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TGP going the distance!

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ok guys.  I decided to Join the next challenge.


this challenge will be a pivotal one.  as you must ALL know.. I'm totally committed and training to do a Hiking challenge in Early June.   that is, I want to hike 100miles of the woods around on the "north country" trail in 50 hours or less.


I've done 50miles in 24 hours now 3 times... so I'm due!  I know the magnitude of the challenge.


Conditioning is Necessary but not entirely enough to make the challenge.  its long and far enough that any number of unlucky problems or issues can become very serious.

last year; I walked 8 hours in the rain got very soaked and got hypothermia.  I had to stop at 79miles.


this is all Old news, as I've been working on it since I restarted posting here in 2019.


there is very little OTHER goals.  I think achieving it requires single-minded persistence and great determination.  being a Ranger I am trying to also; weight lift, rock climb, and further improve in chess.


but truthfully; all these challenges are just as much about;

making sure my wife and boss is happy with me, not getting anxious or depressed, and dealing with setbacks and disappointment.


that is hard!


I was writing up my walks.  but Idk if I will continue.  I am enjoying the idea of finding new flowers and watching spring blossum.  but its literally almost freezing out right now... spring isn't a "tada its here"... kind of thing.

I would expect though, NOW, that the worst is over.  Mid April can be cold... BUT, may is one of the most beautiful months in the whole year here in the Great lakes region/Ohio Valley.


I was kind of surprised and off line at the end of the last challenge:  but I like to look for the encouragement of my friends and share what I'm seeing.  Lots of upcoming Hikes, now, with 8 weeks to go till the A100.

Wednesday I will see the Last 18mile segment of the trail.  Tonight is a little walk; hoping to find my dad's missing fitbit.


oh, I never posted that did I!?


yeah, "setback"... about a week ago I lost my Dad fitbit ONE.  Worst Design EVER!  silly little clip and a tiny thing.  I was wearing it on a neck strap.  but apparently that just wasn't a good idea.  its got Bluetooth so I've I stumble into it near my phone....  but I am nearing the time when it would lose battery charge and I really do not know where I lost it.


earlier last week I tried what I thought was the likeliest place; but on a weekend night I can only walk so far.  I lost it on a 14 mile hike.  I've scanned 3 miles.  I will scan the last 3 miles tonight (I hope!)  I'm probably just going to have to replace it.  unfortunately its still shockingly expensive to replace! (~$200)


I wish I hadn't used it.  all I wanted was a better estimate on how much hills I was hiking (and these long walks are too far for my GPS watch)... but

$200 is pretty hefty price




besides the Hike over the weekend and the hike on wednesday; and the walk tonight... some more walks to total 56miles of walking/hiking for the week.  that is "gold" in my system and a pretty considerable amount of hikes.


Next Weekends I will do back to back hikes- but that is a topic for another day...


Lets end most entries with a flower.  I've just seen these little yellow voilets!  they might be Viola pennsylvanica or Viola pubescans.  I'm not enough of a botanist to get it all sorted out.

this looks right:



except that maybe what I'm seeing is small! even smaller than that! idk.


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Glad you are in for this challenge!

Remember to control the things you can actually control and accept those things that are outside of your control. Remember, Rangers are adaptable, we have to be.


Sucks to replace the Fitbit, but, life happens.

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hey guys, I'm here!

I can't describe to you how FAST my life has seemed lately. wow.


I feel like things are going very very fast and I am gasping to catch up.   Just as an instance of how quickly things seem to be happening.  Yesterday after the Hike; I set a pretty fast pace with my hiking partner and we arrived to the car to my mind ON time.


but the travelling from HIS car to mine was apparently a little longer than anticipated.  (this last hike was in a remote area- where there aren't as many asphalt roads).  so I was running late by the time I got to my car.  it seems like you only find bump into slow drivers in remote desolute places when you're behind and I knew if I remained stuck behind the two cars ahead of me I would be late to fixing my leak and make my wife pretty mad at me.


so I took a chance; turned at a dirt road I was 90% sure took a short cut into the woods.  it was  Good decision!  though a little rough... it definitely cut mileage and I arrived at the house with just minutes to spare.  I changed clothes, misplaced the car keys and rushed off to get my tires fixed using the spare set of keys.


bought dinner, and arrived home at 8pm.

