“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.