I slept well in my location and awoke to a lovely morning
my fly was a bit damp due to condensation, but it wasn’t soaked.
I put on a brew and then had a bowl of instant oats before getting ready to hit the trail.
I was soon packed and hoisted up my pack.
I knew I had a few climbs early well that’s as far as I dared look.
I was soon back on trail and continued my way. It wasn’t long until I arrived at some pylons which is where one of my fellow hikers was aiming for.
It was a great view if I could only erase the pylons out of the picture.
I pushed on and began climbing, it was already warm and so I was soon puffing and panting as I struggled up my first climb
eventually I emerged out into a lovely meadow , Wow so pretty,
I went to take a drink and nothing , dam I thought my hose must be kinked , and one I start hiking I do not want to stop but I was hot and thirsty so had to .
I dropped my pack and checked the hose which yes was kinked.
I adjusted it then threw my pack up onto my shoulders but FUCK !!!
As I slung up my pack I had been standing on the end of it, ripping off my bite valve which shot into the air. Immediately my precocious water began to leak all over the ground. I moved quickly to stem the leak and dropping my pack. Once that was done I began a fruitless search for the bite valve. After 20 minutes I gave up.
Losing my bite valve was a complete pain as I like to hike without stopping but without it I will need to stop often to refill my water bottles Arrrhhh.
But what is done is done , maybe I can get another today I thought ……
I hiked on and to my next climb , I was a bit concerned as I was fairly low on water and it was 5 miles until the next, Oh well I thought I just need to take it easy , I had just started climbing when I came across a hiker named Brear Rabbit.
Did you see the water, He asked?
No I hadn’t,
Its just across the road he said ,
As I didn’t think could do 5 miles in the sun and whilst climbing I though it only wise to go back and get some.
I thanked him and made my way back down the mountain.
I soon found the water that I hadn’t spotted earlier.
I topped up my bottles then set off back up the mountain.
I soon caught Brear Rabbit as he was elder and slower than me, I thanked him again for the Info and pushed on
As I came over the summit I noticed a tree that was decorated, it was a shrine of memorial to a young lad who had died very young. I paused to read the tribute’s, which were very moving. While here I took a 10 min break too > While resting brear Rabbit appeared we chatted some more.
I pushed on and was soon in my stride my goal was Cherry Gap shelter which was about 6 miles away .
but I was now slow as I had to keep stopping to top up with water, which was a complete pain .
At 12pm I decided to take lunch as I was struggling , but that was mainly because I kept stopping to chat to people ,
After lunch I was in a better mood as I came to Cherry Gap shelter, but I wanted more miles so continued.
My new target was nowc5 miles away, as I began to drop down I met another hiker going southbound, He was a professor (teacher) we chatted a bit and explained about my Bite valve.
To my amazement he said well I don’t use mine your welcome to have it, It’s in my pack somewhere. He rummaged about for 5 minutes and produced the bite valve.
thank you, thank you so much I was so grateful.
and continued with a huge smile on my face.
The rest of the day was a roller coaster of ups and downs and ups and downs.
Eventually the Clyde Smith Shelter came into view,
as i arrived Bumble Bee and her Hubby were here, another hiker called nopoles haned me water as i looked very warm.
i thanked him and drained it , Thanks so much i said .
I then went and found a spot , as i walked past the shelter i spotted handstand , and several new hikers i didnt know .
I set up my tent then went to get water , whilst here i washed my socks and myself before heading back. One of the girls was cooking dinner on a log so i went and joined her, Then another Girl called Amy joined us ..
After dinner i hung by back then hit my bed
Considering the day i had i was pleased to get here
mileage 17.8 miles
Remaining 18 Miles
Sunday 16th September
It was dark.when I got out of bed
I dressed and went to use the bathroom then put on the kettle for tea. yes a kettle.
At 6.10 I took my pack downstairs and loaded it into the mini bus . There were 7 of us heading out with another being picked up along the way .
We were soon on our way . Once out of town the tarmac soon was replaced by a dirt road. It was a beautiful morning and we were all looking forward to some great views once we began climbing
Old Man the owner and our driver then put on eye of the tiger ,(Rocky) as the mountain came into view.
What a great choice of song ..it had the desired effect on all.of us
We drove through the gate house and into Baxter Park. We were here. I signed In then got my permit and I was ready. I hoisted up my pack then strolled across the bridge and onto the trail THIS IS IT !!
