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Bedrock AT Series: Pennsylvania to Massachusetts

Bedrock Ambassador Trey Locke wakes up each morning in his tent, packs up camp, and continues his 2,200 mile long hike from Georgia to Maine. The Bedrock Appalachian Trail (AT) Series is an bi-monthly account of Trey’s experiences and photography along the trail. Follow along on Trey’s journey for a taste of what its like to hike the AT.

Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia is the unofficial halfway point of the Appalachian Trial. The town marks your completion of Virginia, which is more than a quarter of the entire trail. The milestones keep on rolling as you later pass the Mason Dixon line, and then hit the official halfway mark in Pennsylvania. While my pride and spirits soared at these accomplishments the celebration was short lived. In a matter of only a few days Pennsylvania went from a scenic state park to “rocksylvania.” All sizes from pebbles to boulders litter the trail; it is often called the place where shoes go to die, but my experience showed me it is also the place where feet go to get the crap kicked out of them.

After numerous days of rain and rocks I was happy to leave PA and enter New Jersey. The views were breathtaking, no longer the farm lands of the Midwest. I was also lucky to see two black bears during my first two days. One ran away as soon as I came around the corner. The other was eating blueberries on a ridge when I walked up. At first it kept its distance. Then it must have realized that I was only a 140 pound hiker, and posed no real physical threat. It moved closer and closer, I assume it was intrigued with me as much as I was with it. Before I knew it, roughly 20 feet separated us. I felt that this was too close. I began rattling my protein shaker which scared it off. An amazing and nerve wracking experience.

The Appalachian Trail passes through 14 states. Thru-hikers commonly focus on which ones they have gone through, or, as you get farther north, which ones are left. The best part about the North East is that you begin to knock out states pretty quickly. It took only four and a half days to get from New Jersey to New York, another four days were spent hiking in New York (with one day spent checking out New York City), and only two and half days were spent hiking in Connecticut before reaching Massachusetts. I arrived in Great Barrington, MA on July 16th. On the 17th I hopped on a bus heading south for a family reunion. Ironically the reunion took place in Atlanta, the same place where I started my adventure almost four months ago.

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