Thursday, July 24, 2008

Harpers Ferry - The End.jpg


Harpers Ferry The End.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.



Well I made it to Harpers Ferry, which I completed my 5th state! I hiked an easy 20 miles through the rain. It poured all day, but it was nice and cool. No heat and humidity! So I really enjoyed splashing in ankle deep water along the trail, since I was already soaked to the bone! So, I am officially at 1011.5 miles from Springer, and at the psychological half-way point.

Well it is here that I decided with much thought to finish my hike here. I went to the ATC office and got my picture taken as a section hiker. I was the 165th section hiker to date. There have been 662 thruhikers so far.

I have found that the heat & humidity to be to much for me. Lakewood: I don't know how u did it! i am sorry I wont be able to meet you in PA, was loooking forward to it. I came to realize I am more of a cool weather hiker, so with that I am hanging up my hiking shoes indefinetly.

I am very sorry I wetted everyone's appetite, then to crush it after being on the trail for only 4 days. Though, I am grateful I got to see CJ's and Dynamite's tribute to me in the trail register. I am very thankful for everyone's encouragement and prayers.

So with that, I am extremely happy with the 1011.5 miles and the psychological half way point. It is a great place to wrap up my adventure! I hoped everyone enjoyed seeing what the first half of the AT was like, and I hope I inspired someone to get out there and try it themselves! To God be the glory and God bless.

The end.
Shepherd

1000 Mile Club.jpg


1000 Mile Club.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well it is official, I now hiked over 1000 miles since starting from Springer! Unbelievable! It is still hard to imagine, and just think of all the places around Lafayette that is closer than a 1000 miles...such as Louisville, St. Louis, Nashville. etc..

Shepherd

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hello West Virginia.jpg


Hello West Virginia.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well it is official, I have left the mad state of Virginia for good, and have crossed into West Virginia. I am eating lunch at the Blackburn Trail Center. I only have 1.1 more miles to the 1000 mile mark, so stay tuned!

Shepherd

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bears Den Hostel.jpg


Bears Den Hostel.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well today I zero'd at Bear Den Hostel, which was just what I needed. I have learned that I am more a cold weather hiker than a hot weather one. I have trouble with the heat and humidity.

So today I read 3 chapters in our men's bible study book, 12 ordinary men by John Macauther. It is really good. Then I ate half a pizza while watching the movie Cars. Then I talked with Amee and took a nap till more hikers showed up. Oh, I also helped Hopeful by vacuuming and making the beds. lol. I dont mind helping out, since I was resting all day. Currently there are 6 hikers here plus me. I just ate my other half of my pizza and will be enjoying my pint of Ben & Jerry's real soon. This is the 2nd best hostel to date. Kincora holding the top spot.

I guess this was the summer home of a washington doctor built in the 30's, then the patc bought it up.

Tomorrow I plan to hike past 1000 miles and maybe even into Harper's Ferry. Yeah! Then I will determine if I will go on or stop there.

Shepherd.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The AT RollerCoaster.jpg


The AT RollerCoaster.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well computer is down at Bear's Den Hostel, so I will have to post via cell phone.

Well hiked 18.1 miles long, hot, difficult miles. I am 991 miles from Springer! 1185.2 from Springer and only 18 more miles of Virginia.

Today I bought my ticket fo the roller Coaster, which ia a 13.5 mile stretch with about 13 up and downs. The cost of the ride...981.1 miles, and they dont even throw in a suviener photo. I tried to raise my hand up and yell Wheeee on the way down, but to tired. Did feel like I was going to puke about 5 times on the ride though...lol.

Well I made to Bears Den hostel, which is literally a castle. pretty cool. Prob about 2nd behind Kincora for hostels. Found out today was the hotest day this week & i believe it. Literally soaked all day from sweat.

Going to zero tomorrow to recoup.

Shepherd

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hey Sheperd.jpg


Hey Sheperd.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well I hiked 15.1 miles today after being off the trail for 78 days. Yes thats right...11 weeks. Man time flies by! So I am officially 972.7 miles from Springer & 1203.5 miles from Katahdin and out of shape!

Well I was looking through the register for CJ's entry, and low and behold they put a full page tribute to me. I dont know who did the drawing, but it ROCKS! It made my day. The group is singing to the song " hey Jude" but putting in Shepherd instead. Wow! Thanks CJ, Dynamite, Dorothy & Howedown! Even Dirty Charlie made it in, who is CJ's alter-ego! How cool.

