Breakfast with Ponies, flying with the birds, and dinner at Jerrys

Day 31

Hiked today (well yesterday): 21.2
Hiked total: 512.2
to katahdin: 1666.1

Sorry for the late post, both Andy and I have had NO service in a few days. It's a miracle I got the tiny bit of service I did when I sent out the other two posts the other day.

Yesterday morning we woke up and got ready to leave and eat breakfast. As soon as we opened up the food bag, a family of ponies came running out of the woods. They just hung out with us all morning -- literally 3 feet away from us. The pictures are up, so you can see what they look like and how close they really were. We actually fed one and pet one, they were extremely docile and seemed to like us because we were around food. One was a female, and it looked like she had two babies with here which is why we weren't really worried about getting too close. If there was a male there, we probably wouldn't have fed them nor pet them. So after our camp creation (hot chocolate, coffee, and hazelnut creamer) with the ponies, we left camp. It was a little more clear out, but still cloudy. We decided to go the 21.2 miles into a little town called Troutdale in order to have dinner and get a place to stay.

After 11 miles of hiking, we took our lunch break. It was cloudy, sprinkling, and we didn't get a good night of sleep. Needless to say, we were in a crummy mood. We have done over 130 miles in the past 7 days, so we are a little fatigued. We contemplate what we want to do in terms of getting to Troutdale, and decide (because we are tired, and feeling bad) that we will get there as quickly as possible. So, we started pushing it. And I mean pushing it. We went the 10.2 miles in less than 3 hours with two decently sized up hill pushes. Along the way we met a couple section hikers and flip-flop hikers, Itchy, Neptune, and Juggernaut. Itchy was the first female AT hiker we have met yet. Since we were trying to get to Troutdale as quickly as possible, we didn't stop for more than 5 minutes to talk to the group, and just kept going.

Finally we got to the road. It was 2 miles away and we started walking in the wrong direction. We were very tired, and was trying to hitch a ride. A pick up comes up behind us and slams on the breaks and stops in about 10 feet sliding on the slick, sleet/rain covered road. Luckily he tells us we are going the wrong direction instead of us getting in the pickup with him, so we turn around and go the other way. Eventually a guy in a pick up comes and picks us up. He was a funny wild guy and was very nice. He drove us to Jerrys Kitchen and we eat. Jerry tells us the hostle is closed for another few days, but the woman says we should just go and talk to the Pastor who is giving GED classes. We thought she talked to him, so we went there expecting him to know who we were -- he did not. He said everything was locked up, but that there was a pavilion where we could camp out. So we set up the tent on two tables in a corner, put 4 stacks of chairs around one side of the table, and put the tarp over the front so we were completely surrounded. We didn't sleep that well again, and woke up a little tired. However, now we are at Jerrys having a big breakfast. We are going to try to push 26 miles in the rain/freezing rain to get to Atkins where there is a hostel we plan to stay at. We may take a zero day depending on when Andy's replacement pack is getting there. Either way, it'll be nice to relax a little inside so we can rest.

Not sure when we will have service again, so don't panic. I'll try to update whenever possible, but we can't call, text, e-mail, or get any type of service often so be patient. Lots of new pictures are up now though.

Oh, we also broke 500 miles!