Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Journeys End Photos

My awesome brother, Jeremy, travelled to North Troy and Journeys End to pick Jean and I up when we left the woods. Also, there to greet us was the VT-APDA chapter president, Michael O'Connor and his wife Barbara...bringing Jean and I gifts -- BATH products and chocolate bars. What else could two downright dirty women ask for? Well, maybe a cold beer? But, they did all think of it and it did become a reality on the way home...

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Flask Brothers and Zuni Bear (missing Stiletto...)

I've spent the day re-adjusting to life off the trail. Thinking deeply about the people I met along the way, other than my hikers, who affected my experience. In this photo I'm sitting on top of Camel's Hump with two such people...Tom Gebuhr on the left and Tim Gebuhr in the middle (AKA the Flask Brothers) One of those defining moments when you know you are connecting and words need not be exchanged.

'You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts...' ~Kahlil Gibran

Thanks again guys. Hoping your adjustment is gentle and your memories plentiful. Keep on loving life and spreading that infectious energy. It's really awesome.

Zuni Bear

Zuni Bear climbing on border marker at end of trail...

Well everyone...I made it! I have so many people to thank and will be doing so this week as I add photos and comments to this trail blog. The hike was perfect. I felt great...I loved feeling my body get stronger as I simultaneously cleansed my soul and felt my spirit lighten and return to me. My cousin made a comment on a photo saying I looked "radiant" and all I can say is that I felt radiant. My hikers all rocked and my support people came out and made my trek even more pleasurable and easy.

My goals were to raise awareness, encourage people to keep their bodies active and moving and hopefully to raise some funds for families with PD. I feel my goals were all met but I was most excited about, and in awe with, the reaction I got from two of my hikers specifically -- Dick Curran and Jim Hester. Their positive attitudes and bravery astounded me. When I stopped to really process what they were doing on the trail I felt honored to be with them and I realized Peaks for Parkinson's was as successful as it possibly could have been. I was so very proud of them both and I will treasure those days always. They both did some of the most rugged terrain on the trail!

It's a beautiful day today. I will be honest and say I wish I were in the mountains still...but they helped me process some pain as I honored my father and all he was to me. Have I mentioned how successful Peaks for Parkinson's was?...

Zuni Bear

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zuni Bear and Border Patrol (Jean Tufts) Sitting on top of Jay Peak

Good morning everyone!

Just bagged the final peak...another sunny day on top of the world...

I've been out of service since roundtop so I'm sorry I've not been able to update. Since Johnson I've hiked with Jean and her Dad Dennis for a bit. Dennis left the trail...I met Rev. Lyle Miller and his lovely bride Rachael as well as their friend Rosalie and we had a nice picnic brunch at the base of Laraway Mountain. Rachael and Lyle hiked a distance into the woods with us and then wished Rosalie and I good day. Rosalie hiked to the top of Laraway and then made her way back while I continued on to catch up with Jean at the next shelter. It was a lot of fun and I felt honored to share Lyle and Rachael's 52nd wedding anniversary with them. I loved hiking with Rosalie and hope to see her again someday.

Jean and I have been having a great time catching up with one another out here. We have certainly covered some ground...emotionally and physically and I'm quite sure we will leave this trail feeling healthier. Thank you Jean! I love you!!

Jean and I had a great day yesterday hiking for the third time with Dick Curran and his family (brothers Paul and Dennis, sister-in-law Ellen and nephew Sean...met at the end of the day by Sean's mom who brought us treats!). The Curran family is active! And they are fun and funny and were great companions. We hope to do a reunion Peaks for Parkinson's hike this winter...

So now Jean and I are milking these last days on the trail, taking our time, enjoying each other, the mountains and the folks along the way.

Tomorrow around noon or so...think of us as we will be standing with one foot in Vermont and one in.....

It's been an amazing and memorable journey. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'll post more this coming week, but until then...thank you all for your love and support.

Congratulations to Tom, Tim, Stiletto!!!! I miss you guys..

