April 14th 2022 I was awake a 4.30 excited and nervous, I picked up my bag It groaned under the weight but I was fairly confident. Okay time to go to the pick up point which was near to the post office. So I knew it well. It was a cold morning so I put on my puffy before making my way down and onto the street. The walk to the post office didn’t take long and I was soon there, I gave my name then went inside the building to wait. A guy called Tim was able to sell me gas so i was good, then another guy wrapped my pack in a bin liner to protect it from the dust.!! Then we were on our way 12 hikers were being taken out this morning although it would take several hours to get to the start. Every now and then our drivers would stop to show us the water cache location. At last the monument came into sight…wow
We had our pictures taken followed by group picture. Time to go first steps, I was heading out hauling 5 litres of water (just in case) The trail started flat and I was enjoying my first steps on the CDT, But it began to get hotter and hotter and my pace fell to a plod. I decided that I needed a break then another hour I needed another I took about an hour hiding from the sun. They trail began to follow an old river bed covered in sand which is no fun to walk on. The trail markers where really sparse and somehow I missed one and carried up the canyon for an hour before realising something is not right. I opened my app and then began to swear i had walked almost 2 miles off trail. So a important lesson learnt, it had appeared many others had done the same as there were still numerous footprints .I tried to plot a route back by bushwhacking but every plant here want to to hurt you so with dozens of gashes on my legs I still was nowhere near the trail. So sadly I turned around and walked back the way I had came, I should have done that straight away, dam there’s the bloody trail marker. By now had lost time and miles and was drastically short of water and it was 5 miles to the next cache. I couldn’t do that in this heat and I was spent but it was still too hot to put up my tent so found some shade until it was cool enough to put up my tent and so to bed
What a day Monday was. I had my covid test booked at 9am so was up early.. the drive to the center was quicker than I expected
Due to it being half term. I enter the testing g Centre,sat down and was imeadity swabbed by the nurse. I was done Nd now for the waiting.i nipped into town for a haircut before heading home.
But I was just feeling a little stressed. My result were due before midnight and if I failed there was no plan B..
I tried to make myself busy. Took the bottles to the bottle bank.
Cut the grass, cleaned out the chickens,hoovered the lounge again.
The wait was killing……
I arranged for several of my friends to have one last beer at mine.
That was nice and helped take my mind off the dreaded test..
My friends left at 10 . So I checked my email one more time.Oh my god my results are in and im good to go.
Time for bed as my taxi is due at 5 am
My alarm screemed get up.i we t down stairs and flicked on the kettle. It was quite too quite as my dog is on holiday with my son.
There was a kock on the door…
My Taxi was here. The driver grabbed my bags and I was on my way.I was leaving an hr earlier as there had been chaos at the airports with some people missing their flights.
As we appproached the airport it did look calm.
Thak God I though..I paid the driver and made my way to Check in.
Amazingly there was no queue. As it did take a while to go through all the paperwork. .
I walked though the lounge and found a Comfy seat lol and began my wait. The time seemed to go quickly and soo I was boarding.
I found my seat and settled in. But no one joined me ..wow so three seats to myself. Result.
I caught up on two films before my eyes gave up.iwoke several hrs later to tackle my lunch. Much easier with the extra seats .
Okay more films to watch before landing.
Have to say border control seemed a breeze.I grabbed my pack then walked around the corner then rebooked it in,before heading to the gate of my next plane ..
Not sure what happened there but I just missed my flight. On the way to the gate A12 they changed it to A5. Luckily I’ve been able to get another fingers crossed.
My flight to Tuscon was on time and allowed me to catch upon sleep. Hopefully my bag will be safe. I found the baggage reclaim. Told the lady my name
and my bag appeared phew.
Ok greyhound next.but i needed a taxi.
Once at the greyhound station I booked my ticket and waited. I must admit i was not looking forward for another 3 hrs traveling .
