Flights Booked

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

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 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 @!

Start. 1936
Finish. 1953
Miles. 17
miles left. 246

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Day 140 Heading to Bemis Mountain Lean To

Monday 27th August

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.

Start. 1924
Finish. 1936
Miles. 12
miles left. 264

Day 139 Mahoosuc Notch 

Sunday 26th August

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 .

Start. 1914
Finish. 1924
Miles. 10
miles left. 276

Day 138 The last Border

Saturday 25th August

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 .

I

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

Start. 1899
Finish. 1914
Miles. 15
miles left. 276

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 visited 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 to.be a slow getaway.

I first needed to repair or sort out my pack . I grabbed my fanny pack the buckle looked similar. maybe that would work . I cut off the buckles and removed the broken one from.my pack eureka!! 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 that.
I pushed on happy that my buckle was now fixed, It would of been a night mare with out it and I would have  probably gone into the first town.

The morning always start with a climb and so today’s was no exception. the views were great  but it’s been a  similar view for the last four of days stunning but once you have seen trees you have seen them.
I  pushed on and over more rock that saps your strength and gets you’re heart pumping.
As i descended I began to hear voices and 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 .
Shortly 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.
I 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 was 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 to.my tea when iron man arrived. he  decided to join me  and have lunch too.
WE were both relaxing when a family, Grandad and Grandma came along. They were  looking for some  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  back in Gorman.
Soon after they had gone Kaleidoscope and Ahem appeared  see you up trail guys  i called  before packing up and heading out.
As I hiked on a man coning the other way warned us of trail magic ahead in the parking lot. Great thanks I said

It wasn’t long until 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 Caesar salad, bloody tasty i washed that down with orange juice followed by a large chocolate milk, there were loads of muffins too typically i had  recently just stopped for  lunch  lol
The boys were going into town from here and the lady said that she would take them.
I am always amazed at the generosity of people out here.
I wished them well plus more insults and hiked out.
The trail  crosses a large river as I was enjoying the view a customised car came by .it was an old pickup  fitted with  3.5 Chevy engine in it and looked fab and sounded awesome.

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 .

I took a break on the top of another hill, 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 in such good spirts  as i hiked on, I was actually flying until I got to the next big climb and my energy level dropped to empty.
How much further ..I calculated 6.30 and  by then the light would be fading so dinner on the dark.
I pushed on my watch pinged 6pm great, It can’t be much further.. The trail has this annoying habit that the last mile is like an army obstacle course that tries  to kill you Even more fun when your knackered . I am tired and just want my bed as I am struggling . I then  hear voices behind me ..it was kaleidoscope and Ahem ..I let them pass. as the trail to the campsite  appears

At last, I passed several tents , the privy and bear box. Then i see Iron man.. I set up next to him.
Once settled  i cook a late dinner  then zz
I expected Samaritan and his crew to arrive but maybe they have stayed in town

Night

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

Day 136 Wildcats

Thursday 23rd August

I was awake early but I must admit it was lovely to sleep in a big bed.
I went down stairs at 6.30 used the loo 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 pack down 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.
Soon it was shuttle time, I  put my pack in the car with my fellow hikers. We were being driven by a friend of Paul’s and wow, how knowledgeable She was born & bred here and so knew every hill, and trail.
She told us about the family that owned all of the land. The man who built the road to Mt Washington and the man who laid the tracks for the train.
Soon we were back at pinkly notch . 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 air 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 slipped and was about to face plant a rock, but 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 , you okay ?”Yes I’m. okay more embarrassed than hurt although my leg stung.
We pushed on a short way until the climbing started, scrambling at first then proper climbing. Hand over hand . I was busy concentrating when a dog ran by me  and shot up vertical.. OMG  how did he just do that.. A dog !! shortly 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  road snaking its way UP

This 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  with its  ski lift and gondolas.
It was still running, bugger we could have taken that lol.
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 I came to a clearing with great views . There was a couple with their dog as they seemd local they were able to tell me about the different mountains and how far  they were,
“It’s .7 down to the Hut  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 hut looks that it was a recent build 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 coming down good luck they all said.
It was another hour before I came to the top of this one  and it was now hot!
I spent the rest of the day climbing and descending but 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 it but he was far too fast, so lovely to see.
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  too so I 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 shortly came to a v shaped gorge although I was was vertical so your walking along the slant.  Then 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 it was 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 who looked stressed.!
So you want to camp?
I did think that was obvious, I resisted the temptation to say something FUNNY!
She pointed out the dinning area , Bear box and privy. She then walked me to a camp spot.
The boys were here plus 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 have to put your tent in front of mine”
I followed her back, Yep I could get it in there, but 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 .
I was tired I had a spot. I threw up.my tent then took.my 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 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 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 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.
Just in time as it chucked 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 restaurant in the pouring rain . I but we manged to get a table and  ordered  our food . IT took a while to arrive but thte place was packed
I had ordered “The hungry hiker  which was  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 .  but was quickly devoured .
We walked back and I began to sort my gear again. Once done it was resupply time  which was a bus to Walmart.
I walked back down to town and waited for the bus. the fare was 2 bucks .
I wandered around Wal-Mart, brought a new drive to once again clean down my phone. before  starting my food shop .Once down I  caught the bus back. Visted the post office and sent kit back up the 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 Heading to Gorman

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 amazing , typically Mt Washington was clear in the distance.

