Day 144

Friday 31st

Paul had put an extra sleeping bag in my tent as it was predicted to be cold . So, I was so toasty last night and there was no hurry to get up.
But my body clock woke me at 6am so I dozed listening to the pinecones dropping on the tarp above my head.
At 8 I finally emerged visited the porta loo then wandered back to my tent. It was like my pack had exploded in my tent there was stuff everywhere.
my new buckle had arrived from Osprey, so I fitted that and adjusted the hip belt . glued on my hiking patches .then began to pack. My new tent stuff sack had arrived, so I swapped that over.
Again, I seemed to have a ton of food . one day I will get that right. I wandered back to the main area there were a few hikers moving out. I sat at the table while money penny (English gal) cooked me breakfast while I waited, I grabbed a brownie made by local lady . which are fantastic.
I drained my coffee and grabbed another. then scoffed my breakfast. It was a gorgeous morning as I sat in the sun. I really didn’t want to move.
Paul came back from shuttling and said you guys are going to have great views on the summit’s today.
It’s no good I need to move. I went my tent and finished packing. Then I hoisted up my pack Omg it’s heavy . I said my goodbyes and walked up the drive and back to the road. it’s .3 back to the trail . I passed several hikers going the other way

One asked me about the Hiker hut. I said that I liked it and that it worked for me and that he does do shuttles to town.

I reached the trail head crossed over and began to. Hike it has just gone 9 am .
It was nice and cool as I headed into the forest . it was going several large climbs but oddly I was really looking forward to them

My first was going to be Saddle Back mountain, the biggest climb of the day The start was gentle., passing several lovely lakes . I met many sobos and short hikers. crossed several bogs then the climbing started. then Kaleidoscope and her man came through . Fuck am .I that slow . we gave each other abuse laughing see you guys up the trail.

It was just over 3 hours till I submitted Saddle back and wow the views were totally amazing .Wow it was a great day to hike a clear day so I could see for miles. Kaleidoscope and ahem were just finishing their lunch as I arrived.

So, as they got up. I took. Their spot. I enjoyed some on a is but really, I could have sat here all day as the views were just breathtaking.

eventually I hiked on as I had my next mountain to climb named the Horn, but of course I must go down first. From the top of Saddleback, it was easy to see my route and in the distance was Kaleidoscope. Wow they got there fast but yes, they are fast.

The down wasn’t too bad, and I was soon climbing again and the up was fairy sketchy in places. As I climbed, I ran into another trail crew who were replacing some stairs (Rock steps) Great job a said puffing and panting . Before continuing

At last the trail began to get easier . thank you . And i began to climb up more of the huge rock slabs so it didnt take too long untill i was at the top of the horn whoop whoop. Again the views were incredible .okay Snail 1 more to climb today then we can look to camp .

The down from this one was fairly crappy .huge rocks to clamber over . knarly roots to trip you so I came down fairly slow in fact incredibly slow . But I don’t want to fall and hurt myself or break some thing especially this close to the end .

Eventually the trail flattened out .As I was about to head down a bit more I passed several other hikers . I chatted to them. and they said thst they were helping Pappy. This is the 87 yr Old hiking the

Appalachian Trail. The last time I saw him was in the Shenandoah’s As I continued, we met, So I grabbed another opportunity to get a photo with him . What a great inspiration you are I said . Then on to my final climb Saddleback Junior.

Again, the climb wasn’t too bad. I had to navigate over many bogs before once again I was on rock . Again, once I had submitted the views just kept getting better. I could see my whole route that I had just completed. I stood staring for several minutes before starting the decent.

As I’m about to descend a group of 10 young students puffed their way up. They are on orientation or to me Team building .

Once they had all climbed up, I began my decent. It was steep. And slippy at first . which then turned into mud.

I navigated around these until the duck boards reappeared .

The trail st last became nice allowing me to put in some spurts of speed.

I shortly began to smell that typical smell associated with Privies or rather human Poo.

I must be close I thought then saw the privy. Maybe it’s the rock or water source but they seem to be built a long way from camp.

Tents I can see tents and then. The shelter. I dropped my pack found a flat spot then put up my tent.

The other guys were here, camping nearby in the woods there were 3 others here. a lovely lady . and xxx

I grabbed water then began cooking supper. One of the other hikers has hung his hammock in the shelter .

after dinner I lit a fire and we sat chatting. As we did another group of students arrived. who were doing another orientation?

They headed a little way into the woods.

As we sat chatting by the fire I was asked if I had tried a ‘Smore’ Nope what is it ?

It’s a marshmallow that you toast so its golden then you sandwich between 2 biscuits and a square of chocolate. it’s better if the biscuits have been close to. The fire so that the chocolate is soft or melty.

Sounds yummy and I know my DAUGHTER would love it.

As we talked on . one of the guys from. The group came over to ask if we minded if they came to the fire after they had eaten. The rest of the hikers said to him this British guy doesn’t know what a smore is !!

Oh, he said then returned several. Minutes later with all the bits the biscuits , the chocolate and of course marshmallows.

Then they demonstrated how to make one.

Wow I’m. Hooked I love them. I sat a little longer then returned to my tent. I chatted. a while with the group of students then it was. time for Zizz

Start. 1970.5
Finish. 1981
Miles. 10.5
Miles left. 210

Day 137

Friday 24th August

my alarm went off I silenced it then the next

it had just gone 7 when I finally emerged

Bugger in wanted to be up earlier. so why did switch of the alarms. I groggily got up visted the loo then the Bear box . there were so many hikers streaming out of camp as the shelter was packed last night. I made my way to the cooking area and made tea I was going to make breakfast too but I couldn’t be bothered .It was late and I knew it was going a slow getaway.

