Strong coffee, bagel with cream cheese – I am sitting in a Café and enjoy some treats while the clouds outside are hanging low today in Gorham. In the meantime, ‘Soda’ is at the local clinic to get checked for Lyme-disease.
Like any other trip, this one is again full of surprises. In only some more than two weeks according to my Visa, I have to leave the country and every break or time off we take or have to take is bringing us closer to were it would eventually be necessary to all the hike done even without reaching Mt. Kathadin. It definitely makes me nervous to think about it and everything that slows us down makes it harder to enjoy these last bits of this hiking vacation.
3 days earlier we left Gorham and the nice and cheap “The White Birches Campground & hostel” to hit the last state the Appalachian trail is going through, Maine, land of the green and land of the lakes or ponds how they call it up here.
The trail started off smoothly and it made hope for some good mile days. Soon though we hit the rocky Mahoosuc Range, some more bold peaks (Mt. Success – wonderful name), followed by the famous Mahoosuc Notch and Mahoosuc Arm. The Notch is basically a canyon full of car-sized square boulders which is a lot of fun to climb over and underneath but takes a lot of time for just a mile.
Pretty much immediately the trail leads up over the Mahoosuc Arm which is supposed to be the steepest climb on the whole AT, 1.500 feet in about a mile. Using hands to provide extra balance and grip is inevitable.
At least the weather opened up a little after the climb and we used the chance to clean up in the pond right after the arm and stayed in the shelter close by.
That way we only hiked out 5 more miles the next day and decided to take a day off in Bethel. By this time Soda’s physical state already got worse, we thought it’s just exhaustion and a zero-day would help.
Hiking out the day after proofed us wrong though and there we are, bailed out and back in Gorham figuring out what to do.