Weekly Wrap Up: Week 22

August 10-16

Miles Hiked: 106

  • Weekly Average:  15.1 miles/day
  • Total:  2126
  • Overall Average: 13.8
  • Zero Days: 0 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $242 *

  • Town Food/Lodging: $62
  • Trail Food: $60
  • Gear: $76
  • Slackpack Shuttles: $38
  • Postage: $6

* Does not include Tandem’s totals

Highlight of the Week

Jerry: Finishing the last real mountain climb over Snow Cap Mountain before Mount Katahdin.

Bennett: Stayed at Lakeshore House in our very last town before the 100 Mile Wilderness and Katahdin! After a BEAUTIFUL view and 21 miles hiked that day, we arrived at the hostel and actually had our own private room instead of being in the bunkhouse. We enjoyed some good food and talked to a few SOBOs.

Karen: Surviving the first three mile run in my training plan.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: Not being able to cross the Long Pond Stream due to flooding rains the night before. We were forced to go back in to Monson due to that and other circumstances to regroup.

Bennett:  After hiking in the rain (which overall wasn’t too bad), things took a turn for the worse after reaching our first stream. We carefully crossed, and thinking we were good, continued on, only to encounter an even worse stream. This one we walked upstream to a log across the raging stream. We waded through the thigh deep water, leaning against the log to keep the current from pulling us downstream. Wet but successful, we encountered ANOTHER stream. Only this one was more like a river and it was chest deep. So wet and cold and clueless as to how to cross (nothing a mile upstream was doable) we wimped out, called a shuttle, hiked two miles out on a flooded logging road, and wound up back at the Lakeshore hostel. We spent another night there (which the owner was kind enough to give us a discount on due to our predicament). Luckily the weather DID clear up and we successfully got back on trail where we were left off.

Karen: Having both Carson leave for college and Christopher leave to go back to Canada within days of each other.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: Our stay at the Lakeshore House and having a private room with a double bed and kitchen. Tandem and I loved the feel of privacy for the same price as a pair of bunks in the bunk room. Being able to get new shoes to replace my depreciated pair was also a bonus!

Bennett:  Enjoying our last few hiking days in the 100 Mile Wilderness. Despite the constant light rain, the hiking was beautiful and easy overall. There were some great views from mountains, my favorite being the mountain covered in blueberries where the sky FINALLY cleared up enough that we got our first view of Katahdin!

Karen: Moving Carson in to college.


Weekly Wrap Up: Week 21

August 3 – 9

Miles Hiked: 109

  • Weekly Average:  15.6  miles/day
  • Total:  2020
  • Overall Average: 13.7
  • Zero Days: 0 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $476.50

  • Town Food/Lodging: $237
  • Trail Food: $138
  • Gear: $1.50
  • Slackpack Shuttles: $100

Highlight of the Week

Jerry: Having the Hall Mountain Lean-to all to ourselves and being able to spread out in it and cook there.

Bennett: Having some good luck with a hitch into Andover for Buzz’ birthday. The woman turned her car around and drove us the 10 miles into town — THEN she bave us tons of fruit and extra food.  I think her kindness was even better than the burger we had for lunch.

Karen: Adopting a new cat. His name is Hennessey.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: Having the sole on my left Merrill Moab come start separating from shoe. Merrill would not overnight replacement shoes to Monson due to their policy of nine days response time.

Bennett:  Seeing the number of miles we would have to hike in Maine. Two-hundred and eighty-one seemed WAY more daunting than 2185.

Karen: The start of school, which is the end of shorts and no make-up at work.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: Our stay at the Farmhouse Hostel and being able to slack pack 49 miles with their help. For dinner the last night, we had steaks and corn on the cob. Shane and Stacey were the perfect hosts!

Bennett: Seeing Mambo and Mio again! Spending time slack packing with the two of them while staying at Farmhouse Inn (a new hostel just getting on its feet) was just what I needed to get over my Maine blues.

Karen: After a fun, relaxing weekend at the lake with several other families, we somehow talked each other into signing up for a half marathon. We did have enough sense to pick a very flat one.

Weekly Wrap Up: Week 20

July 27 – August 2

Miles Hiked: 102

  • Weekly Average:  14.6  miles/day
  • Total:  1911
  • Overall Average: 13.7
  • Zero Days: 0 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $??? *

  • Town Food/Lodging:
  • Trail Food:

 *Totals updated when they have cell service again.

Highlight of the Week

Jerry: Crossing the state line from NH into ME at mile 1,900! This is our thirteenth and final state to hike in on the trail!

