Not all those who wander are lost

14 states, 2,180 miles, 5,000,000+ steps

Month: July, 2013

Moose, Mountains, and Monsoons

We are now 188.7 miles into our journey, and we are still experiencing firsts. We hitch-hiked into a small town the other day to eat at a diner and resupply. We rode in the back of a truck for 18 miles down a bumpy Maine road to get to the general store / diner. The people there were wonderful but didn’t really know what to do with us crazy, smelly southern hikers. On our way back to the trailhead, we saw our first bull moose of the trip. This thing was massive, and the scary part is that he wasn’t even full grown.
After we got back to the trail, we had about 24 miles until the next town, Stratton. On the first day back on the trail we decided to tackle most if not all of the Bigelow Mountain range. Other than Mt. Katahdin, these would be the highest mountains that we had climbed to date. The climb up Little Bigelow proved to be fairly easy because the temperature was nice and the climb wasn’t too steep. Avery Peak proved to be a lot more difficult because it was a lot higher, steeper, and the bottom dropped out of the sky while we were coming down Little Bigelow. After being drenched climbing up Avery we decided to make camp for the night and climb the West Peak and hike the last 8 miles into town the following day.
After a very cold night at the Bigelow campsite we had an easy climb up the West Peak and the South Horn. The first few miles down the mountain were rugged, but we were eventually able to finish off the last few miles and make it to Maine Hwy 27 and take a shuttle to our hostel in Stratton.

-Alex-
“Wild Reeves”

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Stratton, Maine

We crossed over the kennebeck river and climbed Bigelow mountain in the rain

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Filth

I have not a lot to say which hasn’t already been said… Nonetheless, never have I lived in such filth! To give some idea of it, the first time I sat in a chair after the 100 Mile Wilderness, my shirt stuck to the back of it, peeling off as I leaned forward. Also, never have my feet taken such a beating… and never did I think anything could persuade me to sit so often directly on the ground and on logs and rocks and the like. Lastly, about the only time we could take flat, even steps was when balancing on rotting planks laid down across the mud and through bogs. Anyhow, it’s now time to move on from Monson, at least partway recovered, and there’s no denying it’s a relief to be done with the dreaded hundred miles of wilderness.

– Jared (a.k.a., “Moss-man”)

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Favorite campsite from the 100 mile wilderness

Truth

“This is not a trail, It’s a gauntlet!!” (7/21/13)

I would have to say that the most surprising part of this journey is how challenging it already has been. I was expecting worn footpaths and gentle ascents and descents from a trail that has been in existence since the 30s, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am not deathly afraid of heights, but scrambling up Mt. Katahdin’s rocky face with 60 mph wind whipping around me definitely unnerved me more than once. From there we traversed through Baxter State Park, which appeared to have every rock, stone, and boulder relocated to our walking path. This then led to a stretch of trail known as the 100 mile wilderness where there is no resupply or easy outlet to civilization. We were only there for 10 days but the feeling of being cut off from the world began to appear like a new permanent lifestyle. The worst part wasn’t the sense of running out of food or water, which was my initial concern. It was the constant, constant rise and fall of the path. Not at all resembling a trail but more like a test of what you were made of with every step. To make things more difficult, even more treacherous roots and rocks littered the ground – so frequently that even a half second to look for your next change in direction or to swat at the constant barrage of flies and mosquitoes and you risk losing you footing. After rising and plummeting what seemed like a thousand times, we were greeted by the distinct sound of cars on a highway and I was immediately in high spirits. I am looking forward to continuing on the “trail” today, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for us.

– Alpacka 

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