As usual the trail starts gently winding slowly up .. as rounded a corner I saw Bilbo who was hiking with his brother .So we grabbed a photo before continuing
on . As I crossed a stream there were about a dozen friendly faces all watering up. I caught up.on the gossip .Then I was off then the climbing started not too bad. but still a scramble . that progressively got harder and steeper.
It was time to put my poles away . Okay here we go . and typically the clouds began to roll In . I was climbing in the mist. Omg some of the climbs were high and hard as you had to pull yourself up. There were iron holds but it still required effort. This workout lasted about 30 minutes then it levelled out. There was Twinkle and several other hikers who were taking a break ..
See you at the top guys I said and walked past I was now on a path that was bordered with string . Come on sun I thought to myself …as I made my way up. I met two old friends coming down.
Spider and feather who I hadn’t seen since Dalesville months ago .We hugged out then I pushed on .
it was about another 40 minutes and omg I was there .I was at Baxter Peak. the top of Katahdin. and oh so many friends were there.
I waited for my turn to climb the famous sign . My hiker buddy The invisible man took my photos and videos. So Big Thanks. Invisible Man
Omg my hike is done . it’s done, I’ve bloody done it .
I started April 11 and I have been on trail for all these months and taken over 6 million steps .
I sat on top and just relaxed taking my thoughts .
Then it’s the inevitable Down . I followed the path down.the invisible man soon past me as most other hikers do. I leapfrogged a lady and her two daughters who had driven 3 hours to climb the mountain and also hoped for for a view.
I left the top about 12.30 and was down at the rangers station by 2pm .Invisible man was relaxing in the sun and of course the cloud was lifting as I.made my decent.
The lady with her daughter’s offered to give us a ride back to.town but they wanted to stop.halfeay for icecream..
that of course was fine by us .
Once back.at the hostel .my first chore was to remove my beard then shower then beer .
We went to the bar and had a few beers and I had the food sampler. bloody tasty I kept looking at the lobsters in the tank..maybe another day !!.
while there my mates from.home FaceTimed .me which was great ..home soon guys.
We then returned back.to.the hostel. with a 20 pack and watched a few Dvds.
but I didn’t want to.be late as I wanted to hike a 10 mile stretch that I missed
miles left. ZERO
Saturday 15th September
Oh such luxery of a real bed.
I got up showered another luxery and then went down to breakfast . it’s all self service continental which means cerial .waffles and toast .
But I ate my full and was fairly happy.
Once back to.my room I stripped down my pack being fairly brutal on my rubbish ie excess Ziploc ‘s and dumped loads of crap. I checked out and headed back to town.
It was a beatiful morning and warm all ready . I passed a few stores and went inside for a nose.
As I walked I passed the post office ,good to know where that is as that’s will be my next chore after checking in.
At the hostel there were a few familiar faces just chilling . .I dropped my pack and enjoyed an early beer with them while I waited to check In
Then to be post office I had 14 parcels Omg . I unwrapped them and put the contents into my new suit case then bounced my hiking poles to Boston ..and whoop my new bed was here so i swapped for my duff one and returned it to Exped . I hope I can get all this stuff home I thought !!
I then staggered back to my hostel with my suit case and other boxes .
I sorted through the stuff on my bed. and managed to get most a of it into my suitcase .Great
I then. went to explore the festival . as I was leaving I met orange Nija whilst chatting he mentioned that the hostel may have an old suit case . FOC.
Yes they did fantastic so.i threw the rest of my gear into it plus my excess stuff that I didn’t want to carry up.the mountain tomorrow .Result.!!!
I then explored town before meeting up.with the invsible man and nattydaddy for a few beers
We sat in the garden of the blue pub and were joined by a few more hiker trash .
It was great just chilling and chatting . I called it a day at 5pm as I wanted an early night as I was climbing tomorrow and the shuttle left at 6.10 am
miles left. 6
Friday. 14th Sep
I woke way as I was uncomfortable on my buggered mat. as I lay there I heard a weird noise, a new noise. could it be moose? I grabbed my phone threw on my flip flops and crashed through the woods to the creek
The sound was much louder a mowing or bellowing sound. follwed by lots of crashing. and I could see the trees moving ..I trainined my phone on the sound and was shortly rewarded eithbthe large head of a Bill.moose poking out of thevtree but itvwas brief before he retreated into the forest. But it was brillisnyvand made my day .I was so so excited a moose and a huge bull.moose at thst . whoop
I made my way back to.my tent an6f began to strip down
I was still on cloud nine . I made a brew ..drained it and in was ready
.it was about. .8mile to the shelter I could of done that yesterday but then.i may not of seen my moose.
so pushed on I shortly began to see tents .then met passenger ..how goes it man .