Another Long day!  I left at 6:30am.


as for the car keys. I'll find it!  I didn't do anything awful to them.  I literally didn't have time. ;)


....I WILL post a hiking report for Yesterday (Wednesday's hike) in a bit- It was pretty,pleasant and eventful.  but lets wait til I get the pics online.   Happy Easter guys!  life is going so far I will surely barely get a chance to posting before then.  but at least I will get 2 more hikes in.  This coming weekend is my back to back hikes... where I will be Hiking late friday morning and then return for an early morning hike Saturday morning.


the downside for the hikes?  Rain.  they are talking up the chance for a pretty wet storm.  Not Heavy amounts of rain but pervasive drizzly weather.


this will be a good opportunity to test my dad's raingear and see how waterproof I really am.  if not, I suppose, I will just get wet but at least I have a short night to warm up and dry up before I do the morning hiking.


and after that guys (not to look too far).... there's a bit of a break in the Hiking. I will try to keep up walks so I don't lose the conditioning I have....

but its honestly


fairly stressful on everyone to be hiking for 2 days a week, like this.  not only for myself but my hiking partner.  there is two unhappy wives regarding the big training that is happening.  


and the only other thing to say Is that my daughter goes back to college this friday.  that's always welcome, as she totally needs to get her own life going and figured out.   There's no Too many of those semester's left.  I think this is the Last of her Junior year.  in the meanwhile, it always changes life quite a lot when she leaves.   and when the hiking training slows down; hopefully life as a whole slows down.


I feel like , surely,  it will be easier in a slowed up life to miss potholes.


I saw these the other day.  Siberia Squill


 they are not wild , in these parts... but they are really beautiful!  I should plant some- as their are not enough of them around for as pretty as they are and being a particularly early perennial.  I'll post a wild flower when I get to the hike report....



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PRETTY FLOWERS!!!  I'm still waiting to see some here!  My car had frost on it yesterday morning at 7am............




Life really does feel like it's whipping on by, huh... AAAAA HELP HELP.  It will chill out soon, I know it!  

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Yay, glad you posted. I, too, keep waiting for life to slow down... but maybe it isn't life that should slow down but me. Interesting to think on... I like what you said about slowing down to avoid the potholes. Maybe it is my speed that is making life seem so fast... the classic Red Queen race.


Thnx for the insight!

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ok, well the Hike!


First of all, you got to appreciate the significance of this part of the Trail.  the "A100" goes 97 miles south from the NY/PA border to the south boundary of the National forest where we live.  Jeff and I, have hike nearly All the other segments except THIS one, the far south part of the trail.


if we get to this part of the trail. we will be sore!  the hikes begins at mile#80 and I joke to my hiking partner that we should have stayed up all night just to get in the right frame of mind for the hike.  that part of the trail begins in a tiny town called 'kelletville'.  there is no store or gas station- its too small for one! everything about the hike is remote and rugged far from roads; in fact, we walk just a few miles east of an actual wilderness- the only one in pennsylvania.


we begin with a good pace and PERFECT weather!  Neither Cold nor very warm.  the bright sun is mostly obscured by a overcast cloud that only lifts briefly.  as we get to the first picturesque walks I even get a perfect place to get fresh spring water. a place where the water wells right out of the ground, like the water was coming from a weak water fountain.

this happens under the shadow of a massive wall of rocks, now shrouded in green moss and little green plants.



if I had to express anything about the way the woods was- it was like the woods is sitting in quiet anticipation of the explosion of green that WILL happen in a month or so.  No tree yet has its leaves but the bushes burst with tiny new leaves and lots of little flowery buds are found on the sienna brown carpet of last years withered leaves.  I spent a while doing one of my favorite hobbies when I'm out in the woods and that is looking for flowers....




these little guys May not seem SO impressive. and, indeed in the morning they were all closed. (to say nothing of their small size).   but towards the end of the hike they were perfectly wonderful to my eyes; dainty 5 petaled "spring beauties"- mostly white but with other that had delicate stripes of pink in them.   in the heat of the day they opened up and seemed to multiply.  I saw some hillsides that was full of these gorgeous gems.   they remind of stars, as , each one of them were pretty small and not an impressive sight; but bunched up in the dozens to hundreds they were more beautiful than I can express.




now this is fun and not something I see often.  but this small little snake was sunning in the path just a little ways from the forest boundary.  this is , I believe, called a "garter" snake- one of the most common of snakes and perfectly harmless.  they remind me of my grandmother how had a murderous fear of snakes she would do awful things to kill these innoculous creatures.   about the only thing that should fear this snake is toad maybe or a cricket/grasshopper.  I've always had a friendly joy in seeing them.


