It has been a year since I started my thru hike on the Apppalachian Trail. During my last section hike on the trail, I ran into an old hostel employee who pointed me in the direction of getting this job. I fifnished that section of the trail and went home to pack up and start a new life. I got here, to Glencliff, NH, on june 2nd. I have alread been on two hikes in the White Mountains, Franconia Ridge and Mt. Moosilauke. The weather has been up and down. MOstly cold, and some rain, but its warming up everyday. I can't complain about it though, beacase it is so beautiful here and green. I slep outside everyday and look to my backyard. My backyard is the White Mouintains. How can you go wrong. Basically. I get to hang out with hikers all the time. I love it. I have, already, met so many amazing people. I have also had a few visitors from my hike last year. I got to spend some time hiking with Honky (ups) who also helped me get my home all done. Then, I got to hang out with Unicorn!! What a great reunion that was. We have been trying to get back together since Andover, Maine, so you can imagine how awesome it was of a reunion. Then, I got a surprise vivsit from my old friends Balu (Nolan) and HIves while they were heading up to Canada. Lastly, I got to see Sisu. My group and I met him last year while we were in the Shanandoahs at a shelter. He had mentioned doing a winter thru hike this year. I looked for him and asked around while I was hiking the senction down south. No one had met him, So I was begining to wonder if he was still on. Sure enough, a few days ago, he showed up here. It was wonderful hearing his stories, along with Suede. I was so happy to get to hike Mt. Moosilauke with him, although we both ended up taking the wrong trail. I have met a few others this year who have made a difference in my time spent here. Clover, a girl who was born in France, who is doing a section in the Whites was the first. She is so fun and we had a lot of laughs while she was here. Hutch, who I hiked Moosilauke with as well, who is a Raiders fan, and that's why we bonded so quickly. And best of all, Jeanne, who stopped by to visit Hitch, beacasue she had given him soem trail magic. We got to talking and I got myself a life long friend. I can't wait for her to come back and visit. All these peole are just a few that have made these last few weeks wonderful. It is still early in the season, but slowly picking up and I just can't wait to start meeting more and more amazing people who are taking the same journey I did and changing their lives. I am hearing their stories and it's taking me back to my journey on the trail, and I am looking forward to my next thru hike and/or next great adventure. For now, I am loving my hostel life.
Being back on the trail... I remember being on the trail last year, and I had one focus....... Getting to Springer Mountain. I was learning everyday about life on the trail. I didn't reallly know what to expect and did not see what was ahead. Getting back on the trail has been a different experience. I love it! Even when it is raining and I am cold and tired, I remember the first time I was going through that, but this time I am prepared and know what to expect. It makes life a lot more peaceful. I am so happy to back here. This is my home, where I belong. The woods? maybe it's not just the woods, but the whole trail. The people? Derfinately the people I keep meeting. Everyone is so different, yet we are all living for the same thing. People, back home, asked me, "Why are you going back to the trail, if it was so terrible the first time?" I learned the most from those terrible moments. I learned to laugh when I was having a bad day, becasue the worst day on the trail was, still, waaaaaayyyyy better then the best day I had at home, or at any job I worked at, or anything I did back home that resembled a "normal" day. I don't think I can ever turn my back from this new life. I look at all my pictures that I have taken from the trail, and I have never seen one that I don't look 110% happy in. Can you find one? I sure can't. I knew life would change for me, and I would walk away with a new attitude about life, but I never expected that it would be this amazing. Why would I not want to come back to all of that? Now that I am here, I look back and think about.... how wondeful life had been since I met the trail. There is no bad, there is no sad, there is no worry, there is only happiness. I walk with a smile on my face everyday out here, evern though there may be a slight tear from my sprined ankle, or sore knee. I can not think of any place I would rather be then right here, everyday. Everythign is so different this time around. Last November, I was running through here, trying not to freeze, and make it home by Thanksgiving. This time aorund, the woods are alive. I have never seem so many veriaties of flowers and plants. It makes it even harder to get away from here. One of the best things about this trip is being here for someone else. I know what it is like to finish, make it, get there. I am happy to be here with Honky (Ups) knowing he is so close to that amazing moment in his life where he can say he, too, has finished, made it, and got there. All me energy is being put toward making sure he has the best time of his life, becasue this is it. I don't mine one bit that thisis his moment. I am just so happy to be apart of it. I did the last trip for Zack, making sure he gets to Springer. Why not put as much energy into making sure Honky gets there. This is my gift back to the world. I recieved the best gift from the trail, that I could ever imagine, why not give it back the same way.