So good to see you. I then found the privy. after I visited the shelter and was surprised to see the when of the slack packing team
. we took a few photos then of set off it was about 16 miles to Abol bridge then a hitch into millinocket..
I pushed on. but the trail was pretty crappy mainly roots so my pace was slow painfully slow . but the scenery was pretty amazing
i pushed on passing so many amazing lakes .eventually I stopped at a spring to grab more water. There were reports that there were moose here .but there was nothing when i arrived..
It was a beatiful.day and it was beginning to get warmer as I hiked.. I pushed in passing more and more lakes. then I saw two familiar faces . sat on a rock by the lake was So-hum and Kalidascope
bloody he’ll i exclaimed I thought you guys were long gone..kitchen wander woman arrived so I asked her to take our photos.
I then followed then out. but I gave up keeping up and began to drop back . I then began to climb up.more rock slabs and the heat hit me like an oven door being opened.. it was like a furnace..I had to stop toput my bandana around my head to stop the sweat stinging my eyes . Then Katahdin appeared OMG MY END GOAL!!It looked amazing I stood in awe of the mountain
this was to be the end of my journey . all those days months and miles. I hoped to climb this beauty Sunday or Monday .
I pushed on my watch counting down the hours. , at 12 .30.I decided thst I deserved a break and found a great rock to sit on . I dropped my packed put on a brew.. several other hikers began to pass .Wander woman, Passenger and bleep and lastly the commander before I packed up and set off After them .
I caught them at the next shelter the last shelter on the AT so I stopped to sign the book.
But only paused before continuing on . I was getting excited at reaching Abol bridge..
I pushed on and typically the trail became an obstacle course lots of trippy roots slippery rocks and Then walking the plank .and when the trail became nice it was a biggish climb ..then at last I reached a sign telling me I was exiting the 100 mile wilderness and I laughed to myself that i was still alive. ha ha . then it was a short walk before i came to road.as I crossed it a car came past thst i recognised as being the commanders wife ..I waved and said thst they were about 30 minutes behind.
There to my right was Abol bridge. whoop whoop.as I walked across I was so busy looking at a comarant sat on a rock in the river thst I competly missed the Amazing view of Katahdin….( I will come back).
I crossed over and saw the store with several packs outside . I dropped mine and walked in ordered a large sprite a beer and a burger and fries and fell into a booth.
Several .other hikers were here so we chatted untill my food came
as we ate chatting and eating So-hum and kaleidoscope appeared. What an amazing view of the mountain Snail they said
Which one I replied
Katahdin as you crossed the river Snail.
I didnt see it I replied!!
They were speechless as was several.other hikers .
I was so busy looking at the bloody constant I had completely ignored the one thingbthatvwas my goal.
How did I manage thst. so as soon as I had woofed my dinner iwalked back.to photo the mountain and strangely the comarant was still.there.
i walked back to.the store and Then I orderd up a large ice cream BlackBerry yummy.
it was getting on almost 6pm and install.had to hitch into millinocket .
So-hum & Kalidascope were hiking on so I said my goodbyes and headed for the road
I began to walk and was picked up by a tour guide taking two customers bavk to their lodge. I sat in the back which was very exhilarating.
He dropped me off at the hostel but I had forgotten thst it was trail days and so the town was heaving so no room.
But there were so many familiar faces . so I caught up on the Goss for a while but I needed a bed so headed to the hotel about a mile away it was just over $100 but I needed a bed . I then went to the shops brought some beer and then to McDonald’s.
Once back.i.did laundry then caught up on my blog.
Thursday 13th September
I got up quite leisurely as I no.longer need to rush it’s only 51 mies to go and I have bags of time…….maybe.
as I opened my tent I was greated with the start of an amazing sunrise . I stood for about 15 minutes just watching it .
hen I visited the privy and came back and watched some more. Most of the tents that surrounded me last night had gone .so I it on a brew and welcomed in the new day.
Finally I packed up.andcwas on my way .if the trail was similar to yesterday then I would ike a 20 miler but to be honest I would settle for 16.
As I got the trail I was greated by boulders great start I thought . The trail took me around the lake so.i could see it constantly changing as the sun rised higher.
