Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Tale of Two Beginnings

Life. Sometimes it happens. Like crazy awesome trash drummers in the middle of NYC.

After leaving Maine, and Boston (Thanks again and again everyone!!! We couldn't be here without you!) we since have been on Long Island, NY. A different adventure all together, excellent all the same. Most of my family is here and my grandmother was very happy to let us stay while my foot mended itself. We weren't able to explore as much as we could have (say, without a broken foot) but we got as many mini adventures in as we could squeeze.

This was my first trip to NY without a real time limit and it was great getting to spend some good time with my grandma and some of my cousins. Oh and some family friends from England that just so happened to be there at the same time. Funny the way things have been working out.

We were able to go to both a Mets game (vs. the Colorado Rockies no less), and the 9/11 memorial. The baseball game was fulfilling as we got Jess her first hot dog at a baseball game in NY and the 9/11 memorial was breath taking. It costs 6 million dollars a year to keep it running and in my opinion is worth every penny. A memorial is meant to honor and to remember and there's no way any dishonor or forgetting will be happening while those fountains exist. There is even the "Survivor Tree" that was saved from the wreckage and nursed back to health off-site, then returned to the new ground next to the footprints of the towers. Also can't forget the new world trade buildings. Stunning, even now while they're only just over 50% complete.
Nathan's, the best!

The metal plate the rose is lying  on wraps around both fountains, and has an engraving of every person lost in the attacks.

One of the two "infinity pools" or footprints of the original twin towers, backed by the 9/11 museum which should open soon.
Other New York highlights include hanging out with my cousin Michelle who took us to her husband's band's show on Fire Island, out to the end of Long Island to shop at Montauk and see the lighthouse, to check out incredibly lifelike dinosaur statues and to a number of their favorite places to eat. I've got to say I am now completely hooked on Bubba's Burritos. It's kind of like Chipotle, only bigger and unsurpassedly tastier.

Midst all the fun, we also journeyed out past Lady Liberty to Ellis Island. Absolutely inspiring. My great grandmother came through there from Germany, and to learn about everything she went through was incredibly moving. The journey all those people took to make a better life for themselves... reminds me somewhat of our hike. I understand that the two are incomparable but there is something I understand in the want for travel. The inkling that there's something better just a little bit further. There are spots inside the museum where the curators have removed some of the plaster to show the graffiti that the immigrants left behind. Similar to that left behind on the walls and ceilings of our lean to's.

Ellis Island's Great Hall

Some of the graffiti

And, since my grandma kindly let us borrow her car whenever we wanted, we also got to see the three new tiger cubs at the Bronx Zoo, just put out for public viewing a week before we saw them.

The three cubs and their momma
I could write all night about everything we've done and everyone who did so much for us and with us while we were out here, but it's late. Right now, it's 3:15 in the morning and I need to get to sleep. But there's a reason I'm still typing and a reason I titled this post the way I did:
WE ARE LEAVING TOMORROW MORNING TO GET BACK ON THE TRAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've recently had my foot looked at by a physical therapist (thanks Frank!) who referred me to a sports podiatrist and given me the official go ahead to start hiking once again. I've also ordered custom insoles that should prevent this from happening again and give me a better hiking experience overall. I learned that I'm quite flat-footed, which I never knew. 

Due to our time off the trail, being out of shape and still wanting to be done by Thanksgiving, we are skipping some major mileage. We will be picking up the trail in Catawba, Virginia on Saturday. It is our hope that we will be able to return and hit this portion that we've skipped either next year or the year after. For now, though, we still have over 500 miles left this year and are extremely eager to get started. 

With all that out of my system, I'm headed to bed. Ready to begin anew! Next time you hear from Jess and I we'll be in Virginia and will once again have made the transformation into Left Hand and Aves!


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