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  • Archive for November, 2010

    365 059: March 9, 2008
    Self portrait taken 3/9/08 at John Lloyd State Park, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    The person in this photo didn’t have two nieces.
    The person in this photo hasn’t hiked the Appalachian Trail. It was but a mere bucket list item in a tiny little journal, a dream that was probably not possible. The real thought hadn’t even crossed her mind.
    The person in this photo was not sure what she wanted to pursue creatively.
    The person in this photo had not gone to Bolivia yet. Only 9 more days until she landed at one of the highest airports in the world and waited to see if Marc and Eliana were waiting for her and her husband.
    The person in this photo hadn’t been used as a rubbing post by a puma.
    The person in this photo hadn’t fallen in love with a stinky dog.

    Me, but different. Always evolving, yet staying the same.

    I think I need to do a self portrait series again.

    I am eating pecan pie, thanks to our field secretary. Pecan pie at Thanksgiving, oh yeah! My favorite is my grandmother’s pecan pie, which I think my mom follows now. I am also fond of Cracker Pie but I’m not sure this is the exact recipe, I don’t remember the vanilla part. It doesn’t matter, it’s delicious. Unfortunately I did not get any of that on Thanksgiving day but instead had to work. We had hoped that we would get rained out but the rain didn’t get here until after 3pm and we were done at lunch that day for the holiday. Seriously, so pointless.

    We took a quick nap and then hit up Nacogdoches for the 3:45 showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1. I was extremely pleased by the movie, but Chris was a little disappointed. I know it was because he didn’t read the book and has no clue what is coming next—-adventure, adventure, adventure! A few parts were left out, like details with Kreacher and and more R.A.B. information, and the explanation that the catcher folks were finding people if they said “Voldemort” which isn’t explained in the movie. But, for the most part it was awesome!

    Afterwards we hit up the Hotel Fredonia for dinner since we’d been told it would be one of the few places open. The restaurant was fabulous and I was so excited to have ‘real’ food again, and well, to be honest, to feel ‘real’ again myself. It felt like Chris and I were just back at home, going out somewhere nice and having a real life again, not living in a motel in Podunkville and working 12 hours a day and not doing anything else. This is a completely different feeling than the trail, mostly because we had friends on the trail, trail towns, destinations and that sort of thing. This is, well, work and not much else. There’s all of six places to eat, a grocery store, and two dollar stores that are open at night. The most entertaining thing, Walmart, is 20 miles away.

    Anyway, I highly recommend the Hotel Fredonia if you are ever in Nacogdoches. I had to google was Fredonia meant and well, here you go the Fredonian Rebellion, a prelude to Texas Independence.

    In other news, I am trying to pound out more of the Trail Tales. I’ve got three states left and they are all big and will have a lot to them. Just writing the Mass one out the other day took a few hours. I flip back and forth from the ATC book, ask Chris some questions on names or things that happened and then try to remember it all.

    Tonight I am planning on finishing up my crochet socks I started, like, two months ago. Yeah, slow. That’s all I’ve really done creatively lately; it’s been two weeks since I’ve used my camera.

    Speaking of camera, I really, really wanted to schedule a few sessions while I was home, but last week my car really went on the fritz and the initial, not-really-looked-at diagnosis is perhaps engine issues. Therefore we are cutting our time short at home in order to make a little more money so that maybe if we have to buy a new car we will have some more money to deal with. So, no scheduling anything until I get home and have time.

    This is frustrating me a lot because I really, really, really want to get this started. I know it will take time to build up clients and have steady work, but I would love to just start getting a few here and there and testing out my creativity on other people. Or pets. I’m not picky. 😉 I do think that I will end up narrowing down the types of shoots I do, but I will have to wait and see how that ends up. I am definitely antsy and cannot wait to get a few weeks of break in order to try scheduling some folks. I reworked my price list and it is now much easier to read in PDF form here. Hopefully I will start working on more photos to add to my gallery soon. I am a bit slow, mostly because I am tired every evening. I mean, it is 6:33 and I really thought it was closer to 9 and time for bed. We’re walking between 5 and 10 miles a day, but aren’t going to bed at dusk like we were when we were on the trail.