One thing I can't show you is just how MUCH wildlife we saw.  we saw a turkey and a deer; there were bird calls frequently.  spring IS happening and animals that sleep away the chill winters are waking up and looking for food.  I'm so Grateful for that.  you won't believe how much nicer a beautiful songbird is to walk to.   even the last few night hikes I've been hearing Owls.  there's something fun about "hooting" back.



this is my hiking partner, Jeff, in the latter part of the walk. I wanted a wide shot to show the way the woods looks as it wakens up from winter.  I also wanted a good picture of my hiking companion.  we are Now very close to walking all the trail from NY to the south boundary.  in 15 miles; we will have done it! 97 miles together.


this ended up to be a harder hike for him.  he's not quite sure why himself but he had a few cramps mid hike.  our training program HAS been rigorous!  by design we're not giving our bodies enough time to relax between hikes.   this is all on purpose, done so our bodies can adapt to the strenious hiking.  I don't think sometimes that I give him proper credit for the challenge.  He's 66 (or so), so to hike 100 miles All in 2 days!? amazing!!  like my dad; he's adopted an exercise program for decades and is world's stronger and healthier than most 60 year old men.  I hope at his age to be as healthy!


I leave you with that as my final observation of the hike.  Perfect weather, flowers, wildlife!! and the anticipation of (hopefully) arriving at this exact spot in June after 80 miles of hardcore hiking.  the "south" wilderness.  I am very dedicated and passionate about my big hike!  I remind myself to have faith that after all these training miles ; I have made the wildly ridiculous task to hiking so far with so little sleep and time, possible.


I invite yall to join me in hiking this spring (or fall  in the far south).  if not for a vast hiking challenge;  hike to find the pretty little sights like dainty flowers and sly small snakes.  even in the dark; its wonderful fun to hoot back at the owls.  and its really Such a GOOD workout!  in rugged terrain; you end up exercising almost Every muscle!  every downed tree is a little obstacle to clamor over.

perhaps I will continue to sometimes do hiking reports; but the next few promise to be dark and rainy ones.  I'm not sure I have alot to say of those.  we'll see... the weather guy is calling for lots and lot of rain in the future- which is more common for April...

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13 hours ago, GoodDoug said:


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

thank you.


9 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Very awesome that your friend is able to do all that hiking. I'm hoping to be like that at 66

its simply amazing to me! (really).  I can only think that if you get in shape and get working hard to be as fit possible

you can fight off this thing called aging (to a degree) and do the amazing!


seems like your very much on the path to doing that. :)


9 hours ago, Salinger said:

awesome write up and of course i am here to support you xx


Love <3 the support! thank you.

not sure, if I can try to keep the hiking reports interesting. but If I feel inspired- I'll try


1 hour ago, Guzzi said:

Hey!!!!  I was following on your last challenge but I think the forum must have disliked that idea and kicked you off my notification list. Booo!


I've had that happen too!  its odd.  the only thing I can say is that I think the more often you post the more likely your be notified!  so feel free to say anything that comes to mind :eagerness:

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

s simply amazing to me! (really).  I can only think that if you get in shape and get working hard to be as fit possible

you can fight off this thing called aging (to a degree) and do the amazing!


seems like your very much on the path to doing that. :)


Thanks,That's my plan 

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Happy Easter! guys...


without getting too religious lets all just affirm in the power of second chances!



it feels like things are changing (finally)... while not done or ending; Hiking will be I think a bit more spaced out and more reasonable.  I have one major hike in the next 2.5weeks... but not like last week that saw 3 major hikes in less than a week.


Green is coming up EVerywhere outside!  I see new leaves on the trees and while there's still a few spring flowers I haven't seen (hey Trilliums of PA; why aren't you up yet!?) - most of them are out.


so Get OUT.  Really What are you Waiting for!! (ha!)


still reading?


oh.  ok. well I had the feeling like I wanted to try to do One more HIKE REPORT.

but I'm WARNING you!