I first needed to repair or sort out my pack . I grabbed my fanny pack the buckle looked similar. msy be thstcwould work . I cut off the buckles and removed the broken one pack ureka!! it fits. thank god .

hopefully it will do until I can order a new one from Osprey.

As I walked out of camp I could still here the boys .

I continued up.the side trail back to the trail at the signpost to the camp I stared at it the distance was faded but read 1800 yards. still it was further than thst.

I pushed on happy thst my buckle was now fixed off would of been a night mare with out it and I would if probably gone into the first town.

The morning always start with a climb and so today’s was no exception. the views were great nut it’s a similar view for the last four of days stunning but once you have seen trees you have seen them domi pushed on and over more rock thst saps your strength and gets you’re heart pumping.


down I began to hear voices a d soon came across a group of 8 hikers . excuse me I said and they all stood aside to let me through. Thank you.

I pushed on while i had the momentum and energy. ha ha .

soon I was on the duck boards I like these as they are level and straight. meaning your not weaving in and out of the trees. which I find annoying once over the boards the trail dipped down and sharply.

This is the bit that kills my knees and it went down and down and down and down and down some more . the last bit was a stone stair case which again kills the knees I normally go down sideways as it feels better. but every now and then the step is steep meaning you really have to stretch your leg .

at last I was at the bottom and several creeks ran past

so Checked my map to see if I needed water or if I could push on. Nope there is plenty of water ahead . Great so less to carry. I did a small climb then I we in the forest on a smooth wide FLAT! path . that’s been a while such a joy to walk on I followed the creek along on this lovely path. I decided that I would take a break at 1pm or the shelter …..Whatever came first. It was the shelter..I dropped my pack and decided I’d make a brew. I was just pouring the water on tea when iron man arrived.

he relaxed and had lunch as I did. Then a family and grandad and grandma. came along theyvwefe looking for a Falls . but I hadn’t see any neither had iron man. so they continued on .Then the Boys arrived Sasquatch and short mile looked as they had , had a swim. we exchanged insults then they pushed on as they were getting off at the road to resupply again in xxx xxx

after they passed kaleidoscope and ahem passed by. I packed up.and continued on

As I hiked on a man came up.the trail saying there is magic in the patking lot. Great thanks I said

I wasn’t long till I arrived there was Sasquatch short mile, Samaritan, Iron man, kaleidoscope Ahem and the lady doing the magic. we swapped a dozen more insults then the lady passed me a bowl of salad it was a chicken ceaser salad bloody tasty i washed that down with orange juics followed by a large chocolate milk. there were loads of muffins too..but a half hour before I had stopped for lunch typical .

the boys were going into town from here and the lady said that she would take them.I ambskways amazed at the generosity of people out here.

I wished them.well plus more insults and hiked out

thevtrsil goes down a d across a huge I was emjoyingbtj view a customised car came by .itvwas a pickup and I lived it it had a 3.5 Chevy engine in it and looked fab

Once across the river it was approximately 7 more miles to camp and just for a change it was up

And steep I spent the afternoon climbing and by 4pm I was exhausted . as I sat on the top of another hill.

I checked my phone .I had service so quickly phoned osprey. I spoke to Christopher who was very helpful and would do his best to get the new buckle to me by Monday.

I felt chuffed. and as I hiked on was actually flying untill I got to the next big climb and my energy level dropped to empty.

how much further ..I calculated 6.30 and as I hike north the daylight is fading by 7 so dinner on the dark.

I pushed on my watch pinged 6pm great can’t be much further.. The trail has this annoying habit. that The last mile is like an army obstacle course thst true go kill you. and it’s even more fun when your knackered . tired and just want your bed..I was struggling fown The last climb when I heard voices behind me was kaleidoscope and ahem..I let them pass. as thevtrsil to.the campsite was just in front.

At last I passed several tents , the privy and bear box. Then i saw Iron man..I set to him then we ate together.

I expected Samaritan and his crew to arrive but maybe they have stayed in town


Start. 1885
Finish. 1899
Miles. 15
miles left. 291

Day 136. wildcats

Thursday 23rd August

I was awake early but I mustcafmit it was lovely to sleep in a big bed.

I went down stairs at 6.30 used the looo then went back to my bed to start sorting out my stuff. I have too much i always have too much I carry too.much. Once I was packed I took my packndown stairs and weighed it. 46lb I’m probably one of the heaviest on trail and you do not win prizes for being heavy but it’s always aground this weight

I made coffee and had a good go at my ice cream that I forgot to eat last night. grrrr.

at last itvwas shuttle time I out my pack in the car with my fellow hikers.We were b ing driven by a friend of Paul’s and wow how knowledgeable She was. Born and bread she knew every hill, and trail. as he told us aboht the family thst owned all of the land. The man who built the road to Mt Washington and the man who laid thec tracks for the train.

Soon we were back at pinkleys nudge . We thanked our driver as we removed our packs from the boot.

I hoisted mine up and walked across the road Samaritan and his crew headed the other way May be getting a coffee or something . As I stepped foot on the trail I noticed there was a definite chill in the sir and shivered. Next minute Samaritan returned as they had headed the wrong way. Sasquatch and short mile zoomed to the front and took off. I walked with Samaritan for a while as he was a bit fed up trying to keep up with the other two as they are much faster. we were chatting away, the next minute I have slipped and I am.about to face plant a rock, Somehow I managed to twist my neck and avoid the rock but gashed my arm and leg. Fuck fuck I said and a few words.

