In Position to Run THE Notch

1 Aug 2017


AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 271.8 miles
AT Total Miles – 725.8 miles
% Complete – 33%
Today’s Miles – 14.9 miles
Time –  10.5 hrs
Speed –  1.41 mph

Start: East B Hill Rd – Andover ME
Stop: Speck Pond Shelter and Campsite

It’s AUGUST!  That means I’ve been hiking each month since April.  Not hiking consecutively, but hiking nonetheless.

This Morning

It was about a 6 mile uphill first thing this morning.  That’s right out of the gate to Baldpate East Peak.  I knew it was going to be rough getting myself into position to Shoot Notch (Mahoosuc Notch – the AT’s hardest mile), but I wasn’t expecting THIS!

I was worn out and totally dripping soaking wet by the time I got tp Frye Notch Lean-to and that was only at the 4.5 mile point on the day.  There was still 10 more miles to go.

However, I needed to continue and make my way to Speck Pond so that I miss the rain in the Mahoosuc Notch & Arm.

After a HARD day of hiking we arrived in position to go for the Notch in the morning.  It’s a little climb out of here then it’s hiking down the Arm which is a big slab.  It could be (will be) dangerous.  But if it’s dry conditions, all the better.

Then it’s up the Mahoosuc Notch which is a big 1 mile boulder field.  According to AWOL, it’s the AT’s most difficult or fun mile.  I’m kind of looking forward to the experience.

The last 4 miles getting here were once again up.   I wasn’t sure if I make it, but check out the elevation profile…from 2200ft to 4000ft in 4.5 miles.


Tonight is my 1st AMC stay with a camping fee and caretaker.  I paid my $10 fee and got my campsite program card.  Now, each additional campsite will be half price.

This place has a brand new log cabin shelter.  It still has the pine smell.

However, the tent pad sites are…raised platforms.  There are a total of 6 BUT 3 are reserved for groups of 6 people or more.

Vista got the last single site, so I setup on this group pad.  It has some materials stored on it, so there’s no way 6 people could setup here.  I’m not sure how you’d get 6 tents on here anyhow!

BTW It’s hard to tie your tent down on these raised plstforms.  I hammered/wedged pieces of sticks between the boards to act as stakes.  At least my tent is self standing.

These guys found other ways to tie theor tent. Like tying off on trees.

There is a caretaker here as well.  She is responsible for some trail maintenance, stirring the compost and collecting the fees.  She stays in a old large tent for 10 days and then gets 4 days in town.  When she comes back out, she hikes in all of her food — 10 days worth.

She lives in this old tent that’s supposed to be replaced next year.  AMC you can do better for your caretakers.

The pond is very nice…



The People

Some hikers even took a swim to clean off.  I decided to skip a swim tonight.

Bummer…I left my wash clothes on a tree branch where I stayed last night.  I guess I’ll need to pickup new ones in my next town.  I really like cleaning up before bed…it just helps me sleep better.

I ran across this guy’s (Al) in camp tonight.  Check out those cool camp shoes.

Vivo Barefoot…

You meet all kinds of people on the trail.  Here is JohnnyWalker from Mississippi.

The Water

Finally, I have to ask “Does this water look a little BROWN?”

It IS it IS!  This is from the water source at Speck Pond Shelter.  Maybe AMC needs to take notes from down south where they use PVC pipes on many springs.  I think it’s time to replace this LOG!

Well, time for bed…it’s a big day tomorrow.

Flip GA to VA
Flop ME to VA
“On the road to Damascus”

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