Bennett: After a super stormy day at a Hut spent playing Monopoly, it was SO AMAZING to have the sky clear up just in time for our ascent of Mt. Washington. The hike was great, and the views all that day were breathtaking. The area reminded me so much of New Zealand, and I hope I can return sometime again.

Karen: Having Christopher come home after being in Canada all summer and Carson finally home from working at camp.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: It taking me 10 hours to slack pack the 21 miles from Pinkam Notch to the White Mountains Hostel.

Bennett: Having my Hennessey Hammock rain fly leak during all the storms this week. Wet clothing + wet hammock + wet sleeping bag = NO FUN.

Karen: The official end of summer with the start of pre-planning.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: Our stay at the White Mountains Hostel. They had bunks with fresh linens, showers, laundry, breakfast, town shuttles, computer, wide screen television, a 21 mile slack packing shuttle back to Pinkham Notch, and were located right on the Appalachian Trail!

Bennett: Staying at the White Mountains Lodge & Hostel for two evenings. This place is by far one of my favorite stays — they give you comfy clothes to wear while they wash all your clothing, and Marni cooks a delicious, big hiker breakfast in the mornings. It was nice to knock out 21 miles of slackpacking while there, too. To say it’s hard to leave is an understatement!

Karen: Although Bennett graduated in December, she sublet her space during the spring semester. The lease ended and guess who got to move her furniture back to Atlanta? Hint: Not her. Or her father. However, her grandmother and I and her grandmother’s pickup did a fine job of getting stuff back to Atlanta. Thank you, mom, for your help!

Weekly Wrap Up: Week 19

July 20-26

Miles Hiked: 72

  • Weekly Average:  10.3  miles/day
  • Total:  1809
  • Overall Average: 13.6
  • Zero Days: 0 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $157 *

  • Town Food/Lodging: $91
  • Trail Food: $66

* Jerry’s spending. Bennett’s phone is broken, so she can’t access her records. Her best estimate? “Honestly can’t tell you.”

Highlight of the Week

Jerry:  Being in hiker-friendly Hanover, NH on a Sunday and getting the first opportunity to attend a Catholic mass at Saint Denis Catholic Church.

Bennett: Hiking up to the top of Mt. Moosilauke was amazing! It was our first real White Mountain climb and it was so challenging but so beautiful. Maybe it was me high on coffee & adrenaline and low on calories & sleep, but the hike up felt so great & the view from the top was spectacular.

Karen: Getting together and catching up with some old friends. Everyone was able to be there on short notice, and it was a great evening.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: Breaking ways with Mio. He Went to the hospital in North Woodstock, NH, for his mental confusion condition. It required a spinal tap for diagnosing what could be one of several common diseases that can be acquired on the trail, including Lyme disease. I wished him well and told him that we would miss him.

Bennett: Having Buzz be indecisive about his plans during an approaching storm. I sat and waited despite the thunder for him to decide if he was hiking the last mile to a shelter with me or paying $30 to stay at a hostel. He only decided he wasn’t when I was standing in the street and the rain started falling. I was less than pleased to have to run a mile in the crazy thunder storm and arrive soaked.

Karen: Dealing with a set of less-than-pleasant-but-quite-persistent parents.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: Hiking into the White Mountains on the Appalachian Trail for the first time, starting with the ascent up Mount Moosilauke. Everyone says that “the Whites are so hard to hike through”. That initial 3,800 foot climb was surprisingly easy for me due to my hiker legs being tuned up. Bring on Mount Washington and the other presidents!

Bennett: Spending the day in Hanover relaxing in Starbucks and visiting an Irish pub to celebrate Mio’s birthday with everyone. Also loved the hospitality Warren gave us, welcoming us into his home for the night and even setting up a fire with s’mores for us.

Karen: I don’t remember much from the week … they do tend to run together.

Weekly Wrap Up: Week 18

July 13-19

Miles Hiked: 93 (Tandem) / 120 (Buzz)

  • Weekly Average:  15.2  miles/day
  • Total:  1737
  • Overall Average: 13.8
  • Zero Days: 0 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $279

  • Town Food/Lodging: $144
  • Trail Food: $127
  • Movie: $5
  • Laundry: $3

Highlight of the Week

Jerry:  Hiking 30 miles in the rain to catch up with Tandem, which is the most miles I have hiked.

Bennett: Enjoying a relaxing day in Manchester then watching the World Cup final with Jukebox and Mio.

Karen: Moving back into my office after having been displaced all summer due to construction.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: My recurring and moving foot sores.

Bennett: Chaffing. And Buzz’ foot problems.

Karen: Looking up at the dining room ceiling and seeing a large water stain, necessitating a call to the plumber. Also, not seeing a moose.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: The amazing trail magic provided by Key Lime’s parents!