What can I say....... Life is good.
After hiking 2185.9 miles from Maine to Georgia I finally made my destination! It took me 6 months before I reached, what seemed to be, an impossible finish. It felt like a dream when I finally got to the top of that mountain that I only imagined and longed for. It was a beautiful day. The weather was cold but nothing we were not expecting. We did a 24 mile hike to get to the hawk mountain shelter, which was 8 miles before. Sitting there that night, shuffle and Johnny reb with me, we kept saying how this was it. Our last night on the Appalachian trail. It was something that seemed unreal. I was expecting to wake up and still be in Maine or even on the plane flying to Maine. But it was real. We cooked dinner and made home for the night, like usual. But sleep was not in the agenda. We were to excited to rest. Only 8 miles from our end, our dream, our goal. I must have woken about every hour. Even though we were so close it still was unreal. Did we really do it? Were we really there? I had played one and over in my mind what the finish would be like for months. I cried tears just thinking about the moment I would finish. The complete happiness that would come with that one moment in time. But no about of dreaming would ever amount to the emotion that came when I was really there. I woke up on November 24th with a smile and packed my gear as quickly as possible. It felt like any other day on the trail, hard to move and easy to cold and miserable to want to hike, but we knew wehad to because this was the day. The sun was not quite up yet, but we were already making our way to the end. I don't think I have ever hiked so proud before. My hands were so cold and my toes were numb, but I had only one thing in mind. As I got closer, I played back memories of friends and people and stories, good times, laughs, tears, pains, injuries, and songs that were made on the trail. With a huge smile, I kept pushing on almost running. I finally made it to the parking lot that was 1 mile from the top. I stopped for a second to take it in. It was a bitter sweet moment. Did I want to push on fat to get there and be done, or did I want to go show and hold on to the trail for as long as I possibly could? The were people there getting ready to do a day hike. They asked if I was a thru hiker and with a smile I nodded. They were very happy to share that moment with me and see me getting close to fulfilling my biggest goal. I kept putting one for in front of the other. Ignoring the pains and injuries I had received from pushing big miles my lady few weeks. Knowing I was almost done, I just pushed through it. Along the way up, I wondered what it was like at the top. I wondered if my friends were there waiting. It felt like the longest mile I had ever done. Finally, I passed shuffle's dad as I was getting close. He told me I was almost there and everyone was waiting. I never knew what was ahead of me. I started to hear voices and with the biggest smile I kept telling myself to keep it together and not start crying yet. I started to e people and knew I was there. That's when I heard heard familiar voices of my friends that I had been hiking with for so long yelling my name. "here comes nectar" over and over. People started cheering and yelling and clapping as I took my final steps to the top. I could not hold back the tears of happiness any longer. I only saw shapes of people through the tears. I raised my hands above my head with a sense of accomplishment and made out the first person. Spits. The one who I had hiked with since the first 100 miles. I feel into his arms as if I no longer had strenght to hold myself up anymore. I kept saying "we did it, we are really here". After I could hold myself up, I took a step back and the he was. My dad filming me with tears in his eyes. I had no idea he would be there waiting. I yelled out to him and ran in his arms and cried some more. He congratulated me and held me tight. I finally got myself together and the pictures began. Nothing but smiles and happiness filed that cold morning air. I hugged everyone and we just laughed. Knowing we had finally done it. We reached this unreachable place and we were there together. Magnet, revolver, smithy, Spits, Turtle, revolver, Johnny reb, shuffle, Maverick all of us there together. Celebrations began. We popped champaign and the hugging continued on. I never imagined this. The