The bus pulled in and it was rammed but imanaged tofind a seat. This bus is amazing its been almost driving all day and was finishing in Texas,wow. I managed to get some sleep but was worried in case I missed my stop.
At 11.30 it pulled into Lordsburg. Okay which way. I’m sure it’s this way and headed towards the motor way. Once there I could see other motels that I had recognised.almost there.
I checked in. Dumped my gear stepped into the shower .then straight to bed.
I am sat, staring at my pack as my flight gets nearer and nearer I fly out on the 12 April 2022; this will be my third thru hike and the completion will give me bragging rights of a triple crowner after completing the Pct. and AT and finally the CDT. I was ready to go in 2020, but then covid came, and in 2021 America was not allowing us foreigners to enter. Its now 2022 and I am counting down the days.
Right now, my stomach is in knots. My chest feels heavy with excitement and anxiety. I must get a covid test before I can fly, I have managed to avoid the dreaded thing up to now but It still leaves thoughts of dread as anything goes wrong and I cannot fly so fingers crossed. So I am still wearing a mask wherever I go, as I would be devastated to fall at the last hurdle.
Worries and anxiety
I have concerns with my hips, they have been fine but now the clock is ticking down, my right hip is giving me cause for concern, I Have seen a physio with no improvement so plan to see another as soon as possible. I also worry about getting injured, so plan to start slow, so will build my endurance and strength slowly as its not race. Hopefully, the feet will behave, and I will avoid blisters (fingers Crossed)
I am not worried about the weather, I know the desert will be hot, so plenty of sunscreen, electrolytes and I will carry extra water but that = weight! I am also taking a brolley and depending on the wind I will use it or just shelter under in on my breaks As I said earlier, I do not tend to look at the weather forecast as I must hike anyway. Unless I am up high, and storms are forecast or if I am heading into the snow. I am also concerned I that I have not done any training, but I firmly believe that the trail itself is the training. So I am couch to three thousand miles. Not the best we will see, But I want this so that should be enough. There is of course the possibility of failure but that is not to be mentioned, only positive thoughts Missing home. Of course, ill will miss my family and friends and of course my dog Taylor But once on trial I love the comradery, we all have the same goal to get to Canada unless your southbound lol and my fellow hikers with help motivate me and I them.
Excitement and inspiration.
I hike solo, relying on my experience and gut instincts, embracing the unknow, but will look forward to chowing down with the other riff raff on trial. Hiking solo allows you to start and stop when you want, decide on which route to take. I am not waiting for people to catch up or racing to catch up.
Looking forward to numerous Sunsets, sunrises, To stare at the stars though uncluttered sky’s . The rocks and geology . I have always loved that, I am also looking forward to exploring some of the Larva fields The changing of seasons the diversity of the plants, the sheer beauty of this trail All the other mad hikers out there who will inspire and motivate me and hopefully I will them. To make friendships that will last many years
Hi everyone, it is Now 8th January 2022 and after having to cancel my hike of the cdt twice 2020 and 2021. I have now just booked my flight, God that was so stressful but now It is done
Got my dog sorted Tick, House sorted Tick other animals sorted Tick so now it’s just me
OMG I am now so excited and can start booking and sorting out my first few weeks. I am not one for planning. I tend to wing it, I find that more exciting, So………….
My pack has been sat in the spare room for over two years, all packed and ready to go so the clock is now begging to count down Sadly with covid and working from home a few, well a lot of pounds seemed to have on my body. Hopefully, the trail will soon take care of them. I am not a one for lots of training I tend to be couched to trail but start slow. I know it will be a tough few week. So, it’s going to be will power and stubbornness that will hopefully get me to the end
So, my Plan I fly from London to Tucson… Then depending on how long I am stuck in immigration. I am hoping to get a bus to Lordsburg. Chill resupply send my winter gear up trail. Get a ride to Captain cook then start walking
I spent a few days in Millinocket hoping that the weather would improve to allow me to see Kadahdin without cloud or fog . but instead the weather got steadily worse. So no shot of me with blue sky. But it’s Done and I am slowly heading home.