Samaritan was amazed that I didn’t smash my face..great save he said and are you okay ?

Yes I’m.oksy more embarrassed than hurt although my leg stung.

We pushed on a short way until.the climbing started.

scrambling at first then proper climbing hands and feet I was busy concentrating then a dog ran by me . yes a dog almost up.a vertical wall followed by his owner!.

I continued on slowly . as slow is safe and safe is slow every now and then we would reach a small summit with great views. Of course Washington was clear. and you could see the Auto route snaking its way UP

the mountain range is called Wildcats and is a fairly famous ski slopes. I continued on it was over 2 hours before I reached the summit. and just a bit further was the ski lift with its gondolas.

I joked with the crew thstvi should of taken that up.

I took a few pictures then carried on as there were 3 More climbs in the Wildcat group .

I pushed on passing several sobos and day hikers several mountains later andcsgain I came to a clearing with great views .There was a couple with their dog and so they were able to tell me call about the different mountains.

it’s .7 down to the Hut he said and 1.7 up the next climb which is pretty shitty!

Okay onwards and downwards as I wanted to get to Imp shelter at least another 10 miles away.

The Down was really sketchy slippery with loose gravel. after my fall earlier I was being more careful so it took me almost an hour to get down.

Once down I was presented with two stunning lakes or ponds. . The hut was .1 away but as i wanted to visit it i took the blue blazed trail.

When i arrived I noticed the familiar packs lent against the wall. So wasn’t supprised to see the gang inside.

Have the cake Snail it’s good and so is the soup.

I ordered both plus a chunk of bread.

yep the soup was good one of the best . as the other have been a bit thin. the cake was really really good. Once I had finished my food i went to the loo.

Omg they are pretty stunning . clean and they look fairly recently built as they still smell of pine

The hutd that you. stay in look recently built too . A few pennies to stay !!

I grabbed water then began the challenge of the next climb.

I hadn’t gone too far when I met several people good luck.they all said.

It was another hour before I came to the top of this one

By now it was hot!

the rest if the day was spent climbing and decending. every now and then I was rewarded with an amazing view

I was pushing when I almost ran into a rabbit it stopped looked at me then ran off.

It was closely followed by a Martin. I tried to video. but he was far too fast. but it was lovely to see

as i continued on several of the guys from hostel shot past me as they were Sobos. maybe the other end may be easier ha ha

I decided to take a 10 minute break. I glugged some lemonade and ate a snickers . I was just about to move on when iron man came by. I fell in behind him .he was fast on the straights but omg on the tricky climbs he was useless. I had to wait at the top of each one as he climbed painfully down. but I have these moments do.i was patient . eventually it flattened and he took off

..thank God as I seemed to have lost a fair bit of time

typical I was tired and it was still at least a mile to go

I pushed on. and shortly came to a v shaped gorge although I was was vertical so your walking along the slant. off I was the next minute I’m laying on my back again fuck fuck I wasn’t hurt but I heard a click which turned out to be a snap.

the force of me going on arse caused my hip belt buckle to snap. That’s a big FUCK. as now my packs weight was all on my shoulders and because I had watered up itvwas close to 48lb again . I shouted a few more obscenities to the trees and struggled on with my broken pack . At last a sign to the campsite. it read 800 yards thank god for that. but I walked and walked and walked it was closer to .8 of a mile.

I found the care taker. she looked stressed.

So you want to camp?

I did think thst was obvious and I did want to say no judt come for a ice cream but I resisted. she pointed out the dinning area and the Bear box and privy. She then walked me to a camp spot. the boys were here plus it ironman. she pointed to a postage stamp piece of ground. . I laughed. I can’t get my tent in there as I’m large. What about the big empty tent platform?

Oh I’m expecting a big group so I’m keeping it free your havrvto put your tent in front of mine . so I followed her back

Yep I could get it in there nut it wasn’t very level. You would of thought being here all day the caretakers could spend a bit of time on the tent pads ( bare earth) just levelling them .

Butvi was tired I had a spot. I threw tent then food and chair down to the eating area. Sasquatch short mile and Samaritan where still eating . I said that was cheap $5 for the spot and ,$ 5 for here to read me a bed time story. they laughed.

It was late by the time I finished cooking took late really but I did get to see a wonderful sunset

I finished off then made my way back to my tent. and was soon asleep.

Start. 1871

Finish. 1885

Miles. 14

miles left 306

Day 141

Tuesday 28th August

I had set the alarm for 5 am to hopefully hit the trail by 6 and claw back some of those miles.

But typically I woke to the sound of heavy rain so didn’t move until it began to slow.

Once it did I quickly packed up before making a brew and breckfast . I was sitting on a tree stump do ing my tea when the rain returned with vengeance. I covered up my pack and finished my tea.

My back groaned as I hoisted my pack I blame the wet tent.

It was just over 4 miles to the next shelter and up . As I walked my mind argues with it’s self ….You should of gone on . I needed to rest. I let them argue!!!!

The trail wasn’t that nice rocky and twisty such fun…… As I made my way up the sun decided to come out and so it soon became humid and me soaked. It was just over 2 hours before I reached the shelter. It was deserted except for one lonely sleeping hiker ..Bless.

I carried on past and down the other side. It was bloody steep too steep for my knees that. complained. It was another hour till I was down and emerged into a lovely little campsite. This was my actual target for Yesterday. But the pond was my choice.

As I made my way through I noticed some huge tarps a d wondered if there was trail magic ? But couldn’t see anyone. I then had to cross a wide river and in the morni g light it looked beautiful.

