I’m a southbounder now. The North is done. I’m back home in Maryland, going through my gear, changing batteries, mending seams, and generally equipping myself for a hike in autumn (orange all over everything).
The last northern section of the trail was kind of mixed for me. I’d heard that the 100 Mile Wilderness was beautiful, and given how stunning the last section was, I was looking forward to it. Too bad it rained most of the time.
Getting caught in a lightning storm early on probably didn’t help. Nothing like a solid dose of mortal terror to color one’s experience of a place.
It wasn’t all bad though. When the rain stopped it was as pleasant as the rest of Maine had been.
I crossed the ford where Bill Bryson gave up.
At one point I passed a guy who wasn’t carrying anything. Not even a water bottle. I have no idea what he was doing, since we were several days in either direction from a town, and even if he was hiking from car to car, that’s still like someone knocking on a submarine without so much as a snorkel. Weird.
And Katahdin got bigger and bigger in the background.
We climbed a two mile rock scramble almost straight up before walking the ridge to the summit, all in 50 mile-per-hour winds on one of the most beautiful days I could have asked for. At times, the wind between the rocks was so strong it made my ears pop, and periodically a cloud would be driven into the ridge and splash over to the other side like a breaker on a jetty. It was awesome.
Eventually people got cold and made their way down the mountain, and over the next few days, everyone dispersed to try to reintegrate back into society. Good luck with that.
But I’m only half done.
Total milage: 1200
Miles remaining: 989
As soon as my errands are done, I’m walking to Georgia.