AT 4: The Maine Attraction
Tons of photos and an awesome video from our journey through Maine follow this post!
Day 167: Mile 1160.2
Youtube: Koty Sapp
The Maine Attraction
Forty-six hours… yep… that’s how long our journey via Greyhound from Waynesboro, Va to Millinocket, Me lasted. Despite the length and aggravations along the way memories were made. The most profound of those being the 8 hours we spent walking around Times Square and New York City during a layover. Never have I seen such a city and it most certainly was a lot to take in… so was the unscheduled 12 hours we spent in the Baltimore bus station. Our bus was 4 minutes late and the connecting bus to New York had already left. Too say it was a long night is an understatement. All of the complimentary hotel rooms were booked, therefor we ended up sleeping sitting up on the station benches… atleast they gave us meal vouchers… thanks Greyhound… for a wonderful stay.
Forty-six hours and a zero day later… there we stood… atop Mt Katahdin… looking down upon all that Maine has to offer… or so we thought. Katahdin as well as Baxter State Park was and still is the pinnacle moment of the trail for me. Never have I witnessed such natural beauty and in no way do I regret the decision to flip up to Maine. Finishing at Katahdin is not necessary. This trail is about the Journey, not its end point, and every moment should be cherished.
The Grand Wilderness
Standing atop Katahdin you might believe what is to come is a grand wilderness… and in a way it is. The trail is far more rural in Maine than in the Southern US… hence the 100 Mile Wilderness… but it’s not what it seems. Sure you will walk 100 miles in the Wilderness… there will not be a town for 100 miles… you won’t hear or see planes and cars regularly… you won’t see city/house lights in the distance nearly every night… but in our experience you will see more people than anywhere else on the trail. The 100 Mile Wilderness as well as the majority of Maine was littered with day hikers and youth backpacking groups. Thought you were going to show up at the shelter and find a spot? Guess again! One or two groups of 12 youth campers have been there since lunch and there’s not a spot anywhere in sight. This was our experience. It was quite aggravating to be honest, but it is what it is… as the peoples like to say. Besides our troubles finding campsites Maine was absolutely amazing. The terrain as well as the views were better than I could have imagined.
But don’t let it fool you… Southern Maine is tough… really tough… especially those last 30ish miles to the border… which also happens to include the famous Mahoosuc Notch and Arm. I’ve never hurt before, while hiking, like I did while finishing up the Mahoosuc Range.
Enter New Hampshire
Finally here we are… in New Hampshire! The miles between the border of Southern Maine and the beginning of the White Mountains was a nice break from the hellacious terrain we were experiencing… but as with all things it must come to an end. Here we sit in Gorham, NH. You can see the White Mountains in the distance. The Wildcats to one side of town and the Presidential Range, which includes Mt Washington, to the other. As daunting as they might be… after conquering Southern Maine I feel we should have the White Mountains in the bag… though the jury is still out on that one. From the people we’ve met… south bounders seem to think Southern Maine is the hardest and north bounders seem think the White Mountains are the hardest.
It’s all a matter of opinion and I’ll be sure to let you know mine next time… if there is a next time… after being in town for a day my knee began to give me issues. Unexpected painful issues. Tomorrow marks one week in town. I have seen improvement and hopefully when we return to the trail, in the next few days, I have no further issues.
So, how does this tale end? Does the determined hiker make a full recovery and continue to knock states off the list? With an elapsed time of 167 days and 1160.2 miles does he go on to have one hell of a long successful thru-hike? Or does he fail to reach his goal?
As many of our favorite books and movies do to us… I shall leave you with a cliffhanger for the ages… dun dun dduuunnn
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