Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Into the wild

This is exactly how I thought the entire trail would be. Mossey, old forests, away from civilization, river fordings, bugs, and bogs. Maine has taken the favorite state position, hard not to after a moose, a weasel, great beach nights, loons, and beautiful views of the approaching Katahdin! Finally seeing the great mountain was something I'll never forget, I came around a corner, and there she was all alone surrounded by lakes, bogs, and rivers.

It's been 4 days since I first layed eyes on ole Katahdin. Since then the wilderness has tested our resolve by taking us south, west, and everywhere but north. It has been a tiring week through bogs, and beautiful forests. Tonight I camp under Katahdin's shadow, sleeplessly, patiently I will await morning to ascend with 10 other thru hikers, all of whom I have hiked with at some point.

Summit day!

I woke up at 3:30am to go to the little boys tree, and between my friends next to me and myself making noise, and giggling I knew I would be on the trail soon. I signed in at just past 5 am as the 83rd nobo to take on Katahdin. Took a break a mile in for water and to finish breakfast, ya I was that pumped, and the stream was crystal clear and flowing. The trail flew by as I walked in the cool crisp air, soon enough, I was confronted by gale force winds and the most technical part of the entire trail. Loving rock climbing, this mountain was a blast to climb and after the false summit the clouds parted and we got our first views of the summit. The only word capable of coming close to describing it is epic. The summit was beautiful watching the clouds roll by at eye level, 2184.2 miles away from where I started 4 months 3 days ago.

This has changed my life. I am eternally grateful to everyone who has helped me, you will never know how much you actually helped me.
Thank you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

100 mile wilderness

I'm heading into the wilderness today, chest deep river fordings, bogs, swamps, and basically no service. 114 miles to Katahdin I'm sure I'll have a few more blogs to put up after but until then, wish me luck.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A grouse, a moose, and 3 hamburgers

No this isn't the beginning of a joke, but I bet it would be a really good one; this is my past 72 hours.
2 days ago I was hiking along, hungry as usual a constant companion unfortunately, when 2 grouse came flying at me! The female veered off to my right into the brush, and the male landed in a tree about 4 feet above my head. I threw a rock and missed, then I realized I've been carrying a grouse killing stick for over 1900 miles, and with a solid whack he teetered out of the tree to the ground at my feet. A swift painless twist of the neck and I had a little extra for dinner that night, which I shared with the 3 other people in camp. But boy did it taste great, similar to duck.
The next morning I'm hiking along with the bare necessities in my head, when I see hot sauce, one of the guys from camp the night before waving his hands at me. I made the universal sign for moose? by placing my right thumb on my temple and wiggling my fingers. Some how he didn't get it lol so I whispered moose?? which he did get and pointed towards the pond. There he was standing knee deep about 6 feet from shore being a moose, eating water grass. I was so excited, since the beginning I've said the only animal I really want to see on this trip is a moose, and there he was being magnificent! The couple from Switzerland I shared the grouse with asked me if I were going to kill it to lol.
And now I sit waiting on my ride into Stratton to shower and do laundry for the first time in over 2 weeks. Yes, yes I know, gross... get over it. After my shower I will go to the white wolf for their burger challenge: a half pound of beef, 8 pieces of delicious bacon, a quarter lb of sausage, and fries (which I hope I can switch for tater tots) yes I've been thinking about this for over 60 miles and 3 days. If i can eat 3, yes 3, burgers and all the tater tots, it's free. I think this is the perfect culmination of my 1 lb burger tour of the east coast.
Well I'm at the white wolf, the first 2 burgers went down quick... 8 minutes. The last one went down with about half an hour to go, but I now have 3 plates of fries. So to take my mind off the monumental pile of fries in front of me, I blog and sip beer :-). Ugh, DONE! Wow that might be the hardest thing I've done on the trail. Finally Snarf is full!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mahoosuc Notch 7-10

Mahoosuc Notch right outside the whites is supposed to be the slowest mile on the Appalachian Trail. I thought it was the most fun, yes it took an hour and 10 minutes to get through it, but it was totally worth it and I wish I could have spent more time there. It is a small valley, maybe 40 yards across, full of boulders! There is no trail for this mile, you just navigate it the best you can, with my background in bouldering I absolutely loved this area, it was like a playground. It was the very first thing I did this morning before the longest steepest walk up a granite hill at about 50 degrees, and a 20 mile day, only 15 days left, I'm right outside Rangeley, ME, and I still can not believed I've walked to Maine. Getting very close to the 2000 mile mark, and I'm beginning to dream up my first weeks worth of meals when I return. Hibatchi chicken, cottage cheese, pork tenderloin, aunt Diane's potatoes, hot dogs, ruffles ridges cheddar and sour cream, banana pudding, and beer are all on the list :-). Really anything my mama cooks!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4 months!

Today I planned my mail drops, and days through Katahdin, 20 days from now I'll be done. Hard to believe, especially since I was only supposed to be out for a month. The whites are still amazing, and whoever said or told me I could not do my normal miles through the whites was wrong! They are "hard" sure but everything about this trip has been hard and this is nothing new. Yes the mountains are higher, but I've been training for 1800 miles. Mt Washington tomorrow 1200 feet in a mile, bring it on!
Still loving it out here,