To be or NOT to be?

28 July 2017


AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 218.6 miles
AT Total Miles –  672.6 miles
% Complete – 30 7%
Today’s Miles –  16.9 miles
Time –   10.66 hrs
Speed –  1.58 mph

Start: Spaulding Mountain Lean-to
Stop: Piazza Rock Lean-to

The question of the day is…

To be or not to be a thru hiker?

Last night as NoBos and SoBos filed into camp, one hiker mentioned that TJ called it quits that morning.  Apparently, he left Stratton and began his hike, but on trail turned around and was DONE!

I would like to say the thought of quiting had never cross my mind.  However, this thought stays front and center multiple times a day.

It’s the doubt of “can I do this ?” creeping into you OODA loop.

Today is a perfect example…  the climb to Poplar Ridge and Saddleback Junior were TOUGH.  So as I’m inching up these hills my mind wanders to thoughts of “Why am I out here?”  “Do I really have to complete a thru hike?”  “What’s my family doing…right now?”  “What am I missing out on by being here, in the middle if nowhere?”  And there are many, many more of these types of questions.


I’ve made it 600+ miles.  I’m almost done with Maine (Thank Goodness). But today is a tough day.  I’m at Redding Campsite eating lunch right now.  I’m taking a much needed rest from the morning hike.   BUT I need to get back on the trail.  I have 2 big 4000ft hills remaining before I’m done for the day.

Well…I can’t quit right here anyhow.  I have to hike out of here even to quit the AT.  So, I’ll hike on to my campsite.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll really quit!

While on Saddleback Mountain, I received confirmation from TJ that he’s left the trail.  So sorry to see him go, but he is pursuing his dream of writing a book.  Best Wishes TJ Patterson…I hope to see your book as #1 on the Best Sellers List.

Today was…very HARD!   Those 4 peaks (Poplar Ridge, Saddleback Junior, The Horn and Saddleback) put a hurting on this old guy.  From AWOL’s elevation profile, I thought Saddleback Junior and The Horn would be the killers (they were), but only after I had legs crushed on Poplar Ridge.  Poplar Ridge didn’t even peak my intetest…but it should have.



For those NoBos…so far hiking SoBo in Maine appears more challenging.  Hiking those steep ascents.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to desend them either…but up, straight up, is Tough with a capital T.

After the first 2 peaks, I had lunch at Redington Campsite.  I was hoping to get water, but at 0.2 miles to the water source, I decided I could make due with what I had.  It worked out…but I usually like hauling extra water.

Also, I learned my Andover planned resupply may be “limited”.  It appears Andover isn’t a good hiker town.  It’s far from the trail on a paved road with littke traffic.  So hitch hiking may be difficult.  If I have service, I can get the hotel to pick me up for $12 roundtrip.  However, a NoBo recommended tenting at the Little Red Hen.  He said the restaurant allows camping out back.  But since Andover is a Nero, I think the Pine Ellis Lodging will be in order especially since it’s supposed to rain on Tuesday.  However, the Lodging doesn’t get glowing recommendations from the NoBos.

I’m hoping Vista will be still hiking around me.  I’d like to get a double room vs the bunkhouse. Guess we just have to see.

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

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