Technical difficulties, but great hiking

We’ve had some technical difficulties. Last year Sarra carried an indestructible flip phone and also a camera to take pictures. Then when we met I’d bring the laptop and she would download her pictures so I could share them with you.  Also, her trail family would tag me in pictures on fb. The system worked really well.   This year she has a smartphone with her and wanted to send video so you could actually see what she sees and she could tell you about her hike along the way. Great idea, right?? In theory it is. Then 1) you get to the boonies in Maine with no cell service, 2) have a newer, technological apple phone and a not so new laptop to send them to.  But, I think we finally got started, not perfected but started.

So, Mouse exited the 100 mile wilderness after about 5 days. She did pretty steady 20 miles days. I received a text that just said “I’m out.” She stayed at Shaws Hostel that night and finally got a shower.

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She mentioned that when she started in GA last year, during spring, it took a while to work up a sweat. Heck, she wore a coat several days and on May 1st even had some snow. I guess this year right off the bat she was hot, sweaty and smelly! The weather has been awesome so far though.

We’ve only talked maybe twice.  Not much to discuss, but a lot of hiking going on.  She had a rough start, on some of the video you can tell she really wants to be done hiking for the day but still has many miles to go.  Once she got into camp she was feeling a little down, but then 4 thru-hikers stopped for the night at the shelter she was at and made her feel a little better.  Things are always better after some food and a nights rest.

She said she has learned to linger a little longer for lunch and put her feet up to help with swelling.  It seems like her body remembers 10 months ago and has just said ‘oh, were doing this again? She says she’s not sore and her feet might hurt at the end of the day, but in the morning their good to go.  That’s pretty amazing since when you go south bound you start off on day one making one of the biggest climbs on the trail, then have to hike out of Maine, which is no picnic.  Then, boom . . . you come out of Maine and into the White Mountains.  But we’re getting ahead of the trail.  So far there’s been a couple rivers to ford.

Lots of boulders to climb and of course views for miles and miles . . .

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So yesterday, the 26th, she called in the morning and had gotten into Stratton Maine mile 188.2.  She said she was so excited to get to town to eat a meal but the one restaurant in town was closed.  Looks like it was gas station food again.  Then I later got a text that the gas station had cooked food and she was able to get a veggie sandwich and a loaded plate of fries, she was about to explode!!  Later another text that she was spending the night in town at Stratton Motel/Hostel.  Good idea, she had been averaging 19 miles.  So. . . here are some stats: when she sent her coordinates tonight 6/27, she’s at mile 201.7 and has been on the trail for 11 days.  She has 80 miles left in Maine and should be out by Thursday.  We talked  this morning and here’s the quick notes I jotted down: she feels fine, body feels fine, feet are good and knees are good.  Shoes not so good, they’re already starting to wear, but as before she’ll use them until they fall apart.  She’s starting to get that hiker hunger, so needs to up the calorie count.  Weather has been amazing, but it’s hot.  It’s starting to get more mountainous, rivers aren’t bad, one was maybe shin deep.  Bugs aren’t too bad yet, but lots of misquotes in the lean-to last night and a couple got in her sleeping bag.  She’s ready to camp in her tent to keep the bugs out at night.

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The Head Net, it’s what all the fashionable hikers are wearing!

 

 

I wanted to end with a some of the video she’s sent, but can’t seem to get that to upload into the blog. One thing at a time I guess. I’m going to work on it while Mouse hikes some more.  In a few days she’ll be into New Hampshire and I’ll have the video figured out. Happy Trails.

And just like that . . .

Funny how 10 months seems far away and then when it’s past you think ‘boy that went quick’.  Ten months ago Sarra said she’d thu-hike again, but not the AT.  So at the first of the year when she mentioned thinking of hiking on the AT again I just nodded politely and said ‘really?’  Then we went on with life and only talked about it occasionally.   As she finished up school and was driving an hour each way to work (at a job she loved but hated the drive) I could tell she was getting restless and needed a change.  Maybe not a change, but a challenge.  We talked about it occasionally, but nothing like last year.  As it got closer and I needed to make air and hotel reservations I questioned her several times, ‘Are you sure?’

So here I set at my computer again, just back from Maine again, tracking Mouse again.

