Gorham, NH to Caratunk, ME
Day 110(July 27th)Really rough day today. The wildcat mountain ranges kicked all our asses today. Miles and I got a ride back from Gorham from an Agnes Scott graduate of all things. An all womens college in Atlanta. Since hitting the trail at 9:45am, it took us until 7pm to go 13.1 miles. With only a hour lunch break at carter notch shelter to get out of the rain. Everything was wet all day and everything I was wearing was soaked due to the humidity. I took at least 5 falls today. Sliding on the downhills and slipping off footholds on the climbs. Just a painful day.
I though I would make it through this entire section without paying for a campsite, but tonight broke my streak. Literally not a single stealth spot to be had anywhere around here. 8 bucks to tent on a wooden platform with somebody else. These platforms are just fuckin’ useless. Build more picnic tables and let me camp on the ground.
Day 111(July 28th)
Last day in the white mountains and New Hampshire. A real smooth 8 miles down into the second Gorham stop and took a lunch break at the white mountain hostel. Really nice and clean place and the sodas are only $1.
The second 11.9 miles of the day were really damn challenging. Up and down all day.
But today was a good day. •Weather was phenomenal
•passed over 1900 miles
•less than 300 miles left
•Saw 2 moose today
•did a 20 mile day which has not happened in a while.
Bring on Maine
Another ridiculously hard day. It was only 14.7 miles, but massive climbs mixed with a lack of water for the first half of the day made me miserable. The big relief from all of that was getting into Maine. The terrain seemed to get harder.
Just climbing up sheer rock faces that are slippery and just seem to go on forever. Then we hit the “hardest/most fun” mile on the whole AT. Mahoosuc notch is a little over a mile and is nothing but rock scrambling. Just put your poles away and boulder jump the whole thing. Totally worth it.
There was at least a 25 degree temperature difference down there and there were big pieces of ice still down in the crevasses. Another 14 mile day into town tomorrow. Pork Chop, lightning, tick tock, miles and myself secured the cabin from pine Ellis hostel. Should be a good time. This may have been my most perfect resupply. I have just enough meals to get me to dinner tomorrow.
Completely spaced on journaling for today. Got a cabin in Andover with Miles, lightning, tick Tock and pork chop. Good times ensued.
Day 114(July 31st)
Don’t try to stealth camp in Maine. Our morning was pretty lazy and breakfast at the Little Red Hen was incredible. Hitting the trail at 12:30 gave me a feeling of only doing about 10 miles or so. But after doing 10 miles and only being 5:30, our group of 5 decides to push on. Past a beautiful campsite by a river, just to “get a major climb out of the way” and hope for something up top. Our luck ran out. Typical Maine with its dense forest and swampy mountaintops, there was nothing to be had. Everyone just kind of split up after that down the trail and grabbed spots as they came along. Bit of a stressful evening, but it will pass. The plan is to go into Rangely on Sunday early and bowl at Moose Alley. Something we have been looking forward to for weeks.
Day 115(August 1)
Did my first 20 mile day in over 2 weeks. The plan was to go into Rangely either today or tomorrow and after getting hailed and rained on, a hot shower was tempting. Little trouble hitching at first, then a great guy who works at the saddleback ski resort picked myself, lightning and pork chop up. The nine miles into town was very scenic. Rangely is a great little town. We got ourselves a cabin at the town and lake motel. Great place to split amongst 4 or 5 people. Bit out of way from town, but a tempting place for a zero. Spent the rest of the evening at Moose Alley. By far the greatest bowling alley I have been to. Major cities included. Indoor fire ring, animatronic moose head and cosmic bowling after 9pm. Just a damn fine spot.
Didn’t do shit today. We took a zero and consumed all the calories. Lightning and I canoed around Rangely lake and just enjoyed Maine and what we had accomplished.
Then out of nowhere, these 2 guys offer us a ride on their pontoon boat for a proper cruise around the lake. Your damn right we accepted.
Day 117(August 3rd)
Got a start of about 9:45 on the trail. Really hard to leave the amazing cabin next to a lake in Maine. But I have just decided that this hike just needs to be done. My body and gear are breaking down. My shoes are basically useless and there is no good way to replace them. Rangely had no options in the 3 outfitters they had. Nothing in my size and no trail running shoes. I am getting my Chacos sent to be in Caratunk and if all else fails, those and socks will be my hiking shoes.
Did a 13.5 mile day to woods road. Lots of climbs today and the threat of rain drove us all to consider a short day. Sitting here in my tent as the rain is pouring and lighting and thunder are every 10 seconds or so. Probably should not have camped on this dirt plot. The mud splashes up on the tent and water is pooling all around it. Just need to remember that “It will dry out.” The mantra I repeat to myself every time it rains.
Did a 20.5 mile day to the Cranberry campsite. Climbs today were brutal. With some straight vertical rock scrambles and a 6 mile brutal downhill.
Crossed over 2000 miles and less than 200 miles to go. Damn this goal is quickly becoming in reach.!
Forgot to write today
Day 120(August 6th)
Did 14 miles into Caratunk, ME.
Staying at Northern Outdoors in a Yurt. Lots of food consumed at the brewery and pub. Miles tried to complete the Exterminator. So much meat in a burger in a 30 minute time frame. He did not finish it. Too tired to write anymore…
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