At last I reached the summit and 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 was  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 Dancealot, bleep and Ossie. We exchanged verbal insults as they were slackpacking south as we continued our way. Next i ran into the commander and Wander Woman Wander Woman gave me advice about the trail.

At last the trail became 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. I then came to a large creek. I crossed over using a suspension bridge

I was busy stomping down the trail when I came snagged on a 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 .I carried out a quick repair / bodge on my tent bag then I was on my way.
I shortly emerged onto a road. shall I hitch . As I pondered a forestry car appeared and stopped so I asked the driver for advice on how to get to the post office. He recommended continuing to Pickcom Notch.
As  I pushed on i began 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.
Fuck.it 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

Day 133 Washington The whites Day 4

monday 20th August

There was no rush to get up as I was hoping to scrounge so good from the hut

I packed up and headed slowly to the Hut ,but they didn’t seem at all hiker friendly . eventually I got a cold coffee for a buck so I don’t know I bothered.
Okay back to the trail as ways it’s a climb first. it’s going to be a day of climbs but the sun is out and it’s a beautiful day.
my first climb of the day was Pierce

as I neared The top omg what amazing views I stopped for a few minutes. From here you can see MT Eisenhower, Monroe, Washington and Jefferson.

I continued on as this area is touristy  and so popular so there were people every where.
I dropped down before climbing up to Eisenhower. From here Washington was still clear so fingers crossed

My next climb was Monroe and it’s here I caught up with Samaritan and the crew,
As I was videoing my phone flashed up a warming that my card was full . Oh no not now
The whites had been better than expected and so I was taking more video Dam dam

After the next climb I took a break and went through my phone looking for things to delete.
There’s a bit of space but not enough. dam I got out my camera instead. I began the descend to the Lakes of the Clouds hut.  This was a nice Hut  and the staff more friendly  so I had a quick look around brought some lemonade,  got my passport stamped.

As I continued on  In front  of me was Washington  just 1.7 Miles , should take an hour and I should be at the top ha ha
The climb was tough, all rock , as I climbed the Clouds began to roll in and. Washington slowly vanished. Maybe it will reappear before I get to the top fingers crossed.

At  last I was at the top and sadly still was the Clouds. I couldn’t see a thing.
I walked to the restaurant , the boys were at at a table so I dropped my pack and joined them.
I then went to the café and ordered a large slice of pizza a bowl of chilli and a lemonade.
While I sat my phone charged.
when I had eaten i went to get my photo taken with the mountain sign. (there was a big queue )

We all were hoping that the cloud would lift but after several hours I couldn’t wait any longer.
As I was leaving the trains began to leave. There are 3 steam trains that ferry visitors up and down the mountain. website below

https://www.thecog.com/

I watched them leave then walked back to the trail I hadn’t been walking more than 30 minutes when the Clouds lifted and the sun began to shine

Bloody Typical…..

As I walked the train was on its way back so I stood and watched it again before continuing on and down steeply down. before climbing again then skirting around Mt Clay. it was rock and would remain rock all day !!

The weather was really good but the rock was killing my knees. as it’s ROCK
I pushed on there was an option to climb My Jefferson but I was getting tired and I knew that there was still a long way to go. at last i was heading down I thought that I must be almost there . But no fam I still had at least 5 more miles and it was back up to My Adams

I was knackered my feet hurt my knees hurt. I urged myself on the rock became huge so I was leaping from rock to rock my knees loved this .At last I was up on the ridge and the sky was looking dark but in the distance there was still sun.
If I had water  I would throw my tent up and hope for the best.
I kept walking following the cairns until at  last I could see the Hut. but I still had a mile to go once I reached it .

At last,  I dropped my pack and walked inside, sat at a table with a bowl of soup was Bilbo.
I grabbed my orange ticket and swapped it for a free bowl of soup and pastry, that I soon devoured
okay I now have to find the campsite . it was 8pm the latest that I had walked and it was getting dark .I set off down the trail it was rocky and steep and by the time I was there it was pitch  black and I hadn’t put on my light yet. But once at the campsite I couldn’t see a thing so used my phone . Bilbo recognised me and guided me towards a tent spot. I put up my tent in the dark. made hot chocolate then crawled into my bed and I was away

Start. 1852
Finish. 1864
Miles. 12
miles left 327