I haven't sat down at a computer since Connecticut and like I said before, thoughts still don't flow naturally when sitting at a computer.  According to the books here at the Appalachian Trail Conference, I am the #2 southbounder that has made it to Harper's Ferry, WV.  I still am holding to the fact that I'm not trying to go fast, I'm just really enjoying the journey and hiking my own hike.  It does get kind of annoying when you tell people when you start and they say, "wow, you're flying!!!"  Um no, actually I'm walking and I just like to hike a long time each day.  I really love the mornings and the evenings, those are my favorites.
New York was very pleasant, I kept seeing those rock walls and thinking that I'm back in time during the civil war and trying to avoid the enemy.
New Jersey was not all marshy and full of mosquitos like the northbounders said, it was quite beautiful and I was excited to see 3 bears.  The mile long boardwalk was really great, even if it was really hot out.
Pennsylvania was not as bad as all the northbounders said it would be, yes there were rocks, but overall it was really flat and the hiking was not bad at all.  (I think nobos just need things to complain about.)  I kept getting told, oh, the bad part is coming up, well I guess that the bad part was Maryland then.  I failed miserably at the 1/2 gallon of ice cream challenge at Pine Grove State Park, just before the 1/2 way point for me.  Barb even was there 2 hours after the store closed and let me go in and get it, but I didn't make it very far, I guess I'm just a light weight.
Maryland actually caused me more problems with the rocks than Pennsylvania, but maybe that's because I wasn't expecting them.  I thought that since people do the 4 state challenge there, that it must be easy, well, its not.

So now I'm over halfway, which is a pretty big accomplishment, it seems surreal, I can't really phathom it yet.  I came out here to process divorce papers being filed and the trail has been very good to me.  I have found forgiveness, hope, joy, understanding and contentment, I'm in a very good place and I've said a couple of times that if my time to end the trail comes, I have found what I was searching for. 

But until that day comes, I'll keep Springer Mtn, Georgia in my sights.

Thanks for following the journey.

-jason
 


Comments

Rich
08/03/2011 15:59

Sorry I missed your calls this morning. I guess I should be more attached to my cell phone ... NOT! Glad you are doing well, and really glad you did the update. We love you!!

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Becca C.
08/03/2011 16:19

J-Boy!

So good to se your updates, I didn't realize you were doing it until today. So glad God is diving you what you need out there. You and Cassandra have been on our hearts and in our prayers a lot. Many blessings to you as you travel!

Much Love, MJ and Becca

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Becca C.
08/03/2011 16:20

"giving you..." not "diving you..." Oops.

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Farm Arm
08/03/2011 18:22

Jason, My friend. So good to hear your words. I got your phone message a week or so ago. Thanks for that. I cannot wait to have you in plain. Hoping for the winter together, praying for you alot! Thanks for the update and glad to hear of the peace in your heart. That makes me happy. Many blessings brother,

Shane

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Cassandra
08/08/2011 08:06

Jase..you're doing awesome. And I love your sassiness towards those Northbounders!

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Gavin
08/09/2011 09:28

Yo bro, I've been following you a little bit on your blog and I gotta say I love reading what you write. You say that ideas don't come to you while you're at a computer, well I feel like I'm there with you.. kinda wish I was, well at least for the easy, flat, scenic, no-pain-in-feet, wildlife-watching parts of the hike (:
God be with you bro, shoot me an email sometime!

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Marti
08/09/2011 21:45

Hi Jason,
So, this morning, Gavin randomly asked me if I was following your blog. What blog? I asked. Wish I had known you were writing one earlier. Regardless, our prayers are with you daily. I know you plan to be gone until the end of October, but truthfully we would love to have you come home sooner - and there is a lot of work here, too. Our courses are filled untl the end of October starting the last week of August. We could really use you! And, you'd have a chance to earn a bit of $, too. (By the way, I did not write you a check for your summer work. I realized that by the time you got it, the date would have expired. You'll just have to come home to get paid!) Jerry is doing well. We've been busy most of the summer on the business but managed to get in a quick bike trip to Spokane with Ruth and Gary. I start back to work next week; our first official day is the 23rd. The staff retreat will be run by Challenges Northwest this year. Should be great fun. Please give us a call the next time you get off the trail. Regardless when you plan to head back home (I'm serious about putting you to work),your Snoqualmie family will be waiting for you.
Love you son,
Marti (and Jerry, Gage, Gavin, Kenai)
Prov. 3:5-6

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Cindy Kepko
08/10/2011 20:22

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diane wes
08/10/2011 20:31

Hey Jason,
Try a few miles on that trail every day for me would you. I got used to walking 3-4 hours every day when I was in Ajijic Mexico. Ever since being back in the PNW "weather" I have found excuses not to do so.
Hope to see you when you get back. i leave here on October 30th, so better get to walking and get back here!!
I know God is taking this journey with you. So, fear not my friend, He is there!!
Blessings- Diane

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Cindy Kepko
08/10/2011 20:34

Hi Jason,
We shared a picnic bench at the Big Meadows Wayside with you on Sunday August 7th (alas, we weren't able to help you out with some new shoes in Luray!)I just read through most of your blog to date, and continue to be fascinated and intrigued by your trek. My family and I all really enjoyed talking with you, and your name came up many times during our next few days in Shenandoah. When 12-year old Michael was bemoaning Old Rag's challenging terrain, we reminded him that you hike 25-30 miles every day. Nothing like perspective to wipe out the whines! We also would stop and ponder every time we crossed the AT or hiked on it a bit, whether we'd run into you, but then we all knew that you were miles and miles away by then. Anyway, I look forward to watching your journey to Georgia and doing it vicariously. I am blessed by your faith, your courage, and your tenacity. I'm sure you've been an awesome ambassador for God on the trail (even to those cranky nobos!) and I will pray for your safety and for peace as you trust in God to lead your life. Blessings,
Cindy Kepko and family

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