Days 173-178

Day 173 (Sep. 10th) – 14.3 miles – start of 100 mile wilderness! Had amazing breakfast at Shaw’s, and got to trail by 8:45. Hard, hard day with countless PUD’s (pointless ups and downs), major roots, rocks and mud. Steep downhills. We hurt (knees and feet)! Camped at a stealth spot by river – sounds beautiful.
Day 174 (Sep. 11th) – 11.7 miles to Chairback Gap Lean-to. We feel like we’re in the White’s again! Super hard day. Climbed 5 mountains. Exhausted. We hit 2,100 miles today!!
Day 175 (Sep. 12th) – 17.1 miles to Logan Brook Lean-to. Hard day but we feel good about it – did 5 mountains and got our first glimpse of Katahdin!
Day 176 (Sep. 13th) Day 4 in the Wilderness – 23.1 miles to Potaywadjo Spring Lean-to. Excellent weather and mostly great terrain. We had trail magic today(!) – total surprise and was amazing (we’ve been pretty hungry out here in the wilderness, probably should have packed more food) – they had a stove and served breakfast tacos, coffee and then spaghetti and meatballs! Still hard day with the long miles.
Day 177 (Sep. 14th) Day 5 in the Wilderness – 22.0 miles to Rainbow Lake Campsite. Hard day today (some hills, lots of roots and rocks and mud bogs, plus just a lot of miles). Tomorrow we finish the 100 Mile Wilderness and get to the base of Katahdin!!
Day 178 (Sep. 15th) Day 6 in the Wilderness – 21.1 miles. We made it out of the Wilderness 11 miles into our day, and it was great because there was a restaurant right there! We chowed down on burgers ?, then resupplied for rest of the day and tomorrow, and then hiked 10 more miles which brought us to Katahdin Stream and The Birches at the base of Katahdin. We checked in with the Ranger Station and got our permits for tomorrow. We are ready to summit big K tomorrow!!

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Days 170-172

Day 170 (Sep. 7th) – O miles / zero day. Much needed day off. Will head out tomorrow (rain in pm expected) and be to Monson by Saturday night (more rain on Sat). Will stay at Shaw’s in Monson, resupply, and then hope to start the 100 Mile Wilderness.
Day 171 (Sep. 8th) – 18.8 miles to Moxie Bald Mountain Lean-to. Hard day, two mountains, but great weather (rain held off and it was cool but not too cold). We saw a moose today in the woods! It was through a lot of trees, so we could really only see it’s shape – it had antlers and was huge.
Day 172 (Sep. 9th) – 17.9 miles to Monson, staying at Shaw’s. Nice day today and pretty good terrain (well except for all those nasty roots, rocks, and water crossings!). We had to ford our first two rivers today! Tomorrow we enter the 100 mile wilderness and will be out of pocket (no cell coverage) till we reach Katahdin! Wish us luck! 

