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From The Trail to the Zoo Part Shalosh (that's hebrew for trois) (French for 3)

Hello Dear Readers, it's been a while eh?  Susanna and I have been busy back to work and catching up with friends, enjoying our new old life while missing the trail.  How could we not?  We were out there for 3 1/2 months...  Regardless, we still owe a big long catch up on this thing which will happen.  Soon.  I think.  In the mean time, people are still asking us a lot of questions and we love it, but feel free to email us or comment on the blog with more ?s.  Not surprisingly, we like talking about the trail.  We also like the sound of our own voices.  Which makes no sense on a blog.  Anyways, here's my suite of the day...
Today's Edit Suite
Love,
The Bear Jew

P.S. Happy Jew Year to my fellow tribesmen, and my fwife (future wife - stole that from one Michael Wright)

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Another Perspective

Here is a link to The Face's blog, a hiker we met in Maryland along with Spam and Sensei.  He is an incredible writer, and we are both glad to have met him.  Also, he gives Rock Puncher and I a nice shout out...

The Face (far right) with Spam (seated), Sensei (center), Yikes (the girl) and Windscreen (far left)
Bear Jew - A guy we met in Maryland who started the trail with his fiancĂ©e in Harper's
Ferry heading north. Not only does he have a great trail name, but he is just a prince of a human being. It's a real shame we didn't get to hike with them more. He is really funny and a cineophile. He is part of the chosen people, which means he is not a godless gentile like the rest of us.



Rock Puncher - I thought Rock Puncher was some sort of burly dude but she is actually a very lovely young lady. She is engaged to Bear Jew. She's funny. She's cool. She's cute. She's tall. Her name is Rock Puncher for fuck's sake. Not much lacking here, really.

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Stay tuned...

More stories to come, once we stop eating lobster non-stop. Stories to catch up on may include:

**Amazing support crew who drove up to meet us at Baxter state park: Leslie "dr mom" Simpson and aunt Mary "still needs a trail name" Jackson

**the final climb up big K with Brownie and Seaweed

**the entire states of Vermont and Mass (whoops, missed those)

**FAQ like how our bodies have held up and how big our blisters are.

But first, the beach:)

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A Big Epic Thanks!

Susanna and I want to thank our readers, friends, and family for all of the love and support. We can't wait to see every one of you! I am keeping the beard until then. Sorry Ma!

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This is a goat

Thought it was also fairly important to note that this is a goat. At a shelter. Owned by a hiker. Hiking with the hiker on the trail.
The goat had to get in the canoe across the Kennebec river too.

Just thought you should know.

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Maine, continued

Ahhhhh.....sitting in Monson, Maine, trying to motivate ourselves to leave. From here, we enter the infamous 100 mile wilderness, which is neither 100 miles nor complete wilderness, but close enough. Our bags are super heavy with food, as the only place to resupply is 70 miles out at a hostel in the middle of nowhere. A hostel where we have to walk a mile off path to reach a lake, and then use a blow horn to call a boat over to shuttle us. Nope, not joking. Amazing!

So! Maine since the notch....we slowed down for quite a bit after the rough start in S. Maine. Brownie and Adam both got sick and so we had to spend some extra unexpected time in Bethel (so awful. Going to the movies, twice, in this cute town was horrible) and Rangeley (staying right on the gorgeous town lake was also a bummer).

But it was a bummer to slow down that much...we are all tired. Ready. Wishing we were there. The experience is amazing but kind of done with hiking. So as great as these town stops were to recuperate, it also prolonged the trip.

However, the terrain got better and the mileage started to increase. One day, we got up at 4am to hike. The motivation? Hot tubs and beer. We had 19 miles to go, and had to make it by 4 to the Kennebec river. The official AT white blaze over the massive river is via canoe shuttle, and the last ride was at 4. Waiting on the other side? An oasis called Northern Outdoors....camping for $10, a brew pub, hot tub and pool. Pretty much the only thing i'd wake up at 4am for. And...we night hiked the previous night and missed a camping spot in the dark, so we literally camped in the trail. Pretty much a huge no-no, but we figured no one was going to hike before 4am. Lucky for us, the trail was amazing and we made it to the river by 2:30.

Hike 24 miles to get into Monson by Sunday night. We werent planning on making it that night but 7 miles from the road, exhausted, we forded our last stream to find trail magic on the other side. Ice. Cold. Sodas. With lots and lots of sugar. We stood around this glorious cooler and drank two each. Suddenly, filled with sugar, we saw the possibility of town food, beds and showers becoming a reality for the night. And off we went!!! 2.5 hours later, at 8:30pm, we reached the road and the Lake Shore Hostel picked us up.

And most importantly, we got to hang out with Danny "otis" and Ang "the Dock" Freedman, two amazing, fantastic friends from DC. They came up to Maine to vacation and met us in Monson yesterday to spend the day. You two are awesome and we love you!!

Ok, more later (maybe) as we have a shuttle going to the trail and im no where close to being ready.

7 more days. Katahdin here we come!

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114 Miles South of Katahdin

Hello from Monson, ME - the last town before the "100 Mile Wilderness".  Maine has been tough but fun so far - we have forded a few rivers and no one was killed off like in "Oregon Trail", so that's good.  Currently it's raining and gray outside so we are glad to be zeroing and bonus, the Freedman's are vacationing up here so they are coming to hang.  Should be a good day of drinking and catching up - also this will be a nice way to send us off to the finish.  We should be done in 6 or 7 days, long but relatively short.  We also lucked out in the form of a beach house thanks to Sus' friend Alex - huge huge thanks to her - cannot wait to post a daily picture of my feet in the sand on this blog.

Ok friends, gotta go put the laundry in the dryer - somethings never change (stolen from Danny Freedman).

Adieu.

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Mahoosuc Notch: this is not a footpath

These photos are of Mahoosuc Notch.

This is part of the Appalachian trail.

Yes, this is a "trail."

And! These photos are actually horrible examples of the terrain - it was hard to capture - but it turns out it's difficult to take photos when you're bouldering, rock climbing gymnastic-ing (yes, i just made that a word) over and under huge rocks, caves (that still have ice in them), deep scary looking crevasses...all with a 35lb pack.

So the pictures arent great, what did it look like? Imagine a V shaped gap, and now throw in boulders of all shapes and sizes. For a mile. That's Mahoosuc notch, and someone actually thought the AT should go through it. The only thing about this mile that made it "hiking" was that we had packs on.

We will admit though- it was fun for a bit. But it kept going. And going. And going. To put it in perspective, it usually takes us 20 to 30 min to go a mile. This one took 3 hrs and 20 min.

Welcome to Maine!

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Poles.

Finally had to trade in my walmart hiking poles in Gorham, NH. Pole tip on right is what a helpful/working pole looks like. My old pole, as you may notice, had zero metal left on it. Most of it was left in the Whites...

A week later, after some of this craziness of S. Maine, about half of the tips on the new poles are gone.

Maine's rough!

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