Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Somewhere in the godforsaken Whites, NH

Just a quick updates from somewhere in the whites. Everyone keeps telling us the whites are tough but the views are worth it bit we wouldn't know. It's been pouring for the last two days. Yesterday we pushed 18 miles and got to camp around midnight. Today we climbed Madison in 40 mph winds and sleet. Luckily one of the hut crews tipped us off to the Craig Camp cabin which is a lifesaver for $13. Big dry cabin with bunks. I've never been so excited about dry clothes and 4 walls. Looks like beach weather on Mt. Washington tomorrow, should be interesting.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gorham, NH

Finally out of Maine! We showed our love for the it when we hit the state line. It was a tough 40 miles in from Andover with a few big days. This heat wave did not make things any easier. We went through mahoosuc notch which is referred to as the hardest mile on the AT but it was actually a lot of fun. We just took our time, took breaks in the nice cold caves, and built a snowman.

It kinda sucked when we got into town yesterday because the really nice hostel we were gonna stay at was totally booked up by the Appalachian mountain club so we had to stay somewhere else (I already hate the AMC and I haven't even gotten raped by all their fees through the whites yet). On the bright side the owners of the first hostel felt bad about having to turn down thru hikers for abunch of tourists so they're feeding us breakfast this morning.

I start into the White Mountains today. I'm crossing my fingers for the weather on Tuesday, thats when we'll be doing our traverse of all the presidentals.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Andover, ME

Had a tough few days coming in from Stratton. The pull out of Stratton over Carter mountain was tough with a turkey bacon club sandwich, avocado, and a pound of potato salad in my stomach. Went over sugarloaf ski mountain the next day which was a tease because it was a huge climb with no views. The horn and saddleback mountain were awesome though. They were big high ridges above treeline with views all around. Gave us a bit of a taste of the whites which we'll start next week.

Today was a good break in town. Came in early, had a huge breakfast, resupplied, went swimming in the river which sufficed as a shower/laundry, and then had a big lunch (leftover pizza will make a killer dinner tonite). Was nice to take it easy in the 100 degree heat today. Have Mahoosuc notch coming up the day after tomorrow which is commonly referred to as the toughest mile on the AT which will be interesting. Then it's a cruise into New Hampshire. Should be in Gorham NH on Saturday for Yokohama all you can eat Chinese buffet.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stratton, ME

Just finished the stretch from Monson to Stratton Maine. I had good weather most of the time. It only rained one day which wasn't too bad, the waterproof iPhone case I got in Monson was a lifesaver (thanks mom). I was just rockin out and blowing by everyone else while they looked ready to kill themselves. I actually had a blast in the rain. I can feel I'm starting to get my trail legs under me. Pulled a 20 miler a few days ago and woke up feeling great the next day.

On my way I crossed the kennebec river which is the largest body of water on the trail without a bridge. The guy running the ferry was all mountain maned out and was an interesting character. Then I headed up into the Bigelow mountains which are like the White Mountains little brother. Climbed Avery Peak and Bigelow Mountain which were the first of many 4000 footers of the trip. I have another day or two in the Bigelows after Stratton before the dash for the state line. I should be in New Hampshire in about a week.

Just got alittle trail magic on my way down the street before posting this. Was walking by the farmers market in Stratton and a lady just gave me a big loaf of homemade cinnamon raisin bread because the packaging had a little tear in it and she couldn't sell it. I was on my way to the store to get pop tarts because I forgot to buy breakfast stuff with my resupply. Looks like I'm set now.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

100 mile wilderness done

Just finished the 100 mile wilderness early this morning. It definitely lived up to its reputation. Everyone told me Maine is wet. I was prepared for wet weather (which we got plenty of)... 4 inches of rain in the first two days.

What I wasn't prepared for was that the 100 mile wilderness is a giant swamp for the first half. There were stretches where you walked through knee deep water and mud for miles. The trail was frequently covered with running water. My feet didn't dry out the entire time I was out there.

It was such a relief when we hit the mountains, at least it was terrain I was used to. I quickly learned our shuttle driver to Baxter State Park wasn't kidding when he told us there are no switchbacks until you get through Massachusetts. Every trail goes straight up and straight down the other side which was extra sketchy since everything is covered with wet super slick granite.

I was originally planning to just pick up my resupply in Monson and get back out on the trail. I was hurting for the last two days so I decided to stay the night at the famous Shaw's hostel and give my body a rest instead. Its nice to finally dry my feet out and take a shower. Plus the tales of their famous all you can eat breakfast are just too tempting to pass up.

I set out for Stratton Maine tomorrow, should make it there in 5 days.

In the pictures the panorama is the view of the 100 mile from the top of whitecap mountain looking back at Katahdin Which is the big mountain in the middle.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Proper send off

Had to start the 100 mile wilderness out properly with a frosty beverage at abol campground, the last trace of civilization until we get through the 100 mile wilderness.

Top of the world

I'm on top of Baxter Peak right now. Katahdin is one hell of a climb. Trail is the wrong word, it's more of a pile of boulders that you scramble up. Katahdin is absolutely breathtaking. "wow" and "holy shit" were the words of the day. It's amazing how quickly you meet people out on the trail. It's day one and we've already got a group of a good half dozen guys that are at least gonna start out together. We'll see how long we stick together. Start the 100 mile wilderness tomorrow.