I was now time for my second climb again steep as I made my way up wyman mnt I began to hear voices .I presumed other hikers coming down .But as I got higher I could see it was a trail crew. They were replacing/ building new steps. It’s quite fascinating to watch as i stood there panting the lady crew said yes this mountain kicks your butt.

Thanks for that I said you could of waited till I was at the top.

I carried on up and 10 minutes later came across another crew doing the same. They had a large block and tackle to move these giant rocks . again I’m.impresed and thanked them.for their hard work .

Yes she was right this mountain did kick my butt. at the top I collapsed and took off my was a great view now as I rested and ate a few snacks

Okay let’s go 1 down 2 more to go Old Blue mountain was.nect and this was a killer

its not a gentle path up these mountains it’s hand over hand climbing and it’s not straight up .you climb a bit you go down a little then you doodle through the forest navigate a big or two then you climb some more. then it’s s huge down before you climb again. Old Blue took me 2 hours and as soon as there was a place I could collapse into then I did.

Omg I am completely knackered and I still have about 8 miles to go for my target and it was 2pm

So I made a brew and ate the rest of my snacks . As I sat there another exhausted hiker appeared. Take my seat in done.

I hoisted up my pack and continued on and of course down . After a while I came to a spring and watered up. I still wanted to get to the shelter but in case I didn’t make it. there was water on the trail and nearer but I like the dog I g water if possible as I do not filter. I pushed on . come Snail you can do this and headed for mountain no 3 Ben is mountain

The climb started similar then I was back to the boards . theses had seen better days and so it was a change drying to keep you feet dry. I kept pushing but didnt want to fall as the trail here was so slippery

As I climbed even higher the wind came. It was fairly terrifying as many of the trees were bending and groaning and the roots were lifting on some. Great I thought crushed by a tree

As I came to an opening I great a great view of some amazing lakes in the far distance one is Lower Richardson lake they look huge.

As I was taking more photos Peach zoomed past. You gpingvyp the shelter Snailtrainer,?

Yes if my legs hold out i said

Peach then vanished..I’m sure he’s half goat , the way he skips down the mountains.

I was beginning to tire it was 6.30 it would take me at least another hour as the trail was rock, bog and steep slabs. and when I’m tired I go slower as that’s when I fall and hurt myself.

Where is that shelter I crossed over big plates of rock

I was worried thst msy be I missed it as I should be there by now

It seemed to take hours untill I spotted a tent. Thank fuck I said to myself. as I had, had enough. The best flat spots had been taken but as I was so tired I didn’t care. and so quickly threw my tent up. Imeaditly made a brew then made a Ramin bomb, ramin and mashed potato . but I added cranberries and bacon. Bloody good .washed fown with a second brew.

It was now pitch dark so straight to bed.

The wind is howling high above me @!

Start. 1936

Finish. 1953

Miles. 17

miles left. 246


Day 142 to Rangely…!

Wednesday 29th Aug

I was awake by 5 but dozed to half past. then hot up and went to find the loo I should of asked last night as I wandered aimlessly around for 10 minutes

But wow what a loo it’s new and large quite grand in fact .

once back at my tent ( no food bag to collect as i slept with it .)

it’s not the bears it’s the rodents!!!!!!!!

I put my stove on for a brew and breckie as I stripped down.there was a girl at the back she got up and in seconds was packed and walking out amazing. sadly I’m not that fast .

I scoffed my instant oats .slurped my tea and then I was away .Snail today’s target was 17 miles can you do it ….

Well I was going to try .

I walked back to the trail .and I was away ..small climbs at first then I was up on the rock. I’m sure this trail was drawn as a doodle as I seemed to be going round in circles. But then wow what a view . the lakes … I stood for a few minutes then pushed on . It was going to be a lot of climb a in the morning then a straight down to Rangely . But my map often lies . The climbs were more up, up down up ,up down up ,up, up up down a bit then flatish .

The trouble with these is they kill me .. but I pushed on .I have to say trail was bloody good . nice and kind a few weaves and a lot of bog crossings which is FUN and challenging. ha ha

in the distance I began to hear cars . oh good a road. I chugged up a steep incline and then Wow..Bloody wow . what an amazing views of Rangely lakes.

Rangely is famous for its ski resorts. .it’s where the young Olympic hopefuls come to train and in summer it’s a fisherman’s paradise. so a busy tourist place.

There was a bench that I collapsed into . and as I was eating few snacks a German hiker called xxx came by.

we studied the maps together . cool 4.5 miles to the power lines then down into Rangely. but sometimes my maps lie

I headed off first, knowing he would soon whizz by me .Which he did .

My next target was the hut (lean to) by the lake that would be my almost halfway point of 8.5 miles. . I shortly came to the lake which looked so idyllic. the trail follwed it around and then There was the shelter whoop and itvwas only 12 pm To have got this .(nut I do not know what is ahead)

I got water from.the lake then walked up the side trail towards the shelter. There were several tent platforms.zi dumped my stuff then walked up to the shelter .I signed the register then walked back to my gear.

I put on a brew and ate snacks . a fellow hiker came and went as i relaxed in the sun.

It was whilst I was here ithst I noticed that my phone was low on charge

odd I thought and plugged in the battery . The battery said ” im Dead” Bollocks . not now I need you … Oh well It is what it is

Okay snail we need another 8

I pushed on and was so pleased when I passed the power lines .but then my God wouldn’t fix and kept telling me I had 12 miles to go . No no thst can’t be right . I ignored it and just hiked on. so spent the next hour crossing bog after bog untill at 3 pm I needed a break .It was at this time my phone died Great!!!!!

I sat and ate the rest of my snacks .I was Hoping to meet u.with a friend but with no phone I’m blind !!

