New Hampshire…So Much Already
Good morning sunshine good bye Vermont
It was a short, early morning hike to leave Vermont behind and step foot into New Hampshire. Walking across the bridge I was greeted with hugs and smiles. What a surprise! A couple of friends from Maine had driven down to the Vermont/New Hampshire border and surprised me with trail magic. As other hikers spotted the coolers, they too were happy to share the goodies. I enjoyed listening to the random conversations, the laughing and of course the food that I inhaled. It was a great way to start the day!
Rest Before the Whites
As Vermont came to an end, the trail talk consisted of the anticipation and perhaps a bit of nervousness about the Whites. I tried not to think about the logistics, or the physical pain that would be present due to the tough climbs. As always, I just kept telling myself, “Each step is one step closer to Maine.”
Mentally, I did try to prepare myself for a lot of technical terrain. Every step and every decision as to where and how to place my foot was important. I knew it would involve slippery rocks, high elevations, and exposure to the elements. I think trail hiker, Billy the Wizard summed it up correctly, “It’s dangerous up there!”
So many things were going through my head as the day approached. The weather was in the forefront of my thoughts. The elements can change within hours, which was a little unsettling. The cold, wind and rain can create hypothermic conditions. With these thoughts, I knew I had to climb 6288 feet to summit Mount Washington. Totally exposed and feeling totally vulnerable, I realized a whole new level of trust in Christ. I kept praying for protection and safe foot placement for everyone that was hiking.
The trek up was successful and breath taking. It was a long day that consisted of pushing beyond and then pushing again. Once at the top I looked to see the neighboring summits that were next in line. Mount Jefferson, Mount Madison, and Mount Eisenhower were among a few of them. The goal for the day was to get up, over and down these mountains so I could be below the tree line. I felt this was important to avoid any potential weather complications. While the beautiful views that I saw were amazing, this day left me with burning feet and many aching muscles.
As I laid my weary head in my tent this night I thanked God for a beautiful day. Then I asked Him to heal my throbbing body and with that I was fast to sleep.
350 Miles Left, Family, Got to Keep Going
I am the first to admit my physical and mental ability has been slowly dwindling over the past 200 miles. Stopping has never entered my mind, but wondering how to muster up the will power to carry on has. I’m not sure how I have the strength to keep going. I often conclude it has to be because I have so many family members and friends praying for me everyday. There is so much comfort knowing I am covered with prayers.
Just at the Perfect Time
I was overwhelmed with happiness when I found out that my daughter and her husband wanted to hike the Whites. I was beyond excited! I felt as though their fresh energy and eagerness to hike lifted my energy level. We spent our days in awe of the views, while many hours were spent laughing, singing silly songs and talking. I have to say the belly laughs were the best!
Ahhhhhh Maine 1900 Miles
I left my home town knowing it would be along time before returning. I left Maine 145 days ago and finally I have crossed into the state that is home.
I noticed that my spirits were once again lifted as I said “Hello” to Maine. Though I still have many miles, it’s exciting to think this is my last state to complete this journey. The well known Mahoosuc notch, which is described as the toughest mile on the AT and the Hundred Mile Wilderness will be waiting for me.
First Challenge in Maine “The Notch”
Mahoosuc Notch is a boulder field between two mountains. It consists of squeezing between boulders and rock scrambling that requires all four points down.
As I began hiking through the Notch I realized it was going to be extremely challenging. Therefore, having family/tramily with me certainly helped. After this two hour mentally draining mile a rest and snacks was needed.
The End of a Hard Day
At the end of every day it seems as though there are two common needs, food and sleep. As I crossed the Bethel parking lot, I was welcomed with hugs from family and friends. We ate steak, potatoes, geeen beans, and fresh cucumbers together. I actually had to be an overachiever and so I ate “Two” steaks.
This was a great time to eat and reminisce about the Whites and the Notch. After my belly was full a much needed rest was next. The friendly town of Bethel, Maine was going to be a place to refuel and rest.
See you in a couple weeks or so Katahdin!
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Thank you for sharing. I recently attempted the Presidential Traverse. Reading that the Maine notch took 2 hrs of 4 point crawling was the most useful information in this post for me. It is good to be prepared. Best wishes on your upcoming finish on Katahdin.
As Gene and I read your Vt. to Me.update aloud and saw your pics this am.,we both had a tear in our eyes – we could almost feel your pain but also excitement with such special family,friends and God helping you along the trail.
What a testament to your strength and courage!!
Best wishes and prayers from Iowa,as you reach the top.( And what a great state to finish with!!)
Jane and Gene
Sooo exciting u will be finishing soon!!
Wonderful u had family to join u. Love the post and pics.
Safe travels on ur final leg!!
Hugs and prayers. Pamela