Wow it was warm.already I had a few bumps to get over then the trail.became nice but not for long the boulders were back and then it was the planks ..maybe I won’t do 20 ..as I was struggling to do any pace at all . omg it got worse itvwas the dreaded roots.. It’s like two rows of tyres that footballers run over in training .But A. I’m not a footballer and B, my feet don’t move like that. grrrrr.
it was walk the plank, trip over roots fall off rocks for most of the morning. before a nice trail resumed.
I shortly came to a shelter so called in wrote in the book and made sure I left going North.
by mid morning I was passing several gorgeous lakes .they looked stunning ..I had the time to stay and chip but I want to finish first then RELAX.
as I came to a road I saw Ossies whife I cheekily asked if she had a soda. She hadn’t but found me an energy drink..which I necked ..it was cold and did the trick. I thanked her and pushed on shortly coming to another glorious lake. there were 2 Privys and a picnic table so.i decided thst it must be lunch.as it.was 12.
I put on a brew and ate snacks ..then checked my map.wow 10.5 miles I was fairly chuffed as it had been a crap morning trail.wise.
I should be able to match that in the afternoon may be ha ha.
I went and sat on the beach by the lake for 5 minutes skimmed a few stones then it was time to hike.
I followed this amazing lake for several hours dipping into the forest then back on to the beach. Whilst in the forest another sea plane came over very low and landed on the lake..wow amazing I want one lol.
The trail then became hard work up and down the forest whilst weaving in and out of trees . at his exhausts me as I can’t get any rythem. then I came to a large climb and went into chug mode had way up a man was taking a break . I didn’t realise thst there were any climbs I said puffing.
It’s just this bump .he said
Just a bump I thought to my self .Fucking big bump.
I continued to chug up and up did I reached a sign saying Nesuntabut Mountain. I stopped for a break . then I was ready will it now be all down…..U doubt it ha ha
it was now 2m and 8 more miles to the shelter but I still felt fresh . I pushed on and came to another amazing lake typically the trsil.like to take you all around . . as I walked through the surrounding forest there were numerous boats chained to trees. further on There were several.boats tied up by a long rock slab and several girls sunbathing . envy envy .but I just hiked on then the trail.got board of being flat so decided thst some climbing would be fun . 4pm pinged my watch . and I decided that 20 was too much and I will do another hour then stop. so when I came to the next river I decided to water up.
after half hour one as some great spots and several tents.
Now here’s where I should of stopped…………
BUT NO…..I decided tonpush on do the hour….BIG. MISTAKE.
as there was nothing I walked following the river mile after mile constantly climbing .5pm pinged my watch. Bollocks I thought. at 5.45 I left the trail to find a suitable spot. maybe a compromise . but my tents up and a brew is on
21 miles better than I thought night only 30 to go !!!
miles left. 30
I didn’t sleep to well on my lumpy bed so was eased when the alarm went off. I visited the privy should of taken.my camera as it was very very nice ..brand spanking new.
After I retrieved my food
bag and put on a brew.
My tent was fairly wet due to dew or being by the river.I packed up then scoffed an apple pie thst I had been carrying. slurped my tea and I was on my way. I walking foreardcto today as it was rumoured to be ‘Flat”. It was fairly over cast as I made my way down the trail . the first first mile was very rooty and after my fall yesterday I was being cautious. then I had several small climbs..As I was halfway down another hiker caught me so I let him pass. .The trail at last flattened out and so I could get a good pace. untill I came to a large blowdown area. most had been cut.
Thanks trail people but there were still a few to climb over or under. I pushed on navigated a few wobbly planks over bogs and soon arrived at the next shelter. I was fairly eased with my pace.so I stopped to sign the register.
This is where it went wrong . somehow I got turned around and headed back the way I came . I had cover 1.5 miles when I ran into another hiker. Your going the wrong way he said.
As sobos say this all the time. you tend to Bollocks and carry on . But this hiker I recognised as his hammock was by my tent .
Fuck fuck I said to myself
And out loud how the fuck did I do that. lucky I met you or I would be back where I started..I promptly turned around and headed NORTH. mumbling to myself and a few obscenities on the journey back I recognised landmarks why didn’t I notice then when I headed south Arrrrhhh. and sure enough the shelter reappeared . a few more swear words from me and I pushed on past it shortly arriving at a river .it was easy to rock hop and I was soon over and trying to make u the 3 miles that I had just wasted . I had 20 miles in mind and that may not be possible. now thst the evenings are getting darker earlier now.
