Stratford, CT

We made it to Connecticut after driving all day today. We had a nice breakfast at the hotel and snacks along the way and finished with a goodbye dinner at The Olive Garden. Toe Knee is going to a wedding, which is why Jim came down in the first place. She will rejoin us in a week. My Aunt Shalynn and Uncle John live about an hour from Jim and Toni and though my Uncle was out of town, Aunt Shalynn generously let three stinky hikers come stay at her house and shower and do laundry.

She did make us leave our packs and gear in the garage because she is paranoid about ticks. Her entire family got chronic Lyme disease, which was misdiagnosed for a long time, and some of them needed IV antibiotics for a year to recover from it. Google and watch the documentary "Under Our Skin" if you would like to know more about how how very common it is to get false negative blood tests and still have Lyme disease. It is sobering to realize we hikers are putting ourselves at greater risk of catching this disease, but you don't have to be a hiker to get it. I am trying to be careful, do tick checksand I have sent for my full bug suit now that I am in the North East.

The mosquitoes here at my Aunt's house are eating me alive but I can go inside for now to get away from them. I'll enjoy it while I can, but the city completely overwhelmed and overstimulated me and I am anxious to be back on the trail. Aunt Shalynn has agreed to drive us to the AT in Kent, CT, tomorrow. Thank you for everything, Aunt Shalynn! You were wonderful and nice to say we don't smell that bad, though we know we do. :)