    Alas, I that’s about it.

    Relevant posts:
    Group Hiking
    Make Time’s Thru-Hike Completion
    Inch by Inch, Rock by Rock

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    I have to say that Massachusetts surprised me. It turned out to be a lovely state and also a plant community and ecosystem change.

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    Once into Mass we descend into Sages Ravine, a *bleeping* cold water source. I prefer my water Gulf of Mexico warm but the rest of the crew braved the water for a bath.

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    Chris and Merf

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    After getting cooled off we headed for Race Mountain where we stopped to pick blueberries for long periods of time.

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    It’s impossible to resist a clump of sweet and delicious berries! We sat for a long time on several Mr. Everett false summits before realizing a thunderstorm was coming. You can read more of that in the first post listed above, but we had planned to finish early that day at the Glen Brook Lean-To, and instead we took our leisurely time eating blueberries and soaking in the trail. After getting near the top of Mt Everett the lighting had started and Caboose and Spark had gone much faster and were ahead of us, while Chris, Merf and I were trying to stay low and out of the rock areas. The top of Mt. Everett is scrubby and has a view so we were definitely exposed. We were most of the way down the mountain when the bottom fell out but luckily we were close to a privy and saw Caboose and Spark and a bike rider squeezed inside, so we joined them.

    We got to The Hemlocks Lean-To and found a boyscout troop had taken up the entire shelter so we made our way to the Glen Brook Lean-To which was only .1 down the trail. There we found a younger couple, I think the girl was something like Tinkle Fingers or Sparkle Fingers—something strange—and they’d just got on the trail at Harpers Ferry with no real plans on if or when they were going to finish the whole thing. After drying out we set up camp for the night and hit the sack. Caboose and Spark were planning on resupplying in Great Barrington the next day and were leaving early so they could get in and out and miss the rain for the next day as well.

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    Chilling by the bear box the following morning at the Glen Brook Lean-To.

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    Some sections of the trail have bear boxes that work pretty well. It’s better than having to hang your food.

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    Somewhere near Jug End.

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    A particularly slick area near Jug End.

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    Our goal for the day was about 22 miles to the Mt. Wilcox North Lean-To and we were in a hurry to try to get there before possible late afternoon thunderstorms. After descending from Jug End we walked through some forested swamp areas that had potential for really nasty bugs. We’d heard that Mass had a bug problem but so far we had no major issues. We passed monument for Shays Rebellion and kept on going to the road for Great Barrington where we were planning to stop at a place .1 off the trail to get ice cream or sodas. We found the place closed but an antique store next door had sodas but a restroom that was not for customers. Luckily the store that we thought had ice cream ended up opening, no ice cream but the lady was nice enough to let us use the bathroom and we moved down on our merry way.

    We crossed the Housatonic River for the umpteenth time (and was given a warning from the non-friendly bathroom lady not to filter water from the river because of chemicals and such) and headed up East Mtn, which showed us some roundabout trail maintenance (going up and over rocks for no reason) and a few false summits before we made it to the Tom Leonard Lean-To for lunch. When we showed up we were greeted by a guy who immediately recognized us and said he’d met us somewhere on the trail already. He had to state a few locations and shelters before I realized it was Blue Jay a previous thru-hiker who does large chunks of the trail for fun every years. We’d met him at the shelter near Tinker Cliffs in Virginia back in May and he’d been doing the Virginia Section. He’d hiked up to the Tom Leonard shelter to do some trail magic, was looking for Sly Jangle and we told him he was a day or two ahead of us. Also we met Make Time here and found out that our friend COB from back in Georgia was going to be arriving back on the trail after a few zeros and we should run into him again shortly. Make Time had taken some time off in Great Barrington and was only 40 miles or so shy of finishing his thru-hike within the 365 time limit. He only had to make it to Dalton, Mass. You can read more about his story in the post above.

