Thursday, July 17, 2008

Heading into the bogs

I've just about finished up the mountainous part of Maine, and I'll be heading into the more boggy area soon. I'm pretty excited about not climbing so much anymore, and I hear lots of good things about this last stretch. There's supposed to be some beautiful lakes and streams, and it will be nice to have a change of scenery. I have some stream fords coming up that I hear are pretty deep, like up to the waist (but that was from a short girl so maybe up to my knees). I got my first real welcome to the bogs the other day when I fell in to my waist. I actually laughed when it happened because it was the first time I had really played in mud since I was a kid. It also rained for the next 8 miles, so I had the chance to get a good rinse before pulling into the shelter for the night. I did, however, smell really bad for the next 3 days before getting to town and settling in to the hostel. Best shower ever! I took a "zero" today, which means I walked around town and ate everyhting in sight, and took several naps. Tomorrow is another big day on the trail. A little over 15 miles and the weather forecast is 70% thunderstorms in the morning and afternoon. Ah, I love the summertime. Sorry no pictures again. These hostel computers aren't really geared for handling more than a little text! Hope you all are doing great!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Moose Count

The moose count is now up to 5. I got pictures of this last one, since it didn't run away or try to chase me. I'll post one when I'm on a better computer.

Can't remember if it was George or Kerry in OCRM who told me to wait until I had 3 bad days in a row to star thinking about quitting, but I'm super grateful for that advice. I had 2 really bad days (bad weather, bad people, bad bugs, bad sleep, sore knees and feet, and one good fall), but the very next day tied for first place in the "best day ever" competition.

Well, I'm in Maine now at the first of my 3 hostel stays. Hitched a ride into town on the back of a 4-wheeler. My folks sent me a resupply package and added in a bunch of extra Snickers and nuts. Glad to have such great parents. Man, it's amazing how a great hiking day, hot shower, clean laundry, good food, and a bed can lift the spirits. ~250 miles to go to Katahdin.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oh, the Whites

I've just about made it all the way across New Hampshire. I finished up the Whites a couple of days ago. I'm a little bruised up, but it was worth every bit of pain. The Whites are mostly above treeline, and there are views out the wahzoo. Also, I've been hiking with some great guys and having a blast! I ran into one guy I met during my first section in MD, and he's doing really well. Two others got Lyme disease and are a few weeks behind, but I'm sure they'll catch up soon. The huts in NH have had some great left overs for hikers (pancakes, soup, ham, mashed potatoes), and I've been doing work-for-stay as much as possible. Last week, a girl working at one of the huts fell down the stairs pretty hard, so we had to do a "carry out", which meant we had to strap her to a board and carry her down the trail in the middle of a rainstorm. We didn't get back to the hut until about 2:30am, so the hut workers gave us hot chocolate chip and walnut pancakes in the morning, in addition to all the leftovers.

Wildlife update: I've seen 2 bears. One mom and 3 cubs, and one by himself. They didn't really do much, and they were actually very cute and non-threatening looking. The moose count is up to 4. The first was a young guy who ran away as soon as he saw me. Another was huge and right next to me in the woods, but I didn't see him until he got spooked and ran away. The other 2 were a mom and baby that cornered me in my campsite and wouldn't let me leave. They kept coming toward me, so I had to get behind a rock - I've heard they can kick pretty hard.

Well, I'm doing great. I have a little less than 300 miles to go before climbing Katahdin in Maine. From there, I'm not sure where I'll go. All I know now is I'm ready for Maine.