Days 162 – 169

Days 162 – 169

Day 162 (Aug. 30th) – 10.1 miles to South Arm Road, slackpacked again. This guy, Jim, drove all the way fro Rhode Island to meet and hike with us today! What a great guy, he’s a helicopter pilot and enjoys skydiving. Such a pleasure to meet you, Jim, and wish we could have spent more time with you! And we met a SOBO Hiker today with the same trail name as me – Chica! Good day and I’m feeling better. 
Day 163 (Aug. 31st) – 13.2 miles to ME 17. It was cold, windy, misty/rainy, root-y, and rocky today. We had trail magic today, from a nice guy named Snowman. 
Day 164 (Sep. 1st) – 13.2 miles to ME 4, Rangeley, ME. It was SO cold today! High was 48, and I wish I knew what the wind chill was – it was extremely windy and cold, I could not warm up all day. The locals tell us it is unseasonable to be this cold so early in the fall, but here we are. Nice easy hike today – terrain was really nice (meaning very root-y and some climbing, but not too much elevation gain which was nice!). 
Day 165 (Sep. 2nd) – 14.8 miles. We conquered three mountains today – Saddleback Jr., Horn and Saddleback Mountain. And we saw a moose!!!! Very exciting. Weather was great today. 
Day 166 (Sep. 3rd) – 17.4 miles. Cold, windy, rainy day. But none of that matters, because we hit the 2,000 mile marker, you guys!!!
Day 167 (Sep. 4th) – 16.7 miles in the Bigelow Mountain range today. Hard day. Climbed Little Bigelow, Bigelow Avery, Bigelow West Peak and South Horn. The Bigelows are the last 4,000 foot mountains until Katahdin. Staying at Stratton Motel tonight, sharing a room with Pappa John. 
Day 168 (Sep. 5th) – 16.7 miles to Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camps. What a great day today! We flew over the 16.7 miles in under 6.5 hours. The terrain was so great! I mean, yes, there were (lots of) large roots and some big rocks and mud bogs, but there was hardly any elevation gain or loss – which was a very beautiful thing, especially after yesterday. Tim Harrison has a cool place here on the lake (I mean pond), we have our own spacious cabin with a gas lamp. And they have a flushing toilet and hot water shower! The price ($40) includes a 12-pancake breakfast tomorrow morning, can’t wait. 
Day 169 (Sep. 6th) – 3.6 miles to Caratuck, Maine. What a lovely breakfast we had at Harrison’s this morning! Then short rainy hike to the Kennebec River where the AT provides a canoe ride for hikers to cross over (too deep and raging at times for hikers to cross), then into Caratuck. We are at Sterling Inn and thinking about zeroing tomorrow as rain is forecast all day. 

Days 154-161

Day 154 ( Aug. 22nd) – 8.0 miles to Mt. Hight stealth camping spot. Our friend Alyson hiked with us today up to Wildcat D (one of the 4 Wildcat mountains we did today)! The signs we’re holding mean this is Alyson’s 7th 4,000 ft mountain in NH and our 12th (isn’t she cute that she made these signs for us?). Rain and hail forecasted for today but it never came!  
Day 155 (Aug. 23rd) – 13.1 miles to Gorham, NH. We are officially done with the White’s!! And we are just below 300 miles left (298.3 to be exact). Everything hurts. It was 13 hard miles today. 
Day 156 zero day Gorham NH
Day 157 (Aug. 25th) – 11.8 miles to Gentian Pond Campsite. We hit the 1900 mile marker today you guys!! Pretty nice terrain (compared to White’s), but still some areas with climbing and difficulty. I was dragging today (have been fighting a cold). Chilly all day and cold tonight!
Day 158 Aug 26th – 9.6 miles to Full Goose Pond Shelter and Campsite. Hard, hard day. All boulder climbing (hand over hand) and steep ups and downs. Climbed 4 mountains today. Tomorrow – the Notch and Arm. I’m coming down with a cold, was dragging all day. 
Day 159 (Aug. 27th) – 5.1 miles to Speck Pond Shelter and Campsite. Mahoosic Notch and Mahoosic Arm = DONE! The Notch is classified as either the most difficult or most fun mile of the AT. It is a deranged field of huge boulders that you have to go over or under. It took us 1 and 1/2 hours. We classified it as surprisingly fun, except for the parts that were really scary. Think of playing Twister, but deciding on which boulder to jump to instead, with out falling down. Oh, to have a “normal” AT trail again (but I think those days are over). The “Arm” was also no joke with 1500 ft ascent in a mile. Hard day, and with me still not feeling well, we pulled up short today. 
Day 160 (Aug. 28th) – 4.6 miles to Grafton Notch, got picked up by shuttle and taken to Pine Ellis Lodging Hostel. Jen has a cold so did short day to town to get meds and rest. Day started with steep climb and some boulder scrambling (what’s new?) to the top of Speck Mountain, and then a nice gradual down to finish the day. Will slack pack tomorrow. 
Day 161 (Aug. 29th) – 10.3 miles to East B. Hill Rd. Slackpacked today, and it was a good day. Still have my cold but I was drugged up so felt better, and the terrain was not bad (compared to what we’ve been through lately!). Pretty steep climb at the top of Baldpate East Peak. 