    Caboose and Spark showed up just around the time we were going to leave and so we all hiked together to the Mt. Wilcox North Lean-To.

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    After passing some trail maintainers near Blue Hill Road we stopped for a bit at Benedict Pond. It was a peaceful, overcast walk the rest of the afternoon, past something called The Ledges (that we never saw) and over a few unlisted ups and downs before we arrived at the shelter.

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    The shelter was .3 down the trail and we had some trouble figuring out where the best water source was. Make Time showed up and completed our quiet little group.

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    We’d planned to get to the Mt. Wilcox shelter because it was only 14 miles from Upper Goose Pond where we were planning to spend most of the next day. It was a pretty easy walk to Upper Goose Pond, though sometimes it seemed long and I felt anxious just to get there, to this long awaited, little respite in the woods. Sometimes it gets frustrating when landmarks aren’t labeled in the woods so sometimes you will wonder if you’ve passed them or not. We walked through some fields around Tyringham/Jerusalem Road area before ascending up a mountain and continuing on towards UGP.

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    The Upper Goose Pond cabin is operated by the Appalachian (Money) Mountain Club and is by far much better than any of their huts in the Whites. For one, it’s free and donations are accepted, the people are super nice, and you get breakfast! There is no electricity, but it feels so cozy and wonderful inside. There are books to read, lots of places to lay and rest, newspapers to catch up on, and of course the pond to go swimming in.

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    The water was still too cold for me so I spent most of the afternoon sunbathing on the dock with Spark and Merf, taking a nap and resting. I moved indoors later to rest some more, just enjoying the peaceful area. COB ended up showing up later that afternoon and we got to catch up with him for a bit. He was planning on catching up with Make Time to help him get to Dalton.

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    You can take their canoes out, too.

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    Merf pointing to where we were on the AT map. Long way to go still!

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    Our caretaker at UGP.

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    Inside the cabin. I was very reluctant to leave the next day, the place felt like a hostel in a way, something that I could get tied down to. But, we headed out, with our original intent to stop at the Kay Wood Lean-To 3 miles from Dalton.

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    In Mass we saw our first moose prints! Sweet! We also saw moose scat but never saw a moose. We had a really easy walk that day, around several ponds, through some overgrown vegetation that needed some maintaining and we started enjoying some of the wonderful conifers that were starting to appear. At the October Mountain Lean-To Caboose, Spark and Merf caught up to us from the morning and told us of their idea to run ahead of COB and Make Time in order to throw a surprise celebration for Make Time at the finish line in Dalton. We loved the idea, but even though we were planning to speed up and do some extra miles we decided to try to stop at the Cookie Lady’s house at Washington Mountain Rd. Unfortunately they were not there, but we signed their log book and ate lunch at their picnic tables. Chris decided to water their plants since it appeared they were on vacation.

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    Shortly after deciding it was time to move on we met Hit & Miss, our first southbounders. They just ‘seemed’ to be southbounders by the looks of them, full of confidence and carrying packs that most northbounders didn’t carry. After chatting with them for awhile we hit the trail and maybe three or four miles later they come running up behind us having changed their minds and deciding to head into Dalton with us for another day! What a surprise!

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    Hit & Miss had stayed at trail angel Tom Levardi’s house the night before and convinced us that we had to stay there as well. So, we ran into town, Caboose and Chris borrowed bikes from Tom and ran to a liquor store to buy beer for Make Time (since we’d found out the type he liked back at the Tom Leonard Lean-To) and came back in time for us to sit at the trail head near the CSX Railroad crossing.

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    Strider, Caboose & Chris.

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    Merf & Hit

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    Hit & Miss


    Make Time and COB coming down the trail

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    Soaking it all in…the trail is done for Make Time!

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    We walked with him to the exact corner in Dalton where he and his wife got off the trail.


    Make Time, making time!

