Journals From The Hundred-Mile Wilderness – Night One

The following are excerpts straight from my journal as Shaaades and I, two run down North Bounders, trudged through the last Hundred Mile section before Mt. Katahdin. In these journals you will encounter desperation, determination, rain, rivers, hope, and a profound longing to stay in the woods forever. 

September 5th, 5:45pm

Alright, I’ll admit it: today was a trash bag day.

That is to say, I threw today in the trash bag. That is to say, I couldn’t make it more than 10 miles.

Look, sometimes you get assaulted with a lot of things to deal with, and you simply cannot hike a long day. Today, as I first set foot into the Hundred Mile Wilderness, I had the following things to deal with:

  1. A hundred miles of wilderness, which means no resupply for 6 days, which means my pack is heavy as shit.
  2. It just rained, and it’s supposed to be raining for the next 3 days, so everything is wet and slippery. Happy hurricane season!
  3. I’m a lady, so my body decided that “my time of the month” should come right now.

Welcome to the Hundred Mile, baby. 

Yes, it feels like everything is working against me. But I have Shaaades and Blueberry by my side, and we three are going to take our damn time through this stretch of beauty. We have 6 days to get to Katahdin, where we will meet my dad and Shaaades’ parents.

Thank goodness the three of us are together. In one 10 mile day, we lost ALL of our friends. The Traveling Space Gypsies and Beer for Lunch are one day ahead, Coach and 12pack are one day behind, and Easy Goin, Tarzan, and En Fuego kept on 5 extra miles. We had the shelter to ourselves as the rain pitter pattered slowly throughout the night and the thunder rumbled on in the distance.

I feel stressed and exhausted.

I know I can hike a hundred miles no problem. This is nothing. One week left? I know that’s not enough time. I don’t want to stop hiking. But right now I am beaten down. 

Poet from Shaw’s gave us a beautiful send-off speech today. He dropped us 8 weary hikers off at the parking lot at the edge of the Hundred Mile Wilderness. “Well, this is it. Remember, there’s nothing you can’t handle,” he told us with a big smile on his face. “In a few days you’ll be atop White Cap Mountain, the first place you can see Katahdin. They say that’s where the ice around the heart shatters.” He recited a haiku he wrote when he thru-hiked. The whole moment felt profound, but only because of Poet. I couldn’t help but smile because he was so proud of us, as if he had raised each one of us to be the bad ass hikers we are today. He knew what we had gone through. He knew what we were going to go through. And he was genuinely so excited for us.

9 miles later I was thigh-deep in a slippery, strong river.

I’m going to pretend like everything is normal.

I’m still out here with my friends, things can still go wrong, hiking still hurts. I am not miserable, I am just struggling.

Tonight, Shaaades and I are shelter rats. We are talking back and forth about our pasts and listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers. And slowly, quietly, I fade off into a deep, deep sleep.

Fly on, 

Lil Wayne

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?