6/15 (Wednesday) - Monson, Maine
Look! He finally posted! Friends, it has been a long 12 days since my last post. I will try to briefly summarize things in the following paragraphs. Please feel free to read a little now, then read some later when you have more time. Don't feel like you have to read everything at one time! Thank you so much for following and keeping up with my trip so far!
6/4 - Mt. Katahdin was awesome! I have a picture posted on facebook with the infamous sign at the top. All I could think about was how amazing God's creation is. 360 degree view for miles. Picked up a day pack at the ranger station and climbed to the top. My big pack weighed an enormous 72lbs (typical thru-hiker packs are between 25-40lbs) The black flies are horrendous. I was being eaten alive most nights.
Years ago, I hiked out an enormous 20lbs marble rock miles from within the woods on a family backpacking trip because I wanted to show my grandmother. Why? I have no idea. I thought it was cool and I wanted her to see it. On this day, I took pieces of that rock and put them under the sign on the summit of Mt. Katahdin. 5,268 feet closer to my grandmother. I love you Mickey Ewing!
I will sum up the next several days so as not to take you day by day through the wilderness with me.
BUGS. Lots and lots of BUGS. I wore a head net and had bug spray, but they were not very efficient. After walking all day and sweating, I would have to get in my sleeping bag at night (for bug relief) only to sweat all night and be bitten on my face! Whew! Talk about rough! Honestly, this was the biggest downside to the entire trip so far. I am not a complainer, I just figured I would go ahead and get the miserable stuff out of the way first! Now to the fun stuff!
These are the animals that I have seen so far: Red Squirrel, Chipmunk, Hairy Woodpecker, frogs & toads spp., several snakes (including one that had just eaten!), Ruffed Grouse, White-footed Mice, Belted Kingfisher, BALD EAGLE!, White-tailed Deer, a Ptarmigan, and a female Moose! Some of these I got great video and pictures of. I am sure they will surface at some point once I figure out how to get things online in an efficient manner.
I was not trying to set any records, but these were the mileages for the last several days: 5.2, 13.4, 11.5, 8.1, 10.1, 11.4, 11.7, 7.2, 9.9, 10.9, 15.0! I took a "zero" day in Monson today to recover! More on that to come...
The first several days I traveled through low-land boggy terrain. It was interesting. Had to walk several wooden walkways that were essentially trees split longways one after another. They would keep you out of the muck most of the time. Later into the days, I began climbing several mountains. I was very thankful for that because it got significantly colder, bugs diminished and I was able to sleep comfortably in my sleeping bag! I slept in a "Lean-to" every night so far. These are essentially (room-size) log cabins with one wall missing. They sleep 6-8 people. My goal is to try to sleep in lean-tos as often as possible.
If you noticed my last post on facebook, you will see that I weighed myself in Millinocket ME and weighed 225lbs. After lugging 72lbs on my back and eating a fraction of what normal people eat, I weighed myself in Monson ME 114.4 miles later and now officially weigh 200lbs even. WOW. Serious weight loss! Send food or money for food to 268 Rothell Rd, Toccoa, GA 30577 so I don't come back a stick figure!
These are the people I have met over the last several days. Several nights I slept alone in the shelters, but other times I was accompanied by one or several people. These are their trail names (or real ones if they had no TN): CJ & Barb, Walkabout, Ron, Vitalie& Steven from Muldova and Pakistan respectively, Mancub (NOBO) (did the AT in 3 months!, Dr. Bundy (NOBO), White Fang (NOBO), Scoop, Shane, Fire Marshall, Deal &Steadee, Dogbreath (NOBO section hiker), Overload, Footsie and Greenthumb. I've spent the last 3 days with Fire Marshall and took the zero day with him. It has been much fun and we have completely been bums at the Lake Shore House in Monson ME.
To speak of the Lake Shore House. Rebekah, who owns the place, is probably one of the nicest ladies I have ever met before! Greeted us very warmly and catered to our every need! She cooks an amazing assortment of food and runs a great establishment. I highly recommend it. The facility literally has a laundry mat, pub/restaurant, bunk rooms and a re-supply store all together. They even have a "loaner" laptop that allows hikers like me to stay up till 3:00am typing blogs that they should have done earlier in the day! She is a wonderful christian lady and we had several great conversations! It is very hard to leave this place!
So, the most hazardous thing that happened to me, (mom, skip to the next paragraph) was on 6/9 on my way to Cooper Brook Falls Lean-to. It downpoured about 30 minutes before I made it to the lean-to. The rain wasnt bothering me (I was enjoying being cleaned!), when all of a sudden I hear a loud "WHOOSH... BOOM" and I look back and a 15-20 inch diameter tree had fallen about 20 feet behind me across the trail! WHOA BUDDY! I stepped up my pace and arrived safely. On another note, the most random thing that I did... was burn about 5 pairs of extra underwear that were taking up space and weighing down my pack. Apparently it entertained some fellow Southbounders who were following my notes in the journals of the shelters.
I love my mom. See this paragraph is so much better isn't it? :-)
Other than some ridiculously intense blisters, aching backpains, a worn out knee (really worn out... like pray for my health seriously), and about 317 bugbites (no I didn't actually count), the trip has been wonderful. God has revealed many things to me and given me the opportunity to feel independent and less distracted. Hopefully I can offset some of these physical obstacles and be able to spend more time focusing on my journey and on giving Him my heart.
There are MANY more things that I could tell you about, but I can only write so much today. Please keep checking in and I hope to be posting a little more often since I will not be so far inbetween towns. If you would like to send a letter, cash or small (something), please feel free to send me an e-mail or call me via my information below. I may try to post my intended itinerary on here, but if you e-mail me I can certainly give you details that way.
Only 2066.6 miles left to go,
Amplexus "Lexus" SOBO (South Bound) 2011
Posted 16th June 2011 by Josh Seehorn