I pushed on through the forest making the most of the great flat trail yes there were a few humps but nothing silly .I had my music up loud and I was going as fast as I could with out exhausting myself . I had one biggish climb later but it wasn’t huge. I pushed on untill I met another hiker who had just stopped for water. It’s great water mate he said.
How far is it? I replied
It’s just there” he said pointing.
So I went and grabbed a bottle
I was just back on trail when Iran into onion. I had met her before but i wasn’t sure where .
I used on again and came across the hiker and onions hiking partner .They were in deep conversation . so.i passed him. at once the trail began to climb and I was was once again on Rock slabs . I had some great views but decided that i didnt want to stop until the peak. it wasn’t a huge climb and so was soon at the top as my watch pinged 12. That will do I decided and found a rock to sit on .I was going to make a brew but I didn’t want to stop that long
So cheese and biscuits. some jerky..peanuts and skittles and I was away. I had already eaten my hiking snacks to help me get over my 3 mile detour .so there was no more.
But I was telling good ..my target was antlers campground still 12 miles away or six hood hours . I can do that
I pushed on down this lovely trail passing numerous ponds but I had got fed up looking for moose thst I no longer cared so sped straight past .jumping taken trees or walking around them . I crossed numerous board a over numerous bogs . noticing piles of new all a now and then. Again a big thank you Trail people .
I began to decend slightly Nd could see a road ahead and several people. It was trail magic two guys who had recently finished were paying it forward.
Beer or coke they asked .
Beer please..I took a seat ate about a dozen orials biscuits. 2 bags of crisps 3 chocolate cups and 2 satsumers and I washed that down with another beer.
Out a few snacks into my pockets before thanking them and set back to my task .only 10 miles now
I reckon I’ll be there by 6.30.
I pushed and pushed .but didntvwant to run out of steam. the trail was still perfect for me and I zoned out as I chased the miles. Another Ford
stoped me in my tracks but I managed to rock.hop it and the next one. 3pm pinged my watch that’s 6 more miles come on snail. but my energy was low . so i woofed. a rice crispy bar that I had obtained earlier .I was really saving it but I needed it .
4pm pinged my watch .I woofed the second rice crispy bar I had taken ..
I was now tired and cursed the 3 mile detour again .
Come on Snail.i urged myself . a d typi it when your tired and have had enough the trail becomes crap. I was doing over small boxers the size of football’s but I don’t trust them Orc rather my feet so I walk around them that wastes time nut I eentbto get there in one piece. At last the trail returns to a lovely trail and I can pace again. and then I’m.here thank god .st he campsite sits on the hedge of. xxxxx lake.
my tent is soon up and s brew is on the go whoop 20 miles or 23 With the detour
miles left. 51
Tursday 11th Septembe
my alarm went off just before the rain started so I lept out of bed and retrieved my food bag before it got soaked
I had just hot back.into my tent when whoosh down came the rain . bollocks I said very loudly and decided to get back into my bag and switch off the next two alarms.
The drumming on my tent soon sent me to sleep , I guess I just of needed it as I woke again st 7.30 and there seemed to be a lull in the rain .so I quickly put on a brew as I began to pack my bag and once every thing was almost in I began tent dismantle in the rain In fact I have become rather good at this . I unclip the fly from the tent then from.indide release the clips and roll the tent up leaving the fly standing. then I roll up the footprint and lastly the fly.
I was rather pleased with that best effort so far. then I drained my tea and I was ready. . I walked down the trail Trying to avoid all the huge puddles . and thinking msy be if I had gone on I wouldn’t need to be doing this. I then came to another Ford……..
Now there are two important lessons. here.
No 1 I should of known that by checking my guide last night so FAIL.
when you reach a Ford do the obvious .take your shoes off and cross it …….What did I do ?
i walked all the way back to where I was camped looking for some where to rock hop. then decided that the rocks were tooo slippery . So had to take my shoes off anyway.
The point thst I crossed was no where near the trail so I then had to bushwack back to the trail do in l wasting about an hour FAIL!!!!!.
