Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beautiful days in Maine

Now that southern Maine is over, the terrain has eased up a bit and hiking has actually become fun again! Hurray! We hike past ponds and lakes every day now, and nothing is better than soaking your feet in cold water during the hot afternoon hours. Blueberries are becoming ripe all along the trail, and we stop often to pick a handful or two. I have now seen 4 moose, but I'm still waiting to see a bull (with horns). Katahdin is less than 200 miles away, and the 100 mile wilderness starts soon. I am summiting on August 11th with my friends Butter and Budha. My brother and I have been hiking our own paces for several days now, and we will meet up with each other and our family for vacation in a few weeks. The past few days have been relaxing and near perfect, thereby redeeming many of the parts of southern Maine that my legs and arms now boast bruises from. Also, I have realized what a klutz I am as I fall on a regular basis. Yesterday, I bruised my shin fairly badly and I landed face down on a boardwalk with my feet off the board in the mud. Today I slid down a rock and landed on my butt. It's quite entertaining for those hiking behind me! We ate breakfast at the Harrison Pierce Pond Camp (delicious pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, and coffee). Now we are in Caratunk where I enjoyed two huge chili dogs and fries. I think I'm loaded on carbs for a while! The next weeks look bright, and after vacation, I'm looking forward to hiking the last 815 miles or so!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Slack packed 24 miles yesterday over Saddleback Mtn. Perhaps ill hike today but my feet are telling me no. Must keep moving!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rangeley, Maine

Our first days in Maine were really tough. We were hiking minimal miles and were exhausted at the end of every day. It was hot and super humid, which drained our energy even more. But thankfully, the terrain has become less of a boulder field and more of an actual trail and the temperatures have become much more manageable. We woke up this morning by Sabbath Day Pond to rain, and lots of it! Our resupply in Rangeley then turned into an overnight stay sharing a hotel room with several other hikers. It's one of our last town stops between here and Katahdin (we will stop in Stratton briefly and the Monson before hitting the 100 mile wilderness). It's hard to believe that in 17 days we will be done with the northern part of our journey! I look at a map and I can't believe the distances we have walked. Maine has been beautiful thus far, with mountains and many many lakes and ponds. I'm looking forward to the rest of the state!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good day today! We hiked 18 miles which was our longest day since we entered the Whites two weeks ago. We actually hiked on a dirt was amazing!
We hit our 1090.5 mile mark yesterday. Know what that means? Whoa oh we're halfway there Whoa oh living on a prayer. Thats right! Over halfway!

Friday, July 22, 2011

We successfully mounted Mt Success in New Ham and worked our way through Mahoosuc Notch in Maine. Making progress! And boy are we sore from all the rocks!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Saw Harry Potter in town last night then hit the trail this morning in some really hot weather. It just sucks the energy right out of you. 5 miles till Maine!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Out of the Whites!

As beautiful as they were, I'm glad to be out of the Whites. We slowed down significantly due to the climbs and the rocks; but our bodies were even more sore than usual. The weather was great and the views amazing. Surreal. We rewarded ourselves with a stay at the White Mountain Hostel and a nero today. Tomorrow we will hopefully cross into Maine! We have less than 300 miles left till Katahdin! Wow, have we walked a long way.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good bye White Mtns! You were beautiful and we enjoyed our experience. We hiked up Wildcat today and it was a beast. Gorham day after tomorrow!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Great hike up Mt Washington today. Absolutely beautiful! The weather was perfect and the view amazing. The climbs were tough but it was worth it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beautiful day! We climbed Mt Webster and Mt Jackson and did work for stay at Mizpah Hut. Tomorrow we climb Mt Washington! Hope for good weather!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wow! We hit one thousand miles today! And hiked over Mt Lafayette and Mt Garfield in cloud cover and wind. Amazingly difficult day in the Whites!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The climb up Kinsman Mtns today was particularly rough! We have slowed our pace down to accomodate these mountains and give our legs time to adjust!
The climb up Kinsman Mtns today was particularly rough! We have slowed our pace down to accomodate these mountains and give our legs time to adjust!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The mighty Moosilauke did not win! We conquered our biggest climb yet and are finally in the Whites. Its beautiful but definitely hard!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On the brink of entering the Whites

We are sitting at The Hiker's Welcome Hostel at the bottom of Mt Moosilauke. We are resupplying and heading up to a shelter tonight, and tomorrow we will enter the White Mountains. I can't believe we are hiking through New Hampshire right now! It's beautiful and really tough. And about to get a lot tougher! I'm not sure how cell phone service will hold up through these mountains, so updates may be sporadic for a while. But I'll try to keep you informed as to where we are and how we're doing!
Rough day up Smarts Mtn yesterday. I wanted to quit. Stop and take my pack off. Go home and take a shower. But I made it to the top and even further.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Big thanks to Sally for letting us stay in her condo last night! Hanover treated us well and we even saw Super 8. Great movie. Countdown to the Whites!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Good-Bye Vermont, Hello New Hampshire


You were a beautiful state. We had our ups and downs (literally and figuratively), but the experience was, in general, positive. The kindness of people stood out more than the trudging through mud. The beautiful views outweighed the difficultness of the trail. We camped at some wonderful locations and enjoyed the company of trail friends and trail angels alike. We even saw our first moose! I'm sad to go on, but go on we must, for the trail leads north!

New Hampshire,

I was welcomed into your state by trail magic and an unexpected road walk. The trail ahead looks difficult, but for tonight, at least, we will enjoy a movie (Super 8) and the home of another kind trail angel (which is doubly beneficial since it is currently pouring down rain). Please let the weather treat us well, and may our shoes hold up through the rock climbs and White Mountains. I'm nervous and excited about what lies ahead!

Tean Bean

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hard hard day today. But camping in a beautiful pine forest is worth it! There are many many things i love about hiking. Camping in the forest is one of them!
We left Kent Pond yesterday and are heading toward Hanover! The terrain has been really rough but at least most of the mud is gone!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

We are taking a nero today into Kent Pond, near Killington, where we are hanging out at a lodge and camping for the night. The mountains in Vermont are steadily getting larger, and we face at least one big incline every day (often, though, it is more). We can't pull big miles days nearly as well, so we are sticking in th 16-18 mile range. This pace should put us in Hanover New Hampshire in just a few days! We summitted Killington Peak yesterday, and we had majestic views of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. It was beautiful. And today, after our "grueling" 4 mile hike, we ate lunch on a dock by the pond. I felt so at peace, and thought when else in my life can I say that I hiked almost 900 miles to sit by this pond? I'm loving the simplicity of this life.

We had tremendous 4th of July trail magic last night, and I want to give a big thanks to the Johnson family for their hospitality and opening their home to us smelly hikers. They gave us showers, laundry, food, and a place to stay, and on the way back to the trail this morning, even took us shopping! It's people like this that make our journey all the more memorable. Thanks again!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wow. Tremendous trail magic tonight. We are staying with a family near Killington after a 2200 foot climb this afternoon. Log cabin house and great food!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Good sunny day today! And lots of good hiking company. The Whistle Stop provided a delicious meal right before the shelter!