shelters are like in each state

ThumbnailBioptherBiopthera - is my second favorite - this is the video blog of Apache, a young guy from Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Loner found him and both he and I have been following him ever since before he left on his journey, as he he showed a number of instructional videos on how he made almost all of his gear DYI style.  He has a great approach to the trail, short of laid back and always enjoying the experience and has featured some interesting side tripos, including spelunking in a very narrow but deep cave.  Loner got to meet him a few states ago.

Another front runner is RedWhiteBlueist:  He's another front runner and while his videos are short he gives a hint of what's to come from those who are behind in the hiker bubble.  At the moment he's in Massachusettes and should be finishing in three or four weeks.

BLOG COMMUNITIES - where many AT hikers blog /journal on the same site

Trail Journals - blog forum for people hiking and preparing to hike the AT trail - bloggers can add photos, videos, dateline, postal drop list, etc.  Great site for AT hikers to keep up with your friends or family hiking the trail.

 White Blaze Forum -  for AT enthusiasts - has date based blogs by members and you can go to their profile from their most recent blogs. Folks who have hiked the AT or are currently doing so and family and friends - I guess, since they accepted me.


AT Class of  2012 text/photo blogs

 Journey North - Great writing, good pics, about his 2012 At thru-hike by Frenchy aka Matt French, funny writing, photos and videos:

Following Blazes, good writing, photos, stats of 2012 AT thru-hiker Rayo

Blog of Writer, scientist, P.J. Wetzel, 2012 AT thru-hiker : Wetzel is one of the early starters and frontrunners to Katadhin this year

AT Class of 2012 thru-hiker video blogs

Biophthera - You Tube blog of Apache

Fatherman - You Tube blog of Fatherman

Red White Blueist - You Tube blog

Patrick - You Tube blog of Patrick from England

 Other AT Blogs and Websites

blog of Zach Davis/aka The Good Badger, AT thru hiker 2011, author of Appalachian Trials, funny, irreverent, profound, psychological, with video clips, posts, trail stories of him and his buddy Whoop, insights.  Also tech advice form a computer geek.  My Guru.

"My Walk on the Appalachian Trail, section hiker of the AT, Mike

A Trail Runner's Blog, Scott Dunlop, a tri-athelte and trail runner:

Blog of SOBO's, Jess and Andy:

Blissful Hiking:  Lauralee Bliss:  hiker's advice

On the Appalachian Trail - 2010 AT hike of Julie:

Life Behind Handle Bars, blog of cyclist Craig Ashely who may be planning a 2013 thru-hike:

Chris Miller's 2011 AT thru-hike

Friday, July 13, 2012

Loner hits Vernon, New Jersey

I heard from Loner today who has reached New Jersey.  I'm so glad I did.  This has been one of the shakier times for me as a mom, in that I got very worried about the Combo of the heat, extreme thunderstorms and Jeff climbing those rocks in Pennsylvania.  But he's out now and is meandering up and down mountains into beatifiul valleys and doing a little night hiking.  He didn't mention that the storms were bad where he was, only showed pictures of the 103 degree temps ion the signs outside of banks.  I'm so glad its cooled off and he has too.  I had sent him a rather panicky email after his rants on the last set of videos because that's just not like him at all.  He doesn't anger easily.  But when he does, I guess he's like me, watch out!  I guess my fears were aggravated because I got sick just about a week ago, ended up in the emergency room, but it appears I've got a yucky concoction of stuff going on - reactive allergy reactions to the corporate jet exhaust from a small airport near me, when they take off right over my house near downtown Greenville and a possible case of Lyme Disease. Ironic isn't it, I live in the middle of a downtown area (although I do have a large garden) and he's walked 1,350 miles - and I am the one who may have Lyme.  Just a reminder that this year you have to pay particular attention to looking for ticks. I won't know until the blood work comes back in a few weeks but they treated me anyway, so I'm not sure if I feel rough because of Lyme of the antibiotic.  It's unpleasant but better than Lyme.
 Jeff posted four new videos from # 71  to #74 at his You Tube AT blog and he's seeing a a lot of varied countryside and mountain landscapes.  He's also very grateful to his grandmother, who we call Babchi (a take off on the Polish for grandmother) because now he can continue the trail and take better care of himself when he gets into town.
I'm fine and dandy here.  I was tired a few days and know I look rough- but I have hiked over 1000 miles so think some black spots under the eyes are ok.  I still have extra weight.  Most everyone else looks like stick men.
The weather has really cooled off and had a little rain too.  I've been drinking lots of water and half the stuff I eat has to be made with water.  I've been hiking in the morns and late afternoons and take a nap in the hottest part of the day.  I'm still using salt tabs sometimes too and cool my feet in creeks or whatever.  If I feel tired I just take a break and lay down for awhile.
Sorry I scared you.  I may have got dehydrated for a day or so but am all good.  I hiked 19 miles Tue, 24 Wed, and 11 today and am at a little motel in Vernon, NJ.  Near mile marker 1350.
The trail was tuff a few days but got way better and there's been some cool landmarks to see.  The camera is working better too. 
Sipsy is back on the trail but I've passed him.  Father Man is still 2 days ahead so I'll see him one day. 
I'm here till 11 on Fri so I'll find some town addys for the food boxs.  I tossed out my guide after NJ because I did not think I would need it.  But will try and find some info online.  There's no outfitter here to get a new book.
I think you have  part of a book after NY.  Could you mail that with the food boxs?.  I'm posting a few vids tonight.  Love ya and hope you are doing ok there. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Loner at Duncannon, PA

Loner has now reached Duncannon, PA ( a couple of days ago) where he stayed at the famous, infamous Doyle Hotel.  This is one of the other traditions, such as writing a joke in the register at Rice Field Shelter,  the half gallon challenge,  Priest Mtn. where they write a confession in the shelter logbook after leaving the summit.  The Doyle has been mentioned in many books, kind of an off the wall place.  But I'll let Loner tell us his story.
Before Jeff left he gave both my daughter and I this massive strip map of the Appalachian Trail.  We all take turns moving the push pin up as we get news from Jeff when he hits a town and sends us emails.  So Here Kendall, Jeff's niece gets to push the pin in at Duncannon, more than halfway there!