Once I was back on trail. it was slow going as there were so many vast puddles to manoeuvre around..Bollocks were some of my words as I’m.in nice new shoes and I’m trying to keep them as dry as possible. .even though the trail was fairly wide it was a task. Eventually I came to a sign pointing where I should go. once on this trail it was a night mare it was completely coveted by three roots and in the dry they are a pain but in the wet they are lethal. so I couldn’t get any speed. and in between the roots I was crossing stream after stream . I was soon joined by the river. some places it was wide and quite and other places it dropped down falls with a deafening sound. I pushed on noting several campsites thst I could of made if I had gone on .
then I came across mustards hammock I. recognised his chair. similar to mine. I shouted do abuse which is customery and carried on .
so soon met two hikers coming the other way . great falls ahead they said but really I have seen enough of them but sounded interested .
I pushed on in the rain avoiding roots and slippery rocks eventually arriving at the shelter. it was 12 when I got here Twinkle was here but was about to leave . there were four others in the shelter who had no intention of leaving
Kaleidoscope and So-hum had stayed bit went out early. I dropped pack and visited the loo .Wow it was new and rather grand.
Then I sat at the shelter and had lunch and a brew. then set off After twinkle ha ha .no way could I catch her and especially when it up.
the rain was still falling when I reached the peak of my first mountain Gulf haggis
Mountain . but being rainy and foggy no views so it was off to my next mountain. White Cap and on a clear day you can see Katahdin but highly unlikely today . THE down was fairy slippery so I was taking it easy I was in no rush. as I hadn’t planned a big day 12 miles should do it with the climbing the rain and late start.
I had stopped earlier to get my ear buds out so was fairy happy as I made my way down the trail. there were several small climbs but nothing too serious . but the nect minute I was on.my back pointing downwards ..luckily I had grabbed a root or I would of fell further. I not sure what happened but I had slipped and I was just. I righted myself and retrieved my poles. I thought may of broke a finger but it seemed to move . I was batters and bruised and really annoyed with myself. I also had another gash on.my knee.
For Fucks sake I said to myself so after getting up i stood still for several minutes before continuing on . the drop must of annoyed my phone as the music volume kept going up and down on it own so after failing to fix it I switched my phone off and continued in a gloomy silence .
I shortly passed another camp site thst was still dotted with tents as their owners were not moving. I resisted the urge to shout “come on you lazy fuckers it’s only rain ” ,and pushed on through the camp.and began my second climb in just under 2 hrs I reached my nect mountain but it wasnt white cap ..instead it was Hay Mountain …I was a little confused . back to lesson 1 read the guide .
fact white cap was nect and approximately 1 mile away ..I.pushed on up the climb and at last this was today’s target white cap mountain ..But it was foggy , misty, cloudy so.i took.the obligitary photo and began my decent .
which was over loose rock to begin with do I was painfully slow as j didnt want any more falls . At last I was back on mud and it would be just under 2 hikers and is be at the shelter and done….. hopefully . The decent was mostly down stone staircases which I quite like .
but in the rain I don’t trust them. I stopped now and then as it was. just so silent . so I stopped just to listen to it and I know. but no birds squeaky squirrels or anything . as I made my way down I cod see thst the trail guys had been busy they were putting in new stairs . Wow I am.impressed.
At last the shelter . I got my chair up first made a long awaited cuppa then put up my tent
Phew I’m done thst seemed a long hard day but I did my 12 miles whoop
miles left. 71
Monday 10th September
my alarm was going off as I wanted an early start . I wanted an 18 today . but I snoozed and snoozed again
eventually crawling out at 6am oh my god it was cold so I retreated and got my puffy and beanie on then went for a wee and retrived my food bag
I Put on a brew and began to strip down when I was ready I stowed my puffy but let on my beanie . finished my tea then I was away. It wasn’t far to the shelter but the trail was so crappy, roots collapsed trail that it took me half an hour to get to it but I didn’t visit as I wanted miles today and it was two big climbs first then the test of the day was up and down. I started my first climb hoping for sun as my hands were freezing , Some gloves would be nice I thought . doing finger exercises on my poles to keep them warm
as I climbed the air did warm up thank god . But it was still a nice temperture to climb in . after about an hour of dodging roots and little hand over hand climbing I had my first view which was amazing . Wow . I returned to the trail to finish off and eventually was at the top of Barren mountain whoop
my next was chair back fourth mountain. but I had to decend this one first and it was an awful decent rocks and more roots . it was exhausting me and it was still morning . I pushed on but not too fast that I fell. it was now beginnig to get hot as I weaved in and out of the forest trees.
in places a new trail.had been laid so it was fairy nice to walk. but then the roots and rocks returned . I de ided thst in would push until 1pm and hopefully I will have done 10 miles which would be good especially with this cluttered trail. as I climbed yet more rock my watch chimed 1pm and there was the perfectspot for me to stop.
