Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 19, 2011

We had plans to go and visit Tom this week.  As with anything that involves our family, a simple little visit turned into an expedition to Maine!  It went something like this.  Hank was off from work for the week and we thought it would be wonderful to take a quick 3 hour trip up to New York with Ellie and Max and visit Tom.  So the afternoon before as I was baking and cooking up some of Tom's favorite meals and snacks we get a text from Tom.  He wanted us to know that he was thinking of flip flopping his hike which just means he wanted to go to the end of the trail and hike South.  That was followed by the text that asked if we'd drive him and 4 of his hiking buddies to Maine.  Oh my, I wish you all could have seen the gleam in Hank's eyes as he quickly envisioned a "road trip". 

So our quick 3 hour trip north, sight seeing, a comfy room and a short ride home the next day turned into a drive to Highland Falls, NY.  We knew that we would have hungry hikers so we brought a picnic lunch that we all shared in a small gazebo where we spent an hour eating and getting acquainted with Foon (Alex), his girlfriend Red Socks (Megan), Wiskers (Nathan) and Cliff (Matthew) and of course the Rookie (Tom).  Afterwards we all piled into the van and headed to Kent, Connecticut to fetch a package being held for Cliff at a local outfitter.  Then we headed north to Maine stopping only for restroom breaks and an impromptu picnic dinner that turned into a mosquito biting festival!  We rolled into Augusta, Maine at 11:30 at night; Hank and I were exhausted--we headed to bed---the young folk....they slept in late the next morning! 

Thursday found us at Denny's for breakfast well more like brunch but closer to lunch! Then to Walmart and Dick's for supplies and then finally on the road again.  We drove, and drove some more.  We saw lots of signs on the interstate warning us of moose in the area.  We never saw a moose!  When we finally reached the area of Baxter State Park we needed to find a hospital for Cliff who needed his arm looked at for a possible infection.  While Cliff was being evaluated we all ate another picnic dinner sans the mosquitoes this time.  Then it was off to Rite Aid to get prescriptions filled and finally towards Katahdin.  Of course our hikers had  no camping reservations so we had to take them to a nearby campground.  When we left the group, they seemed pretty pysched to be there at the mountain.  They were planning on climbing on Friday, August 18.  And then it's just several hundred miles back down to NY! A piece of cake.

Red Socks, Foon, Cliff, Wiskers, Rookie

Mount Katahdin in the background

Flip Flop and Katahdin

I could just take the easy way out. It would be easier....I could just say that Katahdin was so awesome there aren't any words to describe it. However that would be a lie. Katahdin was the most fun, most challenging, mountain i've encountered this entire 5months. The views were so epic at the top that I was left staring into the distance for some minutes. The climb up was over boulders we had to use our hands and pull ourselves up. It was a fun kind of exhausting that left you exhilarated and asking for more. That was Katahdin it was fun and now I'm heading down south to New York.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011

Tom's still hiking.  Hank, Ben, Ellie and Max went to visit Tom on the trail on July 19 through the 21st.  Mom stayed home all by her "lonesome" and took care of Liberty the yellow lab, Jane the cat, Ralph the rabbit, and Sam and Noel the turtles.  It was a hard job but someone had to do it!  During that trip Hank offered Tom a bump up north since he was running behind schedule and faced with weather constraints.  After bumping ahead 300 miles up to PA, Tom met up with some friends that he had met earlier in the season.  Tom plans on returning and completing the 300 miles that he skipped after he reaches Mt. Katadhin.
Once in PA, Tom battled a foot infection through the rest of the state, visiting a doctor for antibiotics and then another visit to the local ER when the infection would not go away.  After receiving a shot and some oral medications he was on his way again. 
Tom is currently hiking through New York with Foon, Red Socks, Whiskers, and Cliff.  From everything we hear he's having the time of his life.  He's received some wonderful trail magic lately including a couch to sleep on during a rainy night, and right now he's staying at a free hostel with a "real bed" being reported!!! .  I just texted Tom for the name of the town he is in.  He said he didn't know but that he'd find out after he got out of the hostel shower.  What a rough life! Okay, he's done with his shower and reported that he's outside of Tuxedo, NY which places Tom around the 1363 mile mark on the trail. We are headed up to visit with him later this week and will return with more stories and photos from the trail.

Here are some pictures from trail magic received earlier this month around Stroudsburg, Pa.  Lots of thanks to Emily and Koon for their hospitality! 
Tom is on the right, and apparently too busy eating the blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon to look up at the camera.  Can you blame him? 

About Me

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Welcome to our blog. Come and visit and get to know my crazy busy family. First there is me, Tammy, also known as the MOM. And then there is Hank-the Dad. We are the proud parents of 5 wonderful and wacky kids. In order of birth-Nicholas, Thomas, Benjamin, Eleanor, and Maxwell. We are a homeschooling family and we love to explore, travel, and create dynamic family traditions and rituals with our children.