The nice but about staying longer at The Hostel is that you see more of your friends arriving so you get to catch up on the gossip of who is where .
So it was good to catch up with Tree hugger. he had a nasty burn on his back. caused by a Washing pod. He had washed his clothes, and maybe the machine had stopped . unknowingly he then transferred his clothes to the dryer. The next day he put them on and some one. noticed the pod still on his shirt.
Again he thought nothing of it and hiked out . after an hour he was complaining of “pack rub” which steadily got worse.
His hiking buddy then noticed that it was foamy at the bottom of his shirt. Tree Hugger then realised what it was. and quickly took of his clothes and washed them in a stream but by now he was a huge chemical burn on his lower back.
so be careful out there and never carry these pods in your pockets!!
And also check your laundry when using these pods.
I glad to he has okay
So I’m heading to Boston today for a few days before I fly home.
I was up early went for breakfast before packing the rest of my gear into my suitcases.
I said goodbye to the rest of the guys and good luck to those who are climbing tomorrow.
It was now time to grab the shuttle , unusually it was just me. 20 minutes later I’m at the gas station (bus stop) as I go in to buy my ticket I see Sunshine the Japanese hiker.
Good to see him we have our normal conversation in broken English before the bus arrives.
Breakfast was 7am at Shaw’s 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 hive of activity , there were 4 large tables laid up,filled with family faces. I grabbed a large cup of coffee and sat at an empty table . I was immediately joined by the commander 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-other words bloody good
I dug in, in between top ups of coffee and orange juice. I 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 huge and 1/2 ” thick. People tended to smear them with butter stack another on top then pour over the maple syrup so I copied and they were so bloody good. I ate 6 deciding 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.
Sunshine , Snail, Mousetrap and Peach
I unpacked it all first them repacked up I gave a bag of Doritos and Ritz biscuits to another hiker and my remaining beer to Bilbo. I grabbed 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 as it’s got 7 days worth of food in it and 2 litres 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. 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 my back.
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 that something wasn’t 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 flip flopping but she screaked when I said my name. Fame at last I laughed. 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 trail was littered with roots that 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 me that in was now entering the 100 mile wilderness and that I should be prepared. or I should turn back.
my heavy pack reminded me that i was prepared. so.i laughed to myself. took.the obligatory photo.and marched on
By mid morning I had passed about a dozen beautiful lakes and the sun was now beginning 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 beautiful river that dropped in tone gorge far below . Sat here were Peanut and Poppins. hey guys I said . They had just finished their lunch and were beginning to move See you later Snail. they called as they vanished into the woods.
I took some photos before continuing on . I followed the river for some time before splitting away near a beaver dam I crossed over just behind the dam then I was on boards . I bounced over the boards. as they zig zagged through the forest emerging 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 a sharp right, back into the forest and shortly I was climbing again on the huge slate slabs
It wasn’t long before I was rewarded with amazing views of the water meadow and beaver pond below
It was now hot, the slabs radiating the heat upwards . phew but with my new shoes I had more confidence with the grip and was able race across them . Soon I was joined by the river , This made me think that a water crossing must be coming up. Luckily is was a fairly shallow ford but i still removed my shoes. I followed the river for almost 30 minutes until I caught Peanuts and Poppins , I walked with them for a while until we reached the next 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 flip flops 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 apple my feet dried then watched Poppins come across followed by peanut. 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 2 pm 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 came to 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 immediately descended . but I was now on chunks of rock that i struggle to walk over .Several river crossings later Poppins and Peanut cruise past me shortly followed by Kaleidoscope and So-hum . Where 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 until they disappeared from view I crossed another river and decided to water up. As I climbed up i noticed several hikers and their tents “Hi guys ” I said and hiked on until I noticed kaleidoscope and So-hum in a great spot down by the river. Great spot i shouted , see you tomorrow guys. I continued on passing several other nice spots until i came to a third . No this will do me .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
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 doing 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 ad wondered if there was trail magic ? But couldn’t see anyone. I then had to cross a wide river and in the morning light it looked beautiful.
