Friday, December 14, 2007

End of the Trail

TDS is in decompress mode, getting used to walking on concrete and sleeping in a bed.

Stan Bivin shared the photos of the tail end of the hike. It's interesting that it looks like TDS is cross-country skiing!
-rg




Monday, December 3, 2007

December 3, 2007 - FINISHED!

Just got word from TDS - HE HAS COMPLETED HIS THRU HIKE!!!

He'll be posting more info soon -- I'd like to be the first to wish Jason CONGRATULATIONS!

I think it's fair to say that TDS has hiked/canoed more than just about anyone on the planet in the past 8 months! Quite an accomplishment...

-rg

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Canoeing.com Story

...just learned there was a note about TDS at Canoeing.com a few weeks ago!

Here's a link: http://www.canoeing.com/news/?p=45

Also, be sure to check out the main site at http://www.canoeing.com/ -- it's a great, with just about everything you'd need to know about anything relating to canoeing! COOL!

-rg

Monday, November 26, 2007

November 26, 2007

Greetings Sportsfans!

I am still heading South towards Deleware Water Gap. Some 110 miles stand between here and finishing my 2007 AT Thru Hike.

The weather has been cold and I am adjusting to Winter hiking. It has not been easy! Now, it just stays cold.

All of Vermont was wet and cold. Mass and Conneticut were beautiful and with much of the leaves on the ground made for some great views.

I am to Bear Mountain Bridge, NY and am zeroing today in light of the foul rainy humid weather. Tomorrow and the following several days I will be slacking big miles to Vernon, NJ where I hope to hike the remaining 60 miles with my Dad.

[ed note - some posts from earlier sections will be coming soon!]

I met Maria McCabe in Salisbury, CT. She was a "feisty brod" and we had a delightful time visiting. She loves hikers and I would highly recommend stopping by on your hike, if not to stay, just to meet her. You will be enriched.

Friends Hungus and Tribes met me in North Adams and we hiked to Dalton, MA together. We had a blast despite the cold, cold below 20 nights. Hungus thru-hiked this year and we hiked together from Franklin, NC to Shenandoah, VA before he pullled ahead. Both are from Jersey and I was excited to have some company after many days of not seeing a sole.

While in Dalton, MA we stayed at the Shamrock Hotel. This is the BEST place to stay in Dalton, MA. You are right next to a bar, liquor store and convenient stores. They are very friendly and love hikers there. Check them out.

I added some clothes to my arsenal and they have helped me stay warm.

Oatmeal, coffee and hot cocoa are big parts of my morning ritual. It generally takes two hours from the time I wake before I hit the trail. The hardest part is getting out of a warm bag.

Hoping for great weather.

Thanks for your comments! I love hearing from everyone. Note to dem Texas Franchise boys...yea, I saw the UT v OSU game (Dick Wizzard) and the outcome was par for the course. As a life long Oklahoma State Univ fan and student I have come to expect the worse and hope for the best.

Thanks for all the care packages you all have sent along the way! Each of them were exactly what the Doctor ordered.

Congrats to all NOBO's and SOBO's this year. You did it!

Jersey, here I come...!

Happy Holidays and Best of New Year.

Quick Update

Just a brief update on the latest news - TDS is really cookin across "The Tri-State Area" (aka Connecticut, New York, New Jersey). He telephoned this morning from Bear Mountain New York, just a stone's throw from West Point.

There are some heavy rains today, so he'll likely take a zero day. TDS's dad Stan is in the area, and he's going to be finishing the trail with him. The next couple of days, TDS will slackpack across New York and the NY-NJ border. In case you're unfamiliar with the tern, "slackpacking" means giving your heavy overnight gear to someone with a car, who meets up with you at an agreed upon place. It makes for a much lighter pack, and increases the number of miles you do in a day.

TDS and his dad are going to jointly hike the last 60 or so miles together. Pretty cool way to end this amazing journey that started WAAAY back in late March. It's amazing to think that he's hiked and paddled almost 3,000 miles in 8 months!

More updates from TDS coming soon!
-rg

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from TDS!

TDS is spending this lovely Thanksgiving at the Wiley Shelter just a few miles inside New York!

He sends his wishes to everyone for a great Thanksgiving!

-rg

Saturday, November 17, 2007

November 5, 2007

11-5-07. tenting at Black Brook, VT. SOBO mile: 556.3. 18.5 miles hiked today.

Last minute errands, a breakfast sandwich, some coffee and away I went back to the trail this morning. Yesterday was a zero day. I relaxed at the Avalanche Motel in Manchester Center, VT. It was nice to have hot showers, a tv and Bobs Diner next door. The hotel was outside of town so once I walked from EMS, in town, to the Avalanche I pretty much stayed put.