Well my streak for company at the shelter continues. Bonnie is here so far and is hiking south. Tomorrow I get to ride the rollercoster! Yeah.

Well I am glad I am back, but already miss Amee. I love you!

Shepherd

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cabelas.jpg


Cabelas.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Well we made it to Front Royal without any problems. We did make a side trip to the largest outfitter I have even seen...Cabela's. Thankfully it was right off the interstate in West Virgina. I was able to get a foam sleeping pad and new hiking pants!

Lois had mention this store before, but it is something to be witnessed first hand! They had about every wild game stuffed and on presentation. They even had an elephant! The male moose was my favorite along with the 8 foot brown bear!

Well we are at the Super 8 motel and we just ate at Villa Giuseppe, an Itialian restraunt. We ate here the last time with all the gang, and it was delicious!

One last thing about the Virgina is for Lovers campaign. The slogan was originally Virginia is for history lovers, but they decided to shorten it to the current slogan. Just some useless trivia for you all! very funny.

Well heading north tomorrow and should be out of VA in 3-4 days!

Shepherd

Gas under 4 dollars.jpg


Gas under 4 dollars.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

wow...it is pretty sad when u get excited for gas under $4 a gallon, but this is the lowest we have seen gas for quite some time....$3.85!

Lafayette is expensive for some reason. Currently we are somewhere in Ohio!

Man..i forgot my sleeping pad...will have to pick one up at an outfitters. I have a bad memory. lol.

Shepherd

One Day to Go!









Well folks,

Today is the day. Just woke up in the comfort of our house one last time. We are about to embark on the 10 hour drive back to Front Royal, VA. Yes, back to the state that claims it is for lovers!

For you all who maybe new to my blog. I am attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I had hiked 960 miles of it before I got injured in the SNP and had to get off the trail for 9 weeks to recover. Now that my leg has healed, I am ready to continue my hike north! I will be posting new pics and stories about my day daily as long as I have a good cell signal.

I am getting excited, but am also worried about hiking in this heat and humidity, which is something I didn't have to deal with before. But it is just something you have to do i guess! I will just drink lots of water and take it nice and easy, esp. at first since I am out of hiking shape!

Well, before i go. I just want to congratulate Yeti, Stovie and Toddy Bear for summitting Katahdin on the 17th of July! Amazing! Go Team Deutschmark! Also, Dynamite and CJ are planning a summit on the 25th of July! Hike on guys!

In Christ,
Shepherd

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Dark Knight.jpg


The Dark Knight.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.

Hello all...only 2 more days.

Well in anxious awaitment i am at the midnight showing of the most anticapated movie of the year! Dark Knight! I am meeting Mark Z. and 3 others as well! wish CJ was here though...i know he would love it.

It is amazing at the number of people in costumes...see above picture! I will be stoked if Mark is in costume too! Man I should of said it was him in the batman outfit...lol.

Well cant wait to get back to nature, but couldnt pass up this oppurtunity!

Shepherd.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prelocks blueberry farm.jpg


Prelocks blueberry farm.jpg, originally uploaded by Hikingfool.



Howdy all....only 5 more days!!

Well today I was able to participate in one of the annual rituals in the Redden's household, in which we collect a years worth of blueberries in a few short hours! Yesterday, the Prelock's Blueberry Farm opened their gates, and their hundreds of blueberry bushes to the public to be picked cleaned by the young and the old and everyone inbetween!

So today I braved the mosquitos by putting on my 98% DEET bug spray (that I will be using on my AT hike), and my blueberry picking hat (sorry no picture of me wearing it!), and I headed to the outskirts of Dayton. Even with the crowds and the heat, I ended up picking about 9 pounds of berries for a grand total of $16.75! You cant beat that

So you maybe wondering why I posted about picking blueberries when it wasnt on the AT or on a hiking adventure. But, I wanted to reflect back at all the blessings I was able to enjoy in the 9 weeks I have been off the AT.