Bennett: Meeting Key Lime, her dog Ozzy, and her parents. Then having her parents throw some really fun, amazing trail magic. Also, seeing a moose the next morning!

Karen: Being so unutterably bored on Sunday that I took the cat for a ride to Starbucks with me.  Still makes me laugh, but I’m guessing he’d categorize it as the lowlight of his week.

Weekly Wrap Up: Week 17

July 6 – 12

Miles Hiked: 142 (Tandem) / 115 (Buzz)

  • Weekly Average:  18.6  miles/day
  • Total:  1644 (Tandem) / 1617 (Buzz)
  • Overall Average: 13.7
  • Zero Days: 0 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $298

  • Town Food/Lodging: $126
  • Trail Food: $109
  • Gear: $3
  • Postage: $60

Highlight of the Week

Jerry:  Camping in Dalton in a back yard and viewing of the Argentina vs Netherlands soccer game in the Shamrock Pub.

Bennett: I really enjoyed stopping at Upper Goose Pond Cabin. The lake was beautiful to watch from the dock, and the pancakes and coffee in the morning from the caretaker were a great treat.

Karen: Meeting a friend for lunch during the work week.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: Not having Tandem hiking around me.

Bennett: Though very happy I took a few days to hike by myself and do my own pace and plans, the second afternoon of hiking was challenging. My phone (with beloved podcasts) was dead, my feet (with my third blister of the trip) killed, and my resolve to make it 27 miles that day was waning. I found myself looking at a beautiful pond and realizing I had no one there to enjoy it or go swimming with.

Karen: Multiple trips to the post office because separate people need separate stuff sent to separate places at separate times with separate costs.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: Being at Upper Goose Pond Cabin and enjoying a swim in the pond. The dock, canoe, and sunfish reminded me of all of my summers at Lake Winnipesaukee. And pancakes!

Bennett: After hiking 32 miles (the furthest I’ve hiked with a pack!) of challenging terrain, I made it to my goal location: an old fire tower. From the 3800+ foot elevation tower I watched an absolutely gorgeous sunset and sunrise with a few other hikers. The Vermont landscape, colorful clear sky, and full bright moon were unbelievable and definitely made me happy that I had pushed on those last 10 miles.

Karen: Being very proud of Bennett for going out on her own and giving herself the opportunity to prove that she could.

Weekly Wrap Up: Week 16

June 29 – July 5

Miles Hiked: 110

  • Weekly Average:  15.7  miles/day
  • Total:  1501
  • Overall Average: 13.4
  • Zero Days: 1 / Total: 13

Money Spent: $414

  • Town Food/Lodging: $63
  • Trail Food: $113
  • Laundry: $4
  • Gear: $234

Highlight of the Week

Jerry:  When Tandem’s blogging buddy Jukebox caught up with us in Pauling, NY, which made her happy.

Bennett: Having a past hiker friend, Jukebox, catch up to us. He hiked many miles very quickly to do so, and I’ve enjoyed his humor and awesome music/NPR podcasts while hiking.

Karen: Getting the written confirmation that our health insurance has been reinstated retroactive to the start of the hike.

Lowlight of the Week

Jerry: Having the boisterous guy intrude on and disturb our Fifth of July fireworks viewing experience on the top of Bear Mountain.

Bennett: USA losing soccer. Boo.

Karen: Having Carson home for the Fourth of July weekend yet seeing her for about a total of 12 minutes.

Memory of the Week

Jerry: Being in the cute and hiker-friendly town of Pauling for the viewing of the USA vs Germany World Cup soccer match, even though USA lost. While there, I was also able to get the hole in the seat of my pants sewn shut by Marie of the Yarn & Craft Box. Thank you, Marie!

Bennett: Spending the day in Kent, CT, to dry out after a huge storm. We had delicious coffee, an awesome lunch with our extended family, and then had the most wonderful luck ever. Pat saw us just before we were going to leave town out into another storm. He invited us back to his home in the mountains, let us shower and watch tv, and told us so many great stories of his experiences hiking in Alaska and working on a crab boat. He was so welcoming and wonderful to us. I was thankful for the roof over our head during the rain and for meeting such a cool person.

Karen: When talking with Bennett this week she said that they will finish earlier than I had anticipated. I had calculated that they’d finish at Labor Day and planned to spend the week in Maine to be there at the end. (Not actually hike anywhere, mind you, just be there.) She pointed out that I had been using their overall average pace, which included the days at home and the lower-mile days of their start. When I calculated using their pace over the last seven weeks (closer to 17 than 13 mpd), it appears they’ll finish around August 15.