Saturday, August 29, 2009

Monson, ME

I'm on the southern edge of the 100 mile wilderness, the final stretch before Mount Katahdin. I've hiked over 2000 miles and have only 115 miles to go - it feels great! Daddy Long Legs caught up to me in Stratton, ME a few days ago and we've been hiking together, along with Feed Bag, ever since (no news from Bonesey). We expect to summit on September 5 or 6, depending on weather. Yesterday, the three of us hiked over 35 miles to get to Monson, ME before heavy rains hit the area. We got into town at 11 30 pm and claimed floor and couch space at Shaw's Lodging. We awoke to an all you can eat breakfast and copious amounts of coffee. Its cold, windy and rainy but we are nice and dry at the Lake Shore House. We'll head out tomorrow and probably won't speak to anyone back home for the next week due to the remoteness of this last section. If all goes to plan, Nicole will arrive at Baxter State Park, at the base of Mount Katahdin, on Saturday and whisk me away. I should be in Maryland by next Monday night. As happy as I am to be nearing the end, the reality of not hiking is slowing setting in and its a little sad/scary. Well, before I get ahead of myself, we have a few more miles to go so wish us luck and I'll talk to everyone soon!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Andover, ME

Hi everyone,
I made it through New Hampshire and the White Mountains. The Whites were absolutely amazing and I had great weather the entire time. There was a lot of alpine hiking (above tree line) and I had great views from Mount Washington. I was able to stay in huts most of the time where they allow hikers to do 'work for stay' in exchange for lodging and leftovers. A moose visited our campsite one night at 4 30 am and was only 10 feet away from where we were cowboy camping. I crossed into Maine yesterday and so far the terrain has been very difficult. With only 257 miles to go, I hope to be to Mount Katahdin by Labor Day. This means averaging 18 miles a day from here on out which isn't impossible but may be difficult. Its hard to believe I'm so close to finishing this trip. Its been amazing so far and I'm hoping Maine will live up to its reputation. I'm exhausted and have a big day tomorrow so I'm off to bed. Talk to everyone soon.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Manchester, VT

I left off in CT and two weeks later I've made it through MA and am part way through VT. Last weekend I met up with some past hiking partners, Bonesey, Daddy Long Legs and Wheeler. After taking a few unplanned zero days at Bonesey's house in CT, we decided to rent an Enterprise cargo van, fill it with 15 thru hikers and drive 3 hours to a hiker bash (put on by Rainman and Ahab) in VT for 3 days. It was great! Tons of food, cliff jumping in the quarry and ALOT (63) of stinky hikers all in Rainman's parents home.

We finally got out of VT and back to CT to continue hiking and made decent time, despite the relentless rain and diminishing trail conditions. I try not to complain while I'm out here but this is my blog so I'm going to rant for a minute about the rain. The past week has been full of torrential down pours which have flooded the trail and made walking a nightmare. The trail is literally a flowing stream in many sections of MA and VT (and probably NH and ME) and when its not raining the trail is a mud bog. Waterproofing does nothing for rain of this magnitude. The water seeps through your pack and soaks most of your gear. We've done a pretty good job drying our gear out but lately everything is either soaking wet or damp. The good news is that we're managing to keep high spirits. I think most people realize that they are out here by choice and with several great hostels in the northeast its not hard to get out of the weather. Currently I'm at one of those great hostels, The Green Mountain House, and it is by far my favorite so far on the trail. Imagine a fully stocked home with all the amenities and a bunch of hikers and that's The Green Mountain House Hostel. We'll be back on trail tomorrow and plan to be in Rutland, VT by Wednesday and then Hanover, NH by next Monday. Only 538 miles to go! Pray for nice weather in the NE! Take it easy.