I’m in Conn now. Staying with 86 year old

Maria McCabe who rents out rooms to as many as 5hikers per night for $35 each. She still has a little Italian accent but she sure can talk! Stories about meeting her first husband, an American GI, at a dance in Italy just after the war was over. Married in Pisa, where the leaning tower is.
What a sweetheart!
Other news. My wife Joan will be coming up to Pittsfield MA to join me for a few days hiking in the western MA Berkshire Mountains. We have reservations at inns and B&Bs along the way to North Adams. No roughing it for us on this stretch although we will do “some” hiking during the day.
You can see even from up on the ridge tops where I spend most of my days that this section is loaded with money. It is also supposed to be loaded with deer ticks that can cause Lymes disease. I haven’t seen a tick on me since PA. Deet to the rescue I guess.

Stats

April 10,2015. I am in Danielsville PA, a very small town, two days from NJ.
So I thought I would share with you some stats and opinions about the AT.
The AT is 2189 miles long. That is about 5 million steps.
There are about 2500 steps in a mile. When I hike 10 miles in a day, that is 25,000 steps. I often do 12 mile or 30,000 steps. Or more.
In the course of today’s hike I climbed a mountain from 350 feet to 1600 feet. That is well over 1000 feet. It also ignores the 600 feet I descended befor I came to the mountain. Then I descended the mountain to where I am at 1100 feet with lots of other ups and downs along the way. So more than 2000 feet of elevation change with ups and downs. Since a normal home has an 8 foot ceiling, each flight is about 10 feet. So you get where I am going. Each day’s hike can Involve climbing about 200 flights of stairs with a 40 pound pack on your back
So Stairmaster has nothing on hikers.
So I am of the opinion that the AT is one long marathon Stairmaster combined with a treasure hunt. That’s because the trail is. It is not always marked well. So you have to snoop around to find the next trail blaze marking the path. Often I get lost and have to back track.
A running marathon is 13.1 miles. The AT is like a marathon every day for 5 months. Hike
But does that mean I am complaining? No.
I merely want to point out what an endurance contest this is.
Some hikers are speed hikers and cover over 30 miles per day completing the AT in just over 2 months. Too fast for me. But I salute them.

Easter Sunday. I am in Pine Grove PA

Pretty small and poor area. I stopped to pick up food from home at the Post Office. The weather is better.
Let’s talk a outing peeing in your sleeping bag. I used to get up in the middle of the night to pee at least once. Then a gal biologist told me to stop waking everyone else in the shelter up banging around. How do I do that? She produced a mason jar almost full of golden liquid. Get yourself a wide mouthed bottle like Gatorade. TAke it to bed with you. When you need to pee, go in the bottle and be sure to screw (eeww!) the cap on tight. I could do that. Understanding the mechanics of male anatomy it seemed simple. For her it seemed more comicated. Funnel? I didn’t ask.
For me it is a blessing not to have to crawl out of my sleeping bag into the cold and dark. But it always feels wrong. I know that Madonna pees in the shower thanks to the miracle of mass infotainment. But peeing in the bed even knowing that it is into a bottle makes me want to roll up a newspaper and say BAD DOG! So I cAn easily fill a 20 ounces Gatorade bottle. Watch out. Don’t overfill! Get a bigger bottle. Uggie Iggie