It was nice to watch NFL on Sunday. Adrien Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings looked great! They spanked Norv Turners San Diego "notso" Super Chargers. Peterson is fun to watch and I bet he is Rookie of the Year. The Patriots beat the Colts. But not by much and the Colts only finished with two Wide Recievers. They almost held on. Missed field goals and dropped passes don't win football games. I hope the Patriots and Colts meet again in the AFC Championship game. I lost a bet to Ricky "Bricklayer", I took Indy and the bounty- a pitcher of McMenamins Rubinator beer. It never bothers me losing a friendly wager when beer is up for grabs.

The EMS store was nice and full of goodies. I picked up some nylon repair tape, tent waterproofing dope, some Backpacker Pantry meels and an assortment of Clif bars. You should try the Cliff Nectar bars. The only ingredients are organic fruit and nuts. Nothing else.

From highway VT11/30 (1870') I began the 13 mile hike up to Stratton Moutain (3936'). Stratton is another "wooded summit". There are several of them here in Vermont. On top is an firetower and cabin that a Naturalist calls home during the season. The hike up was nice. The weather was great also. Blue skies and some clouds. The sun really warmed me up but the airs chill kept me from breaking very long or very frequently. Tonight the air temp, here at 2350', will dip into the 20's. Weather for tomorrow may bring showers/snow...in the am, per The Weather Channel's Bennington, VT are forecast.

Oh yea, I got another pair of gloves at EMS. Now I am carrying two pairs. One during the hike and a dry pair for camp or to replace wet gloves during the days hike. This is my glove system.

My Dad, Stan, and I will be hiking together for the last part of New Jersey. Hopefully, we will do the last sixty into Deleware Water Gap from Vernon, NJ. It will be nice to hike with Dad again on the AT and also to see how he likes the weather.

My food bag is full to the rim. For Dinner: Veggi Lasagne by Backpacker Pantry. I grabbed this one by mistake but it was good. Though, not as good as Stephanie "Green Bean"'s veggie chili.

I applied a coat of waterproofing dope to the floor of my tent. This should help. I will use repair tape to enclose another hole I burned in the tents noseeum netting. Just some minor repairs.

The sun ducked behind the mountain just before 5pm. I used my headlamp for the last 30 minutes this evening. Now it is pitch black and the stars are out.

Tommorow Glastenbury Mt (3540') and Little Pond Mt (3100'). About 35 miles to VT/MA border.

Have a great day and I hope all is well friends.


Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Photos

Here are some more photos from Maine and New Hampshire - thanks Stan!





Thursday, November 15, 2007

Update

Just a quick update -- TDS has been pushing pretty hard the last couple of weeks, and will likely arrive in Kent, CT within the next few days. I spoke with him on Monday, and he was experiencing some very challenging trail conditions -- a lot of cold wet rain.

A key part of TDS's hiking style is to not rely on the shelter system for his overnight stays. This works well in summer, but as fall progresses into winter, it's more and more of a challenge keeping dry.

With some new boots and extra longjohns though, he should be wrapping things up in the coming weeks! Look for another update coming soon!
-rg

Sunday, November 4, 2007

October 31, 2007

10-31-07. from Clarendon shelter, VT. SOBO mile: 504.4. Miles to go: 390.4. 17.4 miles hiked today.

Nice weather today. Early start - 8:30am. My ankle feels normal. Its Halloween. Its just me in this shelter.

I dried my tent, tyvek ground sheet and pack cover out while lunching at Cooper Lodge (3900'), just below summit of Mt Killington. I do not think the floor of my tent is totally waterproof still. An application of ReviveX is due.

Almonds added to Liptons Parmesan noodles was a good choice. Vermont sharp cheddar helped too. I washed it down with raspberry green tea. Desert a Skor candy bar which I had before dinner. Goldish crackers for hor'doerves. And several sips of Jim Beam. Long sips since I don't have a glass or Dixie cup.

I passed a guy walking his rifle about a mile before camp. He acted like he'd had several adult beverages. I could not make the calibur but it was a bolt action and bigger than a .22, .222 or .223. Maybe he was huntin up supper? I turned and walked on after we traded Greatful Dead bootleg tapes.

Seriously, he asked if I had seen any wildlife. I said yes and explained they were all back where I hiked from. None ahead.

There is supposed to be a cafe .5 miles from VT103, just a one mile hike from here. Tomorrow morning I shall have breakfast there.


Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

October 30, 2007

10-30-07. The Night Before Halloween. Me and Jim Beam tented on the side of the trail somewhere short of Long Trail/AT junction. Camped on wet leaves, probably on top of a part-time stream. Oh well, it was dark and I was through hiking. SOBO mile: approx 486.9. 16.4 trail miles hiked 17.8 total miles hiked.

Last night I made it to the privately owned cabin at The Lookout, just off the AT 900 feet or so. A ladder leaned against the cabin and led to an observation deck. The wind was bitter and the temperature was dropping so I just wanted dinner and to be in my sleeping bag. Nobody was there. I attempted to get a back log going in the fireplace and almost had fire all night. There is a loft in this cabin but I slept on the main floor hoping to get great views of the stars from the corner windows. I did plus the moon was orange and dark...kind of like Halloween.

The sunrise was beautiful. I was up for it and stayed up. I left around 9am, which is early for me of late. A little warmer today than the last two so I elected not to start off wearing rain pants.

Up and down, up and down, sprinkle in some switchbacks, roads and farmland and some more up and down. That is Vermont, so far. The Long Trail section is nicer. I did not like or enjoy Vermont the last time I hiked the AT through it. Come to think of it, I didn't like paddling through this state on the NFCT either.

VT100 is the highway leading, eventually, to the town of Killington, VT. The trail led me here and I headed Left on VT100 then Right on US4 for the Killington Post Office and General Store. What oasis did I see rounding the corner but both, along with a deli and liquor store practically all in one building. Today was a good day.

1 litre Jim Beam, 1 awesome sandwich, 1 Powerade, 1 coke and one unhealthy sugar-rich ressupply makes for a heavvvvvvvy pack. Of course the sandwich and coke went into my stomach, everything else in the pack.

Tomorrow, Mt. Killington. I am skipping The Long Trail Inn. Next full service town stop Manchester Center then Bennington, VT.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Friday, November 2, 2007

October 28, 2007

10-28-07, from my tent just shy of Thistle Hill shelter, Vermont. Approx SOBO mile:455.9.

The trail crossed the Conneticut River by bridge. I exhaled a sigh
of relief, glad to be in Vermont, glad to have made it through NH and ME, glad to be walking with Fall. Over the next several miles the trail was a road. I passed under I-91 then walked through Norwich, VT until the woods appeared. It was nice to be walking in the crisp dry breeze. The colors are still all around despite the recent dumping of leaves. Twig season. The hike was very pleasent and not tough.

I left the Leadyard Canoe clubhouse and picked up the trail at 12:09pm. Osprey, his sister Anna and I had breakfast at Dartmoths food court before I split to do last minute ressupply. Breakfast was awesome and included waffle, breakfast burrito, hashbrowns and coffee. I also picked up some Tylenol Cold and Flu tabs as I try to fight off a cold. It's really almost just like allergies.

It is dryer here. Lots of pine. In fact, I am camping in a stand of pine. Nice pine needles offer another layer of padding and insulation from the grounds chill. The wind is blowing and some trees are knocking into other trees.

If the trail's level of difficulty/ease remains similiar I should make good time through Vermont. Only 438.6 miles to Deleware Water Gap and that number should shrink to roughly 385 by Halloween eve...l

For dinner tonight I had butter&herb mashed potatoes, add shredded cheese and cheddar goldfish creackers, butterfinger crisp, water.

Friends Hungus and Earthquake are meeting me to hike for a week. We all hiked from NC through the Virginia's Shenandoahs before they got ahead. Hopefully, we will get a week of good weather to enjoy. They will drive up from Jersey and we'll meet up somewhere in MA or CT. Yeeehawww!

The Vibram sole on my leftside Merril Chameleon Leather Wrap trail shoes has mangled and split down the center of the heel several inches. These should be warrantied and I will call Merril when I next find cell phone reception.

My Etowah Outfitters nylon, square bottom reversible slack pack stuff sack and alcohol stove are still going strong. I use the stuff sack as my food bag and can turn it inside out and use as day pack. It nearly has 5000 trail miles of use. Thanks Chef Paul, of Etowah Outfitters, Georgia.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

October 25, 2007

10-25-07
Just down from Mt Cube (2911'), half mile. SOBO mile:412.2. 13.7 miles hiked today. left glencliffe 10:45am.

This morning at 7:30 I collected several boxes from the Glencliffe, NH Post Office then walked back across the street to Hikers Welcome hostel. It was nippy but coffee was brewing and I smoked a cigarette as the sun hit my face. A perfect day for a walk in the woods.