I was now time for my second climb again steep, as I made my way up wyman MT 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 I’m so impressed 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 shoes it was a great view. I rested and ate a few snacks
Okay let’s go 1 down 2 more to go Old Blue mountain was next and was a killer lol.
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 bit 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,
I made a brew and ate the rest of my snacks, as I sat there another exhausted hiker appeared.
Take my seat im 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 will get 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, these had seen better days and so it was a challenge trying to keep you feet dry. I was pushing but didn’t 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 had some great views of some amazing lakes in the far distance one is Lower Richardson lake they look huge.
I was taking more photos when Peach zoomed past.
You going to 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 that may be I had missed it as I should be there by now,
It seemed to be taking ages until 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 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 down with a second brew.
It was now pitch dark so straight to bed. The wind is howling high above me @!
miles left. 246
I slept really well maybe it was Jason’s burgers or perhaps the half dozen cans of beer.
I got up on my second alarm . visited the loo then began to pack up when I was almost done I put on a brew and made breckfast. My tent was fairly wet but I have known wetter.
I said my good byes to iron man and strolled out of the camp, my back groaned under the weight and of course I was heading up.
Jason was telling us about the climb yesterday but I had completely forgotten .
It was an overcast morning perfect for climbing mountains but there will not be any views.
The climbs weren’t actually too Steep but it still took me 2.5 hours to reach the top. As I was resting Guber came past
“See you at the top snail” he said and raced off into the fog..
Mm. I thought I was at the top!
I set off on the ridge .which were solid sheets of rock , following the cairns that appeared in the fog as you got nearer. I realised that I was climbing and as I got higher the wind came and it was fairly terrifying as I had to climb up a solid rock wall and because of the fog clouds I couldn’t see the top.
The wind ripped at my rain cover and I expected it to go sailing away, up and up till I was at the actual top but I couldn’t see anything .Time to go down again the wind. howled and it was difficult to stand up straight or walk in a straight line. Every now and then the clouds to reveal amazing landscapes but blink and they vanished. As I made my way down I noticed Kaleidoscope was behind me .
The trail down then became very challenging and down right scary . The slabs in the dry take some doing but in the wet they are lethal. I inched my way down trying to stay upright. I eventually came to a bit where there was a rope to help you down. I have to say Maine has given us the toughest trail so far with everything. deep bogs, .ladders, rock mazes and scary climbs .
I used to class myself as a hiker but I can now add rock climber to the list. I pushed on still spiralling down. I stopped to let kaleidoscope pass then followed them until they vanished. Today I was hoping for a better trail as I have really been struggling to do the miles. I’ve gone from 20s to 10s
Fantastic at last I’m in a forest on an almost flat trail whoop but it still had nasty stairs every so often and typically the last one I came down on my arse Fuck and @#$^& I grazed my knuckles .I seem to be sat on my arse every day since getting to the whites and now we are in Maine I’m still doing it.
I was really annoyed with myself but dusted myself down and pushed on down the trail. To cheer me up the sun came out hurrah 😎
I pounded down the trail leaping rocks and jumping over small bogs .Soon I came to my first lean-to (Hut Every state has a different name for them) It had the moat in front to deter porcupines.
I decided to stop here for lunch ,as I was relaxing iron man arrived and then from the other direction Rodrigo’s arrived I hadn’t seen him in months. but he was now flipflopping . Headed north to New York . then moved to MAINE and heading south
We caught up on gossip , who is still waking and who’s gone home.1
Time to hike I hoisted my pack and headed up the hill once up again the trail was pretty good a few ups a few downs but all sensible . I was Hoping to get to the next shelter ,that would give me 16 miles and I was good on time .I was felling happy as I hiked along.