Zuni Bear LT07, LT10 for PD

Monday, August 23, 2010

Zero Day

Ginger left the trail yesterday after a secure night in Bear Hollow shelter. We fell asleep to the rain bouncing off the roof...a little to loud but we were happy to have shelter for the night. Setting up your tent in the rain is a hiker's most dreaded task. It was really fun to spend the days happily conversing and walking with Ginger. She and I met in the UVM master gardener class a couple of winters ago and quickly discovered we had more in common than our interest in gardening. I'm glad you felt a renewed sense of connection with the outdoors and the mountains Ginger. Let's try hard to make that hiking group a reality! Thank you for being with me on this journey...

When Ginger left, I picked up my dear old friend Jean (White) Tufts and her dad Dennis. We made our way to Roundtop Shelter, again, just in time before the really heavy night rain came in. Jean and Dennis have gone on today to Corliss Camp (8 miles) so I will catch up with them tomorrow. Today I'm hanging at the shelter so I can properly time my next meeting spot with the Reverend Lyle Miller and hopefully some of his family. Lyle's wife lives with Parkinson's. Tomorrow is their fifty-second wedding anniversary!! Let's all wish them the best. Now, that's what I would call a successful journey! Wishing you lots more peace and love and happiness.

So, I guess I'm somewhere around 220 miles at this point. Shorter mile days means I can't continue to eat all day long ;-)

I was relieved to see some comments about the news story. I definitely remember getting emotional but wasn't sure what would be aired. I'm okay with it because this is an emotional journey and I know I'm not alone with these feelings.

Still thinking a lot about Tim, Tom and Stiletto (okay, I'll tell you all her real name...Augusta! I love that name.). They should be reaching Canada tomorrow, possibly.

A few people have asked me what my next adventure will be. I would love to do the John Muir trail. But in life there are so many kinds of adventures and we often don't get to choose and plan them. I will just hope it's a positive one.

Hoping Jean and Dennis enjoy their father-daughter day together. I'll see them on the other side of the mountain--

Have a great start to the week everyone!
Zuni Bear

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Elly's daughter

Ginger here. So today Zuni Bear and I hiked the eight miles from Sterling Pond shelter to Bear Hollow Shelter. Beautiful day, great conversations and met wonderful people on the trail. But the .4 miles to the top of Whiteface kicked my haven't-hiked-with-a-full-pack-in-a-long-time-butt! Sometimes it was all I could do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But all I had to do was think of my mom (Elly) and all the other folks with Parkinsons, and how she gets up everyday, and thought "if she can go through that everyday without complaining, surely I can do this. And I have the option of returning to my normal life on Sunday. So here is to everyone who keeps choosing to put one foot in front of the other, and thanks to Zuni Bear for inviting us to share this journey with her.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What a day!

As if climbing up some very challenging and steep cliffs with Jim on our quest to summit Mansfield wasn't enough! Jim was fantastic by the way...We were met at the top by some energetic and super fun(ny) women, Linn Syz and Rhoda Chickering, as well as the folks from channel 3 news! For those of you who don't know this about me, public speaking has been a lifelong fear of mine. My father's funeral service was my first ever attempt and this was my next one. Luckily my mother knew it would be best to simply spring it on me...so I had no idea it was happening. Thank goodness I had Jim Hester by my side. That alone made me feel better. Thank you Jim.

We had a perfect climb, outstanding views and so much to celebrate!

When we reached the Stowe road a car of fellow hikers cheered at the sight of us and told us we had a lot of folks waiting at the picnic area. Good friends, food, PBRs(!) -- Thank you Allen! So sorry I missed you. Congratulations to you and Helen on your new grand baby...

Unfortunately we got down from the mountain too late for me to walk with some of the central Vermont support group. They were gracious and let me simply eat...and visit.

My next hiking partner is my friend Ginger Nickerson. Ginger's mom lives with Parkinson's. G and I hiked up to Sterling Pond for the night and on our way stopped to take a photo of Ginger with the sun setting behind her...we emailed the photo instantly to her mom. Now we are tucked away in our sleeping bags ready to dream of more days like this. Days filled with monumental accomplishments, fears overcome, stories told, phenomenal people, fantastic mountains, brilliant sunsets and the moon lighting our way.

