|Wind Turbines in Maine|
Today was a short one mostly spent in Gorham, NH. It was an easy 2 mile hike down to the road and I walked about 1 mile towards town before being offered a ride. He drove me to the only grocery store in town, Wal-Mart, on the outskirts of the other side of town. I must have been thinking about how I had to ration my food a bit near the end of the Whites because I spent twice as much as usual and bought too much food. At first it didn't all fit in my pack! The rest of the day I've been trying to eat as much as possible to lighten the load. I took a bus from the Wal-Mart to the library and spent some good time blogging and emailing. Still no phone reception, even in this town! And I doubt the wilderness of Maine will be any better phone-wise. I got back to the trail around 5pm and tried to hike up about halfway on Mt Hayes (2555ft) to what should be a brook, or so my guide says, .9 miles up the trail. Hiking was tough because of my big pack, but 6:30pm arrived and still no brook. I decided to camp, but have to really limit my water because perhaps the brook was dry and the next water is probably 4 miles away. I end the day stuffed with food but mildly thirsty, with the heaviest pack yet. I'm not sure if tonight or last night was worse. Tomorrow may be a very slow day. NH has certainly been much, much more filled with rocks than any of the other states.
Day 55 - (8/4/16) 10.2 miles (Near Brook 1 mile past Gorham to Gentian Pond Shelter)
This morning was tough trying to conserve water, I didn't even brush my teeth. After a couple miles I made it to a "stream" that wasn't even moving, but at least had some standing water and I filled up a bit on that. I did a light day today because my pack is still very heavy, but at least I am being well fed! Just 5 miles to Maine now, my final frontier! I'm also planning to tackle Mahoosuc Notch tomorrow, of which I've heard so much about. The guidebook says it's the "Most difficult or most fun mile of the AT. Make way through jumbled pit of boulders." Using another hiker's phone, I was finally able to call Diane, and she and Mom are going to drive up to see me on Sunday near Andover, ME, although it's a 3-hour drive for them. I started the day off not seeing anyone, feeling like the trail was practically abandoned, such a contrast from the Whites where there were lots of people and tourists around. But here at the shelter there are quite a few and I've re-met some that I met in the Whites. After Gorham, it's amazing how suddenly the trail is different. Not 100 yards back on the trail after town, the bugs and flies are back. The trail is less rocky and it is like I'm back in MA or VT again. I'm definitely feeling a bit tired after the Whites and partly feel like I want this hike to end now, but I may never get another opportunity to do something like this again, so I need to live it up and enjoy it.
|Made it to Maine!|
Day 56 - (8/5/16) 12.3 miles (Gentian Pond Shelter to Mahoosuc Notch, North End (ME))
|Snow in Mahoosuc Notch|
|Going under boulders in Mahoosuc Notch|
New Hampshire words: Big, loud, difficult, rocky, awe-inspiring, exhausting, crowded, majestic, White, stillness in the midst of activity
Day 57 - (8/6/16) 12.8 miles (Mahoosuc Notch, North End to Frye Notch Lean-to)
|View from Baldpate East Peak|
|The view from Wyman Mtn|
Day 59 - (8/8/16) 12.8 miles (Hall Mountain Lean-to to Bemis Mountain Lean-to)
|View on the way up Old Blue Mtn|
Day 60 - (8/9/16) 15.6 miles (Bemis Mountian Lean-to to South Pond)
Easier terrain today, and it looks like water sources will be more frequent from here on out. I went by some beautiful ponds today, and it looks like there will be more of the same ahead. I saw moos footprints in the mud and also a lot of droppings I assume are from moose, but no actual moose sightings yet here in Maine. I've set up camp just 2 miles from the road to Rangeley, so I can head into town early tomorrow, on a nice little pond called "South Pond". Unfortunately, a half-hour later, a group of probably 6 loud people decided that they were going to camp right next to me. Not only are they loud and vulgar, but they are talking about starting a fire, right beneath the sign that says not to. I was looking forward to listening and watching the pond tonight, but that's all ruined now. It may be a long night. I've realized that balance is so important on the trail. Not just physical, which is very important too, but balancing the weight of food and weather, where you want to take as much as you need but not too much because it is then extra weight and makes the hiking harder, balancing saving money with wanting to stay in town, do laundry, and take a hot shower, balancing wanting to do a lot of miles in a day in order to end the hike on time and wanting to take time to enjoy everything you are passing and seeing. I'm definitely dealing with a little bit of burnout and mental fatigue right now in wanting to be finished soon but still having 200+ miles and at least 2 weeks left. I did pass 500 miles hiked today (cue the song) but I'm finding it hard to get the motivation to hike sometimes, especially up hills even when they aren't very big. I just need to keep reminding myself to enjoy it out here and I'll finish when I finish. I don't understand these people that come out to camp here and just are loud and bug other people. It's happened many times out here on this hike, and leaving trash and other things is another big problem. Leave No Trace is so important, and plenty of people do not follow it. I don't understand people's obsession with campfires either, and I really don't see the point when you have a camping stove instead.