That's right folks! I have officially hiked 1500+ miles (the plus sign obviously symbolizing that extra 9/10th of a mile I tacked on for good measure :P). Also, tomorrow morning I will say so long to the state of Connecticut! That means just 4 states and 685 miles is all that separates me from Mt. Katadhin! Wow. Unfortunately the 4 states I have left are the most difficult of the entire trip, but by all accounts also the most beautiful, so I have a lot left to do and a lot more to look forward to!
The past few days I have been hiking and camping primarily alone. I had to temporarily leave my friends Spider and Sriracha behind so that I could meet Darby in Boston this weekend. But don't worry, I'm just getting a head start on them so that we can continue to hike together after the Boston trip :). I am SO excited to see Darby!! I don't even want to think about how long it's been since we last saw each other :(. I'm glad she is able to come out and meet me while I'm on this trip too! Just another awesome chapter in an already incredible book of adventure. And I get to check yet another east coast city of my list of never-before-seen-places!
Hiking alone the past few days has been really enjoyable; I haven't done hardly any solo hiking the entire time I've been out here. I am able to take a break whenever I'd like, read my book, hike fast, or journal whenever I see fit. It's so peaceful out here in the forest of Connecticut. It really is a beautiful state, even if it does have some steep ups and downs! While in my solitude I've had a few random thoughts. Would you like to hear? I thought you might!
I would like to first start off my mindless tangent by thanking the makers of DEET for creating such a wonderfully horrifying chemical. While I'm fairly certain DEET was created by the NAZIS during WWII as a means of chemical warfare, and that it is probably more healthy for me to stick my head in a microwave than to spray this stuff on my skin, I must say it does a remarkable job at keeping both mosquitoes and ticks at bay. Getting skin cancer at 70 sounds better than getting Lyme's disease tomorrow. I'll just discontinue usage post thru hike :). Today I got DEET over spray in my mouth.... Yuck! I tried to wash it out with Mio flavored water. The result was as you would expect: Mio flavored DEET water. Why is DEET always seen in all caps anyway? Does it stand for something?
Anyways! Today I also thought of 3 of the biggest letdowns of my trip 1500 miles in. Are you ready?
1) I have not developed the calve muscles of a Greek God.
- What's a guy got to do to get sexy calves around here? Clearly it isn't walk up mountains for going on 5 months with 35 lbs on your back! I mean don't get me wrong, they're way stronger. But they don't look way stronger! I'm looking for definition! You know why the definition of my calves are? Shapeless muscle masses.
2) I have not made eye contact with a single bear.
- Now this may sound like a victory to some, but I have only seen two bears this entire trip, and both were ALREADY in the act of running from me by the time I noticed them! I mean don't get me wrong here, I don't want to actually feel in any way endangered. But good grief people, the back end of a bear crashing down the hillside isn't even enough to get adrenaline flowing! I mean I just saw a bear, and it might as well have been a deer or a chipmunk!
3) I have developed 0 zombie apocalyptic survival skills.
- Pardon me, but I thought that living in the woods this long would make some sort of survivalist out of me. I didn't expect to walk off the trail wielding a crossbow or even be Rick-esque...but I at least thought I would have a leg up on all you normal every day folk. Nope. I'm just as doomed as the rest of you. Unless walking for 10-12 hours a day at around 2 mph will benefit me at all? No? I thought not.
Well that just about does it for me!