MAINE!!! The First 10 Miles Tell a Story
I pretty much ran to Maine. The last few miles of New Hampshire seemed to drag on and on. I was a little too eager to see that wobbly wooden sign that would tell me I finally made it to Maine. I pretty much made out with that sign once I saw it.
I fell asleep on the New Hampshire/Maine state line. I woke up a few times to other hikers crossing over and cheering. I heard cans popping and bowls clanking. I witnessed these hikers have their proudest moment (much like myself) on trail yet. We all literally walked from Georgia to Maine.
I woke up the next morning knowing it was going to be a great day. I was officially out of the first 13 states and in my final stretch. The day immediately started out with comedy. I have had very bad luck with slugs invading my personal space and items. My hiking partner, Durpadur has had many laughs at my expense…. until this one particular morning. As I took my last few pictures of the state sign, I heard him complaining about his sawyer filter being clogged… and what happened next could make up for any slug misfortune I’ve ever had….
This isn’t the point of my story, though. The point is, with Maine, the first 10 miles say it all. Not even a quarter mile past the state line, you are butt sliding down rock slabs. She then carries you into a storm ridden, yet beautiful, wooded area. Then you can see Goose Eye in the distance. Goose Eye was definitely my first love in Maine. I suddenly forgave the trail for any mishap I had ever had.
This section of the trail didn’t hold anything back. Muck pits, ladders, rebar steps, and shear beauty baffle you from the start. It was like something out of a fairy tale…. only real!
Durpadur and I hiked along, simply mesmerized by all that Maine was offering us from the get go. The best was obviously saved for last. We immediately knew this was our favorite state. Eventually, we decided to get our move on…. until I looked up and saw HIM. A man with a white beard and glasses stopped and asked my name. He then introduced himself as Warren Doyle. Holy shit! I met Jennifer Pharr Davis earlier on my hike. Meeting Warren Doyle was another treat. These people are my idols and I can only try to be as strong willed as them.
Warren asked about my plans for the day, and I told him we were bound and determined to make it pass the Mahoosuc Notch. He seemed a little uneasy about it, but I still had a few hours of daylight left and it was only a few miles. Other hikers asked along the way if we were going to attempt it and told us we were crazy, but why? I’ll tell you why…
A wise man once told me that once I got to Maine, to just put up my trekking poles and use my hands… yeah, there was definitely a reason for this advice. The Mahoosuc Notch…. “the most fun or difficult mile of the entire trail” (we’ll discuss whether or not this is true later on). It was like a game, a maze, if you will. It is definitely a wild ride as you climb, twist, slide, and scramble all over the place to find the trail…. if there even is a trail in that area! This mile of the trail is so technical, it’s fun! It is also very tiring!
Maine is something that all thru-hikers look forward to and she is definitely worth the wait. She is everything I expected and more. The first 10 miles tells you everything you need to know and gets you craving more. I’ll fill you in on way more later!
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