I pushed on u till I came to so.e BlackBerry bushes here my speed dropped. As I gorged on these little gems ..

Come on Snail ……

I pushed on as my watch pinged 5pm oh god how much further Then i passed a sign day 1 miles. thanks Maine guys I like that. several bogs later and a few scary slab manoeuvres and i at the road. nut with no phone do.i go right or left .

As I sat pondering a guy got dropped off . Which way to Rangeley I asked. it’s left

nut walk on the left hand side until.your past the barrier

And there’s the hiker hut there . why don’t you stay there?

-I thanked him and set off up the road. Eventually coming to.a sign for the Hiker Hut. I stood there for 10 minutes with my thumb out. Before deciding to go check out the place.

I walked down and into a beautiful garden . sat at the table were the German duo of Father and daughter. The man in charge appeared any room.i asked I have only the tent. I looked, i liked . Yes that will do me . he then gave me supper $7 and i washed that down with two beers. He was then heading to town do I could grab a shower at the sorts ground and then vrsb a six pack . COOL I said jumping in his car.

The sports Center was a trendy Gym . I signed in and enjoyed a long shower. Input on. clean clothes then headed to the store. Xxx then arrived. and dropped me off at the store.

I’ll be back had said there are 2 other hikers in there.

O grabbed s basket got some more cash then began to shop.

I only came on for beer .but while I’ Then i ran into the two hikers ….. It was Kalidascope and Ahem

Hey your clean was the conversation ….

I whizzed around grabbing nits then beer. I grabbed s six pack of Shipyard 5.5% yummy.

As I got back into the car it was an amazing sun set over the lakes but sadly no camera .

Once back I chilled with other hikers then off to my tent which i really like .

Night all

Start. 1953

Finish. 1970.5

Miles. 17.5

miles left. 220

Day 135 Zero in Goreham

Wednesday 22 August

I didn’t need to get up as I’m on a Zero

But I had chores to do, I finally

I emerged at 7 am .I looked at the sky it was Black. it looked very threatening. a few drops began to fall. Fuck it. I quickly dropped my tent and threw it into the barn. so had just fit it into the dry when it threw it down

I packed up and brought my pack upstairs. I continued editing video . phoned Big Agnes to get a new tent bag.

Samaritan and his team were going for breakfast so i tagged along. we walked to.the testurant in the pouring rain once at he restaurant , it was packed so it seemed to take a while to order and even longer to get our food. I had the hungry hiker thstvwas 2 eggs sausage home fries toast and French toast..I added bacon and a toasted blueberry muffin.

When it eventually came it was bloody good .

We walked back and I began to sort my gear again..okay I need to go to Wal-Mart.

I walked back down town and waited for the bus. itvwas 2 bucks .

I was soon At Wal-Mart. I looked again at suitcases and then brought a new drive to once again clean down my phone.

Once down I grabbed the bus back..Again I visted the post office and a d sent kit back.upthe trail.

Back at the hostel I relaxed.cleaned down my phone and watched tv.

At 5 I went and grabbed more beer then cooked pasta for tea. so made plenty and shared it with others.

Start. 1871

Finish. 1871

Miles. zero

miles left 319

Day 134

Tuesday 21st August

I was up. And out as I needed to get to north Compton Post office as I had stupidly sent a package there and hadn’t the cell service to change it.
The slog up the side trail that I went down last night was a struggle . How I walked down it in the dark last I don’t know.
It seemed to take me ages to get back to the Hut.

I went inside got my book stamped refilled with water  then re-joined the trail.
The start was a climb up Mt Monroe, and it was rock, and it was steep. The soles of my feet were sore from yesterday so ached as I walked hopefully, I can block that out .
As I climbed the views were amazing, but it was a tough climb. I was following the Cairns, but it was still hard trying to plot my route to the next cairn. I was soon puffing and panting . But the views were amaze g and typically Mt Washington was clear in the distance.

At last I reached the summit andd wow what a view . I stood on the top for several minutes just staring at the amazing views. But I was on a tight schedule as I needed to get go the post office.

I headed down or rather to the ridge. The views were stunning . and I was just amazed at their beauty. I stumbled and hesitated my way down to a flat surface.

As I began to reach the tree line, I met an Australian south bounder  called shield maiden that made me smile as it’s a term .from. Vikings that is one of my favourite tv programs.
at last I was off the rocks. and began to head down into the trees .
I hadn’t gone far until. I ran into Passenger, Sir mix lot, bleep and Ossie. We exchanged verbal insults as they were slackpacking south as we continued our way. Next it was the commander and Wander Woman Wander Woman gave me advice about the trail.

At last the and less rocky and I was able to get some speed up.or rather I thought I was faster.

come on snail I urged my way on as I wouldn’t be at the trail head until 1.30 then I had a double hitch .
I was still heading down, but I thought I was going good on time
I crossed several creeks as I continued down from. Monroe.
Then  crossed over a large creek via a suspension bridge

I was busy stomping down the trail when I came snagged on s branch stupidly, I wrenched free, only to find that it was my tent stuff sack that’s caught so it was now ripped in two and my tent fluttered out behind me. I was more concerned that in May of ripped my tent, so I had to stop to. I investigate. Luckily not . so, had to carry out a quick repair / bodge on my tent bag then I was on my way.
I shortly emerged onto a road. shall I hitch I pondered.
as forestry can appeared and stopped so I asked the driver for advice on how to get to the post office. He recommended continuing to Pickcom Notch. Do that’s what I did. I soon began to see people which meant that I was close.
Soon I was there . I went inside to grab a soda. Outside was pippin and Sparks

I gave the normal abuse then headed for the road and to hitch to North Compton
It was 10 minutes before I had a ride .the guy was an all-round dude. hiker, surfer, skier etc. he made me feel quite dull .as he was my age May be older. but a great car companion. He ended up dropping me at the post office. I grabbed my new Snozzel bag from Xped posted my tourist stuff up the trail , then headed back to the road. my driver suggested that I walk to the next set of lights then hitch.

