Call Me Wildlife; and Lily Is Muddy Boots

That’s my name now – don’t wear it out! And Lily’s trail name is Muddy Boots.

We made it through the 100-Mile Wilderness in two pieces (one each, of course), and we’ve had our ups and downs.

First off, for me was Katahdin, which means Great Mountain, and it certainly was. I took the Abol Trail up since I only needed to take the Hunt Trail down to actually start the AT. For any Sobos or flip-floppers out there, I highly recommend this. The Abol Trail is really nice (and a tad bit easier).

Looking out onto the Hunt Trail (the ridge) from the Abol Trail.

All that work to get to the top and it’s still just mile 0!

The day was incredible. Although I did get a little sunburned. I also made a bunch of new friends- two Colombians, an Englishman, a Scotsman, and a handful of Americans. We were quite the international bunch starting that day. Since then I was sad to hear that the Colombians both got injured and had to get off of the trail. Everyone else is a couple of days ahead of me now, so I haven’t been able to see them in a while. Perhaps my greatest friends are three women I met that day. Magnet, Bruiser, and Blue are doing some section hiking, and I’m going to miss them a lot as I continue on.

The following day is the day I was reunited with Lily. I hiked out of Baxter State Park and met up with my mom at Abol Bridge, which has delicious fish and chips, by the way. In good motherly fashion she was able to embarrass me by insisting on taking pictures of me as I was trying to head out with some of the others.

Lily resting up while she can.

As we hiked through the wilderness, the terrain got more challenging. I had been given fair warning that the last day for us had thunderstorms in store. Therefore, Lily and I woke up at 4 a.m. to hike 14 miles and try to beat the storm. Despite this, we ended up being caught in the middle of it as we were walking along the last ridge. I was practically jogging to get us down into more cover. However, we made it out alright and got into Monson a couple hours later. I celebrated with pizza and Doritos and some bacon for Lily. She definitely earned it.

Overall, it has been incredible. The views are amazing. I’m still struggling to get my trail legs- if only I could steal them from a NOBO who doesn’t need them anymore. I’ve also been battling bad blisters and my competitive nature. I’ve been down on myself for being a lot slower than the others. The mantra is “Hike your own hike,” so I guess I need to take that to heart more. I still have some of the hardest mountains ahead of me, so lots to look forward to.

The sun setting after a beautiful afternoon on Nahmakanta Lake (if you follow the beach all the way down there are three lawn chairs to relax in).

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