actual feeling of what it would be like to finish. It really was a dream come true. It finally came to the moment that I was not ready for. I had to release Zack. I called papa to tell him that I was there. That I had made it to the place I promised him I would make it to. He said how proud he was and the tears began once again. After we got off the phone, I shared mine and Zack's story with the families of my friends that walked with us. Everyone was so proud and happy that they could share that moment with me. I pulled Zack out of the case I carried him in from Maine. I turned and walked toward the view and held him out. I said a prayer and a thank you for being with me, and helping me keep my head up, and pushing me to the end. I then released his ashes into the wind. It was very difficult, but halt at the same time knowing that this promise had been met. Zack could finally rest at the end of the Appalachian trail.I turned to my friends and we all cried together and held each other. After awhile people started to leave. But a few of us stayed up there holding onto every second. It was that time. The past we never want to come, our biggest fear. It was time to say good bye. Magnet began to cry, which she never does, and she said "why is this so hard"! All of us laughed and played a song and dang together for the last time. We signed the log book, took our last photos and turned to head out. It was a sad feeling. We were not only song goodbye to each other, but also to the trail. To our home. I felt like I was walking toward a door. One that I had to close, but with that I knew another one would open. As I stumbled a bit drunk down the trail, I help onto every last step of it. With my dad there with me, it was not as hard. It was done. My dream finally came true. I accomplished this goal that most thought I could not do. I didn't have to dream about anymore because I knew what it was like. I will live on holding onto every moment of the trail. Every lesson, friend, memory, scar, but most of all that feeling of 100 percent happiness. I will never let that go.
It is officially down to crunch time. With only 500 miles left I am as excited as ever to be this close to finishing. Although I am excited, I have many other mixed feelings about being this close to the end. I am definately scared to get back into society and head back to the "real" world. To me, this is the real world. 5 months in the woods.... CRAZINESS! I think the thing that I am the saddest about is leaving this amazing familty that I have come together with. We have been through some of the toughest challenges together and we have gone through so much. So many have come and gone, but we have decided that we would stick together to the finish. I am so lucky to have met this many people and I am leaving with life long friends. My favorite part about being this close to the end is looking at the big AT maps and comparing what we have left to what we have done. It seems so close and so unreal. I remeber when we got to the 500 mile mark. That was such a huge milestone for us and we celebrated with wine. But looking back on it, we talked about how crazy it would be to only have 500 left, and it seems like just a blink of an eye we are here. I definately have a different mindsdet then I have at 500 miles. I am tired and everything on my body hurts, but I am stronger and very excited to head back to New Mexico. I could not wait to leave it, but now I miss it. with all that being said, I also found a possible job here in Virginia. We passed this little dot on the map called Bastian, VA. There is a little camp that is being formed there called Fort Bastian. Right now it is nothing but a teepee in the middle of the woods, but soon it is going to be a huge and wonderful wilderness camp. I was asked if I could use my skills to help set it up and run it. How can you let that down? I still have no ide what I am going to be doing when I finish, but I know I will end up at Fort bastian one way or another. Not only becasue it is my dr4eam to have a small cabin in the woods away from civilization, and I will have that there, but also becasue it is something that I have loved doing in the past and I am very VERY close to the trail. I think it will work out great! Although I love the idea of being out here, I must say I may have lost it a little. Don't believe me? I will tell you a example of why I think this is so.
