Monday, September 9, 2013

9/6: Mohoosuc Notch Northern 1972.4

Greetings everyone! Man, the past few days have been so exciting! There have been three major milestones all at once: we are under 300 miles to go till Katahdin, we have walked over 1900 miles, and we are now in the 14th and final state of the Appalachian Trail! Can you believe all that, because I can't! Honestly these milestones aren't even making sense to be anymore. I can't compute the fact that I have really come this far. 1900 miles just seems like some made up number that you know exist but you can't quite wrap your head around, like the fact that the Earth is 92,960,000 miles away from the sun. I mean I hear what you're saying, and I know what you're saying is true, but that doesn't mean it makes sense. Y'all get me? Well, maybe not, but that's ok. The feeling of walking across the country is difficult to explain - probably because hardly anyone is stupid enough to do it! Well anyway, let me tell you about Maine and the Mohoosuc Notch.

Maine is a truly beautiful place. The views are huge, the mountains are massive, and the night sky is so clear that you can see damn near every star the universe has to offer. We seem to be in a very remote part of Maine too. I say that we "seem to" because I never really know where exactly I am. But I haven't seen hardly any houses, buildings, or towns from my mountain top vantage point. Unfortunately, a beautiful state does not equal a beautiful trail, and the AT in Maine so far has been, quite frankly, utter crap. If you aren't hiking through a mountain top bog, that's probably because you're currently traversing a huge rock face with no footholds, or perhaps slipping your way up a small creek bed, which to your surprise (and dismay) has a 2 inch by 6 inch white blaze posted along side it. Before this trip I didn't even know mountaintop swamps were a thing! That's probably not really what they're called, but if feels like an appropriate name. I never thought such a windblown section of earth at 4200 feet could be so wet! Maine has brought with it a new obstacle as well- bottomless mud pits of doom! There were a ton today! Some had boardwalks over them, some did not. And God help you if you happen to slip off the slick board that is partially buried in the mud itself, because there may not be any coming up for you! Well guess who slipped off on of the boards today! Yep, you got it, yours truly. I just slipped off the board, and before I knew it I was knee deep in black Maine mud. Once I felt myself slipping off the board, I tried to use my trekking pole to catch myself. I jammed it into the mud attempting to find something solid. Well I'll have you know that I pushed that hip high trekking pole into the ground until the cork handle met the muddy earth. It was unbelievable!

The other highlight of the day was the Mahoosuc Notch. I have been hearing the words "Mahoosuc Notch" literally since I was in Georgia. Some had terror in their voice, while others had glee. Well I had the time of my life in that boulder filled ravine! I never touched actual earth for the entire 1.1 mile section of trail. I jumped, dipped, crawled, and maneuvered my way through the labyrinth of boulders. It was like an adult sized rock jungle gym! The old folks I met that day didn't seem to have a good time with it though, that's for sure! One poor section hiker was thanking God almighty that she had made it through alive. Spider, Foolhardy, and I were really worried about Sriracha making it through the notch. She is really slow on the rocks! Well we decided to take her pack and split the burden 3 ways. She was very, very grateful, and we actually had a lot of fun working as a team getting her pack through the rock maze. It was a lot of, "OK, grab it. Alright, I'm coming around the back. OK, you got it? Pass it up". It was great.

Well, that just about does it for me!


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