Days 151-153

Day 151 (Aug. 19th) – 11.0 miles to Lake of the Clouds Hut. Webster Cliffs were hard, but not as bad as we thought. Good day, but we are worn out. I fell on my butt in the mud and water today. We met Greybeard! Once he completes his thru-hike, he’ll be the oldest person to do it (he’s 82)! Staying in “the dungeon” tonight! High class! Tomorrow – Mount Washington (highest peak in New Hampshire)!  
Day 152 (Aug. 20th) – 7.2 miles. Sumitted Mt. Washington right away this morning. High winds (60mph) and cold temps (45). Mt. Washington holds the 2nd highest ever land wind speed record, and has the world’s worst weather. We conquered it today! After Washington we hung in the snack shop for a couple hours to warm up and dry off. Then onward over more of the Presidentials. Tenting tonight at the base of Mt. Madison, which we’ll do first thing tomorrow morning. What a day – I can’t tell you how the terrain and weather affects us, but today after just 7.2 miles in high winds and rocky terrain, we are beat!!
Day 153 (Aug. 21st) – 7.8 miles to Pinkham Notch. We sumitted Mt. Madison this morning and the. Had a long steep and boulder-y descent of about 3.5 miles. After that a lot nicer hiking. Mt. Madison was in the clouds, but the rest of the day was nice and clear. At The Barn Hostel tonight, heading out for the wildcat mountains tomorrow!

Daus 147 – 150

Day 147 (Aug. 15th) – 10.3 miles to Garfield Campsite. We climbed 5 mountains today: Liberty, Little Haystack, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Garfield. Cloudy on Franconia Ridge but cleared up after a while – beautiful views! Exhausted, but good day – not as much rock scrambling as couple days before. 
Day 148 (Aug. 16th) – 14.5 miles to Ethan Pond Campsite. This morning started out very cold after thunder and lightening storms last night. We climbed South Twin Mountain and Mt. Guyot today. Stopped at Zealand Falls Hut for a bowl soup at lunch, and then the sun came out. Chilly tonight again (6 pm). Cell service in the White’s is very scarce, so will post when I can. 
Day 149 (Aug. 17th) – 2.9 miles to Crawford Notch. Super easy hike today from our tent site – all board walks and downhill. Staying at Yellow Deli Hostel to resupply and looking like a zero tomorrow as 100% rain forecasted and we have heavy climbing and the start of the Presidentials coming up. Hate taking a zero but feel it is safest choice right now. 
Day 150 – zero day at Yellow Deli (2nd location in Lancaster, NH). 

Days 141-146

Days 141-146

Day 141 (Aug. 9th) – 16.6 miles to Trapper John Shelter. Started out early this morning from our trail angel Gretchen’s house, had a nice stay there (and shower & laundry). Got free coffee this morning from a car service station by the trail head – the people here are incredibly nice and supportive of hikers! Climbed two mountains today and it was a good day. First mountains of New Hampshire conquered. 
Day 142 (Aug. 10th) – 18.8 miles to Cape Moonshine Rd. We had a pre-white’s day today – climbed Smarts Mt. and then Cube Mt. – both hard!! We are now being spoiled by some fabulous trail angels who’ve been following us on our journey. They are letting us Zero here at their house (with a pool!) tomorrow. They are a very sweet couple. More to follow. Right now I am showered and sipping a glass of wine, soon to have dinner. Life is good! Nice break before the official White’s start!
Day 143 – zero day!
Day 144 ( Aug. 12th) – 17.3 miles to NH 112. We did our first White Mountain – Mt. Moosilauke. It was nice going up, god-awful the last 2 miles of coming down. Most treacherous and scariest part of AT we’ve done so far. Also it had rained so the boulders were slippery and wet. Very steep down. We both fell on our butts 2x each, once on the tailbone hard for me (ouch). We got to slackpack today compliments of our wonderful trail angels Alyson & Neil, and are staying with them for our final night tonight. They have been so amazing to us – taking us in, feeding us lots of amazing food, letting us Zero (yesterday) and slacking us today. Major thanks to Alyson & Neil!
Day 145 (Aug. 13th) – 11.5 miles to Kinsman Pond Shelter. The White’s are HARD! There was pain, sweat and tears today. Hard climb up and down (steep rock face and lots of rock scrambling). Lots of mud too. Views on Kinsman were great. We were supposed to meet a friend tonight but had to cancel and pull up short at a shelter – the terrain just really slowed us down and there was no way we were going to make our time frame like we thought. Tomorrow is a new day!
Day 146 (Aug. 14th) – 4.8 miles Nero to Franconia Notch. Today is a new day! After traversing a couple more miles of downhill rock scrambling, we got to a more manageable trail. Picked up by our new friend, Norma who lives close by, and has been following us from the beginning. Wonderful trail angel – she has helped us resupply, shower and do laundry, and stay with her tonight. Spirits are high today and we have a game plan. 

