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Sunday, July 28, 2013

1500

We have crossed another milestone 1500 miles! Less than 700 miles to go. 

When I wrote my last post, we were sitting in a laundromat in Pawling, New York. I had written about our previous "trail magic", but little did I know that we were about to be the recipients of more New York generosity. When we finished our town chores, we headed back to the local garden center, where the owner allows thru hikers to camp for free. Coincidentally, an event was being held at the garden center for thru hikers in the "Warrior Hike Walk off the War Program." The “Walk Off The War” Program is designed to support combat veterans transitioning from military service by thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. We were invited to the event and the barbecue being held after at a local farm. We were treated to a delightful dinner, and then were invited by a local couple to spend a night at their house. We have been so grateful for the kindness of complete strangers. It truly warms the soul.  

Our hosts in Pawling, Hugh and Valerie. 
Hugh thru hiked the AT in 1976

We entered Connecticut and started to meet southbound or SOBO thru hikers who started in Maine the end of May and early June. It has been exciting for us to meet the SOBO's and ask them questions about our upcoming terrain. 

One day our hike included a difficult descent down steep rocky terrain that would have been more fun without a backpack. 


But, We came out to the Housatonic River where we sat and had lunch. 



A couple of days later, we came into Falls Village, CT. I had my first experience of being discriminated against for being a thru hiker. Our group of four went to Falls Village Inn where there is a bar in the back. Although there was no one else in the bar, it was evident that we were not wanted. We witnessed three other hikers who were met at the front door and asked to wait out on the porch, even though they told the hostess they had a room reservation in the Inn.  As we left, we saw a Maserati, a Ferrari, and a Porsche parked out front. Clearly, money abounds in the area and we were out of our element. If only we had been wearing white pants like all the other ladies in town! On the flip side, a local toy maker
allows thru hikers to camp for free on his property. He and his wife have a cafe in the ground level and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and coffee before heading back out on the trail.  

Our hike took us up to the highest peak in CT, Bear Mountain, at 2316 feet. 


That evening we crossed the state line into Massachusetts. 



Waterfalls near our campsite. 

We expect to get through Mass. in another five or six days and then on into Vermont. 

I'll sign off this post with a fitting quote:

"The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there"
Robert M. Pirsig

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