9-24-12

AT miles hiked today: 11.8
Total AT miles hiked: 1478.2
Miles to complete my thruhike: 706.0

I'm tenting at Backpacker Campsite #2, nearly on the border of PA. Sunfish pond had neat rock sculptures as the sun was setting but it is very cold here now and the water source is very brown tinted. It's a lovely campsite, though, with grass everywhere and two privies plus a bear box. I think there is even a view beyond the trees. We've been hiking along the Kittatinny ridge and I've seen either vultures or hawks flying in large groups, heading south, like me. NJ has bird watchers who count the hawks that follow the ridge to migrate south for the winter. We follow that ridge for miles on the AT in New Jersey and I love it! I'm migrating south, too, and I still can't believe it's so beautiful here!

I met Christine again, hiking on the AT. I remember her camping at the base of Tray Mtn and before that at Blue Mountain Shelter. She sometimes went by Flower Child. What a wonderful "coincidence" to meet her here, today. I like to call that trail magic, too.

I got a nice compliment at the Catfish Lookout tower today, from the engineer from the radio station who was checking on things. I am very "in shape" he said. Thank you! I am looking pretty good in my black spandex hiking clothes. It's a surprise when I see myself in a mirror. It's also rare to see a mirror, and I don't carry one, but I know I've lost more weight. I may be around 180 lbs now, with a very different body than I had when I weighed 180 last time. My body is much tighter now, and I'm much more muscular than I was before. See, you really can eat anything you want if you just climb mountains for twelve hours a day, carrying a 40 lb pack. You'll lose weight that way for sure.