This hostel is ran by Packrat and friends. Ffej was there this visit. We had tacos last night and visited at the dinner table. I drank four cokes and ate an additional three ice cream sandwiches. Hikers Welcome hostel is very relaxing and has a great setup for hikers. What a movie collection! I picked out five and watched Reno 911:The Movie, Scotland, Pa and Thirteen. As always the Reno Sheriffs department had me laughing hysterically. Thirteen was very disturbing and I'd say don't watch it if you can't take being uncomfortable.

The trail today was covered with leaves. I made quite a racket as my feet shuffled through the downed leaves. There was plenty of muddy trail and I thought of golashes or waders.

The trail is so much less brutal than the rest of New Hampshire's AT. It changed quickly. To walk over trail that is more dirt than rocks is easier on the body. There still were roots, rocks, bog planks and mud but just farther between.

Today I had climbs of 600', 700' and 2000' and downs of 700' and 900'. Not bad at all! 2mph all day with breaks.

For dinner I fried SPAM and added it to some rice dish and snacked on sharp cheedar cheese. For drink I had instant iced tea. I love fried SPaM... on the trail. Lots of gorp today because I have three bags of it.

Hoping for a big mile day tomorrow, 20's through Vermont and a safe journey into the unknown (area 51) with some cool aliens.

the movie will begin in five minutes.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Monday, October 29, 2007

October 24, 2007

10-24-07. Glencliffe, NH. SOBO mile:398.5. Hikers Welcome Hostel. 10 trail miles hiked, 16 total mies hiked.

You ever hear of anyone climbing Mt. Mooselauke twice in one day? Well, I did. From the top of Moosilauke I took the wrong trail. I was not too concerned with the lack of white blazes. For one, I was too busy looking at the trail and the blazing through New Hampshire has@ been poor and inconsistent. Blazing may not be a top priority for the AMC. It is much easier to just collect fees...

So finally I realized I was going down but on the wrong trail. Heading back I hoped that the next trail sign would put me back on course. It did, but not until I got to the summit of Moosilauke. Three plus hours spent blue blazing. Nixed my plan of blowing through here and getting another 6-7 miles in.

I spent a night and a zero day at Chets Place in Lincoln, NH. What a great guy, a great story and a great hostel. Best of luck.

Mail boxes retrieved from the Post Office and I am readying myself for th1e trail. It is so tempting to stay with all the movies, tv and general relaxed atmosphere. Fedge is running the place for Pack Rat. Phatt Chapp is gone for the season and this hostel is the same as it was in 2005 with less beer.

My ankle is back to 80% as I turned it coming down the mountain yesterday. I have some swelling and took two Aleve last night. However, the trail will now get easier.

Mt. Moosilauke is a very beautiful mountain. It is the last time SOBO's are above treeline and it is the only mountain in NH, along the AT, that has a bald on top. The weather was beautiful and visibility fine. Heck, there was even sun shining through the moving clouds as I snacked.

Hanover, NH by Saturday morning.
Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 20, 2007

10-20-07 from Liberty Springs Campsite (3800'). SOBO mile:370.1. Total miles:1649.3. Total miles left:524.7.

Hiked 13.2 today. great views from franconia ridge. mountains all around. deep green, reds, yellows all the trees. good visibility and the sky was always changing. however, clouds were above 5000' so it was all good. i took some pictures. hopefully they won't look all the same.

lots of French Canadians are out and about here in the Whites. i can hear them coming because of their conversations. most switch right over to English so we can say hello or stop to talk about the weather. they all seem to be in good shape and seem comfortable in this cold, wet, steep sloshy mess.

the wind is howling and I hope it is drying all the rocks.

Glencliffe, Post Office and Hikers Welcome hostel in a couple days. Lincoln tomorrow for 1.5 more days of food.

No more zeros, 20s through Vermont.

CONGRATS White Crow AT 2007 NOBO!!!! You did it! Summit date 10-17-07. 24 other thru-hikers summitted that day.

trail wet, trail a stream in places. steep, ridiculous downhill planned slides and blocking drills with trees, hoping the tree would stop my momentum. hoping my feet land where they should. hoping I can catch myself when a fall can not be avoided. rock hoping to avoid wet, sloppy tanin rich mud and puddles of water when not a stream. roots and bog planks slick. so slick that the tiniest change in the pressure of my foot on surface catapults be to the side, or backwards and sometimes forward. catapults equals fast, greased lightning fast.

its all good though. there is plenty fragile alpine vegetation trailside to catch my falls, give way for a new trail because the real trail is to wet or rocky or rooty or steep and finally to provide a great campsite location. all the suckers who don't get off the trail and mosy abit, you know, kick your feet around, above 4000' in the fine fragile alpine terrain are missing out on a great thing.

it rained last night a good rain. started around 5pm and went on through the night. guess we needed it?

