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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Missed the safety meeting…

I did my biggest day today, 23.7 miles despite running out of water twice and hiking almost 3 hours in the dark…it’s 10:30 now, normally I’m asleep by 8 (although I always wake up at 2 for some reason) so no posts today. My goal is to get to Troutville,  VA tomorrow (18 miles).  Their … Continue reading »

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Interesting Obstacle

Saw this in the morning.

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Interesting evening ahead

I’m writing this from the Thunder Hill Shelter prior to sleeping. There is a hiker log book at each shelter where you can pretty much write anything you’d like in them. Most are simple things like “trail name” in for the night, hiked 17 today,  no water between x and x. Well, the last entry … Continue reading »

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Useful Sign

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Not so useful sign

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More Fall Photos

I like this one for the lens flare.

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Longest Footbridge

This is the longest footbridge on the AT, it goes over the James River.

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View from footbridge

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Brown Mountain Creek Community

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Watercolors

On my phone these two pictures look amazing.

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Wakeup buddy

I awoke to a scratching sound on the tent. Opened my eyes and this is what I saw…isn’t it a cutie?

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Odd Memorial

Saw this on top of a mountain. Have no idea of the history, just thought it was a bit odd…

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Nothing Higher

I don’t know the name but I’m on the highest point around and have the sweat pouring out of me to prove I’ve earned it! Of course, about 300 yards, from here is a parking lot…luckily I get to enjoy this alone. Quite spectacular views and the weather is decent. 2 more miles to the … Continue reading »

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Punch Mountain View

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Share cropping

Ran across this sign.

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Wind Casualty

The wind from the last few days knocked down bunches of trees. This old fella was right on the trail.

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Youth Group Outing

I was behind this group of kids, when they got to the peak on the right they thought they were at the top…little did they know it was another 1,500 feet up to the real top!

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Hog Pen Camp

This was the view heading to the campground last night. Pretty amazing to have green grass on top of a mountain plus behind me were all kinds of nut trees and berry plants. Almost sure there used to be a house up here.

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Interesting Rock Formation

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Sleeping next to a stream

Last night I accidentally slept about 100 yards away from a parking lot and people were arriving until midnight.  Tonight looks much more promising for a restful evening.

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The more you know, the Iess you carry

I ran across something like this in NY as well. Looks like someone was out practicing bushcraft.

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More Fall Pictures

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The days journey

The ridge on the left is what I walked up and then down, crossed that valley below and then climbed The Priest which is the highest point on the right. Fun day, lot of work though:-)

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Knee Deep

After the wind the past few days many leaves have fallen. In some places the trail is clear of leaves, in others, it’s almost to my knees. Makes walking quite interesting!

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Deluxe Camping

It was extremely windy last night, I got up twice to use logs as windbreaks for my tent. The gusts were at least 40 mph. Anways, tonight I’m trying something new, if I’m going to be at a shelter alone I might as well take advantage, right?

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Tye River

Crossed this small river today on a suspension bridge.  Thought this was a nice view.

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Views from The Priest

I climbed close to 4 miles uphill in a bit over 2 hours. The wind was whipping so didn’t really get a chance to sit and enjoy the views.

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The Priest

Tomorrow I will climb a mountain called The Priest. You start around 1,000 feet and go straight up to a bit over 4,000 feet.  Then, because you are exhausted, you get to sleep near the top of the mountain, which should be a real treat given that it will be cold and windy. Should make … Continue reading »

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Here, once stood a cabin.

The only thing left is the chimney, which is a bit odd to see on my stroll in the woods.

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Chilly and windy but beautiful views

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Rare sight in the cold weather.

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Back on trail…

I took a few days off to help my feet out…this is the first view from today.

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Photo Spots

Most of the time when there is an opportunity to take a picture it looks something like below. Usually it’s rocky and drops straight down.

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22.4 Miles Today

It was very windy and cold. I was at this spot for under one minute because I was getting blown around. Nice view though, eh?

