Day 03

Day: 03
Date: 021749Jul15
Location: Nahmakanta Stream Road
Total Miles: 25.6
Today's Miles: 2.6

Mozzie was able to walk today with a minor limp. Decided to pull us off the trail as to not further aggravate his injury. We walked the 2.6 from our shelter to the dirt road at the southeast end of Lake Nahmakanta where we met a family who was just pulling in to camp for the long 4th of July weekend. After helping them unload their boat and truck, the father drove me and Mozzie the 26 miles to the Jo-Mary checkpoint near Rt. 11, where I was able get cell phone reception and call the nice folks at the AT Lodge in Milinocket, ME for a shuttle.

When Mozzie got hurt, I felt helpless. No cell phone reception, in the middle of the woods with many miles to travel for help, him being too heavy to carry... I wasn't sure how I was going to solve this. The only thing I could do was pray.

All I can say is that, by the grace of God, everything worked out. I happened upon an incredibly friendly family pulling up the the exact spot just as I was walking in who was sympathetic to my cause, and when I reached the Jo-Mary checkpoint the AT Lodge just happened to already have someone on their way out to that portion of the wilderness to drop off food drops (one of which was mine, which I was able to intercept) who was able to then shuttle me the 60 miles back to my front door.

This isn't to say that we didn't have a plan, it just didn't include Mozzie getting hurt. He has hundreds of trail miles under his paws and is extremely agile out on the trail. Needless to say, somethings, things just happen.

Day 02

Day: 02
Date: 011544Jul15
Location: Wadleigh Stream Lean-To
Total Miles: 22.8
Today's Miles: 8.1 

Shorter day today, only eight miles to our destination. Trail dried up a bit, for a few miles at least (still a bit too rooty and rocky for my taste though).

Arrived at the shelter and met a nice SOBO hiker on his 4th day in. Good kid, seems to have everything down pat (gear, mindset, preparations, etc.)

While we were settling in for the night in the shelter low and behold three teenage girls and their father show up and crashed the shelter.

Interesting group of people - Canadians at that. All of them hung (hammocked), they had an odd assortment of gear (pots and pans, with some ultralight gear thrown in), and were hiking from Monson to Abol. They had an odd little dog with them as well.

Other then being noisy and completely taking over the shelter until they went to sleep, and once again in the morning, they were polite enough.

On a disappointing note, Mozzie got hurt today. Right near the end of our planned hiking for the day. Jammed his left shoulder coming down off some rocks and it is causing him to limp around pretty badly.

Going to have to take a bit of extra time to rest tonight and tomorrow morning. He'll hike slick tomorrow if he's able (I'll carry his pack) and we'll definitely have to modify our plans for tomorrow if he can't hike as far.

Day 01

Day: 01
Date: 301909Jun15
Location: Rainbow Stream Lean-To
Total Miles: 14.7
Today's Miles: 14.7

"IT IS 100 MILES SOUTH TO THE NEAREST TOWN AT MONSON. THERE ARE NO PLACES TO OBTAIN SUPPLIES OR HELP UNTIL MONSON. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS SECTION UNLESS YOU HAVE A MINIMUM OF 10 DAYS SUPPLIES AND ARE FULLY EQUIPPED. THIS IS THE LONGEST WILDERNESS SECTION OF THE ENTIRE AT AND ITS DIFFICULTY SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED." GOOD HIKING - MATC (MAINE APPALACHIAN TRAIL CLUB)

"IT IS 100 MILES SOUTH TO THE NEAREST TOWN AT MONSON. THERE ARE NO PLACES TO OBTAIN SUPPLIES OR HELP UNTIL MONSON. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS SECTION UNLESS YOU HAVE A MINIMUM OF 10 DAYS SUPPLIES AND ARE FULLY EQUIPPED. THIS IS THE LONGEST WILDERNESS SECTION OF THE ENTIRE AT AND ITS DIFFICULTY SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED."

GOOD HIKING - MATC (MAINE APPALACHIAN TRAIL CLUB)

First day into the infamous 100 Mile Wilderness - greeted with a weather-beaten, ominous sign upon entry. 

Yea, that's the actual trail at many points along the way.

Yea, that's the actual trail at many points along the way.

Due to a last-minute change of plans, my day ended up being a bit longer than expected, but short of being a little sore and having an extra days worth food, we're no worse for the wear. 
 
Maine truly is a beautiful state, and rugged as well. The trail miles here are some of the most continually rugged miles I've hiked anywhere on the AT. Roots and rocks abound, and the trail is frequently boggy or flooded with water. PA might have the claim to fame with rocks and boulders to scramble, but Maine is straight-up wilderness for sure.

Day 30

Date: 291633May15

Location: Great Barrington, MA

Total Miles: 229.8

Today's Miles: 6.2

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Rained last night, which made coming down off the mountain a bit of a pain. There was a lot of slick rock and tree root to deal with, slowing things down considerably.