Days 123-128

Day 123 (July 22nd) – 16.2 miles to Salisbury, CT. The difference one day makes! Today was so much better. Lower humidity, better terrain, we had a shower, laundry and a big breakfast this morning and slack packed today!! We had trail magic and ran into friends off and on, and ended the day with a drink in Salisbury with other hikers. Great day!!
Day 124 (July 23rd) – 16.8 miles. We passed the 1500 mile mark today! We crossed into Massachusetts today! We slackpacked today, compliments of a follower (and now friend), Dianna! Humidity is finally much lower and it was a good day, what a difference the heat and humidity makes! We now just have 4 states left!big thank you to Dianna for helping us slack today and bringing us ice-cold drinks and treats!
Day 125 – zero day, rain all day. Stayed at Great Barrington, MA at Mountainview Motel. Met Joe, trail angel – he’d been following us since our Costa Rica days and was so happy to meet us! Insisted on taking us out to lunch!  
Day 126 (July 25th) – 17.6 miles today. Really hiked 20.6, but 3 of those miles didn’t count (went the wrong way and got turned around, took us 1.5 miles before we figured out we were going back the same way we came!). Trail Angel Joe slack-packed us today, so that was helpful, and when he brought out packs back to us he had drinks and snacks. Great guy! Rained good part of the morning and it was COLD out (can you believe it, after all the hot weather we just had!). 
Day 127 (July 26th) – 18.7 miles to October Mountain Shelter. Beautiful cool weather and blue skies, high of 70, perfect hiking weather. Lots of forest ? hiking today – pine trees, rocks and roots. No animal sitings today. We ran into a trail maintainer late this afternoon who told us about the geography in the area. He was trimming trees and bushes along the trail. 
Day 128 (July 27th) – 11.8 miles Nero to Dalton, MA. Started early (6) to try to beat the storms, and it rained on us just towards the end (got to town at 10:40!). It’s still raining now and expected rest of day. We got a room at the Shamrock Village Inn, taking showers and doing laundry. Going to post office next for care packages, and then some food!

Days 115-122

Day 115 – zero day
Day 116 (July 15th) – 16.3 miles to Fingerboard Shelter. New York is hard, man! Lots of rocky mountain climbing today – up and down, up and down. Some serious boulder climbing today! Very glad we took yesterday off and did not attempt today’s hike in the rain. We went through the Lemon Squeezer today! Couple of places had gallons of water put out for the hikers, very nice. We also had some great trail magic today – grilled brats and burgers, chips, beer, soda – delish! Tomorrow we get to Bear Mountain, lowest elevation point in New York.

