Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sam's Gap Trail Magic

Headed to Sam's Gap between Hot Springs, NC and Erwin, TN for a Trail Magic Vacation.
Bandit (GA>ME '14 ) will be with me in the "Searcher" motorhome.

Vasque has provided us with emergency whistles and stickers.
The hiker "Stir-Fry" had to get off the trail but gave us some $ for burgers - Thanks Stir Fry.

I'll post photos and videos when I get a chance.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Peace Corps

Hey all,

Just in case there are still people who check this blog out, I'll let you know that my (David Garfunkel - Stash) Peace Corps blog is http://holadavid.blogspot.com.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Pictures!

I added about a dozen new photos to the Flickr site. They are from Remix's camera. Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All Good Things...

Remix here, posting for the last time.
[NOTE: Stash also posted so be sure to check his out below too!]

Minnesota is too flat. Trail withdrawl started to hit late yesterday afternoon, before then I was too busy being dead tired and driving back from Maine. I knew when I saw the last white blaze on top of Katahdin that I was loosing my lodestar. Now back in the world of infinite ways to waste time, cell phones, cars and gas stations I wish I knew which direction I was headed. I have faith that I will find my new path and journey again.

Read Stash's entry below, all of it is true. The 100 mile wilderness was no problem, Katahdin was a beast, and our PBRs were cooled by the 40-50 mph winds on the top of the "greatest mountain."
A couple things that were left out of his thoughful entry: The fourth of july was spent at White House Landing. The only place to resupply within the 100-Mile Wilderness. Stash and I each enjoyed a full pound cheeseburger, two slices of pizza, a pint of ben & jerry's ice cream, a few sodas, snickers and potato chips and we had a packet of cheese crackers for dessert.
The morning of the fourth, en route to WHL we encountered a sign on the trail that said "pond, view of Katahdin." We had been driven all morning by the thought of food and were making great time (over 3 miles an hour) so I walked the 30 feet to the right to see this view...WOW. it was our first clear view of Katahdin, up close and beautiful. I'd spotted the big K before, from 100 miles away or in the clouds up close, but nothing as powerful as this. I remember laughing so hard that my eyes teared, Katahdin was truly awesome. (there are pictures of this viewpoint on Flickr, the ones with the k behind us to on the right.)
Working backwards, we also had a great stop in Monson. Our last town stop ever. Kentucky Blue, Stash, and I stayed at Shaws, ate delicious BBQ, tried the soft drink "moxie" and lobster rolls. I think we all learned an important lesson that day. Don't drink MOXIE!

I now find my self reading the trail journals of others still out there, as you all have done with us over the past four months. In the end I wouldn't have changed a thing about our trip. It was our first long distance hike and we did it well. To my family and friends who sent us encouragement through the mail or through posted comments - Thank You. Both made my trip better. To anyone I've met on the trail - I think of you daily. To Stash - Lets go hiking man.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The End of the Journey...A Note from Stash


We're finished! As I write this, I'm sitting back at home in Minnesota - kind of a surreal experience. At around 9:00 AM on July 7th, Remix and I reached out and finally touched that old sign at the top of Katahdin that we've been walking towards for 2,174 miles. 03/10/07 to 07/07/07 - kinda cool. We finished in 120 days, which is a pretty fast time. People gave us a hard time throughout the entire trail for moving at the rate that we did, but we mostly smiled, ignored them, and hiked fast enough that we never had to talk to them again. Luckily for us, the three others that we finished with on the 7th were good friends of ours - it was nothing but a truly positive experience. The Traveler, Tau, and Kentucky Blue were all up there with us, enjoying the moment.

In order to reach Katahdin, northbounders have to pass through the 100-mile wilderness, a 100-mile stretch between Monson, ME and Baxter State Park where there is very little in the way of resupply. It's one of the most vaunted stretches of trail - people freak out about it for months in advance. As usual, we found it to be slightly over-rated. It was slightly more "wilderness-like" than most other sections, but it was mostly flat and relatively easy walking. Tree roots and stretches of boggy areas were our biggest obstacles, but we managaed to cruise throught without event.

When we reached Abol Bridge (the last stop before Baxter), Blue and the two of us bought a bunch of beers and rented out a lean-to on the property. It was our last night together on the trail without our friends. We had a really good time reflecting on the past 2,000 miles and few months. We slept well and woke up to The Traveler and Tau standing over us at about 6:00 AM. We spent the morning with them hanging out and eating breakfast - another great way to spend our last hours on the trail. Without further ado, we hiked the last 10 miles to Katahdin Stream Campground where we eagerly awaited the hot dogs and beers to be brought by Blue's friends. Remix and I were also particularly excited because Peace Train (recently updated to 'world's most loyal friend') was finishing up his 28 hour drive from Minneapolis to pick us up. Everyone arrived without incident, tired from the drive but ready to climb Katahdin the next morning.