My group and I hated the idea of Virginia being so so soooooo long that we came up with a plan to help make it easier. We decided to split it up into 4 relms. The first was Eutopia. This section runs from Front Royal to Waynsboro. Eutopia is the land of planty. It has the waysides all along the Shanendoahs and we were eating very well there. The second section ran to Pearisburg. We called this Altisimus becasue we started to head back into higher elevation. We hit our first 4000+ footer since New Hampshire. The third section ran only 70 miles and was named by me. We called this one Nickelbacklandia. How this came to be is really silly. We stayed at a random campsight one night and got a chance to listen to music on a small radio. Nickelback came on the radio and we got into a discussion how nobody likes them and they are concidered "buttrock". I had never heard this term and thought it was the funniest thing...BUTTROCK! So, the next day as we were hiking on, I went to use the bathroom and when I came back, the group was talking about this again. I then jokingly shouted out that we should name our next section Nickelback. They thought it was a great idea, so we added landia onto it to make it sound cooler. We also created a challenge for this short section, The challenge is to listen to Nickelback the whole way through. That made us want to get through a lot faster. The last section was named New Unicornia. This is becasue we were hitting the Graicen Highlands and there are ponies there. We called them unicorns and apparently there is this thing called sparkle blazing which is when you ride a pony for a part of the trail... we did this, but not with the ponies there. We found our own unicorn and carried it to this awesome land to release it. Smithy bought a unicorn blanket from a dollar store in the beginning of PA and we concidered this our sparkle blaze pony. If you dont think that is silly, when we present our kingdom to other people, they, then see that we have been in the woods to long becasue they tell us. We run around and throw everything off the spot that we are about to place our map of Virginia, which smithy carries with him. We then lay it out and stab a knife into it. Once we get down to New Unicornia, Smithy pulls out the unicorn and prances around. We have had other hikers tell us that we are crazy. Bet you can't wait for me to get home now? I certainly can't wait to share the rest of my sillieness with evryone. I hope I still inspire everyone to get out and do stuff. Even if its not as crazy as this, its still something. HYOH!!! (Hike your own hike!!)
So, I decided that I am just going to star back up from where I am now and fill you in later on the "in between". I have now been out for over 100 days. I met a you kid the other day. He was 7 years old, doing an over nighters with his dad and uncle. We gave him the trail name of lighthouse because he kept used his headlamp a lot and loved it. As we were getting ready for dinner, he asked if we were doing the trail for fun. We stopped and thought about it for a second. Are we doing this for fun anymore? We are just about half way. We hike close to 20 miles a day now, because we have to. We still have fun all the time and everyday, but it's not fun like when we started. It's a voluntary job now. Hiking is not as easy anymore. We hurt everyday. Our feet and our knees can hardly carry us, but we push on. We ignore it and keep going because we have to. It's our lives now to hike. Just like living. We breathe the trail. No one can understand what it's like unless you hike it. So is it for fun? I would say yes. I am still hiking for fun. For the experience. For the people. This is never easy. Not a second of it is easy. It's always difficult to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But we do it without hesitation. We do it to do it. It really changes you, as a person, because you are continuously challenging yourself every second. Is a different world. I learned that the average American walks an average of 1 and a half miles a week. A WEEK! I hike more miles in one hour than people hike in a week it's scary the think about it. I love the path I have chosen! I am a one percenter! I may never be the same, but I love who I have become. I am strong and I know I can face any challenge. I hope I can inspire everyone I know to face their fears and do something they want to do, but don't think that they can. I now know that you can do anything you put your heart to.
I apologize for not updating this in so long. It has been difficult to keep up because of exhaustion. The days have been long and hard. The weather finally let up and we have had a long stretch of sunshine. I am so happy to be out of the mountainsbut miss it all the same. I will fill you in on my adventures through the mahoosuc mountain range and the long miles in southern Maine and going through the whites just as soon as possible. Keeping a journal has been tough because at the end of the day I just want to cook and sleep, but I have been keeping notes and keeping all the good stories just for you. My trail legs are in and my feet haven't fallen off yet, but are close. I am in a battle with myself whether to shave my legs or not. The bugs are better, but I still look as though I have chicken pox from mosquitoes. The mountains have turned into hills but the hills take just as long to get up because of switchbacks. I really miss the hard section. The accomplishments of getting up on a peak. I am about 15 miles short of 500 miles right now. Rutland is the first real city we have been in. It's so strange being around so many people now. I don't know how to act anymore. I get nervous and shy because of my smell and just being on my own for so long. My group is still together although we jeep going back and forth, I believe we are in this together all the way at this point. We have met so many great people and trail angels. I can't tell you how blessed I still am everyday.
