We had to go to New York for a couple of days.  Ryan had meetings in Syracuse on Tuesday and Wednesday, so after Trail Days was over in Damascus we picked up a rental van and headed north.  Our plan was to head back to Virginia this morning, and tomorrow morning start hiking where we had left off last week. 

But, nothing is “us” unless there are changes to our plans.  We revisited our “Oreo” plan this morning, and took a vote by ballot. 

The Oreo plan is to do the beginning of the trail (which we have done), then to do the New England part of the trail, finishing with the middle, and sweeping up the last part of the Smokies, ending our journey at Clingmans Dome.

Five voted “Oreo”, two voted traditional northbound (returning to the trail where we had left off)… And still we had a further discussion, because we don’t just leave people’s feelings to the casting of a vote.  

After all concerns are addressed, and everyone was feeling good about the plan, we called Enterprise to see if we could return the rental to Concord instead of Virginia.  Initially they told us it would be an insane amount of money, but after some further conversation they waived the drop fee… And we home.

We will be here, at home until Monday morning, when Ryan’s parents will then drive us to Mount Greylock, in northwest Massachusetts.  We will spend the next almost seven weeks hiking to Mount Katahdin.  Taylor and Kole are going to camp in Connecticut July 16-21, then we will return to Mount Greylock on the 22nd and hike south again.  

We are able to hike approximately 95 miles a week, so we will finish early fall.

It had been so good to see a few friends and Ryan’s family again, and hope to see as many friends as we can squeeze into a couple of days that we are home.

The kids are so happy to be able to see their friends again!

It was awesome to cook dinner in my kitchen again!!!

And best of all… We get to sleep in our own bed for the next couple of nights! AWESOME!!!

Tomorrow, we will work on resupply and plans for the next seven weeks.  If you have been wanting to participate in Trail Magic boxes, we will have addresses coming.  If you are up on this area and want to meet up with us while we are on the trail, shoot us an email.  

We are so excited about this leg of the trip!  We are happy to be able to hike this part of the trail in some of this areas nicest weather, and will look forward to completion of the Appalachian Trail at Clingmans Dome.  

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