Archive for the ‘Appalachian Trail’ Category

90% Done

Monday, September 10th, 2012

9/8/12 – 1966 miles
We are just .2 miles from having 90% of the trail done. In a few days we will hit 2000 miles. That’s a long way on foot. My knee hurts a little every day but it will take a lot of pain at this point to stop me.

Bog bridge

Bog bridge

We set out yesterday from Andover, early in the morning with heavy packs. No one has been sleeping well so the continuous climbs had everyone tired and sapped of energy. We had planned on hiking 15 miles, but when we arrived at a campsite at 12, everyone was ready to stop for the night. I think we were all in our tents by 7:30 and asleep shortly after that.

I was the last one to wake up – which is unusual – and everyone finally began a day feeling rested. The trail was more gentle today, even though filled with the ever present rocks, roots, and bogs, the terrain was more level. We made it 15 miles to the Piazza Rock Lean-to where I am camped for the night.

I hiked for a while today with some people I’ve seen recently and some I have not seen in a long time. Blue Sky, Nooga, Johnny Walker Red, and I walked out ahead of the foursome I’m in and enjoyed catching up on trail gossip.

To see many more pictures and detail of my hike with the Troverts go to


Thursday, September 6th, 2012

9/6/12 – 1937 miles
Only ten more miles today. The roads are few and far between up here in Maine so it is tricky to pick up sections that cover descent mileage. This will be the last day to slackpack for awhile, our trail angel has to go back home. Tomorrow we will put on full packs and set out for Stratton, ME.

It seems like the trail today was extraordinarily rooty. We have to be extra careful not to step on slanted roots, especially after a rain. You can fall so quickly you will still be smiling when you hit the ground. The other day I slipped on a root and bent my leg back under me as I went down. It was sore this morning but limbered up quickly.

Maine has several rivers that you have to ford. Just as we were getting to the road we came to a swollen stream that I could have rock-hopped across but decided to wade for the sake of cleaning my feet. When I got to the other side, I noticed what I thought were pine needles all over my foot. They were leeches! It took me forever to get them all off. They were even sticking to my crocs. Yuck!


Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

9/5/12 – 1927 miles
We are still slack packing the AT over the mountains near Andover, ME. Today started out with light rain but we decided to take a chance and head out anyway. It wasn’t long before the rain turned into a mist and the sky began to brighten. The trail was still soggy in some places and we all ended up with wet shoes by afternoon.



It was a little tricky climbing Bald Pate Mountain. There was a solid rock face on top above treeline that left us crawling and scrambling over a wet surface to reach the summit. Normally, there would be great views in all directions, but all we could see was the swirling mass of mist left over from Issac.

We will slack pack again tomorrow. The Trovert’s friend Sue is a real angel taking us to the trail each morning and picking us up each afternoon. Not only does she shuttle us to and from the trail, she drives us to restaurants and grocery stores. It sure makes the planning a lot easier.


Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

9/4/12 – 1917 miles
Mahoosuc Arm was not as bad as I thought it would be. The SOBOs said it was very treacherous, and I agree that coming down would be the worst way to do it, but the climb up was not anything harder than any other mountain in Maine.

 Moose on edge

Moose on edge

Tonight we are at Pine Ellis, a hostel in A
ndover, ME. Remnants of Hurricane Issac are headed this way so we may take a zero tomorrow. The Trovert’s friend Susan met us at the trail and took us to the hostel where we cleaned up and then went out to eat. The waitress was shocked at how much we ate. She brought a whole loaf of bread which we devoured before our meals, and then ordered more bread after we ate our meals, and then we ordered big deserts.

If it is not raining in the morning, Susan will slackpack us over the next section. We will keep an eye on the weather. There are several fords we have to make in Maine and the streams can get high and dangerous after heavy rain.

Mahoosuc Notch

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

9/3/12 – 1910 miles
We set out real early today, Mahoosuc Notch, the most difficult and fun mile on the AT lay a short 6 miles away. The trail was not kind to us on the way to the notch. There were two steep mountains in the way and it seemed like the AT went straight up and down both sides. Southern Maine is very rugged. A lot of thruhikers say that Maine is harder than New Hampshire until we get past the Bigalow Mountains.

We entered Mahoosuc Notch about 2 pm and began our scramble through the playground of jumbled boulders. There were many places where we had to slide down rocks on our buts and a few where we had to take off our packs and hand them through tunnels under huge boulders. Many times the path would lead to chasms or cliffs where we needed all our upper-body strength to pull ourselves through.
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It took us about three hours to complete the mile through the notch. We will probably all be sore in the morning. Tonight we are at a campsite just past the notch and will climb Mahoosuc Arm in the morning. The Arm is said to be almost technical in difficulty – straight up exposed for 1500 feet – and the weather is calling for rain.