Thank you Jim Hester. You are strong and brave and you my friend are a rock star! Sleep well tonight, recover and know I will never forget you and the time we shared in your backyard...

Thank you to everyone who came to meet us today. You were all such a welcome sight!

Thank you Mom...you've done so much for me now I can't even list it all...my battery would die again.

Onward in the morning with my pal Ginger. It's going to be a good day.

Peace and Happiness to all--
Zuni Bear

Channel 3 News

Tune in tonight? Just interviewed on top of Mansfield with Jim Hester. Oh boy.... ;-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Twin Brooks Tenting Area

Jim and I had a long day of rugged terrain over Bolton Mountain today. Couldn't ask for better weather or company.

Thought a lot about my thru-hiker friends, the Flask Brothers and Stiletto, and was so happy they summited Mansfield on such a clear and awesome day. They've all worked hard to get this far and deserve the reward. Hope you guys enjoyed the mountain and are now in Stowe drinking a few beers and reminiscing about your day! Thanks for the campfire and smores. I'll be missing all of your smiles.

Jim and I will have our day tomorrow and we expect it to be a nice one as well. See you on top Linn and Rhoda! See the rest of my group at the bottom...Stowe Road around 2:00.

We have sweet tenting platforms and a sweet sunset as well!

Good night all.

Zuni Bear
200 mile mark!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lily and her dad..

Hello to Lily and her Dad!

I just saw your comment and was elated to see you decided to follow my progress. The Flask Brothers and I talked about you two as we all stood on top of Camel's Hump! The guys were saying how awesome Lily was and how interested and into hiking/packing she was. They were highly impressed, as was I. You may understand now I'm doing this hike for my own father...so to see you two out there together made a lasting impression on me. I met another father-daughter team and just thought it was wonderful to see the girls out here on the trail. I spent the next day after I met you guys hiking with another solo woman (Stiletto...) and thought how cool it is that the women are rocking this trail!

I hope Lily's interest in hiking continues. I believe you hoped to hike the AT at some point...I hope that becomes a reality for you!

I'm over near Bolton tonight...heading for Mansfield.

192 miles behind me...

Happy Trails to Lily and her Dad!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Campfire smores

The climb down Camel's Hump was a knee breaker but the Bamforth Ridge was very cool.

I must come clean...I took a shower today. Only 15 straight days without one this time. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but at least my mother could stand to give me a hug. Thank you so much Eric P.!

I met Jim Hester at the bottom of Camel's Hump this afternoon. Jim is a Long Trail end-to-ender and will be hiking with me over to Smugglers Notch. He has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's so we're going to take our time and see how he feels hiking again. He's in great condition and spirits!

My friends the Flask Brothers (Tim and Tom) and Stilletto are camping with us tonight. The guys went to town and packed in smores materials and the three of them gathered wood and made a fire. Tim made us all several rounds of perfectly made smores...the stars are out and it's been one of those summer nights you wish would never end. Jim hit the hay earlier and I'm afraid we may have been a little too loud with our story telling and laughter. I may not see these guys again so it was a perfect way to end some great days.

Thanks for the re-supply Mom...Sarah, Jim is doing great and I'm excited to have him out here with me..

Off to sleep to the sounds of the water cascading down Duck Brook.

Good night everyone. Thank you all for your wonderful and supportive comments. I'm in my element out here...definitely feel comfortable and at peace on this trail...
Zuni Bear

Camel's Hump

I'm sitting on top of Camel's Hump...the sun is shining and the views are spectacular. Everyone from camp last night is up here in awe of our glorious mountains and state. So proud to be a Vermonter! The Flask Brothers and I want to stay up here and bask in the sun and warmth of the day, but alas...we have many more mountains to climb!

Monday, August 16, 2010

App Gap and Burnt Rock

Gusty winds, fog, blowndowns, thunder, steep terrain, ladders...
Sunshine, more technical, crazy climbs UP, steep face rocks down, beautiful views...
Sore knees, unprepared section hikers, boy scouts, my old thru-hikers reunited, dinner, stories, fun, colorful skies, easy wind, moon rising.
14-mile day, hardest one so far but very rewarding.