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    After all the hullabaloo of finishing we walked a bit down the road to a pub to eat dinner. Everyone who was staying at Tom Levardi’s showed up.

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    That’s Tom in the back right corner.

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    Caboose, Spark and me

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    Snack Attack’s fun drawing in the log book at the pub. We’d missed him by a day.

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    I am not sure on the full story of how Tom Levardi came to let people stay in his house, but he has many beds for guests, including his couches, but somehow Caboose, Spark, Chris and I got to share this pallet bed in the basement. It was a little bizarre, but we made it work. If the trail shows you anything, it’s that you make the best of whatever situation it throws at you, including strange pallet beds. Tom is very gracious and gets ice cream for every one, and we stayed up and watched The Royal Tennenbaums for awhile before hitting the sack. Since we’d previously decided we were going to make it into town the following day and instead we’d made it in that night, we decided to zero in Dalton since we hadn’t had a true trail zero since Damascus, Virginia (this is minus the time we came home for 5 days), so we felt like we needed a real zero. Merf was staying as well, but Caboose & Spark were moving on to get off the trail a day later to go spend the 4th of July with family.

    In Dalton there isn’t a good resupply, so a convenience store has to suffice to get you to North Adams. There are several restaurants to eat at, the library is good and the motel we stayed at for the second night was nice and had free internet and a cat to sit in your lap. We heard Little Brown had arrived that day and that the Traveling Circus wasn’t too far behind.

    We left Dalton on July 2nd with the intent on making it up and over Mt. Greylock and a destination of the Wilbur Clearing Lean-To 20 miles away. The walk out of Dalton was pretty nice, we passed a few ponds, met a kid selling lemonade for I think $1 a glass in half filled Dixie Cups, stopped for lunch at an ice cream store in Cheshire and then ran into Merf and Little Brown on our initial ascent up Greylock. This would be our first time over 3,000′ since North Marshall Mountain in the Shenandoah’s.

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    We stopped for water and rest at the Mark Noepel Lean-To and I remember Little Brown asking me since I was leading why I was taking the trail on all of the rocks. I laughed and told him he really needed to talk to the trail planners, not to me, but it was foreboding of what kind of trail the trail would become in a few hundred miles.

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    It’s always disappointing to climb a mountain that people can drive their cars up to. Greylock has a lodge on top and a restaurant and we thought we might catch dinner but it was only available for guests. You can pay to stay there as well, but we’d just zeroed so we passed.

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    The stairs to the top of the tower.

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    From the tower

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    We met Catman here for the first time. I’d seen his logs for awhile but had never run into him. On our descent of Greylock we ran into some iffy white blaze issues, as in there weren’t any and it wasn’t clear where the trail went. There is a typo in the trail book stating that you would have to descend almost 1,000 feet in .1th of a mile! That would be some rock wall scaling and it certainly didn’t happen.

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    Not sure what I am eating here…this is Merf’s photo that she left me lift (along with a few others on here).

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    Dinner at the Wilbur Clearing Lean-To. The shelter is .3 off the trail, and by this point in time you really don’t care that it is that far off the trail. Half a mile or more, eh, maybe, but this, not so bad. We ran into a trail maintainer there and a few others doing some section hiking but went to bed for a cozy night.

    The next morning we had a pretty easy walk 8 miles into North Adams for a resupply. Merf was meeting her friend Jim there and he was going to hike with her, perhaps until the Whites, but wasn’t quite sure how far yet. We ended up hitting a grocery store somewhere west down the road, shopping in a food wonderland and eating bagels and sandwiches before hand. It’s always a mess when having to repackage everything right there in front of the store, but you get it done and try to stay out of everyones way. After Jim arrived we set off down the trail heading for the Vermont border which we hit only about six miles later. At Eph’s Lookout, .6 from the Long Trail’s southern terminus and the Vermont state line, we met a group who were starting the Long Trail that day. It was hazy and humid, the bugs were starting to get worse.

    The bugs—that would be Vermont.

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    Special for Marc and Eliana. Taken at Cayo Costa State Park last December.

