Monthly Archives: September 2012
MY HEROS! Joe4 (carried them), Mr Breeze and Lost bring me my tent poles just as the rain starts to spinkle!!! Over the moon happy that I have my poles back! You really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. One little bag of metal and I’m really ecstatic! hahaha
I’m sat in my sleeping bag (it’s colddddd!) on the shore of the lake at Antlers Campsite 51 miles before Katahdin!!! I’ve been here nearly 24 hours already. Taking a break from the easy terrain! It’s ABSOLUTELY beautiful here, utterly tranquil and not a soul in sight. Almost done reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley….my second read of it in the last couple of years. Do read it if you haven’t already. You must stay at Antlers when you walk through the 100mile wilderness. Probably the best camping I’ve ever had.
Ironically though as it’s also the worst. haha! I left my tent poles 10 miles back a Crawford Pond and was hoping someone might drop them off. No such luck as I’m in a huge gulf between two hiker bubbles at the moment. So, cowboy camping it is. Fingers crossed it won’t rain though maybe I just felt a drop! oh well, only 51 miles to go. Water never hurt anyone….errr….well a bit of rain didn’t at least.
At midnight I start my 24 hour sponored hike. So far I’ve raised 525 pounds ($775 more or less) THANKYOU SO SO MUCH to everyone who’s sponsored. I, but way more than that people who receive help from the amazing Macmillan Cancer Support charity deeply appreciate it. You will all get a message of my real thanks indivdually when I get some time on the internet that isnt on a phone the size of a Clif Bar!
I’m aiming to hike at least 35 miles to the shelter just before Abol Bridge Campground. I expect and hope to do more though. I MUST resupply at Abol though as only have enough food for the hike tomorrow. So, should I be able to do more I will walk past Abol for half the time remaining of the 24 hours then head back to finish there. The longest hike I’ve done so far on the AT was 26.3 I believe and on the Camino de Santiago I did about 34 miles on my last day in only about 14 hours.
This hike is over some pretty easy terrain BUT this hike is NOT about BIG miles. This hike is about a long hard slog, a tiring journey that I wish to reflect on many things, mainly on the way in which cancer affects the lives of our loved ones. There will be no success or failure hanging on my hike tomorrow. If I start earlier or later than planned, I’ll finish earlier or later than planned ~just 24 hours is the goal, if I need an extra long break, I’ll take one. This has always been about the journey. Tomorrow this is especially the case.
Wish me luck and tomorrow (September 25th) give a thought to those affected by cancer. Please help me reach my target of 1000 pounds by donating as much or as little as you can:
Once again, a million thanks and much much respect to all of my family, friends and blog readers who have already donated.
Have a great day!!!
I’m sitting on the bank of a lake, just about to enter the 100-mile wilderness. As you can see, I’m supposed to have 10 days of food. Actually I have about 6 days worth. Also several German WWII-era grenades (for dramatic killings of the evil North American Red Squirrel). I only have 6 days of food because that’s all it will take including a zero day in preparation for my 24 hour hike. I’m in tremendously high spirits today. Monson has revitalised me. Cleaned me, my gear, given me new music, food, friends (hey and thanks to Canadian Mike) and a massive sense of positivity about this next week and my life in general. Today really is a great day. 😀
Yesterday I walked about 26.something miles. A full marathon. Not bad considering the last 11 miles were in the rain and the last 8 in the dark. Seen as my “Packa” has the worst hood in the world I can’t use a headlamp in the rain and therefore had to hold the headlamp up my sleeve the whole way! Though it held up well against the pounding rain and my torso kept dry the whole time. Not bad. It was fine though because the terrain was pretty easy, with the exception of two river fordings. The rain was pounding down and the wind howling as I set up my tent. Right next to a cooler full of sodas! Right at the finish line of my marathon! What a stroke of good luck, hey?! Plus a granola bar. This spurred me on to completion as a southbounder told me about it, plus the idea of a beautiful “nearo” in Monson, Maine today. A “nearo” is a near zero hike. This classes now as anything less than 10 miles now. 5 months ago this was a reasonably big day.
This morning I arrived before 9:30 after 7 miles for a four of everything breakfast at Shaw’s bunkhouse. It was beautiful and greasy and heaven! All I did today was eat that, a Ruben, a few packs of cookies and a round of All-American Trivial Pursuit. Oh, and a shower. It was my first shower in a long, long time. I won’t tell you exactly when, but it was longer ago than any of you would probably ever like to take. After 5.5 months in the woods it becomes the norm. I can see how homeless people get so filthy and not seem to care. Us humans can get used to any sort of filth.
Tomorrow morning I head out to the 100-mile wilderness.I will spend 4 days hiking the 65-70 miles of the last 117 miles to the summit of Katahdin. Then I’ll take 24 hours off before I hike for 24 hours with the aim of completing around 40 miles in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
One in three of us will get cancer and it’s the toughest thing most of us will ever face. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, or a loved one has, you’ll want a team of people in your corner supporting you every step of the way.
Macmillan Cancer Support provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.
Click below to see my recent photos including my moose encounter!
I just got to Horn Pond shelter (lean-to is just silly, let’s face it) and no fires allowed. aghhh I wanted to cook some mac n cheese (no stove) and get warm as it’s mighty chilly up this mountain.