It's good to be a Zuni Bear!

Seeing Mamma Bear on the other side of the mountain...(Camel's Hump in the a.m.)

175 down, 100 to go!

Good night all...

Rain and mice

Good morning...

Last night another woman thru-hiker named 'Stiletto' rolled in so I had some company other than the mice. What a night! A mouse was staring at Stiletto and we could hear them scurrying around trying to get at our food and packs. We realized we would not be able to sleep well with this activity going on all night so we both got up and set up our tents in the cabin. Thank goodness no one else was here. I finally started to fall asleep with peace of mind knowing that mice would not be dancing in my hair all night when I realized my tent was getting wet. The roof was leaking! I had to get up again and put my fly over my tent. Very strange to be in a tent, in a shelter, but I'm glad I was.

Looks like it's going to be a wet miserable day. Completely fogged in and still pouring. You can't let that stop you though. Gotta keep moving!

Oh! Stiletto told me a woman through hiker told her that she woke up in the night once because a mouse was nibbling on her braids because they were so salty. Another reason to bring a hat when you're out on the trail.

I must pack up and prepare for my day-long shower (I need one badly anyway).

Zuni Bear

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Glen Ellen Lodge

Began the day worried about doing the planned 13-mile day, but it's turned out great. (Denise and Steve...I made it here by 4:20!)

One should really size up the hikers you get info from. One guy told me I had a long way to go but I detected a little smirk. He then told me he hoped I could find the water here. I made it in no time and I can hear the water running from inside the cabin. Luckily I learned this lesson last time and didn't listen to him.

Denise and I had a long day yesterday but today I felt much better. D and I started at Cooley Glen and made our way to Lincoln Gap where we met her husband Steve and their three kids. We all hiked some of Mt Abe, but had to say our goodbyes part way up so I could make my miles today. They are incredible friends and resupplied me with clean clothes, food and more chocolate milk.

Steve and Denise, I am so happy you were able to share this experience with me. You'll have to find time to get to the top of Abe (don't bring Morgan though) it's breathtakingly beautiful up there.

Tomorrow brings 14 miles of, as I recall, somewhat technical hiking over to Appalachian Gap. I'll rest the night before I climb Camel's Hump and then descend down to Bamforth Ridge on Tuesday where I will meet Jim Hester.

No tenting here so I'm sharing the cabin with the mice. I can already hear them.
Time to make dinner. Have I mentioned how awesome Jetboil stoves are? Love them.

Chilly on the mountain tonight. Sleep well everyone.
Zuni Bear

160 miles behind me!

Good night.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And...we're back!

Steve and I had a pleasant but unfortunately for Steve, relatively boring section to hike these past few days. No views, no ponds... He was great company though and got me over Killington. I believe I may have developed a little heat stroke and I was dehydrated. Food, water and rest and I was good to go!

Picked up Denise Towne at Brandon Gap, along with Dick Curran and his family who joined me the first day. Sorry Steve! We had an awesome day with views and Lake Pliead at the end of the day.

My girl 'D' and I are working hard to get over all these PUDS (pointless ups and downs) today. Denise is a rock and doing fabulous!

I personally have hit a wall. Legs need a rest but I have two more big mile days ahead of me, including Lincoln and Camel's Hump before I can slow it down some.

146 miles down..

Looking forward to hiking Lincoln tomorrow with the Towne family. It's one of my favorite peaks!

Hope to check in again soon. Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for the chocolate milk Jer...so delicious.

Zuni Bear and D

Monday, August 9, 2010

Little Rock Pond

Spent last night at Little Rock Pond. Another beautiful night with good company. Had dinner with a section hiker named Steve from PA. Pleasant conversation about life and opportunity, as well as Parkinson's, hiking and whether I was ever concerned about being a woman out here on the trail, often alone. The answer is 'no'. People out here are amazing and awesome.