Day 11- today my boys finally came in. I gave them the biggest hug ever. It was so good to see them. That was when matt told me that he was dropping out. I can't tell you the sadness in my heart. I was hoping To never hear those words. I am not mad or hurt with him. I am still here and going to come tongue on and it does not make me weaker. I also met 3 other sobos after saying farewell to Adam and Mariano. Spits, stinky jesus and papa. We drank and played trivial pursuit and had a wonderful time. Spits got asked a question about what type of beast was mossy docks whale. He said "humpback, no killer, no sperm, no humpback, no give me sperm hive me sperm!!" no later then 2 seconds, he realized what he had said and took it back before any of us could say anything. It was the hardest I have laughed yet. It took us back to day 2 when Joe and I were going up a huge maintain staircase and I told him it was like going up the stairway to heaven and each step was penance. He then said that's why there are so many steps". Gotta watch what you say around here. But at least we always can find a way to laugh. After we went to the beach and swam for a while. We then went to the store and I got new shoes. I can't wait to no longer beat up my feet with boots. My favorite part of today was when Spits first came in to Shaws he took one look at me, then shouted "you are nectar!" I am apparently famous already. When stinky walked into Shaws he fell to his knees and was glad to see us. Apparently he walked 2 hours in the wrong direction. Silly stinky. Him and I sat in the beer isle at the gas station for hours just taking and getting to know each other. We even had some locals join us and they told us how to find gold and all about gold panning. All of us drank and got to know each other. I also received a text from Adam and Mariano today saying they were on moxie peak and missed me. It was good to know they were thinking about me.
Day 12- today we woke up and had the same morning routine. Breakfast and hang out. We played another trivial pursuit, but this one was the 70-80 7 years +. We were laughing at how "smart" we are. We ended up blaming the trail. We hung around town for awhile. And when we got back nokey and Sprinkles from the AT lodge surprised us. They came from Millinocket to Monson to see us. It was great having all of us together. Once again the stories pored out and the laughter filled the room. The best part of this trip is all the laughs. Just can't get enough of it. Stinky and nokey tried taking matt into staying all day. They just gave the poor guy so much hell. But it was all fun. They named him seat down. Haha! Had an amazing lobster keish at Lakeshore for lunch then hit the store one more time. I live how everyone here is a family. It helps when everyone had the same goal and you can push each other. We are perfect strangers but we are all each other has. You can fully be yourself here and say anything you want because it doesn't matter. All of us sat around and told jokes until we fell asleep. This whole thing is just so amazing. I am so happy to be here. It's a whole new world here. It's almost like a job. We hike 8-9 hours a day and just think when we hike. It's great to have the time to figure everything out. The trail is becoming my home. It's nice to be able to figure life out. To actually be able to peacefully process your thoughts. I can't wait to continue on and I can't imagine all the people I will meet, all the happiness I will have, all the dreams and memories I will continue to make.
Day 13- today I got back on the trail. I was up early just jumping around and ready to head out. After 5 days if rest I was so ready to go. I am still sore but happy to be back. Moose legs(joe) and Spits decided to finish the rest of the 100 miles with me, so we slack packed it. It was a good way to start. Then we got our packs and went on further. The roots still hurt our feet but they are better now that they are not smashed in my boots. My pack was a bit heavy at first because I was so excited that I just threw everything together. After I twisted my ankle for the third time and sat there cursing for a bit, I readjusted everything and it was much better. I got up and started on my way. This time I was back to cruising the trail at my 4 mph pace. We stopped early and decided to camp since the weather was good. Moose and I stayed in my tent and Spits slept in his bivy. It was nice to camp and not having to sleep in a lean to. I really sound even notice that matt was gone Cuz I was just so happy. Today we a good day. Tough at first but it got better. I missed the white blazes and the freedom.
