Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gettysburg Camping and Hiking Part of Appalachian

When I was still in the East Coast, I must admit I have not really explored the place so well, in fact I have never been anywhere North of Vermont and South of New Jersey. Being new to the country, and most of my friends and relatives living in the West Coast, it was then almost natural for me to spend most of my holidays in California. Back then, I was still more of a beach goer than a hiker, and the California waves were always calling out to me, or was it the call of being with cousins and friends.
When I got married, I had to move to California and join my husband. My husband, though not a Californian by birth, but is a loyal Californian by outdoor activities. He used to hike with his colleagues, and I was left enjoying the beach. I did not mind then, for I really love the ocean. I loved to describe myself then as a "beach bum", where all I cared for was counting how many rides I had. Though in the Philippines I did hike and camp with friends, but I felt like I never got enough of the beach. Until one day, I decided I should join my husband in the trails. Perhaps it was music to his ears when I told him, "Can I join you hiking?" The moment I mentioned that, my husband brought me right away to REI for me to shop for the right hiking clothing and gears. Our very first hike together was at Iron Mountain,
@ the Summit of Iron Mountain, San Diego County
here in San Diego County. It was only a 6.3 miles, 1000 ft gain in elevation hike, but the next day, I found my legs very exhausted and could barely walk. And I could not remember how many breaks I had to ask. That was then I started taking pictures of the sceneries around. I had to make use of that time when I asked for a break. I am proud to say now that I no longer take a break when hiking Iron Mountain and consider this as simply our outdoor gym. I grew as a hiker. From then on, my hiking and taking pictures had gone a long way.
I would remember the time where I joined my husband's colleagues in hiking and geocaching. I was always at the tail end at first, and our hiking leader would always check on me, seeing to it that no one in the group is left behind. That hiking leader, took a 6 months Sabbatical leave from software engineering last March to recharge at the Appalachian trail. He will be completing the whole stretch of the trail which is 2175 miles and passes through 14 states. We expect him to be back here in San Diego this September. The Appalachian Trail is more than just a hike through the woods, it is a National Scenic Trail. Now, Jim's adventure in the Appalachian trail has inspired me to experience it as well. No, I don't think I will ever follow Jim to hike the whole 2175 miles, despite being a lover of the great outdoors, I am not comfortable with the thought of backpacking for 6 months straight and not seeing civilization. I actually would miss the ocean and my boogie rides. I hike, but I also enjoy riding the waves with my boogie board.
However, I can still experience the Appalachian National Scenic Trail by hiking part of it only. As there are many scenic section hikes that the trail also provides in the 14 different states it passes. I have learned from Outdoor Channel about the historical significance of Gettysburg and its proximity to the Appalachian Trail. Gettysburg Battlefield Resort is conveniently located in the towns of Hershey and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now, the prospect of hiking the Appalachian Trail at Gettysburg will have a very sweet bonus, that is visiting the "sweetest place on Earth", at Hershey, the chocolate capital :) . After all, we bring chocolates when we hike. :) Some tourists will also have a choice of RV camping Gettysburg style, or experience a wonderful PA RV camping. However, since we do not have an RV, we can try our luck on free Gettysburg Camping.
In addition to chocolates and hiking a section of the Appalachian trail at Gettysburg, we can also take an hour and a half drive to visit the nation's capital at Washington, DC. It has been part of my travel plans to set foot in Washington, DC someday, and now, it is so great to learn that I can also hike part of Appalachian trail in the same trip.
For now, they are just plans, so many places to see, so little time :(
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  1. Oh I would like hiking if chocolate is are involved,lol, when you go take lots of pics. So many places to see is something I can relate to since I got back from China, seems like I've been missing out on the rest of the world.

  2. Betchai, I love when you said it "...not a Californian by birth, but is a loyal Californian by outdoor activities."

    Sometimes it's not where we were born at. It's where we spent the most time at, especially with our family and loves one.

  3. It's nice to read some of your hiking history. I sometimes wonder how other people started.

    I don't think I could go 6 months hiking without civilization either. It's much more fun to mix both together for me.

  4. 2175 miles! That is a lot to walk!!
    One of my blog friend, Bernie
    is doing a similar hike right now between Mexico and Canada.

    Still after looking at your image and some in those links I feel like doing it one day.

    Then again 6 months leave ! Not with my current job :)

  5. hmmm so hubs got so excited when you finally wanted to join him! it's really good sharing things and passion together.

    hubs was the one who influenced me with blogging, that served as our bonding time while we were apart.

  6. Hiking is good and it's even better when you do it with your better half.=) you share moments together that both of you will cherish for the rest of your lives.

  7. so, it's all thanks to Khai huh?! a great hiker and an amazing photographer was born because of his passion in hiking. i thought you two hike together eversince you first set eyes in each other.

    btw, mentioning Pennsylvania made me jump in my seat. i just received an email from my cousin inviting me to visit her there. all i need to do is save for the airfare coz she promised me free board and lodging! hopefully one day we'll be able to visit her. like you said, too many places to so, so little time and may I add - too little money. :(

  8. Bethchai, i read somewhere by Ernest Hemingway i think... he said, " travel only with the one you love.." you are lucky to have found Khai and he's lucky also he found you, hubby and me are travelling for almost seven years now, and we hope for many more years of travelling together ;) (teehee) every travels are filled with good memories ;) you can do it Bethchai! i know you can ;)go for it girl! :)

  9. When we lived up North, I would hike a lot. Here in the South, there are too many bugs, and it just is not the same. We always went camping as a kid, my husband will have no part. Maybe I could bribe him with chocolate LOL.

  10. I love all your hiking adventure, and to know how you got started is fascinating!

    Amazing photo as always, betchai!

  11. the Summit of Iron Mountain, San Diego County-> absolutely stunning. the hiking n trails must b so rewarding in terms of enjoying nature at its best

  12. I prefer the beach than climbing although I don't mind giving easy trails a try. But not serious climbing. The last time I climbed was attempting Mt Kinabalu in Sabah....terrible experience that I never wished to repeat.

  13. Whether it's hiking in mountains or the riding ocean waves, for sure you love being outdoors. Your Pennsylvania travel plans sound fascinating.

  14. My colleague has just came back from Mt. KK in Sabah, it was raining and he near missed hiking to the peak.

    This invloves only one and a half day trip. It is really a good experience for me. Sorry Mei Teng.

    But hard to imagine travelling for 6 months, my boss won't spare the job for me.