Mahoosec Notch 

Tuesday July 11, 2017 

Grafton Notch, Pine Ellis Hostel 9.7 miles

Total mileage 899

When I woke up this morning I really didn’t feel like hiking. I felt like I could really go back to sleep. There was a chance of rain and I had Mahoosec Notch, Mahoosec Arm and Old Speck Mountain on the plate for today. Which I was nervous about. Mahoosec Notch is the hardest mile of the trail or funnest (if your psyho) with boulders as big as cars that you have to climb over, around or even under. Mahoosec Arm is very steep and I hadn’t heard anything about Old Speck. 

So I really wasn’t looking forward to today. I finally decided not to take a zero in my tent today and that I needed to get going. I got up to get my food bag from the bear box and go to the bathroom and there was a group of four that were about to head north. They must have come in after I went to bed last night. I got really excited because it meant that I may be able to follow them through the Notch. I still had to pack up all my gear and eat breakfast, but maybe if I was quick I could catch them. They said they were slow and just section hikers so there was a  chance. I quickly got things packed up and ate breakfast and was on the trail at 6:30 am. 

Lucky for me they took a break just before the Notch and I caught up to them. We packed away our trekking poles. We wouldn’t be needing them. SLIM JIM took the lead with LEAD DOG, SMALLS, TINY PANTS and ME following in the rear. SLIM JIM really scouted out the best route for us and we all followed. There were a couple of areas that we had to remove our packs to fit/crawl through and there were a couple of areas where SLIM JIM gave us a pull up or hand to hang onto. It was a little nerve racking for me, but I made it through it. I was so thankful to have caught up to this group. It took us just over two hours to get through this mile. 

Now that I have done it once I think it would be pretty fun to do it without a pack on with a group again. 

Next was Mahoosec Arm. The group I was with all stopped for a water/snack break. I filled up my water bottle ate a snack and headed out before the rest. I had to pee and didn’t want to go near a water source so I moved on. I started up the Arm and soon put my trekking poles away. There were a lot of slate rock areas on the way up and my poles are no good on areas like that. It is just easier to grab a tree and pull yourself up. It was a hard climb up and my legs were starting to feel week and worn out, but at least there were no scary areas. 

Now Old Speck was a different story. It was steep open exposed rock slate climbing with no tree to hang on to, but some how I made it through it. I am still scared during these climbs but I’m not freezing and having a panic attack. 

It was a very long and exhausting 10 mile/10 hour day. I was being picked up by a hostel, Pine Ellis Hostel, and I didn’t plan to take a zero but after today I was definitely taking a day off. 

The shuttle driver, DAVID, picked me up and we headed to the hostel. He was Indian with dark skin and long black hair with sliver and turquoise jewelry on. I was in the vehicle for about 20 minutes going down this really worn out and old back road when it occurred to me “where the hell is this guy taking me?” It was only a $15. shuttle how far away was the hostel. I learned that Andover, ME is 40 minutes away from the trailhead that I got picked up from. I couldn’t believe how cheep the shuttle was. Andover, is a tiny town with one four way stop in the middle. 

8 thoughts on “Mahoosec Notch 

  1. Congrats on making it through this section!! I’ll bet you feel like you have a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. Speaking of which…I can’t tell you how many times I, too, wondered what it would be like to hike certain sections without a backpack…or what it would be like to re-hike a section after I had already made it through it. I think fear of the unknown causes a lot of undue stress!! I’m so proud of you for pushing through your fears! It’s hell while you are doing it, but afterwards, it’s incredible. (At least for me. 🙂 ) Your pics are just incredible. Mine didn’t come out near as good as yours. You are going to love them when you are able to see them on a real computer screen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! What a day!!! It’s okay to be afraid. These are big things you’re doing. The important thing is that you always get the job done, and are stronger and braver for the next challenge.

    And I can’t wait to experience all of this next year. You’re blog is so educational and inspirational for me.

    You’re going to have this huge adventure as a part of you forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like Mahoosec was fun after all ( now that it is behind you of course ) I hope you made a snow ball for me while you were there.
    As for your driver David, if you see him again as hin if he is a member of the Mic Mac tribe—they were the Native Americans that settled in the state of Maine. It was one of my greatest disappointments when my family Geneology disproved the rumer that we were decendents of that tribe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ummm…is that SNOW under those boulders the size of houses?!?! How do you even know where to go?! And WHERE is your buddie Soulflower?!? I hope y’all reunite soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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