Remix, Peace Train, and I all got started on the 7th at around 6:30 or so in the morning. We were going to leave earlier, but it was slightly rainy and foggy. The five mile ascent up Katahdin is the most difficult on the entire trail. Winds of up to 50 mph were gusting as the clouds whipped around us for the couple hour ascent. It was intense, but also intensely beautiful. For us, it was more of a celebratory hike than anything. We'd had our time to reflect during the previous few days - this was now our chance to get up top and be on top of the world...

They say it takes 5 million steps to get from Georgia to Maine. As the sign came into view at the top of Katahdin, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make the last couple hundred happen, but my feet somehow kept moving. Very few words were exchanged between the five of us at the top - somehow a teary-eyed "congratulations" and a hug or handshake is more than enough.

The three others headed down almost immediately. It was probably about 35 degrees with a whipping wind. However, we decided to stick it out and hang out for a bit. Peace Train made his way up shortly after we did, and we started our personal celebration. I carried up around 10 or 12 PBRs, and we made quick work of them with the help of some other day hikers that decided to help us celebrate. Remix turned on his radio, and we enjoyed our last couple of hours on top of the Big K. We took some pictures - some serious, most of them funny (as is our style). My personal favorite is posted at the top of the blog. I also put a bunch more on our flickr site. I'm sure Remix will post again soon and put some more pictures up as well.

The last couple of days have been kind of a blur. Over 30 hours in the car on the way home - too long, but that's okay. Trying to catch up on sleep and heal my body without putting on 50 lbs. I guess we'll see about that!

Not much else to say, I suppose. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to every person who posted on the blog and otherwise supported us in our adventure: my mom, dad, sister, and brother; Dave's family; Bakery boys; Rose and family; ultimate friends; everybody from Camp; friends from the Mac Grill; friends we met along the trail; strangers who somehow stumbled on our site just to offer words of encouragement - the list could go on and on...I know I missed people, but just know that you were never missed when your actions or words of encouragement pushed me those extra couple of miles each day. I couldn't have done it by myself - and for that reason, I'd also like to say a special thanks to Dave/Remix. People looked at us like we were crazy when we said we'd hiked the whole way since Springer together. It takes a special kind of relationship to be able to spend that much time together and have such a (nearly) flawless trip. Suffice it to say that "TwoDaves Hike the Pacific Crest Trail 2010" is already in the works.

As for now, other adventures await the both of us. I'm looking forward to what lies ahead - Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and, well, the rest of my life! Life is good, everybody...Enjoy the ride!

Stash/David Garfunkel

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A quick update from the trail

The Daves are in Stratton, ME. We've hiked the Mahoosuc and Crocker mountain ranges since leaving Gorham, NH. The Bigelows will be tackled tonight and tomorrow. Southern Maine's trail loves to go steep up and then right back down. In the past week we've seen rain/hail with high winds to hot/humid with no breeze. We have a date with Monson , ME on Saturday night and then it is off to Katahdin by the seventh of July.
Kentucky Blue is still rolling with us. In Rangeley, ME we ran into some old friends at the Gull Pond Hostel: Boone, his bro, and Redo. A good time was had by all.
Stash killed a bear and Remix ate it.
Kentucky Blue sketched the whole thing.
The humidity is getting to me, I should post this soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Done with the Whites!

Hello from Gorham, NH!

We are officially 16 miles from Maine. Unbeliveable - almost 1900 miles hiked, less than 300 to go.

The White Mountains were breathtaking. By far the most scenic section of the trail to this point. I'll post some pictures so you can have a better idea of what I'm talking about.

We slowed down throughout NH - sometimes doing as few as 9 miles per day. We pulled one 20 mile day through the Whites (a huge accomplishment) - this was complemented by me leading us on a 2 mile detour. Frustrating, but we're feeling great.

We've been hiking in a group, also - which is also a change of pace. Three ladies - Kentucky Blue, Tapeworm, and Redo - have been accompanying us through the mountains. It's been a lot of fun. We're leaving Tapeworm and Redo tomorrow, but it looks like Blue and the two of us will be cruising to the finish. The finish, coinicidentally, is about two weeks from Saturday. After about 105 days of hiking, 15 more seems pretty doable.

Anyway, I'm once again on a public computer with a waiting line. I know these updates are short - the pictures hopefully can show you how we are really doing. Life's great, though. We're both exactly where we want to be, in good spirits, good health, and an almost perfect state of mind.

Thanks for checking in, everybody - and we'll talk to you soon!