I got NO photos at All!  sorry!  first it rained and secondly I camped in the middle and my wife didn't want me to drag a camera with the tents and all.... 

so No pretty Picture of sitting Near a fire (we never even made a fire, actually).

no nothing.  


the only photo going forward is a last google shot of a flower; cuz I like flowers and I think this is a cool one...


FRIDAY APRIL 19th. (8pm, the Beginning of a dark and (almost) stormy night)


... from the Far South reaches of the Trail on Wednesday (that my hiking partner hasn't seen)-- this is the Far NORTH part of the Trail that I haven't seen for quite a few years.  anyways, cue the rain.  cue the "peepers".  ? . do you know what those are?  those little high pitched shrill sound in the bogs/swamps?  they are frogs!  tiny little frogs.  I was overcome with curiousity once to find one.  SO. DARN. TOUGH!  they know just when to be quiet!  but ... with persistence once I did it.


anyways. yep. lots of them. the trail starts right in a big bottom lands with lots of em.  for a while not much was said.  it was still yet warm; but very damp. the kind of humidity that sticks to you.  the whiff of mist; blurring out our headlamps.   Oh how muddy the Trail was In spots!  this wouldn't be a good one for my partner and I think he fell like 5 times or so... even WITH hiking poles constant attention was needed to prevent slipping in the thick and gooey mud.


as the trail started gaining elevation gently in long strait sections and gentle loops- we had new companions once we got beyond the Peepers....  we started seeing Toads,Everywhere!  toads on top of rocks and sitting near logs.  Toads sleeping; squirming and well... making new toads (paired up obviously).

this was the NIGHT of toads! and we saw probably A ton of Toads!  who says you can't "see" wildlife on a night hike?


the terrain get more physical as the night drew on.  I was warned there was One big stream crossing... and yep!  it was Pretty bad.  now, I don't mean that it was a broad river or anything.  but they say one year (of the A100) there was flooding rain and they had to put up rope to prevent people from being swept away in the heavy currents.

... Hmm  that WOULD be a hard Year for sure!

imagine getting wet at mile 12 and having 87 miles to go with wet feet and pants!?


anyways; the Big Hill.  Oddly enough I was Just telling Jeff that all the hills felt small... NEVER. SAY. SOMETHING. LIKE. THAT!.


what a hill! 


so tired and passing out , later, we got to the top.  funny, how much foggier it was up there!  the headlights were reduced to just a white ball and nearly left no glow for our strained legs.  it was so much colder out.  it felt like the Mists of the night were stealing the warmth of everything away.  we were happily after the climb pretty warm- but it dwindled!  I bundled up the raincoat; which was really not so needed (it drizzled and nothing more...).   very slow pace despite the easyness of the way- thick "pea soup" fog.


this might seem a odd point to draw attention to. so very unvisual. but ALL hiking is mental.  when your lucky you can distract yourself with the outside world.  at this moment, though, you were Locked in your head!  straining to see the dimmest hint of what was around you, just to stay on trail.  your thoughts ARE everything.  tell you feet to quit complaining about your wet feet.  No, fingers and toes we are NOT going to die of cold.  


and then.  we are done!  we come down the heights and walk along the road among the toads.  Poor toads!  do not try to have kids err tadpoles on a highway!!  


and it is Morning!  in the woods, it seems that No matter who little sleep you have - its Really good Sleep!  we had a whopping 3.5hours but it was warm (heavy sleeping bags) & dry ! (the virtue of setting up camp BEFORE the drizzle).


as we wake up to the light we note the lightness of the sky.  drizzle , it seems, has passed.  daybreak is not entirely sunlight; but the sun pops out momentarily out of the clouds then goes back.  Everything is really, really, REALLY green.  all flowers are closed; but their small little leaves shine!  during a brief break; I see a fun sight!  "Leeks!"

what are leeks?  well WILD leeks... aka "Ramps/ Wild onions".  a really really BIG patch.  I dig a few up for a tasty treat another day.