It worked  a lady stopped, she was retired and had just been fishing
As we drove, she said bugger my golf has been cancelled so  I might as well take you to Gorham. As originally, she was going to drop me off at the road junction.
Where do you want to go, she asked…?
I wasn’t sure so got out my phone. The Hostel. I said.
It’s right there she said pointing to the right.
She dropped me right outside the hostel.

I thanked her and lugged my pack. Up the driveway.
I pushed the bell.
Do you have a bed I asked?
Sorry we are full. I thought…….Do you have tenting?
Yes, I have tenting .
Okay then that would be good, do you have a bed for tomorrow ?
Yes, I do .
Great so I booked in and paid.
I quickly put up my tent and relaxed.
Once settled in  I then walked to the Post office and picked up my
On the way back I got some snacks for tea and beer.
Once back I sorted through my stuff. The relaxed in the barn with my fellow hikers and relaxed.

Start. 1864
Finish. 1871
Miles. 7
Miles left

Day 91 zero in port Clinton

Monday 9th July
I heard several other hikers moving around at 6 am but I had chores to do so there was no hurry. at 8 am I got up for the customary see but as I was in public, I wandered over to the porta Potty.
I then returned to my bed. and was dozing when several ladies appeared bringing in food.
There’s going to be coffee and eggs one of the ladies announced.
so, I got up . and walked over to where they were setting up.
There was indeed bacon . boiled eggs and a sort of omelette that was so tasty. I also had coffee. then the ladies brought around juices . and bagels . then insisted that we have more .
Well that was unexpected and really nice .
Okay haircut time .I walked to the barber’s carrying my old poles and bits that I wanted to post.
I walked into the barber’s and was amazed it was like Aladdin’s cave. filled with memorabilia and brick a brack and all the chairs where rocking chairs
There was a man having his hair cut so good I will be next then I can get on
But No.
Once the man had paid .The barber began doing other stuff.
Then he looked at me . and asked do you want your hair cut?
Well yes, I do .

A few minutes he said and began to fill cases with silver coins and other trinkets .
Get yourself a coffee and pastry. there are cookies there and relax
Then the father and daughter hikers arrived but they just wanted a lift. One of my customers will take you. just relax.
Almost 40 minutes later he’s ready for me. but as he starts to cut my hair, he keeps having conversations with everyone as the shop gradually fills up.
Then 2 more members of staff arrive and again he starts to cut my hair then wanders off to chat to more customers .
I’m still sat in the chair when noproblama arrives . but only to charge his phone

omg a 45-minute hair cut but it did look good. I pay and go to retrieve my phone and noproblama laughs at the amount of time that it took .
Yes, I said as I need to get to the post office. doesn’t open untill.12.30 ,!!
Really, I say . bugger I was hoping to head straight back out well after tree hugger gets in
So, I grab a chair and continue to charge it whilst editing video
Then Tree hugger appears .
Snail is this yours .  he says passing me my puffy that I had left in the last motel
Well thank you so much . really appreciate it thanks again .

With us  all together I grab a photo if all if us and me in the chair.
Tree Hugger decides to get his hair cut .so I say my goodbyes as he is staying in a hotel in the next town .and it’s now 12.30.
I walk to the Post office and . hand over my I’d
there should be a couple of packages for me.
He comes Back with 4 ,my new poles, new tips, new socks and a case for my phone.
I box up my old poles and a few other bits then post them up the trail.

At last I wander back to the pavilion. I cut the new ends into my poles. then sort out my other bits . The case for my phone is good but the glass is the wrong size and it’s not worth returning it. oh well my mistake.

I decide to sort out some paperwork and drink a few beers from yesterday. Then I decide it’s not worth hiking out now and as my foot is still painful  so a longer rest wouldn’t hurt
In the Pavilion. several other hikers are resting ,it seems a good idea, so I decide to do the same and grab fourty winks with my foot elevated.

At 5pm Robin hood decides to go for food
Where are you going, I asked
To the Hotel snail?
I don’t think they open on a Monday, but the fire station club is, and they do snacks and cheap beer.

You fancy coming Snail?
Yeah why not .
On the way to town  we decide to check  on the Hotel., but  it as we approach a lady shouts out
“They are closed on a Monday”
Okay then.
So, we head to the fire station and push the bell. when the light goes orange, we can open the door.
We enter then ask several patrons if they would mind signing us in .
Then we can order some beer. The local ale is yinglang. and it is served in frosted glasses.
I then order some food . which I soon dispose of.
I manage to make the whole bar laugh by asking for a serviette. The barman is confused. Oh, sorry I say a Napkin.