    Since I am having a very uneventful Thanksgiving I thought I’d post a few links to previous Thanksgivings. Well, at least the four that I still have up on this blog.

    2009: Last year we walked 70 miles from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean in preparation for the AT. It was our first major multi-day hike like this and well, it was rougher terrain than I expected. Florida is flat, I’ll give you that, but walking through saw palmettos and climbing over their long trunks can be tiring, and then stepping in pig ruts for long stretches also wears you thin. But, overall it was an awesome experience and aside from walking the chunk of the Florida Trail in Big Cypress this felt like a big deal. Now it seems like such a minute thing, something I could knock out in three days instead of four like we did. Just looking at those photos makes me realize how out of shape I was. Ick.

    2008: In 2008 we went to Jacksonville to spent time with friends. We did some eating, exploring and saw St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S. I really love that area of Florida, it is vastly different than south Florida. Michelle and Robert are now moving back to Texas so we will get to see them again when they get settled in.

    2007: We actually went home for Thanksgiving! If you look closely in the photos at Stephanie maybe you will see Zoe—she was pregnant but didn’t know it yet!

    2006: I can’t get the post to work so I will show a few photos from this year. We went camping at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, probably one of the least visited parks in Florida but well worth going because it is quiet and there is a lot of hiking trails and wildlife.
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    We went camping with our friends Randy and Kathy and had a blast! Oh, we were also quite goofy as you can tell!
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    I’m praying for a rain day tomorrow so I can catch up on some sleep and go see Harry Potter in Nacogdoches!

    Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

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    When I initially saw the plant there on the right I thought it was some type of coral root orchid. After consulting our Texas orchid book I quickly realized it wasn’t but was left hanging on what it actually was. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps it was a parasitic plant but I still wasn’t sure. So I sent an email off to Prem who is much more of an orchid expert than we are and I knew he’d be able to tell me what they were.

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    Turns out we have beech drops a parasitic plant to beech trees! Pretty nifty and interesting!

    Parsleyleaf Hawthorn
    Parsley hawthorn

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    mushroom

    What I really need is a fungus book. And an insect book.

    We saw a bobcat on the way home from work today!

    Cool stuff on the web

    • Kal has some cool Christmas desktop backgrounds to download, plus a plethora of other creative things you can buy for Christmas.
    • Kasie has a recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies…um, yeah!!! Mom, make these!
    • Elizabeth reaffirmed my dreamy nature in admitting she too wished to marry Prince William. We are both already off the market, but now Prince William is too. *drat*.
    • Renee’s apple drawing made me want to bust out some art supplies. Check our her calendars, too.
    • Chiot’s Run is also putting out a calendar for next year. It looks super awesome! We debated doing one before we started this job but the job started and it was shelved. Next year!
    • Major Chafage, who we hiked with in MD and PA, has a blog.
    • Go Vote for The Cat Network to win $50,000—PLEASE!!!

