Appalachian Trail 2017

Day 96: Adrenaline Rush Fulfilled.

July 5, 2017

6:33 PM

Total Miles: 1432

Day 95

Night with stars shining bright and morning with clear skies and the sun shining.

Happy fourth of July! 

Walked this morning with planner and shortly came across what looked like from afar a pot of flowers. I kept staring… What is that?? I got closer to  a little side trail and noticed it was a memorial.


It had this note laying.


It made me teary eyed as I read it.. How sweet and how true.

Planner and I split for lunch and I spent the next couple hours hiking and talking on the phone with family members. It was the least I could do for the holiday.

Midday the trail had a side trail that led to Canopus Lake.

It was a beach that had restrooms, showers, and concessions.

We thought we would check it out since it was a holiday.

You could hear the madness a mile away in the trees. The cluster and noise of a lot of people. The closer I got the louder it was.

Finally I came to an opening a little ways back.


Oh my Lanta. So many people!!

I once again felt like I was stepping into a different world.

I headed to the concession stands and treated myself to an ice cream sandwich. Then Colby Jack and I decided we were going to try and go into the lake for a quick swim. The little lake area that was slammed with people.


We got in and quickly noticed it was not the cleanest place to be. Dark water and towards the back you were constantly hit with weeds.

We went in. Swam to the back.. And decided. Yup. That was good enough and headed back out to the showers.

Two showers two days in a row..  What?!?! Rock on.

I could of sat and people watched for hours. Constantly thinking… All these little issues and concerns they were having, they were all things that I no longer care about.

I was sitting and watching in absolute peace.

From there we had heard rumors of a hiker party 8 more miles from the lake. So we decided we would see if it was the real deal.

It was. How lucky were we?


Bill and Amy are a couple that have thrown a fourth of July party for hikers passing through for years now. Bill had hiked the AT a while ago and continued to help maintain the trail.

We arrived a little late but immediately were blessed with food, beers, showers, laundry, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.



Can I live here???

We all hung out and had a fourth of July party. I was so happy. This one will be one for the books.


The fire pit was outrageously big.


Bill and his friend Tom even shot off fireworks later in the night.


and Amy made some delicious s’more dip for graham crackers.


Such a helpful community the Hiker world is.

Sleeping arrangements were to happen pretty much wherever you can find a spot. Since we were arrived late, there was slim pickings for tenting spots.

Planner and I spotted the play house and Amy told us to go for it!

We were concerned about the mosquitos and she whispered and smiled to us that if it got bad we were allowed to sleep inside on the couch but to not tell anyone.


So. I tried. I tried to sleep in the playhouse but early in the morning headed into the house. Hot and bugs… I just couldn’t do it any more.

It was an absolute wonderful July Fourth and I am so so grateful for it.

I told Amy it really meant alot to me especially since I was so emotional about it earlier in the week.

I think this made her happy.

I am blessed.

Day 96

Some days. All your plans will go out the wayside…but some days… Its always worth it.

Last night Bill had talked to Alex about skydiving.

Alex used to be an instructor and has over 600 jumps under his belt.

Bill has started to solo jump as well. He told us the place he goes to is less than an hour away and he would take us if we wanted to go. It was called The Ranch.

Oh my. I thought. I felt that adrenaline itch coming.

Once we were all at the party… Alex, Colby Jack, Powerade, Planner, and I talked about doing it and how it would affect our plans to get into NYC on Thursday.

We decided we could go skydiving and hike the 14 miles we needed to after even if we would finish a little late.

This was a once in a life time opportunity.

Skydive in New York, with my tramily on a beautiful day, where we have a ride taken care of.. I mean. Common!!!

So. We told Bill we were in.

We slept in this morning, ate multiple bowls of cereal that Amy provided and filled out waivers for our jumps.

Around 10 we headed out.

There was 6 of us who were jumping. An older gentleman named soup was going with us.

Bill asked if anyone could ride with him on his motorcycle so that we could all get there at the same time.

My eyes widened.

Eeeeeeeeeee. I didn’t want to seem to eager.. But me me me!!

None of the boys wanted to and Planner knew how much I have talked about missing my bike on these great days plus she wasn’t interested.

Booyah!!!


So I got an extra helmet and we set out.

Already my day was going amazing.

My adrenaline junky self was in love. I was soaking in the views while we cruised down the highway.


We arrived and got situated and before I knew it we were up in a plane. Planner next to me and Colby Jack and Powerade behind me.


It was Colby Jacks 5th time and my second. Planner and Powerades first.


I kept looking at Planner. I was so excited for her to experience this.

My instructor John who I went tandem with was awesome and on the plane ride up pointed out mountains that we have climbed and will climb.


The plane kept climbing and before I knew it we were at 14,000 feet and they had opened the door and the first 4 solo jumpers popped out one by one into the vast sky. I asked for planner to go before me because I wanted to watch her jump out.

My butterflies were going haywire and my adrenaline had my heart pounding strong. Next I was up and we crouched into a squatted chair position and we rocked out.

I was free falling in New York.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Ahhbhhhhhhhhhhhh. I was flying.

I could not believe what I was seeing.

Beauty. Pure beauty. And pure joy.

Since it was my second time and John could tell I was into it. He did a few more tricks. Taught me how to spin around while falling. It took me by surprise at first how fast we could go on a circle.

Then we pulled the shoot and my legs came flying up as the parachute came out.

We chatted the whole way down about what mountains were what and he taught me more about how the parachute works. My favorite was when he would pull down and pretty much stall us mid flight.

Everything instantly became quite and it was unlike anything I have experienced. The views and the peacefulness. John had actually taken off my goggles for me so I could really see everything. I appreciated it greatly.

Ahhh!! John was getting a kick out of my enthusiasm.

We landed and naturally I wanted to go up again.

My ears were clogged though and kind of painful from the quick elevation change but it was worth it. I didn’t care and I knew eventually they would pop.

Something I didn’t need to spend money on. But do I regret it?

Absolutely not.

Colby Jack did come down and had popped his shoulder out of place on the free fall when he extended his arms.

Thank the lord it finally popped back into place while we sat and waited around. It wasn’t the first time it has popped out of place and we were thankful we didn’t have to go anywhere to get it popped back.

Alex was next. He and Bill pulled some strings so that Alex could go skydiving by himself since he used to be an instructor anyways.


Hopefully someday Ill get to go that.


We arrived back at the house around 3 and by the time we got our things together it was 4.

Crap. We won’t hit the town we needed to until late.

We sat around and negotiated some ideas and decided to get a ride into the town we needed and get into nyc early on Thursday like planned.

But when we come back we will just start further back. No big deal and Bill said he would help us with a ride.

So we hung out and called an uber and headed to our campsite which was actually located in the town of Pawling. A little pond that has picnic tables, restrooms, and grassy area for only thru hikers to camp.

It was perfect only about a mile away from the metro we wanted to take in the morning.

We will rise super early in hopes of reaching nyc and having the whole day to explore.

I am so excited to go to nyc but I seriously have no idea what to expect!

Today didn’t go as planned but.  Sometimes that makes for a perfect day.


Time to shut my eyes.

Iz and Oz

2 thoughts on “Day 96: Adrenaline Rush Fulfilled.”

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