Several of the locals buy me beer and I’m just about to leave when 2 more beers arrive
I must go after these I insist .
When at last I exit the fire station there is a nip in the air .and wished I had brought my puffy which I now have back.
I must admit I enjoy the walk back at dusk watching the fireflies dart about

once back at the Pavilion I pack up my gear so I’m ready to go first thing.
Then I swallow a couple of Pm to help me sleep then I’m gone

Start 1185
Finish 1185.
Miles. ZERO

Day 86 Heading to Duncannon

Heading to Duncannon

I lay awake staring at the sky as I hadn’t had to put my fly on.
To my right I could hear someone packing up and so it was time to do the same. Groggily I unzipped my tent walked a few paces and enjoyed my morning wee.
I quickly packed up and then. Lit my stove as my neighbour hoisted his pack said the customary see you up the trail as he walked back towards the trail. I enjoyed my cuppa before finishing my packing .I then walked down to the shelter dropped my pack and headed towards the loo.
The loo here is known as the Taj Mahal as it’s huge . Bigger than some shelters I’ve seen
I was soon back on the trail and I only had 11 miles to get me into town whoop
It was early but still warm as made my way along the trail, but I was heading down . At last a breeze. that’s oh so nice.
The down didn’t last long and soon I was puffing up the obligatory up, but at a rather good speed and was soon catching another hiker in front . who turned out to be my last night’s neighbour.
I soon was at the top and the trail began to level out? in fact it stayed like this for most of the Day. Then the rocks arrived, and I was soon tripping over them and swearing. okay I’ll take a break in a minute I said to myself. Then I noticed another hiker in front sitting on a low. He was at the shelter when I arrived last night but hiked out. We chatted for a while then I. Pushed on a little way along there was a clearing giving me a great view of the river and town. I must be near I thought. As I carried on, I could hear voices below okay I must be going down soon . I could then see 3 people sat on a large rock outcrop. But by the time I had reached their level they had gone. The trail now dived down nut was made of rock steps. I tried to speed up slipped kicked a rock killing my toe and decided that that was not clever. I then did it again almost rolling my ankle. a string of rude words filed the air and I began to descend even slower.

At last I was standing on a road. But the trail wasn’t very clear. so, I checked my phone.
okay this way . the trail crossed a bridge then eventually would snake its way through town.
A little way in the distance I could see a garage. and a smile appeared on my face.
Oh it’s so lovely walking from heat into air con. I grabbed a basket and put in 2 lilts , a peach Snapple, 2 oranges, an Apple, a fruit jelly a pint of strawberry ice cream and a bugspray. I then paid walked across the street sat at a picnic table and ate and drank the lot . I was just tidying up when a man stopped his truck and came over to chat . although I wanted to leave. I was still chatting when three other hikers who were at the shelter last night arrived. . This man was interested in hiking so was hitting us for information and tips.
At last I escaped and walked on heading to Town . by now it was hot . But after my picnic in the park I really needed the loo.
As in was passing Doyle’s hotel I noticed a lady sat outside , who I presumed worked there so I asked if I could use the loo.
You a hiker?
Well yes I am ( Can’t you tell)!!
Come inside leave your pack. need fresh water?

I did as I was told and entered the bar.
Do you serve beer I foolishly asked.
Yes, she said pointing at the pumps?

I ordered a beer then noticed some familiar faces at the other end of the pub It was Sunshine, Mousetrap and nonproblem I think’s his trail name.

Snailtrainer they all exclaimed
So I had hugs l round whist catching upon the gossip. They were playing pool. With some locals and were losing badly. it appeared that Mousetrap and myself were next up, so I grabbed myself another beer. We played well but still lost .

These guys were staying at the local church . But already had reservations at the motel ” Red Carpet”. so, I said goodbye to my friends as I needed beer to take with me.
The Beer shop was huge and was very busy is July 4th. Sadly, all  the beers I fancied only came in huge packs that no way could I carry .I was still pondering when another hiker arrived .Do you want to spit a case I asked?

Yes, snail that’s a great idea

so, we  brought a case and split it  Result. Outside we carefully put the bottles into our packs. I waved goodbye then rang the motel to organise my ride.
He arrived within 10 minutes . I put in my pack then got in. The motel was several miles along the freeway. so not good to hitch.
I checked in got my quarters  for laundry then walked room it was big and spacious.
I quickly transferred my beer to the fridge, Next was laundry so I rounded up all my smelly stuff and walked to the machine, I loaded it up then returned to my room.
I stripped off  and then I jumped into the shower and relaxed under the soothing spray for 20 minutes.
OMG that’s was so good. I walked back to the laundry and transferred my clothes to the dryer.
Now it was beer time. I exploded my pack all over the room and began to sort through my gear. I made a pile of items that I wanted to Post. ( tick).
Then I wrote a letter to exchange my socks ( tick).
I drank my beer as I did my chores.
I retrieved my clothes from the dryer, the two pairs of “Holey” socks I put in a Ziplock along with the letter. I will post tomorrow.

The motel said that they would run me to the restaurant and up so I walked to the reception . A young lad drove me, but it appeared closed ( July 4th) . Okay where next.
I was now getting a burger and fries it looked huge. I grabbed my food and walked back to the motel. On the way  back I passed a hardware store.(( I should have  got gas !!)).

Once back in my room I owned another beer and stuffed my face with burger and chips.
Once full I did more chores, ordered. Tyvek, and a phone case and then relaxed and watched Tv drinking more beer.

