It has been a few hundred miles since the last mail, and I have a handy computer, so here goes:
I pulled my first 28 or 29 mile day yesterday to get into Duncannon PA. I'm nearly out. I'm looking at about a week and a half to get to the edge of Virginia, for those of you in VA who are looking to meet up. If I get my phone back soon, I'll be giving you guys a call as I get closer.
I would have been here quicker, alas, I keep having such a great time meeting people and seeing things, that I maintain my erratic pace. Since my NYC stop, I've passed through NY, NJ, and most of PA. It got super rocky; these rocks kick balls (of the feet). At some point I'll get to a place that I can upload photos... one of the coolest is of a rattle snake devouring a chipmunk. I missed several snapshots of bears, and a few other killer snakes.
I also failed to take pictures of co-ed naked, drunken, fire circle running and falling. I really wish I had taken some photos of the nice scrapes, bangs, and bruises I picked up tripping over the PA rocks. With a little blurring out of sensitive bits, I could have even shared them with you guys. In the course of that night, I lost my glasses too. On which I will blame all the falling down, rather than blaming the wild turkey, darkness, rocks, and nakedness.
This innocent debauchery happened just out side of Palmerton, PA where I and a few others ended up taking a few zero days. As if in trade for the lost glasses, some unknown person put finger picks for a banjo into my banjo case. Very strange that someone would happen to have finger picks, realize that I didn't have them, and stick them secretly into my case. I imagine a deranged garden gnome is to blame.
I've bumped into two more random re-meets of random folks that I never thought I'd see again. One was of a northbound hiker, who I've now seen in two states walking her dog, after she finished her hike. Another was a woman from the Palmerton diner, who I bumped into a few days later, and ~ 60 miles later as she was day hiking. This makes the count of coincidental re-meets around 7 or 9. It's a small trail.
Lost my phone in a car. Met someone at a nice view and I talked my smelly, hungry, hiker body into a dinner run with her. Had good cheap food, and thought that was going to be it... now there's a whole crew working on retrieval of the phone.
Saw 3 bears on the trail. All ran away pretty quickly.
I've been hiking with other people since I left NYC. It completely changes how this hike feels. I got so used to being secluded every night... and now I have real people I can talk to! Good and bad, both. Mostly good, and I'm not looking to being alone anytime soon, o my pace may be getting less erratic as I try to keep in the pack. On the other hand, maybe I'll break back out of the pack so I can continue my own strange trip.
Gosh... there is too much more, and I don't have the time. Wish I could get this stuff down in mail as it happens rather than a 10 minute gush every couple of weeks. Hopefully I can get in more soon... Still having a blast out here.