And so begins the madness! We’re finally out of the Hundred Mile Wilderness and staying at Lakeshore Lodging & Pub in Monson. Andy wanted to stay here because when he read the part of our AT Guide said our stay would include free kayaking and a water trampoline he was like a kid at Christmas. So in order to finagle our zero to fall on the fourth we really pushed it these last few days… but so much has happened over the past week and a half that I need to back up and attempt to go in order, starting back at that beast called Katahdin.
- Wait until a great (or at least decent) weather day to hike up Katahdin. It’s a huge effort to get up there, so you may as well get a view at the top and, you know… survive. Also the rangers will do their best to help you change camping arrangements (you have to book camping to stay in the park, but the rangers don’t want to have to rescue you!)
- Consider (non-waterproof) trail runners in place of boots. Trail runners are like beefed up sneakers. I have waterproof Gore-Tex boots, and I love everything about them except for how effectively they hold water. There are so many streams to ford out here (plus so many puddles) that we just started plowing right into the water with our shoes on… and then I’d slosh along in my boots until the next ford. Trail runners get faster, but the water also has a chance to leak out.
- Bring extra toilet paper… and then bring more extra toilet paper. We almost ran out, and it was at the point that I’d stopped blowing my nose for fear of getting down to leaves. I don’t know about you, but I’m really not okay with leaves.
- Bring more ibuprofen. I’m not much for taking pain-killers, but with my body still breaking into the hike I can’t make it more than a few hours in the morning without some ol’ vitamin I to subdue the aches.
- Pack less weight… and then pack even less weight. I think this is going to be a continuous process, but some of the things we sent out at White House Landing (close to halfway through the wilderness) included my fleece, Andy’s vest, an extra Camelbak (there are vast quantities of water in Maine–no need to carry extra), and antiperspirant. We’ll probably also send away our down jackets since it’s been a lot warmer than we’d expected–we’re so used to Rocky Mountain weather, we were thinking it’d be a lot cooler in the evening. In retrospect, there are even more things I would’ve shipped to Monson just to start with less weight… like my iPod and chargers (not many chances to charge before here anyway)