August 31, 2011
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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!