Day 7-Things are not looking so great for us. My knees are going out and I am having trouble walking. Matt's feet are killing him. We just need a zero. This 100 miles of hell is killing us. We wore out in the ffirst few days. Joe is hurting also. Once we get to Monson we will figure out what we are going to. Weare going to start with a few zeros and lighten out packs. But I don't know how much more my knees are going to take. I would hate to quit now. I think I just need rest. But it all depends on if we make it out of this hell. This morning was good but the Down hill really took its tole. My left knee was hurting Cuz I transfered all my weight to it. I just hope I make it the next 4 days. But it's going to be hard. But we need to get out. Matt said he would carry my food so I have less weight. I just keep on praying. This is not how it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be fun and relaxing. But this damn storm took everything out of us. I am scared though. I just hope I can make it out. I almost tore my toenail off while crossing a river. The water was rushing really fats and almost took me out. I almost lost a pole and I dived for it so my foot got caught between 2 rocks. We are getting eaten alive by Mosquitoes and black flies.
Day 8-today I could barely walk. We walked a few miles to the road and waited an hour and a half for a hitch hike, but no luck. So i climbed white cap to get cell signal. I called Shaws lodging to shuttle me out. Then I had to climb back down the mountain to get to the road. I am hoping my knees are just bruised and I can be back on the trail on a few days. These people are so nice. When I got to Shaws there was a reporter from Appalachian trail. Com. He took pictures of me and interviewed me. I am glad I pulled out so I could relax. If I would have gone on I would have hurt myself worse. I think it was the best decision. I really like this writer. He bought me breakfast and desert. Trail magic right away. Some of the locals also bought me some beers. 9 days of hell was not fun. Just happy to be out of the 100 mile. I miss my boys though. They decided to keep pushing on. I am so proud of them because they are hurting also. I really wish I was with them. Last night we got a taste of little bears. A mouse got into one of our food bags. The bag was right nest to matt. I woke up Cuz I heard something moving around. After listening for a bit I called Matt's name and he sleepily said "what". I then told him I thought there was something in our food. He paused for a second then jumped up swinging and kicking yelling "you little fucker". He then lifted a bag. There was a little mouse in the bag. It had chewed I hole to get into the bag and could not get back out. I was a little upset but could not help laughing at the reaction the boys had. Tonight I ate at Lakeshore with a couple of sobo girls, number 2 and trooper. They started a few days before we did. They got taken out because of knee injuries as well. They also told me how they both got washed down the river because it was so high. Also, 2 guys from Tampa joined us that were just section hiking through the 100 mile. We ran into them earlier at rainbow. We all sat there and told stories. They told me that a few days off my feet and some I've knees will feel much much better. That made me feel do much better.
Day 9- today I hung out in Monson. I said farewell to the girls from last night. As I was relaxing and icing my knees, I heard that 2 other guys had come in. I got excited and ran down the stairs. It was not matt and Joe, but Adam and Mariano from the wilderness! I was so happy to see familiar faces and they ran up to me and gave me the biggest hugs ever. It was like seeing an old friend. We talked and hung out all night and they joined me in the bunk room. After they showers we all went back to Lakeshore for dinner and some brews. The locals were excited to see me every after one night. I can't begin to tell you how exciting and cool that was. I felt like I was Norm walking into cheers. Felt a lot like home. There was a man there named Jill. He was telling us of his stories of hiking the trail back in 69-70. We also talked to Rebecca, the owner. She was really cool. Later we ran into matt 2. The other guy that started the trail to same day as us. It was a great reunion minus my 2 boys. How could life get any better?