I was Only Joking about the fragile alpine vegetation thing.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

October 19, 2007

10-19-07 from Guyot campsite just down from Mt Guyot. blue blaze .7+mile, SOBO mile: 356.9, 9 miles hiked today.

I do not know exactly the elevation here at Guyot Campsite shelter but much elevation was given up on my decent from the AT. Mt Guyot was at 4560' and here my 2000' climb ended. The blue blaze, Bondcliff trail, started out nicely then turned to a boulder bounce over slick rocks and finally steep stair steps. Quite a ways to travel for shelter in early afternoon. But with the possibility of rain at any moment, 5.5 miles to the next shelter, another 1500' decent, increasing winds and slick rocks I decided a few more hours in camp might do me some good.

The next 12+ miles will be along Franconia Ridge. I am 15+ miles from Franconia Notch/ I93/ US3 and will need to hitch or hike into town for resupply. The next shelter is 5.5 miles away and is 10+ miles to Franconia Notch. If it rains tomorrow then I will hike a short 5.5 (+ .7+ mile blue blaze) miles and hope that the weather forecast holds for clearing up Saturday and nice weather Sunday. If the plan occurs accordingly then I will get to hike more of Franconia Ridge in good weather. To see the views along this section would be worth the wait. I have hiked the ridge before and saw nothing further than the trail and cairns. Some say Franconia Ridge has some of the best scenery on the whole AT.

This is tough country and to be nursing a nagging ankle injury makes it slow going at times. I also consider that I am hiking solo out of thru-hiker season.

It was wet all day. Not from rain but from fog and drizzle and the water from trailside flora falling. All rocks were wet, bog planks slick and trails muddy and wet. The air was humid and I sweated all day.

More and more Canadian Jays, also known as Grey Jays, have been making themselves present. They love to watch you snack and will fly from locale to locale likely planning their best attack. I have seen these birds dive bomb and teamup on hikers. They still are pretty birds with lots of character.

This is a nice shelter with a great watersource and completely remote. Right now I am sitting on a bench used to climb up to the loft looking out the front into a sea of fog. I have no idea what is behind it but I love how it looks in the fir and spruce. It rained for five minutes earlier. Covering me are my dry system consisting of long johns, camp socks, shirt, stocking cap and down pullover. Warm and dry!

I am stiff and sore like no other trail sore. Calfs, Quads and Knees because of this tough hiking. But I love the hiking, the trail, the views, the challenges, the options and yes even this soreness because its' just weakness leaving my body. And a little rain or being wet never tends to be that much of a damper.

The new Merrells have been helping with tread but are running a little heavy. Heavy because they are wet, they are leather and because your author failed to apply nikwax or mink oil before wearing them out here in October. I got them literally on my way out of town and there was no time to think, or shop. Maybe, I'll use Blistex chapstick after the shoes dry? Naaa, then I would be out of chapstick.

My Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone has seen better days. i noticed a tear in the body of the pack. It was right along a stiching line of the lower part. The sidepcket has been covering the tear. I can not tell if the stitching just seperated or it is a tear in the body nylon. The other side pocket is majorly wasted. Rips vertically and horizontally finally met and now duct tape holds it in place along with the sidepocket strap. Various holes in fabric, destitching at seems and other minor issues stand in the way of this pack being 100%. However, this Nimbus Ozone still travels like a pro. With TLC, some duct tape and Krazy glue this pack will hold up for the rest of my miles.

I love Outdoor Research OR gear! Pack cover, dry stuff sack, gaitors and gloves. durable, logical and effective long lasting gear is the OR in my backpack.

Happy early Halloween!
Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

October 18, 2007

10-18-07. Ethan Pond shelter (2850'). SOBO mile:347.9. 14.1 miles hiked today.

More downhill than uphill today. Just ask my knees. From Lake of the Clouds to Grafton Notch 3,760 feet were lost. From Grafton Notch to Ethan Pond shelter 1,570 feet were gained.


The temperatures warmed late last night and melted all the snow below 5000'. This made for some slick rocks but the trail was dryer at lower elevations. Fog loomed until I got below 4000'. A heavy fog, like this morning at Lake of the Clouds, makes navigating by cairns challenging. However, the trail for the most part was good and left nothing to question. It just took me watching for cairns in addition to watching my steps.

My ankle did well today and is close to being 100%. Coming down Mt Webster and then Webster Cliffs sure provided solid tests. Some parts were so steep that I dropped my poles down the incline so I could climb down. I am thankful these were not icy, snowy or too wet!