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Fall is here…

A few pictures from today.

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AT = Foot Traffic Only

At virtually every road crossing you see a sign that says foot traffic only. Sometimes they list no horses, no motorized vehicles etc. Today, I met a local guy who saw horses on the AT a few weeks ago. A couple was driving home with their horse trailer and had car trouble.  Turns out their … Continue reading »

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First peak of the day!

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Home for the evening…

And yes, I even got a campfire going….pretty awesome place.

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Failed Selfie

At some point I’ll learn how to properly light a photo…

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Mary’s Mountain View

It’s almost a 360° view from this one.

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View from where I stealth camped

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Easy Walking

I climbed about 2,000 feet first thing this morning to get into the park. Once in the park, the trails became wide and for the most part, smooth. It made for easy walking…which allowed my mind to wander…leading to me missing the sign for the shelter I was planning on staying at.  So instead of … Continue reading »

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Hogback Mountain View

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South Marshall Mountain

Here’s the view from the southern peak.

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Nice rack, dude!

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North Marshall Mountain

Enjoying a snack here. 3 miles to the campsite. Already went through a nice downpour.

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Entering Shenandoah Park

Woo-hoo,  back on the trail!

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Another Rainy Day

I am still in Front Royal,  VA.  The rain hasn’t let up yet and we actually had a tornado warning this morning. I am hoping to get on the trail this afternoon and put in either 3 or 13 miles to get to the next shelter so I can stay dry over night.

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Wet rocks

One more fun obstacle to cross in the rain is creeks and streams…so they make bathrooms on the top of rocky mountains which are only accessible on foot ADA compliant but don’t put handrails on these crossings which are usually near road crossings and car parks…some day I aspire to understand this type of logic.

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Slow going…

One of the things I’ve learned to fear is walking over wet wood with muddy shoes…I have come very close to falling off these planks many times…luckily my poles and sloth like reflexes have saved me.

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Cloudy Day

It rained most of today, never got a chance to enjoy a view. Naturally, the trail went straight up this mountain.

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Happy Camper

There is some bad weather moving into the area (Front Royal, VA) and I learned last night that my tent seam sealing job wasn’t a 100% success…so I am smiling here because I was less than 10 miles from a hostel where I could stay dry for the next day or two while I also … Continue reading »

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The Roller Coaster

Did a 13 mile section called The Roller Coaster today. The weather was supposed to be sunny and warm, then rain for the next 2 days. Well, around 11 a cool wind started blowing, by 2 it was raining and windy. So not a lot of pictures from today, most of my day was spent … Continue reading »

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Gonna be a great day!

Less than 5 minutes into today’s hike and this was my view…

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Lock 32

Here’s a photo of Lock #32 from the C & O Canal.  For those unfamiliar with this area, they built, by hand,  a tow path and waterway next to the Chesapeake & Ohio Rivers to move goods via mule and boat. Much of the area is now overgrown and unrecognizable but this Lock was preserved. … Continue reading »

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Virginia is for…

I don’t know if it’s still the case or not but when I lived in the DC area, the advertising slogan for Virginia was “Virginia is for lovers”…so it was a bit funny when I ran across this sticker on a power transmission line…not sure who they are marketing to these days but found tjou … Continue reading »

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The capture of Harper’s Ferry

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The seasons they are a changin’

It’s been many years since I’ve seen the seasons change. Looking forward to the color changes and leaves on the ground (yes, it makes every step a surprise but at least every rock isn’t sharp and pointy).

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1,000 Mile Countdown

Heading north from Georgia this sign marks how far you’ve come…for me, it marks how many miles I have left to go…which also means I’ve walked 500 miles so far…

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20 Pounds

That’s how much weight I’ve lost so far…so my 10 snicker bars a day diet is really working!