    Random Thoughts

    • Communicating with someone who speaks very little English is difficult. Having a conversation is fun at times, trying to get across what you are trying to say. However, it is easier for me to figure out what they are saying than for me to tell them something. Like yesterday, I learned the guy I am following on the trash line (long story on my job…it’s boring so I’m not going to bore you), his wife lives in Honduras still, near a big lake with lily pads and you can see fish in the water, which is apparently unlike the lake near where we are because it is filthy and not clean.
    • On Elizabeth’s post up above she mentioned that she was glad that Kate Middleton was a brunette. I’ve never understood the blonde hate/dislike. I certainly never got more boys in school than any other brunette. I think blondes are just misunderstood. *sigh*
    • Patrice mentioned that she saw an AT book in my future. Not sure about that, but I was thinking of a fiction book, though. I did not journal on the trail much, just some random thoughts at times and minor details, but nothing major. I was just not into it like I thought I would be. Surprisingly I am able to remember a lot when I go through the guidebook and look at our pictures, but I would never be able to come up with conversations. But, I do like the idea of an AT fiction book based on some of our experiences. So, maybe. We’ll see, I’ve got a lot of things on my plate now, but perhaps I can pick at it.
    • The first part of the last Harry Potter movie comes out on Friday and I can’t wait—but, I don’t know if we are going to go on opening night or not. The nearest theater is 35 miles away and I don’t now if I want to do that drive after working all day and getting in late. We’ll see. I wish I had my book, though.
    • I am not pleased because I think we have to work Thanksgiving. The only upside is that right now the weather forecast is calling for thunderstorms, so maybe we’ll get a rain day, only we won’t find out until 7am and then there is no way we can make a 4 hour drive to DFW, eat food and drive back. Well, we could, but do we want to? Anyone want to come see us???? I am kinda bitter about this actually, mostly because it would have been the first time in a long time to be home on Thanksgiving, and even Christmas which we’ve only come home once or twice during our 8 years in Florida for Christmas. I really wanted to be with family and it appears I won’t be. So, yeah. I’m not happy to say the least.
    • And enough whining I guess.

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    Caddo Lake, Texas.

    We have finally launched our photography website! Please take a look around, poke through our galleries and tell us what you think. Hopefully you see something you like and are interested and will purchase some fine art photographybut if you don’t, keep in mind we still have more photos to work through and will be adding more over the next few months. I will be showing some of them here and will update you when I add more…I know I have some butterfly orchids and more swamp photos to share than what is represented on my page. Keep in mind that Christmas is coming and photography is always a unique gift to give.

    We aren’t quitting our day jobs (yet!…oh, wait, we already did that last February! hah!), but we do hope to share a little bit of our work with everyone else and to keep funding our creative adventures. I really hope to do some portrait sessions soon, especially when this job settles down and we are able to not work 21 days in a row for 10 hours a day in the middle of nowhere. If you are interested please shoot me an email and I will tell you when I might be back in the DFW area and we can try to schedule something.

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    Relevant posts:
    New England

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    Once inside Connecticut we climbed Ten Mile Hill. The day had turned overcast from a mostly bright morning. On the north side of Ten Mile Hill we met some Student Conservation Association volunteers reworking parts of the trail. I know that in general flat rocks on the trail are looked at as being nice, but I personally feel like they are just too slick to walk on and would much prefer bare dirt. I’m not talking about trail that is already littered with rocks, but when a trail has specifically been maintained to add rocks to the trail.

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    Lunch was at the Ten Mile River Lean-to just up from the actual river. There are no camping signs all around the river, but man, what a nice spot it would make. We tried drying some things out and took a small nap in the shelter and then mosied on down the way.

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    After eyeing the river a bunch, Chris decided he wanted to get in and swim. (Can I have the house at the end, there?)

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    Just about the time we started wrapping things up in the river we saw thunderheads in the distance with low rumblings coming on. Soon enough a storm came very, very quickly and Chris made a quick call to his dad to find out what the radar looked like. Turns out we were surrounded by a bunch of red and so we decided to throw the tent up and ride it out instead of walking in lightning. We took a nap for an hour or two and the storm passed. Before we took the tent down we heard someone walk by and thought it might have been Cubbie and Dilly Dally but we weren’t sure. As we started taking the tent down Caboose and Spark did show up and told us they were on top of Ten Mile Hill as the storm came over them and they were dashing down as the lightning was striking all around. Eek!

    On our way to the Mt. Algo Lean-to we saw Caboose and Spark drying out on Schaghticoke Mtn and so we stopped for a minute to try to do the same. As we kept going we started hearing thunder again so we tried to make a mad dash for the shelter. Luckily the rain missed us and it was a pleasant evening at the shelter. There was a southbound section hiker and two other section hikers there who’d just come from town. Since we were going to resupply in Kent the next morning and hadn’t had a short day in quite awhile we decided to sleep in the next morning and only planned for about seven miles the next day.