I moved better and quicker today. While there were plenty of rocks and difficult trail, it was much less dramatic than the North Presidentials. Also, I could trust my ankle a little more and there was no snow. All in all, don't count my breaks, I averaged 2mph. Not bad.


The batteries in my headlamp are nearly exhausted.

Today was tough. I hope to do 14 again tommorow, another tough day leaving 10 to US93/Rt3 to N. Woodstock or Lincoln, NH. The weather forecast from Mt Washington Observatory called for rain and thunderstorms tomorrow. The next shelter-Guyot Campsite is 9 miles from here and at 4520'.

"Does anyone know what time it is? Does anyone care?" GANDALF, the grey.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

October 17, 2007

10-17-07, Lake of the Clouds Dungeon(5040'), SOBO mile:333.8, 10 miles hiked today. 38degrees on Mt Washington at 3:50pm, winds 20-30mph.

It was nice this morning. Not too cold, not too windy, very few clouds against a blue sky. 8.5 miles to Mt Washington (6288') and all above treeline was with snow. Icy, slushy, muddy and snowy would be how I would summarize todays terrain.

I hit the trail at 9:08am fresh from a weeks worth of rest hoping for great weather and good responses from my ankle. A climb of 2800' got my blood pumping and got me on top of Mt. Madison (5363'). Mt. Madison is the first and last Presidential peak before Mt. Washington along the AT. Mt.Adams (5798') and Mt. Jefferson (5715') are accessible, however, via summit blue blazes.

The views were breathtaking and visibility ideal. Looking back I could see Wildcat mountain and the many ski runs that make up the Wildcat ski resort. Also, I had great views of Pinkham Notch and Maine in the distance.


Todays hike was slow going. I took my time and really paid attention to each step. The terrain was comprised of boulder fields for most of the hike and with 2-3 inches of snow caked to them I wanted to be sure I was stepping on rock, not air. With more new snow misstepping between rocks would be less of an issue.

From last nights campsite- Osgood tentsite, it was about 3.5 miles to Mt Washington as the crow flys. But the AT route, from Osgood, headed North and slightly East bending back slightly West to Mt. Madison where the trail then headed West and slightly North to Edmands Col. From here, the route headed South and West to Mt. Washington. The route I just described, when viewed on a map will look like the outline of a human brain. Check it out.

So the hike today was mainly above treeline and followed a ridge of peaks and always gave me a great view of whats ahead and whats behind. It was nice to see the snow again, especially in New Hampshires White Mountains Presidential Range.

For dinner tonight: Mountainhouse chili mac, ADD: sharp cheddar cheese and creackers, coconut macaroons and water. For breakfast today: Pop Tart, granola bar, coconut macaroons and water. For snacks today: sharp cheddar, cashews, granola bars, peanut butter Little Debbies, cheddar goldfish crackers, cheese crackers and water.

I saw a crow hanging out, stationary, on top of Mt. Madison. He left his position and glided down past me all the while screaming. Once past me, while gliding down the mountainside, he turned and looked back at me. I could not believe my eyes. His body moved with his neck and head but he kept flying ahead. His glance lasted maybe a second but it just seemed so akward.


The cog railroad engines were running today. My goodness, the tracks go right up to the top of Mt. Washington. The tracks are very steep and when going downhill, I noticed the car went very slow and seemed to have its' brakes applied the whole way down. I would never ride that train up or down that mountain. Talk about your extreme roller coaster!

Happy Trails,

Totally Different Subject

October 16, 2007

10-16-07, 3:50pm, Osgood tentsite (2550'), SOBO mile:323.8, 4.8 miles hiked today.

Injury Update: After hiking today, first day since last Tuesday, my ankle felt pretty good. Not 100% but I'd say 65- 75%. The hike today was good physical therapy. I tested my right ankles' durability, flexibility and general strength today. The results were much better than I expected. My ankle got sorer as the day moved on. This is no surprise.

I need to continue moving surely, cautiously and slower for the next several days. This will allow for healing and my ankle will if I can keep from reaggravating the sprain.

Swelling is now isolated to the impact area of my ankle, on the outter side near the knoblike bone.

I took no pain relievers today during the hike. Just now I took 2 Aleve hoping for anti-imflamatory effects. In another effort to reduce swelling I wrapped my ankle in a 3"Ace brand bandage.

Tommorow, will be a good test with an immediate 2800' climb up to Mt. Madison and then up and down the exposed ridgeline to Mt. Washington.

The chimpmunks are so fat, they do not move very quick. In fact, if I wanted, I could easily have chimpmunk stew for dinner. Beef Stroganoff sounds more to my liking. They better leave my big food bags alone.

