…and unlike many fellow thru-hikers I have been conversing with, I am not nearly as eager to be done with my trip as they are to be done theirs. I am enjoying this simple lifestyle, and I am not quite ready to rejoin society with all its noise and complexity. Which is why I plan to hike ridiculously low mileage days for the rest of my journey. I plan to summit Mt. Katahdin on September 17th, exactly six months from my starting date (weather providing), and I only have 188.2 miles to go to get there.
People familiar with the final portion of the AT in Maine have been telling me how remarkably beautiful it will be, and they have advised me to carry plenty of food so I can spend more time camping near all the wonderful ponds/lakes/streams along the trail. I will do precisely that! I still have books to read, loons to listen to, mountains to view, ponds to swim in, and people to break bread with. I know I will be excited and quite ready to go home when I reach the end, but for now I am focusing on what lays right before my feet, which is a magical, beautiful trail through the Appalachian Mountains of Maine.
Spontaneous sunset canoe trip in Maine along the Appalachian Trial with Yote and Chicken Little (not pictured but crucial to the night’s festivities!)
Georgia to Maine! 281.3 miles left to go until the summit of Mt. Katahdin. It was a cloudy, foggy, and rather damp day, and the sun poked through right when I got to the border. A special moment for sure.
Also, I saw my first wild moose today! We had to be vewy, vewy quiet because it was a mother and her calf. Actually, we just had to avoid getting close to them because we tried to scare them off the trail by making noise but they wouldn’t budge so we found a way around them. Spotted near Osgood tenting site a little less than five miles from Pinkham Notch.
Video footage of three hikers opening, then working hard to close, one of the side doors to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on August 13th, 2014. Needless to say we did not summit Mt. Washington that day!
Today I summited Mt. Washington, something I have been looking forward to for a while! Mt. Washington is the 2nd tallest peak on the Appalachian Trail and features some of the most extreme weather in the country. I was fortunate enough to see some of that extreme weather while I took refuge from heavy winds and rain all day yesterday at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which is 1.3 miles from the summit and about 1,000 feet below it. The peak wind gust at Mt. Washington yesterday was 83 mph, and the average wind speed was 41.2 mph. I will follow this post with a video that demonstrates the intensity of the wind!
I made it to New Hampshire this afternoon…just in time for the Sunday buffet at the Jewel of India in Hanover! I devoured three whole plates of delicious, delicious Indian cuisine, and now I am having cake and coffee at a nearby cafe. Next stop, the movie theater. A super special thank you goes out to an old scouting friend, Andrew, for showing me around town this afternoon and for hosting me this evening. Hanover, NH is my kind of trail town!