This Open Road

A season walking southbound on the Appalachian Trail

Monson, Maine

I’m writing this post from Monson, Maine, which is the last “trail town” on the AT. The next segment is called the 100 Mile Wilderness which is actually less than 100 miles and not so much a true wilderness as there are some logging roads. But it is still quite remote compared to what hikers are used to along the rest of the trail where access to towns is fairly easy. It should take me about 6 days to get through the Wilderness, then it’s a mere 15 miles to Katahdin. So this trip will be winding down in the next week. As much as I love being on the trail, I’m also feeling ready to not be carrying my pack anymore.

Hurricane Irene had an impact on hikers this week. There was a lot of wind and rain in Maine and the trail was certainly affected. I was in Caratunk ME, at Northern Outdoors (a rafting center with lodging facilities and a restaurant) waiting out the rain with other hikers. The next day was clear and sunny, so I returned to the trail for the next 2 days and hiked 36 miles to Monson. But the going was challenging. The trail was flooded in many long stretches and there were several blowdowns. All of the rivers and streams were running high and crossing them was challenging. One section was impassable on foot but fortunately there was a bridge up the river that allowed a walk-around. I eventually found where the AT connected on the other side and continued on. The weather has been good and the water should continue to subside making hiking very nice for the next several days.

More than likely I will not have access to another computer until after I summit Katahdin sometime in the next week or so. Until then I’ll be hiking my way into northern Maine and Baxter State Park, home to Mount Katahdin and the end of the Appalachian Trail!


11 responses to “Monson, Maine

  1. Robyn September 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments! I’m about to post an update, but it feels great to be done and not be hiking today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day…!

  2. Anonymous September 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    It is exhilarating and energizing to hear all this wonderful news! I am very happy for you. Thanks for continuing to share the journey.

    • Judy September 7, 2011 at 8:29 am

      (sorry…I didn’t mean to be anonymous as I intended to sign the post) Thanks for continuing to share the journey and congratulations! Judy

  3. Charlotte Minor September 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Way to go, Robyn! I love reading about your adventures – the teaching in China as well as the Appalachian Trail hike. I hope you get some time to just relax and kick back and do some knitting when you reach the end of the trail before you set off on your next excursion. Best of luck in the next stage of your journey.

  4. Dan September 3, 2011 at 10:38 am


  5. Susan Becker September 1, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Even though you won’t read this comment until after you finish, I have to say that I am SO glad to hear from you since, like everyone else I’m sure, I was wondering about Maine, the AT, Hurricane Irene, and you. Glad you had someplace indoors to wait it out. So excited for you to be nearing the finish point. What an achievement! And what a pair of bookends your AT hike has been to your year in China! I hope the last week will be (has been) glorious.

    • Patris September 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      I’m glad to hear you survived the rain. Vermont was hit quite hard. I hope to hear about your journey and see pictures when you are all done!
      Enjoy the journey!

  6. Jannele Mastin August 31, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Great to hear you’re making the final move on the trail. Sounds like its been an enjoyable one! Way to go Rob! Hope to see you sometime soon and hear more about your last year. We’re sure thinking about you!

  7. Angie Arena August 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Wow!! I’m so excited to envision you wrapping it up!! Can’t wait to hear about the final week and Mt. Katahdin Summit!! I love you!!! Great job!!! Kendall and I have been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the mornings, so ……. SUPER CHEERS!!! xoxoxo

  8. Jan August 31, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Give my regards to Katahdin and congratulations on another AT thru-hike! You are welcome to stop by on your way back to CO. Have fun!

  9. Anonymous August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Wow! This post makes me smile. I’m so happy for you and the fruition of your dreams. Congratulations on making it all the way! Can’t wait to see you again, hear all about it, and meet this Swift character. Safe travels home!

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