Sunday July 30, 2017
Stealth Camping, ME @2089.5 14.3 miles
Total mileage 1066
I took a zero day at Shaw’s Hostel yesterday. It was a good relaxing day. Since I was in Maine, I treated myself to a lobster roll. It was delicious! It was the first one that I have ever had. Did you know that in Maine you can get lobster rolls at McDonald’s?!?!
SOULFLOWER is now sporting a black eye! She fell out of bed while at Shaw’s. She hit her eye on a night table and her knee. The mattress was old and worn out from people sitting on the edge and when she rolled near the edge it just collapsed. It was not funny when it happened, we were both worried about a possible injury. But after ascessing things and realizing she would be OK she just started laughing. Laughing so hard at herself she was crying!
Today was relatively flat, but there were lots of roots and rocks to slow you down as well as a couple of areas of talus rock to scramble across. There was also a Ford that required us to change out of our hiking shoes if we wanted to keep them dry.
I ended the day by soaking my feet in a stream that we were camped near. This always feels so good, but sometimes the water is so cold you can’t leave your feet in for very long.
Today I am grateful for still being able to do this hike. Some have had to go home for some reason or another.
Monday July 31, 2017
Stealth camping @ 2105.5 ME 16 miles
Total mileage 1082
Today is day 100 of me being on the trail!
Today was long and difficult for me. I crossed over 5 mountain summits or peaks in the 100 mile wilderness. I hammered out the last 7 miles of the day because I like to be done early and off my feet. I was done at 5 pm. I normally like to by done about 4 pm which is about 10 hours of hiking for me. Usually by then I am really ready to be off my feet. I noticed as I was hustling today that my knees didn’t bother me as much when I was going downhill at a faster pace. It is more painful for me to go slow.
I didn’t make it to my intended destination for the day. I wanted to make it across a ford so I wouldn’t have to do it first thing in the morning, but the sky was getting dark and I could hear thunder. I know there were tent sites on this side if the ford, but didn’t know if there were any on the other side. The rain actually started just as I was passing the campsites in the south side of the river so I just grabbed one and began setting up my tent in the rain. This allowed me to avoid the majority of the rain and stay mostly dry. I would just have to do the ford in the morning. I don’t want to think about how cold that water will be.
Today I am grateful for not getting caught in a terrible rain storm.
Tuesday August 1, 2017
Logan Brook Lean To 12.9 miles
Total mileage 1094.9
Jim had surgery today for his rotator cuff tear. The surgery went well. Now he has four plus months of recovery before he can go back to work. I just hope the healing goes well and he gets full use of his shoulder again.
It was a beautiful day. The temperature was warm but when I got up in elevation there was a very cool plesent breeze. There were 3 mountains to summit plus one peak. The terrian was challenging but no scrambling so that was good. I did have some butt chafing which I haven’t experienced in quite some time.
I got my first view of Katahdin today. She’s BIG! And only 72 miles away! I’m getting closer.
I am grateful that Jim’s surgery went well and he is doing well.
Wednesday August 2, 2017
Cooper Brook Falls Lean To 11.7 miles
Total mileage 1106.6
Today was an easy day, low miles and easy terrain. I made it to camp by 12 pm and went for a swim in the water just below the falls. The water was cold but not unbearable. There are leaches in the water but they say if you keep moving they most likely won’t attach to you. I could see some attached to the rocks close to shore, but they were pretty small. I just made sure to keep moving and I was fine. I also washed some of my clothes.
Last night another group of 12 girls came into camp and set up practically on top of us. They really didn’t have much choice. There was limited tenting and there was also a group of boys there at the shelter too. So options were very limited. I laid down last night at 5:30 while the girls were eating dinner. Hikers are quiet while eating. I stuck my ear plugs in and didn’t think I would fall asleep but I did. I didn’t wake up until about 8:30 pm. I went pee and could hear the girls whispering and giggling in their tents so I put my ear plugs back in and went back to sleep.
I have seen a few groups out hiking. I think this had been the busiest state I have been in so far. There are SOBO’s who are just starting the trail, a lot of youth groups, section hikers and day hikers. This is the first day that I didn’t see a day hiker in the 100 mile wilderness.
