I have been hiking in Maine for 3 days now. Here are some things I have noticed:
– My feet will be wet for the rest of the trip. Between the rain, bog boards that are under water and puddles my feet have only been dry when in camp. I have heard that it rains a lot in Maine and even when it hasn’t rained there are places that still have mud and standing water. Bog boards are basically boards that have been put on the path for ease of traversing through the bogs. Well, some of these boards have sunk so low that there is mud over them, which makes them slippery and not ideal for in the helpfulness category. So, you end up going around the puddles and try to get to the board from the side. This rarely works and often you get at least one shoe full of mud. One guy said he went in up to his shorts. Thankfully I have only gone in ankle deep. It does make for some good entertainment for those watching…until it is their turn.
– I thought the roots were bad in Vermont…well…Maine is worse, but I have learned to deal with them. Same with the rocks. Maine has a lot of them too, but I have just learned to deal with all things trail related. I take what comes. As we have been saying: it is what it is.
– I have gotten more scratches, scrapes and bruises in Maine! I got several going through the Notch, I slid down a rock another day and cut up my elbow (although that was the last day in NH) and bruises from who knows what. There are a lot of trees that are close to the trail which are good for holding on for balance, but they seem to scrape me up.
– There have been some hard climbs so far, but there has been some nice trail. 2000+ foot climbs have become common. It’s the descents that are worse though. A lot of it is just rock slab and it can be difficult to traverse downhill. It takes us a long time to go down. My knees let me know when I am going downhill as well. They, along with my feet, generally ache most of the time.
– Hurricane Isaac remnants came through the other day. It was pretty wet on the trail and we almost took a zero because we weren’t sure what the conditions of the trail would be. I ended up being okay with walking down rivers, but Bald Pate mountain was scary because it was all rock slab. So slippery. We all made it without too much damage even though we had to butt slide several times.
– X, N Trovert, Castaway and I slackpacked several days while in Andover, coming back to stay at the Pine Ellis Hostel each night. We did 10 miles each day (one the day after Isaac) and it was nice to come back to the same place each night. It was also nice not to have to carry all our stuff. 😉 Unfortunately Susan, a friend of the Troverts cannot stay with us until Katahdin, so we will have to carry our own stuff soon. 😦 It has been a blessing to be served by her. Alison also helped slackpack us one day. So nice to have friends!