Until I walked down an innocent slab..For fuck sake I screamed not again. I got to my feet mud dripping from my shorts . I had words with myself and decided at the next water I would change.
It was almost another hour till I reached the perfect spot it was rather idyllic. Lying on a rock in the sun was Kaleidoscope, Ahem was on the river bank and another hiker was sat on a rock in the middle of the river. I crossed over dropped my pack got out my spare shorts then returned to the river to wash them and my socks . I also topped up water. then washed my hair as it was gross
It was 2pm wheni eventually set off again but i didn’t seem to have any energy ,I was flagging and i normally try to hike until 6pm.
Come on snail. I urged myself on, then jumped back as a snake shot into my path. It wasn’t a rattler but as I didn’t know what it was I wasn’t taking any chances.
So I videoed him Instead until he took a lunge at me that startled me. so I moved on quickly.
It was still a glorious afternoon as I dropped down to another glorious lake, I followed it around and at one side there were several large spots suitable for camping. I checked my watch 4.30. and it’s 4 more to the next shelter and it’s up.. So I decided to camp early and to let my tent dry too.
Time for dinner and a brew.
miles left. 264
I emerged from my tent on the second alarm and carried out the normal drill, loo, retrieve food bag pack up, make tea hike out. I wanted to be on trail by 6.30 and no later than 7. so I was on time .
I did the usual first climb then it was level for a while then down steep down and there were several ladders . I stopped to let a faster hiker past he was an Aussie out with his son, we followed each other and chatted as we hiked . the trail still continued down and was very shitty. We stood aside to let another hiker up .
Enjoy the rocks he called out as he passed.
This meant nothing to me.
UNTILL we arrived at the rocks ! WTF!!!!!
Welcome to Mahoosuc Notch (the hardest Mile on the AT)
It is approximately a mile of huge boulders. some you go over some you go under.
I removed my pack so I could strap my poles on (you don’t or can’t use poles for this). Next tighten every thing as if you lose it you will not be getting it back
Now let the fun begin.it took me just over an hour to tackle this obstacle course. over under around. I have to say what is the point.. But you could say that of the AT. I’m just so glad that it was DRY!.
Half way along I passed the South African party
one said to me didn’t you have a tent on your pack ?
Fuck I said. But she was just winding me up .. Nice one grrrr.
Once through this fun part of the trail we all collapsed in a heap drained water bottles and ate snacks.
Next was the big climb out of this valley .I followed the Aussie up, it was gnarly and shitty for the first half hour then just huge slabs of granite. It is funny I seem to be able go up these like a goat and was at the top within 1.5 hours. A quick photo opportunity before the descent
As I have Said many a time the descents kill my knees so I go down slow, with the odd stumble. Then onto the next climb , But once up the view from this one were stunning
Time was getting on but at the first opportunity I stopped for lunch, ate snacks and brewed up. After this the maps say its down but i never believe what the map say. I hadn’t done huge mileage today but was already struggling. I decided that if there was a stealth spot(tent spot) near the car park then that would do me.
As descended I began to meet many section hikers and people out for the day .I met a lovely lady dressed in a tutu and tiara, she had just completed the 48 Peak challenge and was so excited . she insisted that i had several of her homemade choc chip cookies. They were dam good.
As I descended lower I began to hear cars, cant be far i said to no one, I stopped at next stream and watered up. It wasn’t long until i stumbled into the car park that was full.
Lying down was Guber son of Aussie, Kaleidoscope and Ahem.
A man called Jason was doing trail magic I sat down and was handed a beer as he cooked me a burger .
I ended up eating 3 burgers that were fab and a sausage stuffed with CHEESE. he also kept supplying me with beer TOP MAN! He then produced a cooler filled with hiker food.. sides snacks etc.