I just passed the 2000 mile marker! Wooo only about 183 to go! Not bad, hey?! I’m really looking forward to being done now. It’s still great but really, why more than 2000?! Is it really necessary?! 😉 well yeah because I still have my 24 hour hike to do for Macmillan Charity. I’ve raised about $750 so far. That’s amazing! Thank you to all who have donated. Please do if you haven’t! I’ll give you a foot rub post-hike if you do!
I’m looking forward to going home to my adopted country, Mexico. By the way, happy 202nd birthday, Mexico! ¡VIVA! I’m missing some great parties tonight! It’ll be great to see everyone and catch up. That in itself will be exhausting! Plus I’m really excited to be going home to spend time with my family and friends at Christmas. No rushing around, just lazing around and catching up! While doing as much exercise as possible. I’m 100% determined not to be one of the vast mjority of thru hikers who put all their weight back on!
Anyway, I’m still on trail and most people that read my blog are people I don’t know, so back to the trail!
Maine has been pretty challenging and very unique. The Whites were beautiful and the views were breathtaking but it’s great to be out of AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) territory and into the wilderness again. I might tackle this subject another day. Maine is where we have been aiming for this whole time! so YEAH!!! “no rain, no Maine” so they say. B******t, I say. You could easily have arrived in Maine even if you didn’t walk every day it rained this year. We have been very very fortunate. My feet didn’t even get wet till Hot Springs! Good luck class of 2013! I’m sure you’ll have a wet one to make up for this year! mwahahaha!
I met a moose yesterday. It was HUGE. At least 8 foot high with his antlers (are they called that?!) I know this because his eyes on his GIGANTIC head were a clear 6″ higher than mine. How do I know? Because he was 2 yards in front of me. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest. I stalked one at Eddy Pond at 5.55am in the near dark but there was another just behind me!!! He walked right up to me. I was mainly in awe but pretty terrified too as I have no idea what bull mooses do or how they react! Needless to say, they’re not called bulls for nothing. I was next to a big tree so I had that as a shield and knew I could outmanouve the 1500lb + (?) beast but he just loped over to me, there was no agression or fear in either of our movements. We stared at eachother for probably 20 seconds and he walked around me giving me lots of space. The only animal I could think of at the time in terms of comparative size was a small elephant. It was HUGE.
Unfortunately the light was so low the pictures I got are dreadful as I had the wrong setting and I genuinly feared a flash would have possibly resulted in me being crushed, kicked or antler-mauled to death. Or some combination of the three! I pursued him though through the bush to try and get more shots, but to no avail. On returning to pack up my tent about 15 minutes later I heard Sir. Moose-a-lot over on the other side of the pond and have some sweet shots and a cool video. I’ll link photos once I get a real computer.
So yeah, that was pretty awesome. I’d like to see more moose but nothing would top yesterday morning!
I’m almost out of New Hampshire now. Going into Maine in the morning! The last of 14 states. About 290 some miles till the end!
It’s raining and I’m in my tent. I’m pretty wet and so is a lot of my stuff! Oops. It went wrong quick. Coming down from Cascades Mountain it started raining a lil bit. Just enough to threaten wet feet. Found a spring then decided to camp off trail. Seen as a caretaker says I can camp wherever I like in this park so long as I’m 200 ft off trail I decided to do so. That was mistake 1, cue heavy downpour at this point. Bushwacking near a spring: very wet feet! Mistake 2 was putting my tent up at the velocity of an unenthused scout. The third, allowing my other stuff to get wet while doing so….the list goes on. Anyway, today has a list of mistakes the length of the Franconia Ridge that started at about 8am. The fact I’ve been on trail for 5 months and I messed up like I’d have exected in April makes me chuckle.
My sleeping bag’s dry and I have tons of food and a good book. Not that bad, ey?! Though a cold beer, chinese food and friends in Gorham does sound better! (been off the sauce for a while though now, feeling good for it and it will continue)
The White Mountains were pretty spectacular! Franconia Ridge was by far my favourite (minus daywalkers as I summited late and got sunrise(ish) as I did work for stay at Greenleaf hut. But all the other mountains were equally as awesome. Steep, steep, steep, but nothing like the SOBOs were banging on about “oh, NOBOs, you just don’t know…..” PAH! Amazing views all round, exciting climbs and a decent workout at last! Photos to come once I get to Rangely. The Presidentials on the other hand. I hated them. Webster Cliffs, I hadn’t expected such a challenging and dangerous climb (raining and alone!) but they were so much fun and really exciting. So that was great. Then I got sick. Mispah Spring…was it the food? wasn’t it? who knows. But I chundered like a beast! Then no views and I fell over on the rocks about 6 times. Horrendous. No wonder you guys name those wet, slimy, dangerous, repetitive rockpiles after politicians!
Now, don’t get offended, my good American friends. The weather was awful, I could see 2 cairns ahead of me and I was sick. I cursed every ex-president mountain as I climbed over and vomited on it.
Right, on to Maine. I aim to summit between 26th and 28th September. Probably the 27th. Naysay if you dare and I’ll call you a section hiker!