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Author Archives: John Simmons

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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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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First Bear Sighting!

Ok, I made a video of it but it’s too difficult to post video from my location. Basically, I am at the Gren Anderson Shelter somewhere in NJ. I went about 24 hours without seeing another person and today met 6 locals out hiking. Looking back they all shared bear stories without being asked. My … Continue reading »

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300 Pound Award

My buddy Jason joined me on the trail a few days ago. It was very nice to see a familiar face plus…he brought some much needed supplies and his bull headed determination which is kind of what it takes to push yourself up a mountain, then down a mountain. We each had our own hotel … Continue reading »

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Onesy in the woods

Ok, apparently I am a magnet for whatever freak show is going on up here because today…I am hiking along, not using my poles so pretty quiet and come over this hill and at the bottom I see an older dude wearing a royal blue Onesy…I didn’t see any numbering on the back but he … Continue reading »

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Even if the ice cream was awful look at the view!

There is almost no water on the AT in this area right now, luckily there are loads of Trail Angels (I’ll address this more thoroughly in a later post). Apparently, there is a couple who the trail guide describes as “hiker friendly ice cream shop owners” who have a faucet outside their business that hikers … Continue reading »

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Boulder Field

There are certain sections where you are hopping from boulder to boulder for hundreds of feet straight. It’s usually steep so I prefer going up rather than down(prefer doesn’t mean choice!) Here’s a small sample of the terrain…and the reason why one misstep could cost you plenty…

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Rock Climbing in NY

Everyday the trail throws a new challenge at you. On this particular sunny day we experienced our first rock climbing session. He is actually going down that rock face…backwards was definitely the safest way…we spent this day and the next walking along a ridge line going up and over boulders, it was hard to make … Continue reading »

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Wilson’s Debut

I will occasionally be writing about this adventure from the point of view of my travelling companion, Wilson. Here’s his first photo with the name if his Creator.

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Fire

My first 10 days on the trail the weather was mainly hot and sticky. ..that, plus the fact that I was completely exhausted meant I never made a fire. Having a second pair of hands around makes lots of tasks easier so we decided to light a fire in the rain. It took a while … Continue reading »

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Pawling, NY Day 5

So the last few days have been super hot and humid, apparently the hottest week all year! So my butt is getting completely kicked, i drink at least 6 liters while hiking, another 1-2 @ camp and one before i leave in the morning. At some point my body will get used to this and … Continue reading »

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My Setup

This is what my setup typically looks like at night, behind the hammock is where I keep the a/c unit for hot/humid nights.

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Easy day…

After getting my butt kicked for 2 days i got to walk along a river for 10 miles…so much easier than that mountain in the distance. Also stopped in the lovely town of Kent, CT, to dump some gear, enjoy Mexican food and get more bug spray…so far so good!

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Proper bath!

Just had a nice refreshing bath in this lovely river. Smelling pretty ok…time to make some

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