I dropped my pack and started a brew then got out my cheeses and cut thick strips off . which I did ear with my Ritz biscuits and some jerky. and what else I had put in my snack bag.
I savoured my tea . it alwways taste so good put here .I enjoyed my snack and tea but those miles were waiting . I hadn’t gone far where So-hum and kaleidoscope hi guys I said
I crashed at the third spot after you and thought I’m.good.
They laughed then disappeared into the distance. I plodded on and it wasn’t long till I caught them both sat on stones having lunch
There was water there so I grabbed a bottle then headed off. I again came to a new piece of trail (redirected) and it looked much more friendly then the old bit.
I then climbing again this off was called Columbus Mnt. I was just admiring it when So-hum and kaleidoscope arrived we chatted about the mountains In the background .
before i watched them sped off. Then next part was walking over rock slabs which I like . but then it was head down over huge rocks .this bit i didnt like.
Once down I was up again at last I emerged by a campsite and continued on . I was then I got confused at a trail junction as there were no blazes. I walked. little way down one trail and when I looked back could see the southbound blaze. after several hundred yards I was at the shelter chair back gap shelter. I passed straight through before heading down . I crossed several bogs then I spent the rest of the afternoon on a seesaw or rather that’s what it seemed . It was now three and I was tired. I will settle for 16 miles I decided. as this terrain and trail.have been bloody tough..I was the. passed by Kalidascope and so-hum again . Where did you guys get too ?
Ate you enjoying this trail?
As I’m bloody struggling with it . There agreed thst it had been a hard day and then they were gone . I pushed on annoyed that I couldn’t go any faster . Just around the nect corner I spotted 4 grouse i watched then. for several .minutes then I continued on up. and down up and down . ping went my watch it was 5pm .
I stopped to check my map as I did so a girl.called Twinkle passed by see you st the campsite !!
I had 1.5 miles to go and the map said down . Great but the down hills kill my knees .
but I was tired a good brew will fix that. i pushed on and then began the down..Typically it was steep and covers with many water bard to step over. I eventually came to a road ..I crossed over and continued. to my left was a stream so decided up water up
But a little further down I found the ideal spot there were two hikers here xxx and twinkle. Do you mind if i .camp here.
No we are just eating then are going to push on.
So I set up..we were all concerned about the rain tomorrow
miles left. 84
Breakfast was at 7am at Shaws the other hostel in town. so at 6.30 I emerged visited the loo then stepped our side to gauge the weather it was cold so I grabbed my puffy and set off up town.
Once there I walked into the hostel.it was a nice of activity there were 4 large tables laid up 2 filled with family faces. I grabbed a large cup of coffee and sat at an empty table in was imeaditly joined by the comander and low gear we gave our order the choice being scrambled or fried eggs and how you wanted them cooked. It was a fairly slick.operation as 40 starving hikers got fed and with freshly cooked eggs.
My plate arrived 3 fried eggs a mound of bacon and fried potatoes that were cooked to perfection in.orger words bloody good
I dug in . inbetween top ups of coffee and orange juice. .aww could have more if we wanted. but we still had pancakes to come so I waited . A plate stacked high with freshly cooked blueberry pancakes was then set on the table.
The pancakes were the side of a saucer and 1/2 ” ,,thick. people tend to smear them with butter stack another on top then pour over the maple syrup so.i copied and they were Devine I had 6. a d decided that was plenty so a few more cups of coffee and I was done and all for $9 Bloody great value.
I went to say good bye to all my trail family so we all took photos. before I made my way back to my hostel and begin the process of packing.
I unpacked it all first them.packed up I gave a bag of Doritos and Ritz biscuits to another hiker and my remaining bear to Bilbo.
I double checked . greated my water and cheese from the fridge..put my old shoes to be recycled and I was ready
.I lifted up.my pack Omg this is fucking heavy nut it’s got 7 days worth of food in it and 2 litre of water. I struggled down the stairs and dropped it on to the back of the waiting car ,( The hostel offers a free shuttle back to the trail head)
Okay Snailtrainer have you got everything? The owner said.
I bloody well hope so I replied. Then we were moving. Monson is a really lovely town and i enjoyed my stay with you. I told the owner .
She was really pleased and asked why I chose it . so I explained.
We are here. I thanked her and retrieved my pack and slowly hoisted it up onto myback.