Oh, and this shelter has had a bear come by almost every night, I hear, but he only looks for easy to grab food bags. Sunset’s has hung out bags really good tonight so they should be safe.
Day 117 (July 16th) – 15.5 miles to Bear Mountain, NY. Easier than yesterday, but still another hard day. Surpassed the 1400 mile mark today, and went through the Bear Mountain Zoo (part of the trail), which was super crowded. The zoo (specifically the bear cage) is the lowest elevation point on the AT. In town resupplying, etc., staying at the Bear Mountain Bridge Motel.
Day 118 (July 17th) – 20.2 miles to Clarence Fahnestock State Park. Long day but a much better day. Got a later start and hiked all day. Very hot today and our chill rags worked great. Raining now and couldn’t find campground so we are tenting near beach and picnic tables. Hope we don’t get kicked out tonight!!
Day 119 (July 18th) – 14.0 miles to Morgan Stewart Shelter. Pulled up short today, the HEAT is getting to us! Super hot and humid today + lots of hills to climb = no good. Started taking breaks every hour just to cool down from over heating. On plus side – no rain, pretty good coverage from sun, boulders/rocks have lessened a bit. Awesome deli stop today (what we’re doing is called deli-blazing). There’s water and a privy here at the shelter! Life is still good, we just need to focus more on not over doing it in the heat.
Day 120 (July 19th) – 16.6 miles to Wiley Shelter. Another scorcher today, we went super slow, took lots of breaks, and drank lots of liquids & electrolytes. Trail magic and a food truck right off the trail helped tremendously! Also we got to swim in Nuclear Lake for our morning break. The shelter we’re at has a free library, and now my book is in it!! ?
Day 121 (July 20th) – 19.4 to Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter. OMG today was hotter than hell!

Really hard for us to keep our spirits up today. We’ve never sweated so much. Lots of hills (mountains) combined with the humidity and heat made for a ridiculous day (we even started at 6 and took and hour and a half lunch). Then it rained on us for the last mile. Good news – we ate a fabulous mac & cheese dinner, met a hiker who knew all about me – she had found my Costa Rica Chica blog last year, we are now in Connecticut and more than 2/3’s of the way done with the entire trail!
Day 122 (July 21st) – 8.9 miles to West Cornwall Road, staying at Bearded Woods Hostel. Another hard day, but not as bad as yesterday, and today was shorter miles. Soooooo happy to take a shower!! Bearded Woods is an awesome place.

 

Days 110-114

Days 110-114

Day 110 zero day in Delaware Water Gap – my friend Brandi drove three hours to meet us in person! Had a great day!
Day 111 (July 10th) – 16.7 miles. Got a later start this morning (breakfast and Sunsets got a haircut). We have entered into New Jersey! 7 states down, 7 states left. NJ is beautiful so far, even though it is still rocky. Saw a black snake and a rattle snake today (walked right by rattle snake, it was off to the side in the grass but very close to trail, and did not rattle at us). 
Day 112 (July 11th) – tally for today:
20.5 miles

3 falls on slippery slanted boulders (we’re ok)

1 deer

3 salamanders (efts)

2 bear cubs ? (eating berries)

1 gazillion rocks 
It was a hard day. But we are having the time of our lives out here! We still say to each other “can you believe we’re out here doing this?”
Day 113 (July 12th) – 19.6 miles to Pochunk Shelter. Got a free soda today at High Point State Park, met a guy at the High Point Lookout who chatted with us for a while and then gave us $20 to treat ourselves to pizza(!), then went to our first NJ deli later this afternoon (0.4 miles off trail but worth it!). The rocks seemed to abate after this morning which was lovely, but it was very hot and muggy today, which is an energy drainer. Tomorrow we get to slack pack with a trail angel, Which we are super excited about!!
Day 114 (July 13th) – 21.6 miles to NY 17A.

Slack-packed* today compliments of trail angel Andrea Bacon. We had a great and hard day today. We passed into New York today! So 8 states down and just 6 more to complete! Day started great, but got caught in a thunder/lightening storm this afternoon at the worst time – right when we were climbing onto a bald and totally exposed to the open sky. We hunkered down under a tree for a while, and then ventured out very carefully. We did not slip or fall, but it was slow-going. Andrea was there to meet us at the end of the day, and we went to an ice cream shop down the road. 

*Slack-packing means hiking the trail without our full weight backpacks (Greg’s weighs 26# and mine is 27# – that’s rightC I’m carrying more weight than him!). We carry a small day pack with only water and snacks for the day. In this case, Andrea met us early in the morning to pick up our packs, and then met us at the end of our day to give us our packs back. 

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