AT SOBO 2019: What’s the BIG Deal?

The Appalachian Trail is huge.

I could throw enough facts and figures around to razzle-dazzle you into believing me, but that would be too easy. At a certain point, numbers go beyond comprehension and become meaningless.  So, I will try to explain perspective coming from a basis of smaller, more comfortable concepts.

Yesterday, I crossed my first state line from Maine into New Hampshire.

Thirteen more to go!

So, one state down! 298 miles under my belt. With every single step, I grow both in strength and humility. We are so, so, so small.  The soaring summits and peaks reinforce this idea constantly.

One of my first glimpses of the Whites.

One of my favorite things is certain sections where you are able to see where you are going, and then be able to look back and see where you came from.

While these are more obvious, it’s in the smaller things that you truly realize what you are doing. Back home, the weather may seem like a big deal, but when it comes down to it most of us get up and go to work or whatever it is we do regardless. Just grab an umbrella on your way out the door and grumble about your hair. Out here, it’s another matter entirely. With big skies and big mountains come big storms, and fast winds. Lack of preparation can lead a hiker to be miserable at best, or in true danger under worse circumstances.

So tired of rain.

A stubbed toe, while always annoying, can completely change your plans for the day. Hiking 15+ miles on even the smallest of injuries makes a tiny inconvenience into a seriously painful deal.  In the dead of night, when you are asleep in a three-walled lean to and hear a pitter-patter, it HAS to be a demon rat here to eat my face (The reality is that it is an incredibly acrobatic and brave chipmunk 9/10 times).  Additionally, the sounds behind the shelter or your tent are even bigger and scarier. Every snapped twig becomes a hungry bear.

A cute little room at The Hiker Hut hostel in Rangeley, ME.

On the Appalachian Trail, perception is everything.

Conversely, lots of my long-standing perceptions have changed for the better. Out here when I meet new people, it’s a totally different experience. What you did or where you come from matters less than our common shared experience. The chitchat is not forced, or awkward. I’ve only known these people for a short while, but in many ways I am trusting them more than I trust anyone in “real life.”

Pale Ale, Joey Dabs, and me unsure how to cope being in public for the first time in a while.

Another great example is the infamous Mahoosuc Notch. This is considered to be the most difficult mile on the entire Appalachian Trail.  It’s described as a “deranged pile of boulders one must cross,” which is honestly a spot-on description.  Now, most of the NOBOs described it more as a giant jungle gym.  I was honestly excited, then the day before my planned day to do the Notch, it started to rain.  Then, I received some bad information that it was going to continue raining for the next several days.  Like I mentioned earlier, weather is more than a mild inconvenience here.  So I made a snap decision to go down the Mahoosuc Arm, one of the steepest and most dangerous descents for a SOBO, in the rain. It was a bit harrowing, not going to lie, but in the end everything was OK. I camped right before the notch with new friend Joey Dabs and some NOBOs, then tackled the Notch itself the next day.

Deranged Mahoosuc boulders.

 

Under, over, and around those boulders is the actual trail. For an entire mile.

All in all, I will say that Southern Maine was definitely a much more difficult section than I anticipated it being. Thankfully, I’m not alone in that. People were running out of food, their expectations of doing 15 or more mile days shot down. Don’t get me wrong; it was still a blast, but definitely a challenge thanks to a combination of terrain and weather.

I am sad to see the end of Maine. It was beautiful, but now I’m looking forward to the Whites and New Hampshire.

For now, I’m taking the rest of today as a nero, and a full zero tomorrow. Miy, and my tramily’s, feet and bodies need a rest before we tackle these 4K-6k footers. 🙂

Click here for the rest of my pictures and videos from the trail. 

If anyone has any questions, or is simply curious about any aspect of this, please ask! Either comments, or message me through the social media links above.

Happy trails,

Toodler

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 17

  • Avatar
    Kim Jones : Jul 25th

    Great job!!! Love you and miss you terribly!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Phyllis Carr : Jul 25th

    YOU AMAZING ME…KEEP LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST!!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Debra Carter : Jul 26th

    Honey, I’ve been following you and I’m so proud of you. You are accomplishing a dream of mine too! Keep up the positive and stay safe. I love you kiddo! <3

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Pennie Terry : Jul 26th

    The first time I met you in your black and white striped pants I knew you were an extra-ordinary guy! Conquer the world and do great things!!! Be safe out there!!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jimmy Charlton : Jul 26th

    Logan Logan Logan ….. Love to see what you have wrote as you trek along ! For me it’s like reading a book you are writing as your thoughts and feelings are coming through. Anticipation of what’s next to come. Loving all of the pictures you are posting they are amazing to say the least. Your sharing with us what most of us will never see or experience ….. Keep doing what your doing and keeping us informed!! Prayers are with you as your on this journey.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Heather Garrison : Jul 26th

    What an awe inspiring and beautiful adventure. Keep posting your amazing pictures and stories.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Teresa : Jul 26th

    You are an amazing human! Love following your journey, looking forward to the next post.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jenn : Jul 26th

    I really enjoy your stories and am following your journey! This is seriously awesome!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jessica Salley : Jul 26th

    I love reading your blog! I am too big of a chicken to ever try it, so it is pretty cool to read about someone doing it along the way. I do have a question though. What is a Nobo and Sobo?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Logan Roark : Jul 26th

      Thank you. The hardest part is getting to the trail! NOBO is northbound. They start in GA and hike to Maine. It’s the more popular way. I’m SOBO, or southbound. Walking to GA.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Paula Skeans : Jul 26th

    Im following your adventure and watching for next post and pics daily. We are proud and pulling for you back home! We are living the adventure thru your post. THANK you and have the time of your life making lasting memories! Stay safe!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Logan Roark : Jul 26th

    Thank you everyone.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Chris : Jul 26th

      Hey Logan, wow you are living your dream. Way to go, keep up the great job. Plus love the pics. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    sheila smith : Jul 26th

    Loving your pictures and perspective. Your words at one point were “we are so, so small”. It’s amazing how small we really are, but we are important to others and to God, you are viewing what God has made without interference from somebody else – your eyes are open like no one else’s. I think that is beyond amazing!! Your story is yours – thank you for sharing, if I wasn’t so old, fat and arthritic, you would inspire me to get out there just to enjoy what sits there every day waiting for us to enjoy it. Be safe and enjoy every step!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Sherry : Jul 26th

    I really enjoy you sharing your adverture and seeing all the beautiful pictures of God’s creation that I wouldn’t get to enjoy if you wasn’t sharing. My son has always wanted to hike the AT and maybe one day he will get to. Please keep sharing. Be safe!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Lisa Ensor : Jul 26th

    I’m enjoying following you on your adventure. I can’t decide if you’re super brave or crazy! lol
    Praying for your safety, and praying for your mom and The Nana too!
    Be safe and live it up!!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Bill Carey : Jul 27th

    Great job. Super jealous.

    Reply

What Do You Think?