Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Georgia to Raine GA - ME

Maine has been the prettiest state on trail, its streams, rivers, and lake sized "Ponds" are the best sights I think we've had below treeline.
The mornings are cool, and if you're up early enough, you're quite likely to see a moose walking the trail.
We've been looking forward to Maine since Georgia, and have heard about how great the trail is through Maine.
On the balds of the mountains there are wild blueberries in abundance, and 360 views of the surrounding valleys.

We're about to enter the 100 mile Wilderness, just outside of Monson, ME, this is the home stretch!
This is our last resupply spot of the trail, apart from a mid Wilderness resupply box being sent halfway through.

I would love to visit this state again, but with all that said, I HATE MAINE!
This state thinks it can get away with treating thru-hikers with anything it throws at us, just because it's the prettiest state, but more importantly, the last state.

This is by far the muddiest, most mosquito filled puddle in all of the US!
The weather here is a backstabber, turning on you at any time.
You can wake with high hopes that your shoes will dry, because the skies are clear, and then it rains two hours later.
The humidity makes even the rocks sweat, and you slip on every other root and rock (the roots and rocks that make-up 80% of the trail).

Okay... Sorry about the rant, but we've had a lot of slips and almost serious falls lately, and have had a great deal of built up frustration over the past week and a half.
Our shoes have had it and are being replaced just before the Hundred mile Wilderness.
They've lasted over 1010 miles from Harper's Ferry, and at last, they've just given up.
We were hoping to make them last until Katahdin, but all the slips and falls have forced us to buy new ones and overnight them to Monson.

Also, we crossed the 2000 mile marker a few days ago!
Current mile: 2071.4
Miles remaining: 117.8

The Arkansas twins - Link & Folklore

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Maine 14/14

Georgia - North Carolina - Tennessee - Virginia - West Virginia - Maryland - Pennsylvania - New Jersey - New York - Connecticut - Massachusetts - Vermont - New Hampshire - Maine
As This is one of my only chances to put a blog up for a while I'll try to do a long one...this will be hard without bringing up the subject of food...
We're at the Farmhouse Inn in Rangeley, ME., halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.
This will probably be our last stay in a town for the rest of the trail.
The need for laundry, and the fact that we could use the kitchen helped us make the decision to stay.
We've been encountering a lot of southbounders lately, and have had quite a few mixed feelings about them. As with any group, you like  some -and then you come across the ones that think that they know better than someone who has walked 1700 miles more than them.
I didn't realize that we were the same when we started, it feels like it was an age ago. We thought at Harper's Ferry that we had learned everything that there was to learn... We were very wrong.
Our backpacking skills are still improving, our social views of the trail are still evolving, and our outlook is steadily becoming more optimistic.
I feel bad for some of the Southbounders, because they take a lot of abuse from some of the Northbounders, and start with the hardest part of the trail.
Maine has been the most beautiful state of them all so far, with all its lakes and sub alpine forests.
We're almost to the Hundred Mile "Wilderness", and as most of the Northbounders tell us, isn't as much wilderness as the name implies. And, as the Southbounders tell us, is like going three days were you don't see anyone...
Not that I don't believe the Southbounders, it's just that I've know the Northbounders quite a bit longer, and trust their word more.
Our tent got its pole replaced, and repaired, and now more problems are coming up with it that can be put off for a while.
And while also our shoes' tread is hanging on the last of the trail by a wing and a prayer, as all of the shoe stores in town failed to have anything useful for our purposes, we have to simply make these last the last 220 miles.
As a side note, if you're ever in Maine in summer, look for Wool coats on sale!
Shout out!
Hi Anthony and Diana!
Good job Yellow Beard and Little Goat!
And also Stoat and Poppins!
Please leave a comment below containing a question about the trail, as I am not a good writer and can't think about anything to write about.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Whites.

Trail legend tells of the White Mountains. Tales are told from Georgia all the way to southern New Hampshire.
Everyone talks about the hurricane force winds that hound Mt. Washington, the Huts that will feed you leftovers, the steepest climbs on trail.
You spend hours planning your journey through these legendary mountains, and worry that you're going to lose too much weight, that you won't have enough food, and that you'll get fined for camping somewhere you didn't know you weren't supposed to.
You start up Mt. Moosilauke with an excited pace, when you reach the top of the +2400 ft. climb, the sub alpine forest surrounds you in narrow spruce corridors leading the way to the top.
Moosilauke was the first good view we got in over 600 miles.
With a waterfall as a descent the other side... Literally.
Next came Lafayette mountain, a long bald ridge, with even better views than Moosilauke.
Later in the day after Lafayette, we had a major problem occur: as we set up our tent, the pole snapped.
With a non freestanding tent, this makes your shelter seem much more like a large useless lead brick, rather than the reliable nomadic house you've been living in for four months.
We managed a jerry-rig for the night, and got going early the next morning, quite thankful that it hadn't rained.
The Whites undoubtedly slowed us down, we went from 18-20 miles a day to a tough 12-16 miles a day.
And worse still was that we got even hungrier than normal, I truly dreamed of sausages and chocolate milk.
On the third day, we went over Mt. Washington, hoping to find 75-80 mph winds on top, and to be fair, that was quite possible in the morning.
It was a cold rain from 6:00 - 11:00 am with a dense fog surrounding us until we reach the Lake of the Clouds hut where it cleared away to blue skys.
Sadly, we only got gust of 50-55 mph winds on top, sent a few post cards at the P.O. there, then fought through the tourists and managed to get a slice pizza from the almost robot like staff.
We "cowboy" camped on the last of the Presidential Mountains, despite  that the weather could change quite suddenly in the mountains.
Our tent company was good about replacing the pole, and should be getting here to our current location in Gorham, NH. Mile 1891.6 with 297.6 miles left and only 17 miles to Maine.
Sorry no pictures, it won't let me put any up.