The Best Laid Plans of Ticks and Man

I have returned from a shortened trip on the Long Trail. After breaking a tooth on the second day, getting bitten by a deer tick or spider or both, and hiking for three days with a fever I decided it might be time to come in from the woods.

I mean, how much fun can one expect in one week?

The woods were as I remembered except the muddy paths were muddier, elevation gains higher, steep descents steeper, the flocks of deer flies (sort of a horse fly on steroids with an attitude) were larger, and the black flies missed the memo of being gone by this time of the year.

Waking one morning to the deer tick trying to burrow it’s way in, I was unwilling to serve as a walking blood buffet. This was soon followed by a rather unique configuration of other bites we suspect were spider, it was time.

While I still enjoy the great outdoors, my walk on the Appalachian Trail may have to suffice for now and leave the Long Trail to another time.

Nevertheless I did capture some great images which I now post for your viewing pleasure. Not too many though, we all hate vacation photos.




Greetings from somewhere in the Green Mountains. Just thought I would send off a quick note to reassure those of you that may have noticed I haven’t been writing much and that I am still alive.

I am on day three of a 19-20 day hike on the Long Trail in Vermont.  I thought I would spare you the inevitable WTH messages that would infect me as I began the hike.

You know, the

What the Hell am I doing this for?
Who the Hell put all these bugs here?
Why the Hell is everything uphill?
When the Hell will we get to the shelter?

And, most important;

Who the Hell’s idea was this?

Thus, I wrote this and scheduled it to go live while I get over the fact that is was my stupid idea to do this to myself.

By the time I get somewhere to update and post pictures, I’ll be back in the “I love this stuff” mode.

You’re welcome. Hope you are all dry, cozy, and well-fed in your nice safe lives.

If it turns out a bear ate me or I fell off a cliff, consider this an attempt at ironic humor.

Into the Woods

It is that time again. Time for me to engage in my own personal form of insanity.

As many if you know, in 2014 I hiked 2184 miles on the Appalachian Trail. If you don’t know, ask me. I’ll be happy to tell you.

Since the memories of the mud, continuous uphill trail, rain, bugs, and the aroma of weeks old unwashed bodies has faded, I have replaced those with memories that I actually enjoyed it.

So, on June 21 I will head off again for a similar, albeit significantly shorter, hike on the Long Trail in Vermont.

The Long Trail, or LT, is the oldest continuous long distance hiking trail in the US. Although at 274 miles it seems to be the runt of the litter.

Nevertheless, it has its challenges. The northern section is reputed to be some of the most rugged climbing in the northeast.

I have managed to convince two friends to join in the fun, the Harrop cousins, Tom and Kent. Both are fellow classmates of mine from the stellar class of Cumberland High School 1974.

Tom is in from the beginning, hoping time permits him to make it the whole way. Kent will join us on July 4 for 5 days of fun in the rain and mud.

Tom has a great deal of experience hiking, Kent will benefit from our experience. He will learn or serve as a decoy should we encounter bears or cougars. Since Kent has chosen a life of serving his fellow man, who are we to deny him this opportunity?

As I did on our trek on the AT, I will post periodically to allow those of you unable to engage in such activity to come along the ridges and hills of the Green Mountains.

Or to post funeral arrangements.

We begin at the Massachusetts/Vermont border and end at the US/Canadian border at a place called Journey’s End.  I hope you follow along and enjoy the tale.

For those of you so inclined, I suspect Clyde Haworth will be running a pool, taking bets on our chances of survival. Odds are 50/50 at this point.

(Author’s note: Many of you followed our AT Journey on my other blog.

There and Back Again

Since there are so many of you that follow me here, I decided to post my thoughts from the Long Tail here.  Big fan of keeping it simple. Hope you enjoy.)