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Water was still hard to come by, but with today's journey being shorter than the day prior, and most of the terrain being level or downhill, it made that a bit easier to bear. It was pretty cool though hiking down the mountain though, being above the clouds, and being able to pinpoint the exact moment you entered the clouds. Sort of the same feeling you get watching a fog roll in late at night. 

The trail then took us through an incredibly awful swamp for over 2.5 miles, with mosquitoes that swarmed by the 100's. Luckily I had on my longsleeve shirt from the morning still, and I found a head bug net a few days ago that I threw on, but even then the bugs were biting me through the shirt and netting making those the absolute worst miles on the trail so far.

Got picked up at the end of our trek by the wife, and we drove back to Maine. There's an opportunity coming up that I needed to be back in Maine for, that might make for it's own little journey/blog of its own - but don't worry, if said opportunity doesn't work out, expect to find me back on the trail shortly.

 

Day 29

Date: 281038May15

Location: The Hemlocks Shelter

Total Miles: 223.6

Today's Miles: 10

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Today was the day of scenic views, and no water. 

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Solid day of hiking, with the later half of it uphill. I typically carry a 1L bottle of water on me with means to purify water as needed. Today we came across the problem where the majority of the streams and water sources near the later portion of the day (read: hotter, steeper terrain) were empty dry. 

Hiked many miles up much elevation with no water. Got to our shelter and there wasn't any water either.  Ended up catching rain water to the tune of over 2L to satisfy our water requirements for the night. 

Good thing it rained. 

Day 28

Date: 261924May15

Location: Riga Shelter

Total Miles: 213.6

Today's Miles: 10.8

Left the bunk and dine this morning refreshed and well-fed. Had a few solid conversations with an older gentleman who was section-hiking the trail with his son. Worthwhile time. Nice place, highly recommend to anyone else in the Falls Village area who's on the trail. 

Hiked for a few miles and hitched in to Salisbury, CT for a resupply. Sent home my Jetboil camp stove, going cold meals until the Whites. 

Beginning to adjust to life on the trail, from trail legs to daily routine. A positive acclimatization this time around; it's beginning to grow on me.  

Day 27

Date: 251506May15

Location: Bearded Woods Bunk-and-Dine

Total Miles: 202.8

Today's Miles: 8.2

Today's alarm clock was the buzzing of mosquitos. Luckily just before that the sun woke me. It was earlier then I would have wanted to have gotten up, but an appropriate time nonetheless. 

Short day into Falls Village, CT today. Planned Nero-ish day to get a few good meals in me, a nice bed and a shower before re supplying tomorrow and heading back out on the trail. 

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Blisters getting bigger. Still dealing by applying moleskin and Leukotape. We'll see how long that lasts before I break down and buy a new pair of shoes that properly fits.

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At the hostel now relaxing, post-shower with some iced coffee. Life is alright. 

 

(and as previously promised, our Monday week in review, in steps): 

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Day 26

Date: 241924May15

Location: Pine Swamp Brook Shelter

Total Miles: 194.6

Today's Miles: 10.0

Another day at the office.  

Another day at the office.  

Slept near two guys last night who started in Georgia back in March. It's interesting to be able to do directly juxtapose their current state and mine. From pack size to clothing carried, how deftly each set up, and took down their camp - from their routines to their very demeanors... they were thru hikers. 

As I lay here waiting for hiker midnight, (after taking a brief nap and bringing my bear bag down again for second supper), I can't help but think that the gains from being out here long enough have to be so much more than well-defined legs and a sweet beard. 

There *must* be more. 

Sometimes he drinks it, sometimes he just lays in it.  

Sometimes he drinks it, sometimes he just lays in it.  

Day 25

Leaving Kent, CT

Leaving Kent, CT

Date: 231644May15

Location: Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter

Total Miles: 184.6

Today's Miles: 7.3

Dinner, is served.  

Dinner, is served.  

Spent the early morning hitching a ride into Kent, CT and purchasing groceries. Quaint little town, would have liked to have stayed longer. 

Dressed my blisters with some New Skin and Leukotape and set off for the day. 

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I'm starting to realize what my draw to being out here is. It's not that I love hiking, if anything we've already established that the Marine Corps has ruined that for me. 

It's that when I'm away from society, I don't feel quite as abnormal anymore. 

Day 24

Date: 221836May15

Location: Mt. Algo Shelter

Total Miles: 177.3

Today's Miles: 12.4

 

Sunrise breakfast.  

Sunrise breakfast.  

Woke up to a caucacophny of birds this morning. It was wonderful.  First time a 0500 wake up didn't send me over the edge. 

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Spent our first day back on the trail hiking a bit further than we probably should have, but that was intentional, if only due to the layout of available camping/shelters. 

Met my first rattle snake atop the Schaghticoke Mountain (41.681969, -73.523895). Bumped into two hikers on the other side of it, they were not impressed but happy I let them know about it. 

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The days are much longer then when I was hiking earlier in the year. Sun is up much earlier, and there is plenty of time upon arriving at camp to take care of business. 

Feet are sore and my legs are shaking. Bugs abound and the food sucks. I left my hiking poke at home. 

But you know what?

It's STILL good to be back. 

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