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Border sign

The PA/MD border sign always gets stolen, apparently there’s still somewhat of a dispute over the Mason/Dixon line…WV and VA don’t seem to share that issue…

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Taking the day off…

It’s cold and rainy here in VA today so I decided to take today off and give my feet a rest…will write some posts later if we run out of whiskey and hot chocolate; -)

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Made it to my 7th State!

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“We respect the journey.”

So I was having my lunch in Harper’s Ferry when this ‘friend’ decided to join me. It flew off with Bleu Cheese dressing on its feet and tail. This led the people across the deck to inquire about my journey. We chatted for a few minutes, then their food arrived. I finished eating, checked my … Continue reading »

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Lewis’ Boat

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Lunch in Harper’s Ferry

I technically did only request that he get the mountain in the background,  so enjoy 30% of the mountain!

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Heading into Harper’s Ferry, WV Today

Here’s a view of the river and some bridge, nice sunshine and blue skies now despite it getting into the 30’s last night.

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People Giving Up

So I have heard many stories about people quitting the trail, up until today the worst one I heard was a woman fgom this year who had been preparing for over 1year and she quit on day one at Mt. Kathadin, she decided she just couldn’t do it. However, I met some people today and … Continue reading »

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Lunchtime View

I met loads of interesting people today which is funny because I didn’t see another person until the end of the day yesterday. Had lunch here with a kiwi lady (New Zealander) who came to the US last week for a quilting workshop and a chick that works in a tattoo parlor who is from … Continue reading »

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General Lee Invades Maryland

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The Wiregrass Georgians

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Stonewall Regiment

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“Hallo, Sam. I’m dead”

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A Different Washington Monument

This one was erected by the town of Boonsboro, MD. I met a guy at the top of the tower who was there watching the Hawks migrate (I didn’t know hawks migrated). Anyways, enjoy!

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War Correspondents Memorial Arch

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The Battle of South Mountain

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Old Cemetary

Was walking through some farmland and saw this old cemetary, from what I could read most were from 1800’s…kind of cool to see an old family plot.

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Typical Dinner

I usually eat either something like this or a Knorr rice side with either tuna or jerky…I’m sure in another month I’ll never want to eat Knorr again but for now, it’s quick, cheap and easy trail food.

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Duncannon, PA

As I was walking out of Duncannon I kind of knew this is the mountain I would be climbing…saw the cloud and thought it made a nice photo.

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Original AT halfway Marker

The halfway marker for this year was further south (trail length changes every year due to natural and unnatural events) but I took a selfie anyways…do you think this new look is why I can’t hitch a ride these days?

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Nice road

Was walking through Windsor Furnace park down this road for quite a while…thought I’d share.

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Deluxe Shelter

In southern PA the shelters were quite fantastic, there is a guy who visits this one every day, privy was spotless and look, he even has flowers around the place!

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Mennonite Trail Magic

I have run across numerous Mennonite’s out here and wow, hard to get a conversation started with them. However, there were two brothers out with their wives and infants out for a long hike and one of them dropped a baby blanket. I found it, put it on a branch so it stayed dry in … Continue reading »

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Rock Maze

This, is the beginning of an area known as the Rock Maze. Quite challenging to get through…but a fun way to start the day…

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No Freeloaders!!!

I have no idea what type of spider this is but I stopped for a rest, put down my pack and this was on it. No idea how long it had been there as I easily walked through at least 50 webs up to that point.. she’s cute though, right?

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So long PA

A last look at Pennsylvania before I crossed into Maryland today…

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Deluxe Shelter

In southern PA the shelters were quite fantastic, there is a guy who visits this one every day, privy was spotless and look, he even has flowers around the place!

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Boulders for breakfast again…

This was how yesterday morning started…almost .5 mile of these giant rocks…oh, it rained the night before and they were covered in leaves…let’s say the blood got pumping a few times as I made my way through there…

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Camp Friend

I was setting up my tent and saw something move, here’s what I saw.

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Marketing Gimmick!