So, I have about 85 miles behind me now. On top of White rocks right now, heading to Minerva Hinchey shelter area for the night. See you in the morning Steve Towne!

All is well on the LT...
Zuni Bear

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Surprise visitor!

As Jeremy and I relaxed at Griffith Lake...Chris Miller from Maple Corner, Calais appeared...with!.. Chinese food, chocolate, grapes, cookies and GOOD pepperoni! What a great guy and what an unexpected and wonderfully fun surprise! Thank you Chris...hope the rest of your night was fun.

Sun is out and Jer and I, along with a bunch of through hikers are enjoying the views from Bakers Peak...

Anyone hear my mom being interviewed on the Mark Johnson show the other morning?

Off to meet Nancy. Jer is leaving the trail and I will forge on for a day solo soon meeting up with Steve Towne to do Killington and a few overnights. Looking forward to being on the trail again with Steve.

Happy trails...
ZB and RB

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thank You Diagonal Moose

One warm misty sunny morning zuni bear walked through the woodlands of vermont on her way to stratton mountain.  Suddenly a loud crashing noise startled her and moments later a large moose ran diagonally across the path right in front of her.  He stopped just off the trail, turned his head back and looked hard at zuni bear.  She held his gaze until he gave a slow majestic nod indicating she could pass.  ...'You may continue zuni bear, but leave no trace you were here except for your footprints in the mud as proof you have passed through these great woods.'  Zuni bear nodded respectfully in return...'Thank you Diagonal Moose...I am walking for a very important cause.'

Posted at Jocelyn's request by Amy

Top of Bromley Mountain

Good morning!
Jeremy and I just climbed the tower up here to take a look back at the mountain range I have just hiked. 50 miles so far...223 miles to go! It's a beautiful sunny Saturday and we are hiking our way to Griffith lake for the night. My first bath! WhooHoo..

Sunday we may have to wade across a river because a bridge is being repaired. Possibly my second bath?

Hiked over Stratton in torrential rains with Patti and her brother...amazing spirits! They turned back for home and I continued up and over..the sun came out on the other side and it was a lovely, shimmering and mossy decent to the pond.

We're off to enjoy the day. Hope you all do as well-
Zuni Bear and Red Belly

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Glastonbury Wilderness

Hiked 12 miles through the Glastonbury Wilderness today. Saw lots of big ferocious red efts ;-)
Tenting again tonight. Survived the rain last night no problem. Meeting Patti D. Tomorrow to hike Stratton. 15 miler....oh boy. Should be on schedule to meet P. Good night all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

News from the Trail

Hello to all the wonderful folks out there following Jocelyn's adventures on the Long Trail -

After hiking 13 miles today, Jocelyn says she's "doing great". Today, she hiked part of the trail with a man who is blind and his friend who are making a movie. It seems Jocelyn may meet up with them again tomorrow and be interviewed about Peaks for Parkinson's. Very exciting... Jocelyn says, "awesome stuff out here in the hiking community, incredible people!"

I think we all agree that Jocelyn is one of those incredible people!

Tonight, Jocelyn is tenting on Maple Hill, just past Route 9. According to my Long Trail guide, Maple Hill has views of Bennington and Mt. Anthony to the West and of Mt. Snow, Haystack Mountain and the Northern end of the Hoosac Range to the East.

The Weather Channel reports a 50% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms tonight. Let's hope she has a clear view of those beautiful mountains tomorrow!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pack weighing in at 36 pounds

Pack is loaded, weighing about 36 pounds with two quarts of water, which is better than the 42 I carried most of the time last trek. I'll be eating it down for a few days and resupplying more frequently allowing my 42-year-old body a little reprieve.

Early morning rise for long drive south to Pine Cobble trai head. Easy 6-plus-mile day to first shelter, then bigger mile days for the week. My strategy is to suffer quietly in the south while I'm relatively alone so when I get closer to central Vermont I can breathe, which will mean I can converse. Maybe even stay up until 10pm...laugh a little and have an appetite. One minute until midnight. I must go to sleep. You will next hear from me while I'm on the trail. Until then...