Katahdin to Caratunk
Katahdin to Caratunk (SOBO)
When starting your SOBO thruhike of the AT ask yourself the following questions (And then listen to my answers!)
How many miles per day should I hike to start?
Correct answer: DO LESS!!!
Unless you are a professional experienced hiker or have already hiked NOBO from Georgia to Maine, there is absolutely no need to push too hard when first starting. Especially don’t go 13 miles, 11 miles, and 18 miles the 3 days in a row after Katahdin…more than likely you’ll get injured.
If you’re new to hiking (like me) and you’ve hiked 9 miles today and it’s only 1pm and you feel “good enough” to hike 6 more miles to the next shelter, don’t. Your feet will thank you!
How many snacks do you have?
Correct answer: BRING MORE!!!
I figured 2 snacks per day would be plenty…wrong! Maybe it’s just me but since being out on the AT I’m hungry ALL THE TIME! My buddy and I are both eating 3 hot meals a day (big morale boost!) and eating 4-5 snacks during the day while hiking!
(Also, bring candy. A nice mix of skittles and mike & Ike’s is quite a nice little sugar rush)
Are your feet dry?
- Yes – good keep them dry!
- No – stop! Dry your feet, put on clean socks, and continue hiking
It is totally worth it to do everything in your power to keep your feet dry! Now sometimes you’ll have to realize that you’re in Maine and there will be times when it will rain for 3 days straight. This is a time when you just have to embrace the suck!
Ok, enough with the advice that most of you will probably ignore anyway…I say that because I was told all the same and was stubborn and ignored it too.
Katahdin is AHH! MAY! ZING!
The entire climb is just such a rush! The legit hand over hand rock climbing, the views, the first view of the sign! It’s almost indescribable! Something that everyone should experience before they die!
Now the 100 Mile Wilderness is no joke! It’ll mess with your head big time! Jumping from the city straight into nothing is a major shock! The terrain can be quite rough too. Rocks, roots, rain, and mud = Maine!
Finally got to Monson, spent toooo many days there resting up my Achilles Tendons but I needed it. They’re still sore and tight but I’m able to manage for now. Also, that’s how I got my trail name; Achilles. Literally the only body part that has been hurting and slowing me down.
Brandon got his trail name too; Double Tap! He has a funnier story. We were chillin layin down in a lean-to and he sat up and hit his head on a beam, went to lay back down and hit his head on the back wall. Someone yelled
“Bam! Bam! DOUBLE TAP!”
Everyone busted out laughing and it stuck!
It’s been great being able to hike with a decent sized group, basically my trail family. There’s Me, Double Tap, Lt. Dan, Homer, Slingshot, and the Floridians (a couple; Ben and Melissa “Scavenger”)
See the usual birds, frogs, squirrels, chipmunks, and snakes on a daily basis. But crossing a road in the 100 Mile Wilderness alone, I look down the road and see a moose calf about 50 yards away staring at me. Startled me fore sure! On our 2nd day out of Monson, the Floridians, Brandon and I were sitting by a river we had just forded, eating lunch and a Bald Eagle swooped in 10 feet above our heads, probably looking for fish. So cool though, wish I could have gotten my camera out in time for a picture.
In Caratunk now at Northern Outdoors , just ate the best burger I’ve ever had in my life!
- 8 oz. Burger
- BBQ sauce
- Cheddar cheese
- Fried Mac & Cheese
- Fried chicken! Yes FRIED CHICKEN ON A BURGER!
And a side of fries…and half of Brandon’s fries. Also, on that note I’ve gained 12 lbs since starting the AT! When you start at 128 the only way to go is up!
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