Wow what a guy. As I sat enjoying my beer it began to pour Chris quickly threw up a tarp so that we all remained dry. Okay i need my bed as I was now full and well watered.
I Said to iron man I’m crashing at the back of the car park .
Good call snail do you mind if i join you ?
not at all.
There were some great spots so tent was soon up .
miles left. 276
I emerged from my tent at 6am visited the loo then retrieved my food bag from the Bear box. I quickly packed up then made tea and oats. Then i was ready as I wanted to try and do a long day. I said goodbye to iron man and marched out of the camp
I was soon back on the trail. and started with the normal climb which was followed by another then another as I dropped down I was greeted with a long lake. I scanned the shores for moose. Well you can hope . The trail skirted around it and then back up now and then I came to a great view where I stood and surveyed the sights. Then i was off again, soon coming to another beautiful lake as I of approached it I startled a hiker who in turn startled me . it was a sobo called late start who was living up.to her name.
We chatted for a bit before returning ack to the trail ,I was getting excited as i would cross the border later today my last state and I would be in Maine.
I spent the next few hours in and out of forests .clambering over many blowdowns ( trees) cursing them as I struggled to get over the thick ones ( little legs) then I was back to the boards but typically where they ended the boys began they all need moving 6 foot forwards . I was puffing and panting before arriving at a marker that read 1900 mark whoop whoop. that cheered me up.
The 1900 marker seemed to give me extra energy as I pushed on trying to avoid the deep bogs..
It’s a game I play let’s see how long I can keep my feet dry.
Eventually I emerged on top of another summit and stayed there. it was a rock path . I checked my watch it was 12.30 and a good place to stop. I dropped my pack and got out my snacks. I took off my shoes and socks to let my feet breath then decided to swap my socks.
I checked my map and was a little disappointed in my mileage only 7. but the trail had been fairly tough
I had hoped to be at the border by now and then a short afternoon. But I still had a fair way to go.
I packed up and set off again and was soon on the boards again fording more bogs. In the distance I could see and hear a large group of people, as I got closer I could see that they were all sat on a huge rock. there were about 20 high school students celebrating the end of something!.
I passed them and continued on after several more climbs and descents I was beginning to struggle.
I was completely knackered and I still hadn’t got to the border, the continuous up and downs have just drained me. I slurped on my bladder taking big gulps.
Come on Snail I said to myself it can’t be far, but I was too afraid to look at the map.
It was almost another hour till I reached the magical sign .
Thank fuck for that I said to myself . I took several pictures. Then another rest. there were several flat spots I could camp here. I checked my map the next campsite was in 5 miles and it was 2pm
If the trail was good if be there by 4.30 say 5* at the latest.
Or should i camp here ? No I will push on ( Sometimes you make bad decisions HINDSIGHT)
I pushed on and omg. Welcome to MAINE..I think that they had tried to make the trail as hard and as dangerous as possible .
The trail was completely nuts. Maybe they don’t want hikers to go any further. The downs were sheer slabs of rock with nothing to hold on to .Then a letterbox that looked almost impossible to navigate around especially wearing a pack . after a that it was the duck boards, These had rungs on them and seemed to go on for miles I felt like I was a chicken trying to get back in my coop!
Then there was the MUD deep oozing with now simple way around it and all this while climbing up and down a bloody yo yo .
The trail was so bloody hard and mad that it took me another 5.5 hours to get to camp almost an extra 3 hours.
I have to say I was winging for the last 2 . but it’s because I was tired and knackered and wanted to get to camp early , I’ve done another 15 and it was a bloody hard 15.
And I know it will be similar again tomorrow.
Once at the campsite I threw up my tent went and got water then cooked. The first cup of tea hit the spot then I cooked pasta which i quickly woofed. I put my food Inn the Bear box I noticed iron man arrive. we both agreed that it was a tough afternoon
i now need my bed
miles left. 276
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