The Wind Flows North

While sitting on a rock on the middle of the woods during a downpour I came to a rather startling conclusion – I have absolutely no desire to do a thru-hike. I never yearned to follow my heart on the trail as many do. I don’t like to go days without bathing, wearing the same clothes and carrying my home on my back. It’s not who I am. I loved the parts of the Appalachian Trail that I traversed but I don’t have a deep desire to journey it in one continuous hike. And if I’m completely honest with myself, I’m more of a “peakbagger”. I love finding my way up a mountain and basking in the views from atop. So what if it sometimes takes me hours to reach the summit? Or if part of the climb involves bush whacking? I find true joy in every step. So I’m returning to Maine to complete the 127 miles remaining of the Appalachian Trail. Once I’m done I’ll start tackling the mountains in Maine that I haven’t previously hiked such as White Cap, Jackson, and Caribou – all a rather short drive from my home. This will keep me busy though October at which point I’ll revisit the idea of hiking part of the southern Appalachian Trail. For now, staying in New England where I can freely hike with my GSD without her becoming overheated from the oppressive heat/humidity is the best plan for me. So instead of trail pictures expect vistas!

Finally!

After hiking over 150 miles of the AT in Maine, I have a new respect for my adoptive home state. I’ve been hiking, primarily in the Western Mountain region, for 10 years and have enjoyed every footstep. The rugged terrain of the AT however has taken me to a different skill level. Quite challenging and the fact that it rained nearly half the time I was hiking only added to it. I’m off to continue the trail south but hope to compete BSP later this year. Next year if still living in Maine I’d love to try Acadia.
My new partner and I are on our way to the NY/CT border where we’ll begin hiking NOBO in CT. Saturday night I set waypoints through each state on my GPS. When I got to NH I was dumbfounded; just never realized how massive the White Mountains are, especially the Presidential Range. Very impressive – if you’re a mule.

I became a little spoiled doing the bulk of Maine first because I had the luxury of returning home frequently. I didn’t have to carry as much pack weight because home was only an hour or so away. Now that I’m beginning the next leg of the AT I’m concerned about keeping the pack below 30#. So far it’s a losing the battle for it weighs 32#. My headlamp simply “broke” as I was putting new batteries in it this morning but fortunately I have another albeit less powerful one. Family will exchange the Black Diamond Spot and send the replacement to me in CT.

Hoping to see Jumper and his “Dad” at some point. Jumper went home with his grandparents but is supposed to resume hiking in VT.
It dawned on me last night how much I’m going to miss my family, both human and fur kids and my dear friend Liz. I also made another new friend recently who shares my love of nature and passion for animals. Plus a composer of incredibly beautiful music. Yep going to miss all of them (except the television)…