Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 20: Bull Branch Campsite to Gentian Pond Shelter

Miles today: 12.3
Miles total: 286.5

Currently sitting in the lean-to...

I am out of Maine! But first, everything in order. I should preface this by saying that I typed this all out just now and lost it, so I'll be a little more brief. My day began at 3:30 AM, as the bottom of my tent felt like a water bed. I was floating in a pool of water. I knew I'd have to move my tent, but how? All my stuff was spread out in it. I put the not-supposed-to-get-wet stuff in my trash compactor bag and moved everything to the vestibule. I strapped on my headlamp and emerged, naked as always, into the cold rain. I scouted out a new spot and moved all my gear then re-pitched my tent. Once I had again taken my little absorbent towel to the contents, I noticed everything had fared pretty well. I was still cold and upset, so I had to console myself with a blueberry pop-tart. I turned off my alarm to sleep it off. I started out in the morning much later than usual and with a more modest mileage in mind.

The first part of my day was the biggest challenge: Mahoosuc Notch. It's a mile of the trail filled with boulders that you have to squeeze through and over. Slow going. To get there, I had to walk through waist-high, ice-cold water that covered the trail in sections as a result of last night's downpour. The notch itself proved to be a fun challenge, giving me my first upper body workout since I started hiking. I had to take my pack off at one point to squeeze it through a tight spot. I made it through with no problem, but two and a half hours had gone away, putting me at noon.

I still had ten miles to go so I hustled, but there's only so much I could do on the steep, slick rocks. It was all I could do to keep from slipping (I still slipped). I took a moment to savor crossing over the Maine-New Hampshire state line. I'm finally done with my first state! It was the second-longest distance the trail travels through any state. Now my attention is fixed squarely on the daunting White Mountains.
At the shelter tonight are a nobo, a section hiker, and a sobo named Kramers. Kramers plans to go in to Gorham tomorrow and then stay all through the Fourth of July. My original plan was to skip the first exit to Gorham, hitting the second. However, Kramers wants to see Man of Steel and if that's possible in Gorham, I'm going into town. So tomorrow is another adventure and we'll see where I end up. I'll be crowing early again.


Picture: Ice at the bottom of Mahoosuc Notch; the Maine-New Hampshire Line


  1. Congratulations on hiking all the way through Maine! A true through hiker who probably has alot more stories untold!
    Hope you didn't slip down into the icy Notch!
    Will be praying for sunshine and dryer weather as you hike the Great Whites!
    I have faith in you!


  3. Brueberry Poptarts, fuck yeah


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