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We flew into Boston, rented a car and drove up to Millinocket.  We stayed at the Katahdin Inn, again.  Drove into Baxter State Park, again, but this time we released a Mouse instead of picking one up.

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The plan was she would start around 7:00 am, hike the mountain with its 5,268 ft elevation and officially start her thru-hike.

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They replaced the sign.  A new sign, a new direction and a new adventure

She wanted to continue out of Baxter the same day so we would pick her up at 7:00 pm on a dirt road just past the park.  While we were walking around Bar Harbor, I got a text at 10:30 that morning saying her hike was going quicker than she thought, could we pick her up at 6:00, then at 4:50 I got another text that she was ready to be picked up.  Again, like so many times before, I was driving down an unfamiliar dirt road looking for a cute, sweaty girl with a backpack about as big as she was.  And she was right where she said she’d be.

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She said drive on up, there’s a great view of Katahdin, boy was there!

The mountain is so majestic, the pictures do not do it justice.  Then as we took off a guy in a beat up truck, going the opposite way waved us down and said ‘take a left, there’s a moose at the lake.’  So, we took a left. Once we did, I looked at Brian and said ‘you know that was probably a trap and someone is at the lake ready to kidnap us, right?’ So we drive to the lake and sure enough, it’s a young moose drinking from the lake!!

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A very awesome sight indeed

The following morning we headed out to drop her at the exact point we picked her up.  But first, a stop at the Katahdin diner, again.  We had stopped there exactly 10 months ago to the day after picking up Mouse and Rush from their thru-hike.

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Ceiling art work from 2015

Back down the bumpy, pot hole filled, dirt road.  When we dropped her off that morning this would be good-bye.  She was heading into the 100 mile wilderness, which is exactly what it’s called, 100 miles of Maine wilderness.  There is no resupply, so she had packed out 7 days of food.  As she lugged on her back pack and grimaced about the weight, I reminded her this is the heaviest it would be.   Every time she ate a meal it would become a little lighter.

Hugs and kisses, see you in a couple months, and just like that, the adventure began . .  again . . . and we released a Mouse into the wilderness . . . .

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PS: if you follow me on Facebook you know she’s already completed the 100 mile wilderness.  Impressive, she hiked 115 miles  befor I got a blog posted, ha.  I’m waiting on her to send pictures and video and then we’ll get you all caught up.  Happy Trails

We’re Back . . . .

We’re back! Did you miss us? Guess why we’re back . . . you’ll never guess it so we’ll just tell you.  Sarra, aka, Mighty Mouse is going back on the trail.  Yep, you read that right.  The Appalachian Trail to be more specific.  What you ask??  But she already did that you say??  Here’s the new spin on it, she’s doing it backward.  No, she’s not walking backwards but she’s hiking it the opposite way.  She’s going southbound this summer.  Let’s back up a bit and get you up to speed.  Since last August when we returned from Maine she has rested, got a job, got a new car, moved into an apartment, started school, taught women/backpacking classes, went on a few weekend hikes, got a tatoo, ran the mini marathone and has had fun with friends.

There, you’re all caught up.  Have you ever heard the quote “The Mountains are calling and I must go . . . John Mur”

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Well, they seem to be calling Mouse again and she must go.  We fly back to Maine on June 15th and she will again climb Mt. Katahdin.  But, this time it’s the start of a new journey, not the final destination.  Same trail but different, same Mouse but different, same ups and downs but different, same hike but soo different.  If she’s going southbound, won’t it all be downhill you ask??  Definitely no.  Here’s a few differences: The hardest states are at the start, not the end.  From the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website, “A southbound thru-hike is recommended only for experienced and fit backpackers who are looking for an extreme physical challenge right at the start. A southbound thru-hike starts with the most difficult climb on the entire A.T. (Katahdin), the most remote section of trail (100-mile wilderness), and the two most challenging states of the Trail (Maine and New Hampshire).”  Also Northbound is very social.  There might be 30 North bounders starting on a busy day.  A busy day for South bounders is maybe 5 hikers!

So, we’re packed up for a little vacation and Sarra is packed up for a littl 2,189 mile hike.  IMG_1484

She’s traveling lighter, faster and cheaper this time. We’ll be blogging again, hope you’ll come along on the AT southbound adventure.