It begins…AGAIN!

11 July 2017

Mileage

AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 5.2 miles (but it was really 5.2 both ways)
AT Total Miles – 459.2 miles
Today’s – 10.2 miles
Time – 7.75 hrs
Speed – 1.31 mph

Tonight’s location: Katahdin Stream Campground

I had Butterflies just like at Springer Mountain.  It felt like I was the new kid in town and it was the first day of school.

“Up n Ready” the trail name still fits.  I started my day at 4:30am.

Couldn’t sleep…wonder why?

After the time off trail and sleeping in, I wondered if I’d be jazzed for the early  mornings.  I guess we now know the answer…YES!

I headed to breakfast for my “last meal” of eggs, French toast, sausage and bacon.  It sure filled the tank.

At breakfast I talked with ZenMaster and Salesman who finished their NoBo Thru Hike on Sunday.  They told me Hunt Trail showed them new experiences they hadn’t seen on the entire AT!  It made me quake in my boots…was I ready?  Really READY?

I then ran into Smiles back at the hostel and he gave me more intel on the Hunt Trail.  I also heard his story of hiking the AT.  Last year, he broke/shattered his foot and needed surgery.  Several surgeries and pins in place and he’s back this year.  Then this year, he had a stroke and hiked 4 days afterwards.  Who am I to complain about Anything.  Time to get my hike on!

 

HUNTed…that trail almost killed me

The hike was CRAZY!  I do NOT know how come more people aren’t injured (serious injured) or Killed taking the Hunt Trail.  Up was bad enough, but coming down was treacherous!  I wondered if I was going to make it or if they’d just find my body over an edge.  Nothing prepared me for that hike.  Especially the rock scrambling or better put free rock climbing without ropes.

However, I made it to the top in great time — 3 hours and 30 minutes.  I was smokin’ the trail. One lady I saw early on said “you are steaming”  and I literally WAS!  The cool air and my Hot Body (that what myWife always says) resulted in me emitting steam!  But I was making good time.

Then I finally reach the summit!

Awesome views and the weather was nice!

It was great that one of the groups coming down gave me some great words of encouragement.  He let me know the peak to the Left was NOT Katahdin.  Katahdin was 15 minutes away while the other peak (Knifes Edge) was substantially further away!   So I passed on the same message to two guys theFrenchman – HungryFrench and a 70 something – DirtyEarnie who were at the hostel with me last night.  It cheered them up just like it did me.

The trip down was brutal!  After much consideration, I took my trekking poles.  They were great on the lower trail and top trail, but utterly useless on the ROCKs.  I made great time downhill too…3 hours and 15 minutes.

Also, today I had an equipment causality.  One of my trekking poles didn’t make it.

I twisted my ankle so I put my weight on that side and POP there she blew.  I had been concerned about my REI Carbon Fiber poles after reading about carbon fiber tent poles.  When they break, there is no repair.  So I was poleless all the way down…my knees and feet are killing me tonight.

On a good note, I was blessed to find this at the Ranger Station….and it’s perfect fit.  Now I have to see if REI will warranty this trekking pole due to equipment failure.  It broke on level ground and wasn’t caught or wedged between any objects.

It looks like the SoBo crowd is much smaller and for that I’m glad.

Tomorrow…I’m off to the 100 Mile Wilderness.

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