    We’d been warned by several people that Kent is not a very hiker friendly town. The southbound section hiker told us to not even bother hitching and to just walk into town, so that’s what we did. There was not a very good shoulder to walk on so we had to be careful as cars passed on the two lane road. I knew we were in a fancier part of the state when we passed a boarding school and then when we entered town it seemed like a Martha Stewart type cottage town. Very cute, but you can tell some affluent people live in the area. On our way in we saw Cubbie and Dilly Dally and Sly Jangle eating at a pastry shop. Turns out they’d gone in the night before and someone from town had let them stay in an empty house for the night and they’d gotten beer as well. Drat! We saw Caboose and Spark not long after as they’d passed us that morning since we’d slept in. We filled up for breakfast at a local diner and then resupplyed at an IGA in town. We had some things to mail home and while there a woman asked me if I was hiking the trail and then told me that sometimes the Curves allowed people to take showers for a fee. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’d taken a shower two days before at the landscape place. We had lunch in town and spent some time in the library working on our resumes. We thought we’d have time to work on them more on the trip but it definitely wasn’t worth the time to do that nor to even worry about it.

    On our way out of town we saw Merf walk in and she said that Little Brown, Moose and Tetherball had also come in. Merf and Little Brown were also supposed to come to the shelter we were going to that night so we were looking forward to some company.

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    Stewart Hollow Brook Lean-to.

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    Connecticut has a lot of rock walls in their forests, I suppose from old property lines.

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    The trail follows the Housatonic River for a good while and the going is very smooth. Chris really wished he had a good fishing pole a few times so he could join some of the fishermen we saw in the river. We planned 23 miles from the Stewart Hollow Brook Lean-to to the Limestone Spring Lean-to but the first part of the day felt very slow and the 10 miles to the Pine Swamp Brook Lean-to for lunch crept by. Merf met us at the shelter just as we were about to leave and she said the same thing. Those low ups and downs really just wear you down. Near the Belter’s Campsite we saw our last timber rattler on the trail. I heard the rattle first and stopped trying to figure out where it was when we saw three weekend hikers warning us of the rattler. We just kept on moving to get out of its way.

    At U.S. 7 we were supposed to take a detour that would add some miles to our day but we’d heard from a few people that avoiding the detour was do-able. The only problem was that it was on a bridge that was being worked on and they had one-way traffic heading down it. We ended up timing the lights right and then making a mad dash down the road before the traffic got there, but then we got seriously confused because the regular trail was marked a bazillion different ways. After walking up and down one road a few times and then realizing we were definitely not on the trail we finally figured it out, only to get down the trail to another intersection and see more signs warning about a detour. We got a little worried but then finally when we came to the hydroelectric plant (where you can take an outdoor shower) and knew we’d gone the right way. *phew*

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    After going up Prospect Mountain we came to the Limestone Spring Lean-to, which is .5 off the trail and down a steep hill. We weren’t sure if anyone was going to be there but we saw Caboose and Spark there and eventually Merf showed up. We met an AMC-CT trail runner who told us about some people he knew in the White’s that we could name drop to maybe get a free night to stay at a campsite.

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    Also camping with us were a Boy Scout troop who were a bit rowdy and were throwing a football a bit too close to our tent. I know, I’m a cranky thru-hiker.

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    Rand’s View. Caboose and Spark convinced us that we needed to stay at Upper Goose Pond on Massachusetts so the following morning we had to detour into Salisbury to pick up an extra day of food. Salisbury is also a very nice and affluent town but the people were very friendly. After grabbing some extra food and a second breakfast in town we made our way for Lions Head.

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    Lion’s Head. The climb up was quicker than expected and we found the other three already there, though we thought they would have been long gone.

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    A humid, overcast day.

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    Friendly dog tolerating a bit more of the horsefly than I would!

    Chris & Caboose
    We hit another Bear Mountain just south of the Mass/CT border where several day hikers were asking questions about our hike.

    Misti & Chris on AT
    We spent all of 3.5 days in Connecticut before we crossed into Massachusetts.

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