Mt. Katahdin and the 100-Mile Wilderness (good band name, huh?)

12 Jul

I am here in Monson, ME enjoying my first day off the trail after my first 11 days if my adventure! In case you haven’t been following my Twitter (see the panel to the left —>) I’ve been dominating the trail.

I woke up bright an early on the first of July to summit Mt. Katahdin, the northern terminus of the trail. Maine has had record setting rain for the month of June, so the trail up was more like a small river most of the way. It was also really foggy, so I couldn’t see too much on the way up. But after four hours of climbing I made it to the summit. The clouds cleared away for a few moments too and I was able to snap a few pictures. It felt really great to stand at the top of the mountain and know that it wad the start of my adventure!

The next day, my dad and I started hiking south. We met a lot of cool people that day, including Mike and Tim who are real mountain men. They can start a fire in the rain, which turned out to be very handy since it rained for eight out of the past eleven days.

On my third day I headed into the infamous 100-Mile Wilderness, the longest stretch of trail between towns. There are signs at each end warning hikers that there is no chance for resupply or rescue in the wild, and you should BE PREPARED. It was pretty intimidating, but I wasn’t about to let some silly sign stop me.

And so after saying goodby to Pops, I headed into the wild. I have to say that it turned out to be more muddy than wild. All the rain just turned the trail into 100 miles of sloppy muddy wet roots and rocks. At the end of each day, I would have mud caked up to my knees, my shoes soaked to the core, looking pretty much like a dog left out in a storm.

It rained and rained and rained, and our spirits were pretty beaten down. We kept coming to spots where the guide book would say, “On a clear day, the view from Whitecap Mountain is one of the best in Maine,” but we only saw fog and mist. Despite the warning signs, there are actually a number of places to get off the trail if you want, and alot of folks quit after a few days.

The sun finally did come out and it was great. The area we travelled through was beautiful, lots of ponds and lakes, mystical almost. And when we finally summitted a mountain on a sunny day, it made all the rain worth it. The views were just awesome, and that much better because it had been so rainy for the days before. As Mike says, “no rain, no rainbow.”

Life on the trail is nice. All you really think about is walking, eating, staying dry. The people I’ve met have been super cool. I’m sitting on the patio of our pub/hostel here in Monson with Pilgrim and Crow, looking at the lake and enjoying a beer. I’ve been rolling with a crew of about ten people or so, mostly recent grads or retirees. Everyone calls me “Tex,” which suits me fine, I always wanted a nickname like that.

I head out again tomorrow, I’m very excited to head down the trail. Only 2,050 miles to go! Keep checking the Twitter, I’ll try post pictures and stuff pretty frequently there. Miss you guys lots, keep commenting and emailing!

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6 Responses to “Mt. Katahdin and the 100-Mile Wilderness (good band name, huh?)”

  1. Sam August 6, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    how long did it take for you to complete the 100 mile wilderness?

  2. Melissa Limmer July 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    WAIT…you can tweet your hike along the trail? Does it count as roughing it if you can tweet about it…lol. I hope the weather gets better for the rest of your trip, have fun! Love the blog…

  3. David Leverenz July 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    that is probably the most legit post i have ever read.

  4. rachael chambers July 14, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    i knew they would call you Tex!! can i just say that i called it?

  5. Emmie July 14, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Hey Robert –
    Glad to hear that its going well – it all sounds terribly exciting!! Make sure you let Mollie and I know when you are hiking through VA or MD or WV…we’ll try to figure out a place that we can get to you and bring you some homemade goodies….

  6. hortonslittlewho July 13, 2009 at 9:42 am #

    Thanks for posting an update! Enjoying the twitpics along the way too. Life becomes so much simpler when the only agenda you have for the day is to walk, eat, stay dry and enjoy your surroundings.

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