There is snow above treeline. From Mt Madison all the way to Mt Washington I can see snow. The temps are getting colder now. Freezing nights and mornings. However, I have heard the tomorrow should be very nice up high. I am hoping for several more days of nice hiking weather.

The Barn had shut down for the season by the time I got to Gorham from Pinkham Notch with a bad ankle and I refused to stay at Hikers Paradise so I settled into my new room/home at the Gorham Motor Inn. Seven nights I slept there so I was very ready to leave.

Antsy to go hike, excited about Mt Washington and the Presidentials and nervous about my ankle I grabbed my backpack and poles, said goodbye to Golden Waldow and moved towards the trail from Pinkham notch. Golden Waldow spends his Summers up in Gorham to help shuttle hikers. He had given me a ride to the trail via a grocery store stop and a new shoes stop.

I have a solid 5 days worth of food and new shoes. My North Face trailrunners lasted from Monson, ME to Pinkham Notch, NH ...204 miles. My new shoes are Merrell Chameleon Wrap leather brown. Leather uppers, no GoreTex, same Chameleon body and Vibram tread. Feels great, no break-in time. Low cut.

Almost dinner time.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Presidentials

TDS has communicated that he has finished the Presidential Range and is continuing through the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. Stay tuned for an update!

I wonder if they'll make two Mt Bushes once our current President's term is over...Obviously, they can't have two mountains named "Mt. Bush" -- maybe they could call one "Mount Poppy Bush" and the other "Mount George Dubya"?

-rg

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

View from the Top

Here's Mt Washington's web cam as of 1:15pm EDT. The view is looking north, so this is the path TDS will be coming down.


If I'd realized there was a webcam, I would have told him to stand in front of it for a while so we could get a live shot of him on the summit.

Here's a link to the cam:

http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/cam/north/

-rg

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Movin' Out


I got a call from TDS this morning -- he's pretty excited to be finally getting back on the trail today. He's been resting for the past six days, waiting for the swelling on his sprained ankle to go down.

This is likely to be among the most challenging couple of days on his adveture thus far. TDS will traverse the entire Presidential range, and experience a net change of elevation exceeding 10,000 feet.

Here's a map of what's in store:




TDS will start out at Pinkham Notch, and hike to the Madison Springs Hut (red line from A to B) -- 8 horizontal miles and almost 1 vertical mile (the yellow line is approximately 2 miles). Since most sane people stop hiking the Presidents around early September, the hut will be closed. TDS will pitch his tent at a site nearby.

The next day, he'll hike all the way to Lake of the Clouds -- another 8 miles that will include a summit of Mt. Washington (point C). In case you're not familiar with Mt. Washington, it's the highest point in New England, third highest peak in the Appalachians, and the site of the highest recorded wind speed on planet earth (231 mph).

To say that the weather makes it a challenging climb/hike is an understatement. Yesterday, the temperature on Mt Washington was a balmy 21-degrees F, with a wind chill of -5 (50 mph winds) and freezing fog. TDS is timing his hike so that conditions will be more favorable -- the weather will likely be sunny with temps in the 30s with 25mph winds. A beautiful fall day for Mt Washington.

Here's TDS's Wednesday hike from a different perspective:




And here's a link to the Mt Washington Observatory (including a weather forecast):
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php


It will probably be at least 3 or 4 days before we hear from TDS, let's wish him well! Or as the French would say, "Bon chance! Laissez les bon temps roulet, mon ami!"

-rg

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

October 10, 2007 - Gorham, NH

10-10-07. From Gorham. SOBO mile: 319, Pinkham Notch.

Well, I rolled my ankle pretty badly coming down the steep Wildcat mtn, peak E. Rolling my ankle(s) is something that occurs regularly but this time it was bad. Once I felt my foot fold underneath the ankle, I fell and slid down a slab of rock. I was able to get up and hike the couple miles to the AMC Visitor Center at Pinkham Notch. My ankle was swelling and it was pretty obvious that some ice, ibuprophen and several days off were in my immediate future. At the AMC Visitor center I met Laces and Parkbench, who met in 2006 while thru hiking, and they gave me a ride into Gorham. Laces worked as a caretaker this year in the White Mountains.

I hiked out of Gorham 10-8, after taking a zero day. I was very excited about hiking in the Whites and hoping for great weather. The weather forecast called for rain throughout the week, clearing by the weekend. I actually walked the 3.6 mile road walk back to the trail as I did not feel like trying to hitch. It was a nice walk and I enjoyed walking past the local golf course.