Day 10- today we had french Toast for breakfast. Spent the morning talking to her and Emerson who are related to the owners. They were from Boston and came up for the weekend to visit. They told me how they hiked the wilderness 7 times. I got to spend a good chunk of the day taking to sue. She is this little old woman with massive calves that hikesthe trail also. IIt's amazing how many people here have hiked it. She told me how her and dawn came to Monson to help make it a hiker town. Everyone is just so sweet here. I can't began to tell you how much I love it here. As we were sitting at Lakeshore we got to see a little tornado. Crazy!! That kind of stuff never happens here. It was just a bad storm. It's making me worry about the boys. I am just glad that I am safe here. There were some locals playing live music. Adam joined them with his harmonica. There was singing and dancing all night. Later we went upstairs and played apples to apples and drank. Made some life long friends tonight. We walked around and swam in the lake and became so close and lifted our spirits.
Day 4- today was a lot better. The sun was shining. Yep! There is a sun in Maine.... Walked a good 8+ miles. Most of the trail was under water. Sometimes even waist deep. It was ok though, because it didn't rain! We talked a lot about day 2 and how today was better. The second day we stayed at rainbow stream... Not all rainbows are pretty, don't let it fool you. That's what we kept saying! We got off the trail about 3 times. Once we just bush walked for a bit and met up with the trail. It reminded us of how we got lost the first day and filled a 3 mile blue blaze circle... White blazes! White blazes! Unless the blue blaze has a present at the end of it. The second time we climbed a cliff to get back on the trail. It was very scary Cuz it was mossy so at any minute you could just fall through. I can't tell you how freaked out we were. Especially carrying 15+ extra lbs of wet gear. The third time we were in the high water trail and got confused because that was under water! You know it's been bad when the high water trail is under! But there was a long part of the trail that was clear and dry. We were exhausted though. Got our first taste of black flies. There was also this little bridge we crossed. It was about 8 ft above a pretty nice rapid. It was made of 3 logs that were not very trustworthy... Why? Some of the logic put in making this trail is beyond me... We all were so scared. All the other bog bridges and such were slippery and muddy and made terribly. But here we are at the hostle wresting and drying our cloths. My nose looks better. Less swollen. But my eyes are still black. I have bruises everywhere. Joe says I have zombie legs. We got a little wood burning stove going. Tonight is going to get cold so we are all curling up on front of it.
Day 5- today was an easy day. We are only doing about 4 miles since we decided not to take a zero. I got my trail name today! I am no longer Sarah! I am now NECTAR! it was given to me by Bill and Linda at the white house lodging hostle we stayed at. They called me nectar because the bugs and humming birds kept going for my hair which reminded them of a flower and all they want is nectar. Very fitting I think. Breakfast was great! All you can eat blueberry pancakes! I had 3 Joe had 7! This guy can sure eat. I was still full from the 14 in pizza we each for dinner. Deep dish and cheesy! Yummy! I am a happy trailer. And tonight for dinner I get leftover pizza. Who can complain. Finally r lunch we each has a 1/2 lb burger. Accept Joe had a 1 pounder..... Matt's feet are nice and blistered Cuz of the wet. It's been hard in us.
