Twig Adventures

AT Day 3: Streams & Lakes

Tuesday July 27th, 2021, 0600-1650Rainbow Lake Dam to Antlers Campsite, SOBO AT mm 51.723.7 miles3140 gain, 3700 loss The bullfrogs sang all night, chanting me to sleep. It was so peaceful and quiet. There was surprisingly little condensation in the morning, a big plus considering my proximity to the lake. Then the most amazing thing happened…the sun rose right behind Katahdin, making it appear as though it was a volcano erupting. I’ve seen a lot of mountains and sunset\sunrises but this had to be in my top ten best of all time. I even woke up the other 2 ladies because I didn’t think they’d want to miss it. It was at 5:30 am. So I didn’t get as early[…]

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AT Day 2: Rainbows

Monday July 26th, 2021, 0530-1600Katahdin Stream Campground to Rainbow Lake Dam, SOBO AT mm 28.223 miles2726 gain, loss 2726 It was a very restful night, thank goodness. I heard Avery packing and out the gate by 1 am, but her slight rustlings barely registered. The sound of Katahdin Stream and my weariness from the big climb the day before ensured that I was out most of the night. Being mid-summer and so far north, it started getting light around 4:30 am. I usually wake with the light so I was on the trail by 5:30 am…earlier than planned but it felt good to get such a head start on the day. Even my fully loaded pack didn’t feel too bad…[…]

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AT Day 1: The Greatest Mountain

Sunday July 25th, 2021, 0730-1300Katahdin Stream Campground north to Katahdin Summit, then south to return, SOBO AT mm 5.310.6 miles4226 gain, 4226 loss I slept horribly all night. I was just so anxious about all the little things of no importance, worried about the hike and poor weather forecast for the upcoming day. I just laid awake for hours. Naturally, the more one tells themselves that they need sleep before a big performance, the more sleep evades them. Finally 5 am rolled around and I had an excuse to get up. I knew everything would be fine once I was on the trail. Old Man (his given trailname), who owns and operates the AT Lodge, was up bright and early[…]

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AT Day 0: Hello Again Maine!

Phase 1 of my AT journey was getting from one of the most southern locations in the US to one of the most remote of northern locations…all in only one day! This involved a direct flight from Miami to Bangor, a commuter bus ride from Bangor to Medway, and finally a shuttle to the AT Lodge in Millinocket, ME. At the time of my planning, the Lodge offered a $70 SOBO package, which included the shuttle from Medway, 1 night in the bunk room, and a shuttle to Katahdin Stream Campground Ranger Station early the next morning (it was also supposed to include breakfast but this was a mis-advertisment). If a hiker wanted a second night to acclimate, the staff[…]

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Southbound on the AT…the right way

Everyone knows that a long-distance trail is one-directional, from north to south, right? WRONG! Where and when this concept took root, I can’t say. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve been informed by well-meaning northbounders (NOBOs) that I was hiking the ‘wrong way’ or ‘backwards’.  That’s all fine with me, as I’ve always had a penchant for being different and ‘going against the grain.’ Besides, southbounding the 3 Triple Crown trails has many advantages, namely fewer crowds and less competition for trail town resources. SOBOs also just rock. I didn’t start out going the wrong way on my first 2 trails, the Colorado Trail and Te Araroa. Both have some valid reasons for having a ‘more easier’[…]

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The Backwards Triple Crown

    First, let’s get the “What’s the Triple Crown of Hiking?” question out of the way. Borrowed from the horse racing world, this Triple Crown is an informal recognition of those that have hiked all 3 of the longest American trails end-to-end. The 3 trails are the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), and the Appalachian Trail (AT).     According to the American Long Distance Hiking Association’s 2020 records (ALDHA-West), a total of 482 Triple Crown of Hiking Award recipients have so far been recognized. That means more people have been to space than have hiked all 3 of these trails! Chew on that Jeff Bezos! Money can buy just about anything but it takes[…]

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My Genesis on the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail. Well, plans are finally in place and I’m about 3 weeks from my start date…which is to say that I’m officially announcing my intent to hike the entire AT! I will begin at the top of Mt Katahdin in Maine, then work my way south to Georgia over the course of about 3-4 months. For those that are maybe not so familiar with the trail, here are a few ‘AT Fun Facts’ derived from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy webpage. The Appalachian Trail (AT) is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring 2,193.1 miles in length. The AT passes through 14 states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the[…]

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