A Day in the Life
Over 700 miles into my hike, I’m slowly developing a routine. Of course thanks to my flip-flop, it’s involved a lot more rocks and roots as I slowly climb, trip, and, slip my way through Maine. Only 20-something miles and Mahoosuc Notch separate me from the border now!
Also- I’ve chose a new trail name- Duchess of Slug. Apparently I attract the little orange suckers and have not been cranking out miles like I once did.
Through all the excitement, there’s less exciting aspects of a thru-hike (for me anyway) that I experience on a daily basis. As of right now, it goes something like this:
Wake up at 7 AM (or earlier).
Slowly emerge from the warm downy cocoon of my hammock. Stuff my sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and hammock into dry sacks and stuff those into my backpack. Either inhale a bag of Poptarts/granola or heat up water for coffee and oatmeal if I’m feeling fancy. Peruse the guidebook for the next water source and filter some extra water if it’s going to be a few miles. Start throwing sticks at That Guy if he still hasn’t woken up yet. Finish packing my backpack, put on my wet smelly socks and shoes, spray down with bug spray, and get on my way.
Start hiking around 8-9 AM
Walk, walk, eat a Clif bar. Walk, walk, drink a liter of water. Hopefully just some more walking, but Maine likes to throw in a few rock slabs that require some careful scooting down or climbing up. Also hopefully balancing across logs placed over bogs instead of going through knee-deep mud pits. (Fortunately I only ended up in one once so far.)
Eat lunch around 1 PM
If I was in the south, I’ve covered 8-10 miles by now. Here in Maine, I’m happy if I’ve done 6-8 at this point in the day. I’m probably sitting on a rocky outcropping of some variety or near a stream depending how my water supply is going. Pull out my lunch stuff sack, roll out a tortilla, and lather generously with some combination of hummus, pepperoni, cheese, bell pepper, and mayonnaise. Follow up with Poptarts, some animal crackers, and probably more cheese and pepperoni because hiker hunger is no joke. Continue hiking for 4-6 hours.
Arrive in Camp at 7 or 8 PM
Roll into the shelter/campsite. Sometimes it’s crawling, but still can appear to be walking since the trekking poles keep me upright. Immediately kick off shoes and put on flip flops. Scout out the water source which is hopefully away from the privy and within 100 yards of where I’m standing. Scout out a spot to hang my hammock and pitch my tarp if it’s raining.
On a good day I have enough energy to not only drag my cooking gear over to the shelter, but also to socialize with the other hikers. Lately it’s become a solid mix of Sobos, Nobos, and section hikers. We’re probably discussing how moose are just a myth made up by the northerners, what we wish we were eating for dinner, or our latest poop and the day hiker that saw us at our most vulnerable.
Get out my stove and pot, pick out a Knorr pasta side, and eat a Kit Kat while impatiently waiting for water to boil. Remove the pot from the stove and stare it down until the pasta has reached a not-quite-crunchy consistency. I’ll save the details of the art of Knorr sides for another post. Begin eating and realize I’m scraping the bottom of the pan before I’ve put a dent in my hunger. Eat whatever other food I have left allowed for the day and bear bag everything in an appropriate tree.
Ready for bed by 9 PM
Inflate my sleeping pad, throw it in the hammock with my sleeping bag, and crawl into my silk liner. Shove my nasty socks into the bottom of the liner so they dry. Write in my journal and read on my Kindle for a while if I’m still feeling awake, which I’m probably not. Fall asleep instantly and dream about the mountains to come the next day!
For (almost) daily updates on my thru hike, check out my Instagram!
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