When my guidebook points out the “Taj Mahal” privy you kind of hope for something a wee bit more impressive…

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4 Mile Warning

I was headed to Darlington Shelter. 4 miles from the shelter I see this sign…ugh…it meant my pack was going to be 8 pounds heavier but at least there was an actual warning sign… thanks trail maintainers!

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Rainbow Web

I hole you can see this clearly…spiders do some amazing things..

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Cumberland Valley, PA

There is a 19 mile “no camping” zone across the Cumberland Valley. So I spent a day walking through farm and dairy lands. It was overcast so not a lot of great views, but here’s one of my views from the day.

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Funny sign

I didn’t stay here, just stopped by for water and saw this.

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16.8, 16.5, 14.7, 15.1, 17.5, 18.0, 11.1

That’s the mileage I did each of the last 7 days. It’s been brutal on the feet. This State (PA) is known for its rocky terrain. My evenings have been spent massaging the cramps out of my feet, hence no blog posts. All should be well now, this part of the trail is famous for … Continue reading »

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Funny and True

I saw this on a wall…when I think of the $$ I’ve spent over the years on camping gear I just have to laugh…

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New Gear!

So previously I posted a picture of my hammock setup. Unfortunately, it got cold and windy a few nights which means the wind just sucks the heat off of you from underneath. I had an underquilt which was supposed to prevent that but it wasn’t as effective as I had hoped. So I also had … Continue reading »

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Great Views!

One of the things I really like about the trail is occasionally the trees part and you get an awesome view of the landscape below. Enjoy!

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Scariest Hour So Far

Right as you descend into Palmerton, PA you have to get down the steepest descent in PA. You can see the river in the background, that’s basically how far down the climb was. I took this photo from the “ridge” right before heading down. It took me more than an hour to get down. I … Continue reading »

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Trail Chore

I haven’t seen anyone my height yet out here so there isn’t anyone around to share the burden of clearing the higher up spider webs. I haven’t been in front of a mirror in over a week but I noticed last night that I have all kinds of “bites” on my face and neck area… … Continue reading »

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Peace Rock

I stopped in Port Clinton, PA and caught up with Marathon Man again. He was told about this rock the locals go jump off of so we went to check it out. It’s a pretty nice spot as you can see so we hung out there for a few hours and had a quick dip/bath … Continue reading »

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Ooh that smell!

So I mentioned in a previous post that I am now sleeping in a tent, one of the unfortunate downsides is that on a rainy night like tonight, I have to have my shoes under the tent. Now these things have been wet for 7 days, straight twice now, they have a few hundred miles … Continue reading »

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Only in the Johnaxy…

So Marathon Man and I were hiking in the rain and the wind was blowing pretty good and we come across this newish truck backed into a remote parking lot right on the trail. MM hikes much faster than I do and he got there first, a 65ish guy gets out and strikes up a … Continue reading »

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Wolfman from Helltown

So there’s some clown running around up here with the above name who is stealing people’s food, leaving crazy entries in the log books and if you don’t give him what he wants, you will wake up with a note attached to your tent talking about a murdered hiker and bible verses. Yep, this dude … Continue reading »

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Marathon Man and hand made ice cream

The guy I have been traveling with recently goes by the name Marathon Man, yes, he was a marathon runner before starting the trail and has still managed to lose 15 pounds! We crossed the border into PA and stopped in for an ice cream. The shoppe was very much an old time place and … Continue reading »

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Simple question led to…

So I’m doing laundry in Duncannon, PA, and needed to clip my nails which took me outside where I met this dude. For whatever reason, I asked him “so, what’s the history of this area”? The next 45 minutes were completely fascinating. He told me about the history from the mid 1700’s where the white … Continue reading »

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Uploading Issues

Greetings All, Just a quick Fyi, I am having issues uploading posts. It’s hard to find WiFi on mountain tops and these small mountain towns aren’t really hubs for super fast bandwidth. All is well, in Southern PA now,  will cross into Maryland in 3-4 days. Everyone I meet on the trail says to get … Continue reading »

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