Start 1138.6
Finish 1147.9
Miles. 11 miles

Day 85 a Day of Magic

Tuesday 3rd July
After hitting the hiking wall, I was really looking forward to a good night’s sleep………
The train tracks were miles away but when these huge long locomotives pass by crossing, they toot their horns that seemed to echo around the mountain that I had thrown my tent up on . Then it seemed that airplanes high above me hit their turbo or afterburner setting . . At last it went quite .until the sky lit up with lightening. perfect I thought as I waited for the boom of the thunder.
I sleepily got out of my tent and put my fly on . pegged it down then got back pit and closed my eyes and waited for the downpour…. Which never came.
After my poor day yesterday, I decided to get up. Early to beat the heat. so, my alarm went off at 4.30. although it seemed I had only just gone to bed. It’s a fairly good idea to get up early except it’s dark and you can’t find anything.
I hit the trail just before 6 and felt really pleased with myself. Although I was amazed on how warm it was. I pushed on finally escaping from this mountain. it was good trail apart from a few steep climbs to bitch about . I walked for 30 minutes .Then saw bumblebees’ tent, I was impressed that she had got this far as she too looked knackered when I saw her. I saw movement so shouted get up you lazy cow. As I walked, I passed by 4 more tents spread out in various places along the trail. The last tent barked. I recognised it as that annoying dog that I passed yesterday.
A little further along I passed a creek so decided I ought to top up my water as I believe it was a long stretch to the next. Typically, once I had the added weight of water it was time for another climb. Once at the top of course there was nothing to see , although there was a plaque.
I soon headed down then I was in farmland. and it stretched for miles. in the distance I could make out some one walking a dog. .Around the outside of the field there were a few very nice houses. Yes, I’d like that one. Once I was across my first field the trail took an immediate right and crossed another. Barley on one side and grass on the other I . followed this for a while until it promptly stopped by a road. I looked around for the next blaze. It was on a hidden post. I walked a little way up the road until the trail dived into another field. Maize this time and again it seemed to stretch out for miles.
I am so glad that I got up early as these fields would be murder in the sun
I followed around several headland until. the trail headed back into the forest. But it was more of a hedge and I emerged out the other side by a railway track.
I crossed over and in was in the town of springs xx I walked over the bridge and was greeted with a large boating lake. as I walked around it, I noticed a white blaze. oh, so this is the trail.
I asked a lady walking her dog if any shops were open to grab a cold drink ?
The cafe is open at the end if the lake turns left.
I thanked her and set off
It wasn’t far and soon arrived at the cafe which had a Mexican theme, I asked a man seated outside if they come out or do, I have to ?
You go in if your ordering breakfast he said.
I dropped my pack and walked in the air con was lovely and cool I was trying to make mind when a lady began to talk to me . and ask me about my journey and the trail. She then insisted on buying me breakfast. I thanked her so much. The waitress then gave me a number I poured myself coffee from one of the numerous flasks then went to sit outside.

Come join us the lady said. her name was Sandy and she was visiting her sister. we chatted while we ate, and I was so relaxed. but it was getting hot and I needed to push on .
So, I thanked them once again and began to leave. I had just put on my pack when bumble bee appeared .She looked exhausted and hot. zits got aircon if you want to sit inside, I said. but I need to go.
I walked back towards the lake and the AT Centre , outside was Tree Hugger hello you I said . He was interested in my mileage . but I was being coy. whilst here I got my passport stamped filled up with water then I was ready.

The trail follows the road for a while then it heads back into. The Forrest. Oh, and mud, but luckily not too bad to get over and aground. Then I was back into the countryside again . God it was hot and no shade as I pushed on down the trail I then past a lad a d his dad who were out for the weekend. I crossed over a road and into another field. At the next road a voice said do you need anything cold?
It was a lady sat by her car with a large ice box .
yes, please is always the answer.
Yes, passed me can ice cold peach tea Snapple. I hadn’t had one before and it’s taste really hit the spot. oh, she said I’ve ice pops
I devoured 3 before I left .thanking her .
I pushed on crossing maize field after field . the Sun trying to set me on fire.

I crossed another road then crossed a small footbridge and there was another ice chest full of coke, iced tea water and sandwiches .
I chugged some iced tea . which was really refreshing. Then grabbed a coke and sandwich. enjoyed the moment before hiking on .

I checked my watch I was on target, but this heat was relentless. I. Pushed on more farmland .more fields at last I dropped into the forest, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the varied scenery of today.

I walked around the boundary of a farm and chatted to the cows. who were mostly lying down  sheltering under trees ? which is where I would rather be.

After chatting to the cows, I emerged onto a main road the heat radiating from it was intense
I walked quickly to  try to get out of it and back into the cooler field. After 20 minutes I crossed over another road and began to drop. Down into the valley. as I crossed a large stile my water ran out .Mm that’s not good . I stopped and removed my back I carry a pint inn the side back us. I poured that into my bladder and repacked. I then checked my map for where is the next water .

I was just leaving when a hiker came the other way.
There’s trail. Magic by the bridge.
Where is that I asked,
1/2 mile not far.
That news urged me on, and I was soon crossing the bridge.

To the left there were several ice chests . As I walked towards them a lovely lady said help yourself there is sodas on the red one Gatorade on the blue. and snacks take what you want. I removed my pack and set in the shade for a few minutes. Then walked a d grabbed a soda. There were 4 other hikers here. 2 were waiting out the heat . I had another soda. some chocolate and some crisps.

I checked my maps again . whoop only 5 miles to go . I was pleased with today’s progress.
But it’s up one of the hikers said and no water.
Bigger I thought so I decided to take water with me . and in the heat. But sensibly I did wait another 40 minutes before heading out.

The first few miles were nice and gentle then it was up and up and steep .Omg it was steep I was soon soaked and puffing and still it climbed and climbed. and the bastard flies began to attack. . I saw a rock chair and collapsed onto it. puffing and sweating. it was then I noticed the stunning view. I relaxed for 5 minutes. until I had the energy to carry on. At last I was at the summit and there was a sign pointing to the shelter.
I walked down the Blue blazed trail and there was the shelter.
I said hi to the occupants then went and put tent.

I was pleased with my day but was tired so quickly cooked tea and went to bed

Start    1115.6
Finish 1138.6
Miles. 23