Day 6- today was a good day. We were rested and ready to roll. Our trail legs are almost 100%. We got here right before it stared to rain. Did about 12 miles. My knee is hurting really bad. So I will be slower. But gotta keep pushing. The weather should be good so we can slow our pace a bit. Not as much water on the trail but still have wet feet every day. I am looking forward to getting out of this 100 miles of hell. We are at about 60 so around 40 to go. We are going to get as close to white cap as we can. Big mountain. It's peaks from here on out until we hit Monson. Today we hiked with our bug nets on. It's getting pretty bad. Mosquitoes and black flies. Saw a few locals today. Everyone really supports sobos. Guess they don't see many. Joe got his trail name I kinda gave it to him. It's freehander. This is because the very first day he broke one of his hiking poles in half. So he had a free hand which comes in handy! No pun intended.. Beside our actual trail names. I call Joe smarty pants and he calls me little foot and we both call matt nicotine Cuz he paid bill 50 bucks to boat him across the lake to get ciggs and he bought all they had.... Ugh.. Lol. It's nice that freehander brought his guitar. We sit and sing. Matt can't get enough ofit. He says it sooths the soul. We all hate Maine. Can't wait to get out. Seems like this wilderness will never end. We are all hurting so bad. We are having teenie weenies for dinner. That was our motivation to get here. I swallowed my first bug today. Little shit just went strait to the back of my throat. Bug nets it is! Can't wait to be in Monson.
Day 1- we hiked to mile 18.6. Unable to climb the peak due to snow and bad weather. Hiked all day in the rain. (not kidding, if the sky was not raining the trees were...). Today was tough. Mind challenging. Most of the trail was under water. We all got a but of trench foot and our knees hurt. Started this morning at 7 knowing we would be in rain, but we were expecting the trail to be in better condition. Matt and I started with Joe. He is from Pennsylvania. Probably going to hike with us the whole way. The last 3 miles was very hard. Had to walk on a road. The people were nice and waved. One guy even gave us a thumbs up. We are missing dry nm. But it's so green here. We even saw big and little Niagara Falls. It was beautiful. Matt was excited Cuz he had never seen falls like that. Cold night Cuz of the rain. But no bugs! I saw a frog today!
Day 2- worst day of my life!! We hiked to mile 30.1. Matt hiked faster Cuz of his feet, so Joe and I stuck together. It was not raining much the first part of the day but it was so wet and muddy. We climbed a mountain. They made a staircase going up of rocks. Climbing up these was harder than climbing up a 20 story building. It was such a climb. We hurt Cuz of yesterday. Then it started to rain.. Not rain, pour. On the way down the mountain, the trail got worse. MORE MUD! the trail was actually a flowing stream with little lakes. The lakes and rivers were so high they spilled over on the trail. I fell a good 6-7 times. We all took a dip with our packs at least once. I slipped on a log and fell in a waist deep puddle backpack first. I panicked and rolled over right away to make sure I had dry stuff! It seemed like the day would never end and it kept getting colder and colder and we were soaked head to toe. The rain was so bad I could not see much and walked into a tree with my face. Almost broke my glasses and my nose. talk It about demotivating. was crappy at first but I laughed later. We kept pushing though. Hurting so bad by this point. And it was hard to go fast Cuz of the water and the mud and roots! They were everywhere. One wrong step and you go down. This 100 mile wilderness is some serious business. We will probably take longer to get out Cuz the terrain is so bad. At least I have matt and Joe. The three of us get along so well. And Joe said he was happy Cuz I helped push him other wise he would have quit. So today was terrible. Right now I am 2 for 2 as far as bad days go. But no way I will quit. I will probably have 7-8 more bad days, but a hell of a lot of good days. I won't give up fighting Cuz the 100 mile wilderness will end and the rain will stop. And when it's done I will say I just had to work harder. I won't let hypothermia win! There is hostle 15 miles away thatwe are aiming for. We will take 2 days to get there but it will be out first good day!
Day 3- not as bad. It didn't rain.. Well not the sky, but the trees did. We caught some good views. We did have to climb a mountain up and back down.. Pointless if you ask me. It was almost like we did a circle.... Anyways... Everything hurts but we plan on taking a zero tomorrow to rest up. There have been 6 of us the past few day sleeping in these small lean-tos. I sure hope my knees feel better. All of us keep saying "fuck Maine" we are now used to being in knee to waist deep water. We had our first fire tonight. It was a good way to lift our spirits. Hopefully it's sunny. I would like to see the sky!