Most people may sit and complain about wasted time from the trail as they recover from an injury, but I have really enjoyed the time that God had allowed me to spend with my wife, my friends from church and my fellow co-workers! So, instead of grumbling and complaining...i got to in no particular order

1. Pick blueberries at Prelock's Blueberry Farm
2. Take Amee to a Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift Concert
3. Go to the Fair Oaks Dairy Farm with Amee
4. Play in 3 softball games with my church's softball league
5. Got to worship with my fellow brother and sisters in Christ at FBC
6. Go to my brother's high school graduation and open house
7. Go to Amee's nephew's high school graduation and open house
8. Got to go to a wedding and dance with my wife
9. Planted my garden
10. Interview and accept a job with ClarianArnett Hospital
11. Go to my first little league game in years with Tracy and Mike! Go Trevor
12. Went to the Taste of the Tippecanoe with Amee
13. Went to the Indianapolis Zoo with Amee
14. Played some Rock Band with our group Nutmeg
15. Got to work again with my co-workers
16. Watch Hancock and Indiana Jones 4 with Amee

Well, that is to name a few! God is amazing, and I am very thankful I had these opportunities to experience! Now that I got to reflect, it is time to prepare for my hike!

Hiking on....GA
Shepherd

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thru-Hiker vs. Section Hiker

Hello all!

I am taking a poll on how I should introduce myself to other hikers I meet on the trail, since it has been 9 weeks since I actually stepped foot on the AT.

Should I still call myself a thru-hiker, since I am still hiking north in the current 2008 hiking season from Springer. Or should I call myself a long section hiker, since I know I wont finish my thru-hike this year? Would love to know what you all think!

There is a poll on the right hand side of the page! Thanks!

Shepherd

Friday, July 11, 2008

9 more days!!

Hello all!

Thanks Mac and PS for your suggestions on my coolfly issue! Glad I have it resolved! BTW..that cutting board is our spare one that we hardly ever use, so she wasn't to upset that there is now a burn mark on it...was surprised it happened though! lol.

Also, congrats to Lakewood for completing the Colorado Trail! He also thru-hiked the AT in 2007, and has been giving me valuable advice and encouragment this year! Could we see a PCT or CDT thru-hike in his future! lol.

Well, I also wanted to give a quick update on some of my hiking buds that are still on the trail. Here is a list of the hikers I know...

Maine: (not to Katahdin yet)
Yeti
Stovie
Toddy Bear (these 3 are Team Deustchmark..minus Bad Hummus)
Dynamite
California Joe!

New Hampshire:
Burpples
Toots

Mass:
Popeye

Unfortunalety I just found out last night about another couple who decided to get off the trail in New York, who I really thought would make it. I really enjoyed hiking with them for the few days in Virginia. God bless, and welcome to the "section hiker's" group! Glad to have you! lol. Their hiking journal is on fivemillionsteps.com.

So here is Amanda and Little Debbie! Congrats on 1400 miles!

















Shepherd!

Friday, July 4, 2008

CoolFly Problem Solved

Hello all - Happy 4th of July!!

Thanks Mac and PS for the suggestions. I ended up biting the bullet and taking off the built in windscreen of my potstand in hopes that it would allow heat to escape; allowing my stove to breathe more efficiently.

As you can see in the video below, it worked. I will take the windscreen next to my stove with me when I start my hike in 16 more days. Sorry it is sideways...didnt realize it until I copied it to my computer.

video

Shepherd

Mac: Thankfully no firefighters were needed with my first video attempt! lol ;O)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Overheating CoolFly stove.

Hello all!

Only 19 more days till I will be back on the trail, so I took the day today getting my gear organized. I was playing with my new stove that Pastor Scott sent me (thank you!), and am having a problem getting 2 cups to boil before it overheats.

I don't know if it is because of the heat (about 75 degrees out) or because of the windscreen on my pot stand, so if anyone has had similar problems or know how to resolve the problem....comments are greatly welcome! Mac or PS...any suggestions?

I did poke out about half of the windscreen holes to open up the area around the stove, which did give me about 3-4 more minutes of burn time before the stove overheated. So, maybe punching out the rest of the holes might do the trick and just use an external windscreen. Also I have tried different heights of the wicks, which didn't change the outcome.

The stove is a CoolFly alcohol stove from minibulldesign.com. Here is a short video of what it looks like when it overheats....this is about 12 minutes into the test.....


video

Shepherd.

PS - Thanks for the Heini wrap! It is nice to be able to pick it up without burning my hand! It was very easy to put on!