Twig Adventures

AT Day 17 & 18: A Break, Sort Of

Tuesday August 10th, 2021, 0630-1900Pinkham Notch to Rt 2, then Gorham, SOBO AT mm 319.420.7 miles7267 gain, 8514 loss Today I hiked backwards (NOBO) and without much of anything in my pack. I thought it would almost be like a day off and boy was I wrong, once again. It felt like this day finally broke me. For starters, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. It was pretty loud in the yard, especially when the train went by in the middle of the night. I had to pack my tent and things at 5 am because I needed my trekking poles (tent poles) and didn’t want to leave my stuff outside, even though I planned to return to tent[…]

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AT Day 16: Gorham

Monday August 9th, 2021, 0600-1030Dream Lake to Rt 2, then Gorham, SOBO AT mm 298.39.6 miles2300 gain, 4154 loss I woke to fog and heavy condensation dripping off the leaves. It was like rain. When putting my shoe on, I felt something in the heel. I shook it but nothing came out. I peered inside to find a slug nestled in the heel. I used a stick to dislodge it but it left slime all over my shoe and sock, Disgusting! I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t take my revenge on that rather innocent creature but if you put yourself in a shoe, expect to get stepped on. This isn’t the first time I’ve found slugs on[…]

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AT Day 15: In Traction We Trust

Sunday August 8th, 2021, 0600-1730Speck Pond Shelter to Dream Lake, SOBO AT mm 288.616.8 miles6000 gain, 6742 loss As I suspected, I had a hard time getting to sleep in the shelter. Everyone was really quite but there are always the stirrings of people going to the bathroom and rustling around in their sleeping bags and on their pads. My legs and feet were also aching. It was a very still night, not even rain. An alarm woke me and I was surprised to see that it was already past 5 am. It was still so dark out, the area covered in thick fog. I really did not want to get out of my quilt but old habits drive me[…]

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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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