Maine, Maine, the Beautiful State
One state down, 13 to go. It’s taken me just shy of four weeks to complete Maine, and it’s very exciting to be in New Hampshire. To honor Maine, I even made up a little song. It’s to the tune of “Beans, beans, the magical fruit…”
Maine, Maine, the beautiful state
The more you hike the less you hate
The less you hate the better you feel
So hiking Maine has more appeal!
Here are some of the highlights and notable points from Maine, and what I’m looking forward to in the next few weeks.
Highlights of Maine
Katahdin: It’s a beautiful mountain and probably my favorite.
Saddleback: Also beautiful and my second favorite.
Swimming: Maine has some awesome swimming holes, and I took advantage of some but probably should have more.
Trail culture: From getting a trail name to stumbling upon trail magic, I’ve enjoyed becoming part of the world of the AT.
The people and places: This goes along with the above point, but everyone is so nice and cool and the places to stop along the way are pretty awesome, too.
Backpacking with Muddy Boots: Even though she only did the 100-Mile Wilderness, I really loved sharing that with Lily.
Backpacking with Libby: My cousin came to join me for a day and a half from Rangeley to the next highway, and it was fun to have her.
Getting in shape: I can tell that I am getting stronger and faster, and I won’t lie, I’m happy to be losing the weight I’ve gained since college.
What I’ve Learned
Trail runners are better than hiking boots for backpacking (for me at least).
There are tons of food options, and I’m excited to try all the ones that don’t involve meat.
Treat yo’ self. Towns are fun! Why not pop in to stay for a night and shower? Or go out for a quick lunch? I get that money is a limiting factor here, but every now and again, these treats are key toward mental stability.
Take care of yourself, which I knew before, but I’m continuously learning how to do this. I’ve had my share of breakdowns already, and I’m sure I will have some more.
Be open to meeting new people and take any pointers you can. Most NOBOs or flip-floppers I’ve met have been really nice, and I love when they enthusiastically offer recommendations.
What I’m Looking Forward To
The Whites: I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about some of the climbs, but from hiking the Whites growing up, I know how beautiful this range is.
Reuniting with Muddy Boots: Definitely after Hanover at the latest, I am going to have Lily rejoin me.
Swimming more: I hear New Hampshire isn’t the best for this right along the trail, but Vermont is supposed to have some good swimming holes. (Correction: NH is awesome for swimming!!)
Hanover/Sunapee: When I hit Hanover, I will probably take a few days off to go to the family house on the lake, which I know will be a much-needed break.
Meeting more people and running into old friends: I certainly hope the latter happens. However, I know I will be meeting tons of NOBOs and flip-floppers these next few weeks.
Maine has been hard, fun, beautiful, exhausting, sunny, rainy, rocky, rooty, and epic. I’m happy to be done with it, and I’ll miss it at the same time. Peace out, Maine.
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