Everything goes from rather chilly to pretty warm  and rather stuffy.  we come up the Ridge and I have My little celebration- Now I HAVE walked all 97miles of the trail.  down the other side the trail does a lot of Water crossing; which is Really inconvenient.  It did drizzle all night; and with rains in previous days water is high.  I don't think my shoes even sort of dried from the night before.  

oh well, more water?  Bring it on. said I.



we were 1 hour from the end.  yep 1 hour.  think Constant, Drenching Rains for 1 hour. yes, we had raincoats.  but we were hiking like mad and sweating like, a lot.  and "breathable" is a relative thing.  but again- what do saw about heavy rain?  its not as bad as you first think it is.  your wet. but its got its own beautiful sounds and flow.  without rain- there wouldn't be green plants and they were absolutely loving it!   keep slow and pretend your waterproof.


and Thats my Hike!  I think I Did run out of words.  I worried that would happen.  


now if you have any further inclination to read; here is the flower;



these are called "dutchman Breeches"

no idea were the name comes from -- properly its name is dicentra cucullaria.  but who can say that.


anyways its pretty &  I found a particularly pretty bunch near some big boulders.  what could be prettier than that!?




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(sorry, catching up~)


I love love love hearing the birds in the springtime too... it's so quiet where I am and in the mornings and at night all the songbirds are out and it's just so peaceful!  Owls too!  And, WOODPECKERS!!!  I love hearing a woodpecker on a peaceful day...


Glad you survived the rainy weather all right!

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21 hours ago, Tova the Vibrant said:

Following along for flower pictures! 

We just hiked Pinnacles National Park in southern California, and loved identifying all the flowers. I really need a midwest flora book so I can id stuff locally. 


they are Not my own pics But... there is nothing Better that can be done on a hike than to look for flowers!  it is the essence of a good hike! which is to find subtle beauty in athletic circumstances...


19 hours ago, Salinger said:

Cool you camped :) I have a tent now and a sleeping bag...just waiting for a spare bloody moment to go for a camping trip!!!!


Camping is SO. FUN!  it keeps you in beautiful places & assuming you can set up camp in a comfortable place and stay warm! it how human beings are "meant' to sleep.  1000 years ago they didn't call this even camping.  they called it normal life and it was prolly 100 times better for your mind, body and spirit.


Please DO go on a camping Trip!  if you can build a fire and roast something delicious.


18 hours ago, shaar said:


(sorry, catching up~)


I love love love hearing the birds in the springtime too... it's so quiet where I am and in the mornings and at night all the songbirds are out and it's just so peaceful!  Owls too!  And, WOODPECKERS!!!  I love hearing a woodpecker on a peaceful day...


Glad you survived the rainy weather all right!


they key to raining is being on the go.  we humans are evolved into doing that, too!  I'm sure of it.  just keep walking until you get to a sunny spot.


truth be told, if these birds get any louder I wonder if me and Jeff will stay have the chance to talk?  lol.  with alll that birdsong.


it getting more and more frequent and intense.  the bird are getting twitterpated (to use the bambi terminology); and they need to yell at each other to all sort it out.




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mid-day check up.


some interest convo on other people's thread.  if you've come here because I've been wandering- your not wrong in assuming that I'm feeling a little closer in habits right now to another guild; the Adventurers.


this is prolly a short term thing; but less rangerbrain (athletically) as I'm very much in the most intense part of my hiking training.


from my massive spreadsheet of all exercise; look at this depiction of time and type of exercise.



See that singlemindedness!


OTOH I see a new shift coming.  I am getting towards the last few hikes, really.


I have my biggest yet coming on Friday.  32 miles and possibly as long as 16hours.  (my pace is awful in the night).


but with the exception of catching up on sleep it leaves most of this week and next week alone.  no days off to hike or anything.


I'm not ready, but the calendar says I must be READY for this challenge, soon!  the final idea is some really long hikes to test all my prep.  I have a slightly savage thought that I hope it rains a little.

that would NOT be pleasant.  but I had wet shoes and socks last weekend.  there were Too wet IMHO!

I need some shoe repair to better seal them from the elements.  rain is a perfectly plausable thing on the A100; probably more common that dry weather.


I would like some confidence that I could bear it without blisters.


at the same time I can't drag everything on my back  in the hopes of stopping it.  another guess is a chance to go through the motions and make progress on a known A100 weakness.


today is chilly and cool. but it is sunny!

there is all kinds of up and coming beauty.  this has been a good year for Dogwood!  do you know that flowering tree?



its joining magnolias, apples and cherry trees.  its a heck of a sight.  buds are just about ready to burst, too.


oh how I love May.  you can tell we are just about to it.


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