Vlog – The Home Stretch

The 100 Mile Wilderness

First Maine tries to break you with the hardest stretch of trail, and suddenly you’re cruising on the easiest.

There are a few climbs to keep you honest, but truthfully the worst is behind you. There were parts thats felt like a red carpet, leading you to the last climb. Long stretches of flat pine forests and lakeside paths include some of the best camping spots on the trail.

One of my favorites, referred to as Antler Campsite, is a beautiful lakeside peninsula. My hiking buddy Cub found a perfect spot right on the tip, where she could see both the sunset and sunrise from the same spot. I was super eager to set up my hammock with a perfect view of the sunrise when, to my great dismay, I realized I had left one of my hammock straps behind that morning. After moaning and complaining for a good long while, I managed to get a few hours of sleep before waking up early, frigid and stiff on the ground. Determined to salvage some sort of positivity, I put all my layers on, packed up, and sat on a fallen tree to take in the promised sunrise. It ended up being one of my favorite mornings on the trail.

The next day flew by like most did in the 100 Mile Wilderness. The terrain was so flat and easy we did a little over 20 miles and were done by four. I was lucky to get some phone signal at camp, and looked up how much weight my bear bag line was rated for. Six hundred pounds! Cub, being a climber ‘back in the world,’ showed me a few knots, and we managed to jerry rig a temporary set up.


The final climb starts off like a standard Maine/New Hampshire climb, but once you get above the tree line turns into a fun obstacle course. At times you’re scrambling hand and foot up and over. By the time I’d made it two thirds of the way up I caught myself thinking that I wished I lived closer so I could come back and do it as a day hike.

We also really wanted to hike the Knife’s Edge, and the weather was good for it, but once we hit the top all of that went away and I just felt happy to be done. The Knife’s Edge takes awhile longer and would put us down at a spot that would require a hitch just to get back to our packs, then another hitch out of the park and on the way to Millinocket. The realization that we could just go down the “easy” way and hopefully be eating hot food before dark was too much to resist, and we bounded down Katahdin and lucked into a hitch from the campground all the way to town.

Four double cheeseburgers, a large fry, a milkshake, and two Dr. Peppers later and we were on our way to a nice comfy hotel, where we watched The Lord of the Rings (the best movies about a thru hike) and drank the perfect amount of adult beverages. The easiest way to describe it is to say that we were thrilled to be finished and sad that it was all over. Perhaps I’ll touch on that some time in the future, but, for now, we were happy but missing the people we weren’t able to finish with.

miss you guys

Anywho, there’s supposed to be a video in here somewhere, right?

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Comments 7

  • Rhinestone : Oct 9th

    Congratulations! What a major achievement. You own large bragging rights even on a resume.
    I really enjoyed that video. I’m surprised that you even did it, as tired as you were, it would have been easy to say “Next Time”on the video and of course it would have never happened.

    Keep taking the ibuprofen until all your parts realign.

    If you ever go back get a photo of the blueberries. Good luck on future trails.

  • Eddy G : Oct 11th

    Adios, Rhys!

  • Cheryl : Oct 11th

    That’s pretty real man! I like hammocks too and like you I left a strap behind on the 2nd night out . I have a Hennessy though so it’s was pretty easy to tie up to the tree . I hope to make that summit one day ! Congrats!

  • Jade : Dec 9th

    Hey, huge congrats on your Thru-Hike! I just came across your blog and I spent the last 2 hours reading your posts and watching your videos. One would think we’re crazy to put ourselves in the woods for 5 months with pain, snow, thunderstorms and bugs, but something is also calling me out there and I’m preparing for a 2019 thru-hike. I guess my concept of happiness also has to be redefined! I’m currently in the middle of the “tent or hammock ” dilemma, so thanks for your review on the subject. See you in the woods! And I’ll remember that beer you owe me, ha!

    • Rhys : Dec 11th

      Awesome, thank you!
      I sent you an email, let me know if you ever want to talk Trail stuff!

  • Mark Evans : Feb 15th

    Impressive vlog and I love the talk about the xlc hammock. I have just received my xlc double layer with a mini fly tarp for at through hike and now I’m wondering how badly I’ve misjudged the trade-off between weight and wind / rain protection. We shall see. Don’t feel alone by having lost your strap. I left both of mine on trees in a rainforest of Washington State on my last motorcycle adventure. Makes me want to pack the straps with the hammock in a single stuff bag. Thanks again for passing along your hammock experience on the AT.

    • Rhys Hora : Feb 15th

      Right on, man. I wouldn’t worry, I’m pretty sure the mini fly still has more coverage than mine and I did alright.

      I still store my straps on the outside of my pack because often they get wet or sappy and I hate them touching other stuff. Usually I make a point to take them down together, but that day I was interrupted by nature’s call and just forgot


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