I’ll give you a rundown on how my body is doing. I have been doing pretty well. My feet are sore at the end of the day and I am ready to be off of them. My knees bother me going down hill and when I squat all the way down, but just walking on level ground they are fine. The back of my knees and upper calf area are tired at the end of the day and I wish I had some compression socks to put on before going to bed. My leg muscles are strong! I am not taking any ibuprofen for pain. I did gain two pounds when I was at John and Patti’s (Patti’s a great cook and fed me well). The last time I weighted I was still carrying the two extra pounds. All the wounds I had from falls are scraps have healed. I do have some bug bites. I do have one swollen lymph node behind my right ear, which I haven’t had for many years. I get strange swellings with my Lupus. This is the fifth day the swelling has been there which is the longest I have ever had it. I don’t have any numb toes but occasionally get tingly fingers if my pack is heavier on one side. My back is usually fine unless I am carrying a lot of food.
I am grateful for all the treats Jim puts in my resupply boxes. I’ve had swiss rolls, dried pineapple and cherries, mini muffins, gouda puffs, popcorn and of course chocolate! Thank you, Babydoll!
Thursday August 3, 2017
White House Landing 15 miles
Total mileage 1121.6
I am at a lodge tonight and so happy to be inside out of the weather. We have had some very heavy rain with hail, thunder and lightening this evening. I was watching it rain from inside a dry cabin and thinking how thankful I am.
Today was a good day. Easy terrian. I picked up a food drop at a road from Shaw’s Hostel this morning and they were a half hour early. Which was excellent since I was there at 7:45am for a 9am pickup. SOULFLOWER and I didn’t want to carry 9 days of food through the 100 mile wilderness so we arranged a food drop. Which worked out great for us.
This place also has cell reception! A bonus! I finely got to talk to Jim this evening as well as touch base with Mom. I’ve had limited reception up here in Maine so it has been hard not being able to communicate with anyone.
The lodge is across the lake from the trail so you have to call them and they come and pick you up by boat. I am showered and feeling clean again! I hadn’t washed my hair since last Friday, 6 days ago!
Last night was pretty warm so it was hard to fall asleep. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I flip back down south. Just hiking the last two days it was warm/hot and I was dripping with sweat.
I am getting close to the end of this first half and really excited to be so close. I had Jim book my return flight back to Harper’s Ferry.
When I got to my room at the lodge there was another couple there. A mother/daughter team from Texas that were trying to finish up the trail, but the daughter twisted her ankle and they were leaving the trail, just 45 miles from the end. It was sad to see them go. Since they were leaving they shared their food with me. My hiker hunger is kicking in. I ate two packages of peanut butter crackes at 400 calories then ate half a ziplock sandwich bag of trail mix, which I would guess to be around 600 calories. All of this was an hour before dinner. Then I ate 3 pieces of pizza for dinner!
I am thankful for a full belly!
Friday August 4, 2017
Rainbow Campsite 19.5 miles
Total mileage 1141.1
Today was an extremely tiring day. There were so many roots and rocks throughout the entire trail with a few mud bogs thrown in for fun. You had to watch every foot fall very carefully.
My lower legs were totally fatigued by the time I finished for the day. I just wanted to finish everything and lay down so I could rest my legs.
Today was such a long day because it looked like Sunday’s weather would be the best to climb Katahdin. So we were trying to make it into Baxter State Park tomorrow.
I saw some more “day hikers” today in the 100 mile wilderness. For an area that is supposed to be so remote there sure seem to be a lot of access to the trail.
We add another member to our group today. Her name is SHORTCUT and she is finishing up the trail. She is so ready to be done. She got caught in yesterday’s storm! She is from Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Today I am grateful for our new friend, SHORTCUT!
Saturday August 5, 2017
Katahdin Stream Campground Baxter State Park 21.1 miles
Total mileage 1162.6
We were up and out early, 5:45 am. We were hoping to get into Baxter State Park so we could climb Katahdin tomorrow. The state park only allows 12 hikers to camp in the park each day so we were moving trying to get there before it filled up and we made it. We will be climbing Katahdin tomorrow! I’m really NOT looking forward to it. It is very open and exposed and dangerous! Plus it is supposed to rain all night so things will be wet in the morning. Hopefully I survive this.
I get to the camp ground around 4 pm. I stop at the ranger station to pay for our campsite and get my permit to climb Katahdin the following day.
Today I am grateful for my strength to get me this far!