Omg I winced. .well it can only get lighter I laughed to myself waved goodbye and set off down the trail . I hadn’t gone far when I felt thst something wasnt right with my left shoe. could be a wrinkle in.my sock. so I stopped smoothed out my socks . dropped several vit-Is and continued on my way again I hadn’t gone far when I ran into Truck. she was flipflopping but she shieked when I said my name. Fame at last I laughed. But she had been hiking a while with Dan & Beth Magic and Red so we gossiped for a good ten minutes.
I pushed on but the beginning of the trsil was littered with roots thst really twisted my shoes hurting my feet ..and these shoes were new do didn’t have any give yet. so my feet were being hurt so a few. obscenities filled the air . At last the roots faded out. and i came to a sign telling mecthst in was now entering the 100 mile wilderness and that ok should be prepared. or I should turn back.
my heavy pack reminded me thst i was prepared. so.i laughed to myself. took.the obligitary photo. and marched on
By mid morning I had passed about a dozen beautiful lakes or ponds . and the sun was now begining to shine.. I now began to climb and was soon on large slabs of rock but these were made of slate. as I climbed I began to see several sea planes I presumed. they were going to the festival in Monson. I pushed on. and soon arrived a beatiful river thst dropped in tone gorge far below . Day here were Peanut and Poppins. hey guys I said . They must be taking lunch as began to.move as I got there ..See you later Snail. they called as they vanished into the woods.
I took some photos then took off after them.. I followed the river for some time then split off and arrived at a beaver lake I crossed over just behind the dam then I was on the boards . I bounced over the boards. as they zig zaged through the forest . I then emerged on the opposite bank of the Beaver pond . Perfect for moose but not today . as I walked I scoured the marshes , but nought. The trail then took x sharp right back into. he forest and shortly ok was climbing again on the huge slate slabs
It wasn’t month before I was rewarded with amazing views of the water meadow and beaver pond below
Then I saw another seaplane and tried to film it. not sure I’ll.look later. I pushed on. as I find these easy to walk over
It was now really hot . the huge slabs radiating the heat upwards . phew but with my new shoes I had more confidence in the grip and was able to almost race. across them and walk. down the walls. with out falling
Soon I was joined by the river again thst made me think that the water crossing must be coming up. It’s another. ford so shoes off. i followed the river for almost 30 minutes untill I caught peanuts and Poppins dog walker with them for a while untill we reached the crossing
. There was a girl halfway across and on the other bank were mousetrap and sunshine. I waved to them then removed my pack and started to remove my shoes and socks . hung them high on my pack ,put my phone in the brain along with my Mp3 player Put on my flipfops then i was ready. I joked with Poppins I’m starting with two flip flops see if I finish with two.
As I slid into the water i slipped on the rocks and almost fell over. Good start I thought. I grabbed the rope and inched my way over using my pole to balance.
Hurrah over . I sat on a rock and ate an applexas my feet dried . then watched Poppins come across followed by peanut. Then So-hum and kaleidoscope arrived and Kaleidoscope seemed to just walk across.
I put on.my socks and shoes said see you all up the trail and marched on up the trail
I wanted to get to the next shelter which was about 6 miles away and it was now 2pm and who knows whats in front . I pushed on popping a boiled sweet into my mouth trying to.make it last as long as I could . Well it helped pass the time . I soon came go yet another beaver pond and the trail had been rerouted but was confusing . but I managed to navigate around . sadly no beavers . The rest of the after noon I crossed stream after steam with the occasional river .The clarity of the river water always amazes me
Once across I began to climb then imeaditly decend. but I was now on chunks of rock that i struggle to walk over . this then led to a large talus field that was from.an old rock slide. several river crossings later Poppins and Peanut cruise past me shortly followed by Kaleidoscope and So-hum . Whee are you heading snail? they asked
Trying for the shelter i replied
We are going to camp.just past the river .
Okay I said I see how I feel!
I exited out onto a road. and followed. them as they disappeared back.ontonthe trail.and crossed the river.
I crossed it too then decided to water up. .As I climbed up.i noticed several hikers a d their tents. hi guys unsaid and hiked on . then I noticed kaleidoscope and So-hum in a great spot down by the river. see you tomorrow guys. , nice spot!!
I continued on passing several other nice spits . when I came to a third I thought . No I..going to stop .it was 5.30 and I had done 15 miles.
I put up my tent made a brew. and as dinner was cooking hung my bag
miles left. 99