Twig Adventures

AT Day 14: Lightning Flashes

Saturday August 7th, 2021, 0540-1930South Arm Road to Speck Pond Shelter, SOBO AT mm 271.825 miles10377 gain, 8393 loss Today was nearly a killer but I survived. It might well have been the biggest day elevation-wise that I’ve ever done. Everyday I think it can’t get much worse and then it does…but much of this is my doing by trying to push the miles. The day started with some condensation on my tent, putting on still-wet clothes, and a brazen little squirrel scolding me for being in its territory. I call them cone chuckers because they’ll hurl pine cones at you…pure evil. I squirted this one with my water bottle to drive it off and it just got more irate.[…]

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AT Day 13: The 4 R’s

Friday August 6th, 2021, 0540-1740South Pond to South Arm Road, SOBO AT mm 246.824.3 miles6083 gain, 6850 loss It was so peaceful on the pond. Bullfrogs sang me to sleep. A little mouse tried to come in my tent while I ate breakfast…I had to gently brush it away with my hand. A problem arose with my stove as I tried to make coffee…for some reason the fuel was not coming out properly. It was making a weird anemic hiss, nothing like the regular sound. I was able to heat water at least. I hit the trail early, stopping to use the privy a few miles south. It was only yards away from the trail, very convenient. Brown blazing is[…]

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AT Day 12: Saddlebacks & Magic

Thursday August 5th, 2021, 0600-1700Sluice Brook logging road to South Pond, SOBO AT mm 222.515.5 miles4500 gain, 4500 loss Today was my favorite day yet, probably because it had a little bit of everything. Up first was another huge climb, ending at the top of a series of peaks collectively known as the Saddlebacks. I passed a few NOBOs first thing, the earlybirds. Then more early birds…a family of grouse that let me get really close. The momma was alarmed at first but actually called the 4 chicks into the trail to peck at tidbits while I got a good look. I had told her that everything was chill but actually I lied because I really wanted to catch and[…]

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AT Day 11: Southern Maine Hurts

Wednesday August 4th, 2021, 0900-1700Rt 27 to Sluice Brook logging road, SOBO AT mm 20718.7 miles6276 gain, 5992 loss I couldn’t have asked for better conditions in the dorm room. White noise from the fans and a/c drowned out other noises. The bunk was huge with a brand new modern mattress, so comfy. The giant, airy dorm loft even smelled fresh. And yet, I still slept horribly. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the trail and worrying that I needed to do a better job planning ahead and quit taking so many town stops. Instead of sleeping, I worked on stuff on my phone…at least I got a lot done. I finally fell asleep around midnight but woke up during[…]

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AT Day 10: Bigs

Tuesday August 3rd, 2021, 0600-1430Little Bigelow Leanto to Rt 27, then Stratton, SOBO AT mm 18815.2 miles5161 gain, 5554 loss It was a big day in the Bigelows. There are 4 prominent peaks in this section and a whole lot of ups and downs. The two biggest peaks (4088′ & 4145′) are a lot like Grays and Torreys…a camels hump, only about 10,000′ lower in elevation. I’ve been viewing this distinctive mountain range for days now, so I was excited to finally be climbing it. The haul up to Little Bigelow was pretty easy, since I was starting fresh. Then it was a real slug to Avery Bigelow peak. I had the summit to myself for quite awhile, so I[…]

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AT Day 9: The TA on the AT

Monday August 2nd, 2021, 0730-1700Caratunk to Little Bigelow Leanto, SOBO AT mm 17321.6 miles4091 gain, 2815 loss It rained again all night but not too hard. I did a better job at managing water ingress but still ended up with a wet floor. Some of the rain ran down from the tent wall and got caught between my polycro ground tarp. My tent floor has lots of holes from being used heavily, so it’s to be expected. I’ll have to try folding the polycro to avoid this. At least it was easy to mop up and my thermarest protected all my stuff from getting wet. Speaking of my thermarest, in my fairly new uberlight version, one of the baffles has[…]

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AT Day 8: Caratunk

Sunday August 1st, 2021, 0540-1430Bald Mtn Pond Leanto to Caratunk, SOBO AT mm 151.319 miles3783 gain, 4505 loss Who knew loons called all night long? They were going crazy overnight. I mistook them for coyotes, they were so loud. Still, I didn’t mind their mystic sounds. What did bother me was an animal scraping on a nearby tree very loudly several times. I worried that it was a bear but in retrospect, realized it must have been a porcupine. There was a note about this said nuisance on the privy…close the door or the porcupine will eat the privy! Grinder was up but still packing when I hit the trail. A good-sized climb was the first order of the day.[…]

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AT Day 7: SOBO Friends

Saturday July 31st, 2021, 0900-1640Rt 15 to Bald Mtn Pond Leanto, SOBO AT mm 132.418 miles2631 gain, 2621 loss I got a little chilly overnight and had to stay bundled in all my clothes through breakfast. It was the coldest it’s been yet. I opted for Shaw’s famous AYCE pancakes, which also come with home fries, eggs and bacon but just one plate of the latter. It was A LOT of food and I gulped it all down like a pro. Hiker hunger may be starting to kick in already or maybe it’s just stomach memory. I bought a few snack items in the store, which had a pretty amazing selection of all the typical things hikers like. It’s probably[…]

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AT Day 6: Monson

Friday July 30th, 2021, 0600-1200 Vaughn Stream to Rt 15, then ride to Monson, SOBO AT mm 114.5 13.7 miles 3576 gain, loss 2982 Steady would be the name given to the rain, all night long. The sound of it put me to sleep early but I woke around 1 am, wondering if my fortress was holding. It was not. Nothing more fun than finding puddles in the middle of the night. Because I was slightly on an incline, my pad had slipped down, pressing on my bathtub floor and allowing water from my canopy to drain into the floor. I just needed to mop up the water and make some adjustments but it took awhile. My rain jacket was[…]

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AT Day 5: The First 100

Thursday July 29th, 2021, 0600-1700 Gulf Hagas Brook to Vaughn Stream, SOBO AT mm 100.8 20.5 miles 5095 gain, 5870 loss What a pud-alicious day it was! The Chairbacks did not disappoint in their pud-ishment. But first I got to enjoy a leisurely hike down into a pretty valley, where I forded the Pleasant River. It did not please me to get wet shoes (which have been dry since the the first 2 days) so I changed into my camp shoes. My bungee laces make shoe changes quick and efficient. The ford was also easy. Then came the first of many climbs, this being the biggest to get out of the valley. One small spell involved a talus field of[…]

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