Monday, August 20, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
It's only been four days since my last post, but we've had a busy few days! We've gone from thinking Maine is trying to kill us to loving it. There have been some awesome panoramic views, lots of lakes, and good terrain. And lots of moose poop, but no moose! Where are they?
We want to see one! Also, lots of French Canadians. Like more than Americans. Who knew Canadia was so close?
One day we were able to hit up two lakes- one with a wonderful sandy beach and the other with a canoe all ready for me to jump in and paddle away.
We've been with a big bubble lately. There are 7-10 thru hikers in the shelters every night in addition to another dozen or so section hikers (mostly speaking French). Maine is such a beautiful hiking spot, so I guess it attracts a lot of people. The towns in Maine are sooo small, so it's fun to have so many other thru hikers to have dinner and resupply with. Last night, Five Pair inadvertently paid us a huge compliment. There was some sort of discussion about things we do while walking, and she said, "You guys are always talking! Hiking, cooking, in your tent... What do you possibly still have to talk about?"
We can't believe we are so close to finishing. We have a slightly aggressive plan to summit the Big K on August 20th. If we get held up by anything, it may be a day after, but the 20th is definitely possible.
We have one more trail town to stop in, so that means one more blog post from Monson... Can't wait!
Monday, August 6, 2012
After a nero and zero in Gorham at a good hostel, we needed to get back on the trail. To get back up to Mt Washington via car would be a challenge, because it costs money to drive up. The hostel was on the trail, but ahead of where we got off. We decided it would make the most sense to hike south from the hostel in Gorham back to Mt Wash (how many thru hikers summit Mt Washington twice?), then hitch down the mountain back to Gorham.
Hiking south was kind of fun! We got to see several hikers we were ahead of that we hadn't seen in a while, including Lady Forward, who had Beau's glasses. We also got to climb up Mt Madison, which is far better than going down. We spent a couple days going southbound and had fun stopping at the huts to eat their leftover breakfast and soup. We had no problem getting a ride back down the mountain and were soon on our merry way north again.
Southern Maine is super tough. I think it's harder than the Whites. I'm not sure who in the AMC (the trail club that manages the Whites and S. Maine) likes putting the trail on steep slabs of rock, but they need to get a reality check. The Mahoosuc Notch is labeled the "most difficult or fun" mile on the AT. It's like a jungle gym of boulders and took us two and a half hours. That day it took us 12 hours to travel 12 miles.
Once the trail crossed over into the next trail club's territory, there was a distinct change in trail quality. We had stone stairs again! And rebar! And ladders! I've never been happier to ascend 1300 feet in .8 miles, just because it wasn't rock scrambling. We were moving quicker than expected and got to Andover a day earlier than planned. We arrived at the hostel just as dinner was being served... Perfect! We stayed up way too late way watching the Olympics and are lounging this morning until we hike a half day out.