Day 154 – Working For The Weekend

A biting wind kicked up around 7AM. It was like a swift kick in the pants to get up and start hiking. It was as if the wind was Rob Schneider personified from the ‘Waterboy.’ When he exclaimed “well wake ass up, we got to win tomorrow.” Indeed big miles were planned today as this mud dog was headed towards the Bourbon Bowl (that’s the end of my ‘Waterboy’ references for today, I promise).

I got on trail right around 8AM, still bundled in leggings, my puffy, and a beanie. It was a quick climb to the second peak of Mt Bigelow. My fingers were still numb from the cold and wind by this time. They did not thaw out until halfway down the mountain. There was a small climb to Little Bigelow Mountain, before a long steady descent.

On the way, I stopped to change out of my warm weather leggings and base layer. I noticed yet another shoulder support has ripped on the left side of my pack. That makes two of three supports that have ripped on my Osprey pack in the last week. I stopped in at the next shelter to do some backpack surgery. I cut a length of 550 cord off my cathole trowel. Both ends were burned with a lighter and I used a pair of scissors to punch holes in the shoulder strap. I ran the 550 cord through the holes, and looped them several times through the supports on the back of the pack. I’m fairly confident my Jimmy-rigging should hold for at least two more weeks.

There was unexpected trail magic at the road. I had just eaten (typical) but I forced myself to have some fruit, a soda, and some lemon cake. The girl running it completed the AT last year and her trail name is “Bug.” She’s from Maine and drove 3 hours to do trail magic at this location! She gave me an update on the ferry boat that takes you across the Kennebec River. She said it should still be running despite Hurricane Lee. It was just the information I needed to justify the decision I’d already made in my head.

I ran into Masters who was going to shuttle back to a hostel and zero for the hurricane. Maybe it’s that I’m a stickler for efficiency, and there were at least five more hours of available daylight for hiking (which come at a premium this time of year). Or perhaps, I’m one to throw caution to the wind and all this hurricane talk is trumped up, swirling human emotion and fears of the unknown. Nonetheless, I pressed on hoping to get at least 10 more miles out of the day before stopping.

Along the way I ran into Grits again. He’s the 76 year old man I met in Georgia who is also thru-hiking. It’s wild that I met him my first 2 weeks on trail and here I’m seeing him again for the second time during my final 2 weeks on trail. Things really have come full circle. I decided to night hike and push to the next shelter.

Something that’s been fun to do when night hiking, has been to see how long I can go before turning on my headlamp. The sun goes down and I’ll let my eyes adjust as much as they can naturally on trail, before it’s too dark. Today it started getting hard to see around 7PM, but I walked another 15 minutes before turning on my headlamp. As I walked the sunset was blood red, barely visible through a thicket of trees. By the time I turned on my headlamp, I had 4.5 miles left to my intended shelter.

My feet had felt better the last 2 days with dry shoes and leukotape. But the final few miles of hiking today they were sore. It made sense when I looked at my mileage for the day, 25 miles in a little over 11 hours of hiking. My biggest day in over a month. I’m liking this flatter terrain.

Tomorrow I’m set up for a short 4 miles to the Kennebec River. The ferry starts shuttling across around 9AM. The rest of the day will be a Nearo at a hostel to wait out the hurricane Lee. The hurricane is supposed to start affecting the weather here around noon.

Until then, stow away in my pack for day 155 on the Appalachian Trail

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Comments 4

  • Sherry Woolacott : Sep 17th

    Wow! 25 miles, good job! I can see the light at the end of your headlamp!☺️ Be safe with the Hurricane Lee after effects! I know you are eager for home but slow and steady! Proud of you! ❤️Mom

  • Mammy : Sep 17th

    I enjoy riding in your back pack and look forward to each days adventures. Thank you for taking us along with you on the trail. Your an amazing young man and I can tell your Mom is also very proud of you….

  • CB : Sep 17th

    As I’ve said several times now, the comments you get are sometimes the best part of your posts.(see above)I’m wondering how the comments will be used in the movie. Also wondering if your disciplined and prolific writing during your hike has ever felt more demanding than the actual hike? Do tell.

  • Crowsfeet : Sep 18th



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