Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Helloooooo from Unionville, NY!

I have not been online since Linden, VA. Talk about a long stretch with no internet - even more challenging has been the huge stretches between water sources!

We are now at mile marker 1,333. That number is cool but what's even better is that Katahdin is only 843 miles away. We say that to each other alllll the time, ever since the countdown started that our destination is less than 1,000 miles away. 843? We so got that.

Right now we're at the mayor's house. The actual mayor of Unionville takes hikers in, does their laundry, feeds them dinner and breakfast, gives them a place to sleep, takes them all over the's really nuts. His wife had MS for 20 years, was in a wheelchair for 15 years and after she passed away about 5 years ago. Since then, he's blown open the doors to his home to "keep him young." That means from about March to about October he is a full-time host. It would wear me out, but he loves it. He has 2 friends here who help him. One guy used to be the maitre'd at Grossinger's - he's the one who made us breakfast and dinner. :) Nice.

One thing to mention - Unionville is in NY but only because we temporarily jumped the border. We're still in New Jersey but in the next 2 days we will be in New York for good. (Then Connecticut, then Mass, then Vermont, then New Hampshire, then Maine). We will soon begin our deli-to-deli hop. Heck, we may even bus into NYC and see The Lion King on Broadway. That's kinda a joke, kinda an option....

What else. Ok, we reunited with The Thinker after being temporarily separated when I got a funk for 2 days. So, the divorce is not final. We caught up when HE got Big D and spent some time on the mend. Now we're hiking with a big fun group. On and off: Thinker, Cayenne, Tailgate, Vachon, Spidey, No-Amp, Green T and Feral. We LOVED Stroudsburg, PA. I saw Mamma Mia! and Dust saw The Dark Knight. It's nice to dip in and out of civilization periodically!

Dustan's mom (Brahma's Mama) came to hike with us for 3 days. What an adventure! I have tons of pics but of course I have to hurry it up because the mayor's house is pretty packed and some people are a-d-d-i-c-t-e-d to Facebook.

Last thing - Longshot is not hiking with us anymore, he's super speedy. But I meant to link to his blog - so you can follow him.

If you want to send mail, send to

D/B Balkcom
Post Office
Salisbury, CT 06068
Hold for AT thru-hiker

Thanks for all of the comments! It's great to hear from everyone.


Lollie Lane said...

Good to hear from you sis! Brahma Mama gave me your memory card. Do you want me to just slap up some pics? P.S. Feist and Rilo Kiley details on me blog.
Oh and I think you'd be nuts-o not to bus into NYC for a show!

Toni Jill said...

So good to hear from the hikers finally! I thought my break for vacation from the blog was crazy but I just KNEW I would be able to check in on you guys when I got back! Anyway, glad you are back on the blogging world - we have missed you and are still praying constantly! 843 doesn't seem so long now does it? And I agree with Stacy - go in for a show, you will always regret being that close - I bet they will even let you stow your pack in the lobby - ha ha! Enjoy yourselves and we can't wait to hear from you again! Love, Toni Jill

Anonymous said...

Hey You Guys, so glad to hear from you. Even better to find you are in NY being wined and dined, WoooHooo!!! 843 miles, sounds like a light at the end of a 2,175 mile hike to me. Anybody need anything in particular included in a care package? We would be glad to provide whatever anyone may want or need that can be mailed. You continue to be in our daily thoughts and prayers. BTW - Go for the show, you'll never be sorry. Much Love... JJ&Don

Anonymous said...

Hello! Just like everyone else has said, it's so great to hear from you all! We've been wondering where you'll pop up next. I can't believe there's only 843 miles left! I'm very excited to see you all again. Things are going well here. We are 4 months along in the pregnancy and I haven't been sick the first day! That's a total blessing! Anyway, I hope that you are doing well - we love you and are so proud! Zac & Martha

Amy said...

hey bets! just got your email... glad your back to blogging about your adventures. i can't believe you guys are already in new jersey!

Kevin Doll aka StinkyKD said...

Whatzup? Glad to hear where you are - but was hoping for some pictures. Freebird and I are in Manchester Center, Vermont - we are taking a double zero - neither of us are feeling that well. I think 1,637 miles finally takes a toll physically and mentally. And it has rained/thunderstorms every day. Try to stay at the brand new Green Mountain House - hiker that built a house for hikers and his kids to use while skiing - just opened last week - IT IS AMAZING. If not - stay at Suttons place. Cool town. Going to end up doing a double zero due to the weather - supposed to clear up on Friday - stay dry when you can! peace out - Blaze.

Anonymous said...

Hey!!! For the last month I have checking in to see where you all are. Glad to hear your doing great, I now need a stepstool/chair to mark your progress on my “Where on the East Coast are the Hikers” map. I shouldn’t have put TN at eye level when I put in on the wall, my bad. June is huge now and loves to play in the river, just so you know. You two are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep up the crazy pace. Stay safe and healthy. See ya in September?
Much luv ~ Eli

Anonymous said...

hey guys :) i just caught up on your entire blog at work....i got paid to read about your life for the past 4 months or so...hahaha...very amusing :) miss you guys!! the burg is not the same without you....


logstaa said...

The Bulls! Man, I wish I stayed at the Mayor's in Unionville, but I was with my parents at the time. Good to hear you had a good time!
I HAVE been speedy lately, and I really don't know why... No huge rush or anything... But I am taking a much needed zero here in Pawling. And I'm seriously considering slowing down to see all you wonderful folks again. Glad to hear you caught up with the Thinker... hope to see you soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys!
We haven't had a chance to comment yet. Sounds like an awesome adventure! We've been thinking of you and wondering where you are. New York and on is beautiful. Keep safe and keep havin' fun.

Love ya,
Donnie & Cheryl Henry and family

Scottie and Carl said...

Hey, It is truly great to hear from you again! I look on your blog every day to see what's happening with you and your friends on the trail. Wow, you are really getting along, and even though 843 miles to walk sounds like a long way to me, I know it is encouraging to you. You have done so well and have had so many adventures and met wonderful, caring and giving people. Staying with the Mayor! He must be a super individual. I know you must have hated to leave his house. Carl and I will get to see the folks at Seasons next week...also going to a big anniversary party in Newport News....then from there back to Blowing Rock. Kendall and friends are there right now and having a ball. Please give our best to Thinker and to you all as well. Much love, prayers and well wishes.

Anonymous said...


Good to get word from you two. We hope all is well. Everything is great on our end.

Much Love - Jeremy, Michelle, Violet, Lily, and Summer the dog.

Shannon said...

Betsy -- I haven't seen you since you were a little girl - our parents are old friends (Butch and Pam Combs). I'm a hiker, so when Dad talked with your family at Jeff's service he immediately told me all about your planned trip. I have been following your progress. You both are doing great!

I live outside Johnson City and actually maintain some of the trail here (Pond Mountain and Laurel Falls blue blaze) so I know Kincora and Bob Peoples. When I read of your stay I had to laugh! Grayson Highlands is one of my favorite hikes ever - we have tons of great pics from that one.

Just wanted to pass on the news that Pat Peoples passed away this weekend so I am happy you and your husband have those memories of that time with them -- truly amazing human beings!

Best of luck with the weeks ahead and if you ever want to hike when you are back in town - after a good rest of course - please email me at