From the trailhead (1260') i began the climb up into the beginning of the Whites. The first big climb was up Mt. Moriah (4049') but I did get approximately six miles to climb the nearly 3000 feet. The weather was overcast, drizzly and cooler. It felt great to be on the trail. Falls colors continued its' brilliant display and I was thinking of Mt. Washington, the Presidential Range, Franconia Ridge. What would the weather have in store? Would I have great views?

With a belly full of town food and a days rest I eased up the mountain, stopping occasionally for a breather and to take in the spectacular views. The days are getting shorter now. I ended my 8 mile day at Imp shelter. What a great shelter! It had a loft, it was only inhabited by me and was as dark as Lake of the Clouds Dungeon. I slept like a log.

Thanks to Team Portland (Green Bean, Pace, Bricklayer, Cross Stitch and Hi Pockets), I had coffee and hot cocoa upon arriving at the shelter followed by a wonderful Mountain Home dinner-Jamaican Chicken with rice and beans. They sent other goodies that have supplemented my rather boring trail menu. THANKS you all! I love the food boxes you have sent too Mom and Dad!

10-9-07 I awoke to blue skies, few clouds and cool temps. What an excellent surprise I thought as it was supposed to be raining. Yeehaw! This was also important as I had the Wildcat peaks A-E of Wildcat mountain to do.

So a 1500' climb to the top of Carter Mountain (4530'), a nice ridge walk past North, Middle and South Carter peaks and then lunch at Zeta Pass (3990'). I was hiking efficiently but doing just under 2 mph.

There were some squirells and chimpmunks out playing. I noticed several birds and many moose tracks in the mud.

Another climb up from Zeta Pass to Mt. Hight (4675') and another short up to Carter Dome (4832'), a wooded summit. I took a short break here and visited with some day hikers. It had been a long day and it was already 2pm once I headed down to Carter Notch.

I had great views of Mt Washington, Mt Clay, Mt Jefferson and Mt Adams all day. This is a very impressive view when clear and I was fortunate. At 6288 feet, Mt Washington stands tall and its peak is unmistakable. I have never seen her so clearly and wondered and hoped that it would be the same once I stood atop of ye ol mountain. I took a ton of photos and several videos.

If I have not mentioned and you do not know, New Hampshire's Whites make for some of the toughest miles on the AT. Straight ups, straight downs, slabs of rock, boulders, roots help make the terrain dangerous. Add some moisture and hiking times slow way down. Sometimes, going downhill, my only option is to run as momentum would have it. During these times of crazed downhill dancing I must be ready and able to stop immediately and turn on a dime. This makes for some body (knee, ankle and feet) abuse. The difficulty makes the experience, "the" experience.

From Carter Notch (3390') I walked around the pond, near the hut, and begain the steep 1000 foot climb up to Wildcat Mountain Peak A (4380'). Once at Peak A a beautiful and scenic ridgewalk ensued as I had mild and short ups and downs across summitted Peaks B,C,D and finally E.

As I worked my way across Wildcat Mountain the blue skies gave way to clouds. However, the summit of Mt Washington was only covered up briefly and for most of the day I could see the whole mountain. On more than one occasion I wished I was up there then. So I began to hike with more purpose. The purpose was getting down to Pinkham Notch before the rain began.

There was an observation deck on top of Wildcat Peak D (4063') but I did
not stop to observe. Just before Wildcat Peak E (4041') the sound of a ski lift/ gondola caught my ear. it was actually running at 4:30pm and bringing folks up for the view. I continued.

Coming down Peak E was brutal. Straight down. At times I had to climb down boulders, other times I ran using trees and roots to stop. The trail was dry and difficult. With a tad under 2 miles to go, on a slab of steeply slanted rock I rolled my ankle. I could feel my right foot fold up under the ankle. This injury brought me down and I wound up sliding ten feet or so. I was able to get up and my instinct was to walk it off. However, this mountain was not the sidelines but I had no choice but to walk it off while hiking out. Fortunately, fortunately I was able to walk on it but the terrain made it a slow, painful and frustrating hike out. I made it to the AMC Visitor Center right at dark and was able to meet some good people- Laces and Parkbench 2006 AT thruhikers who drove me into Gorham. Thanks guys! Got checked into the Gorham Motor Lodge, got some food and began the icing of my ankle which had swelled to the size of a baseball. Doc had to temporarily shut down the Barn to tend to an issue with his other b&b, The Black Swan Inn.

It is 7:56am, 10-10, and I am maxing out the Aleve and Advil doses. Come to think of it I am out and wil have to get some more soon. I am icing and elevating my foot now and the swelling has simmered down abit. I can walk...er limp now and do have some pain. I will take today, tomorrow and perhaps another day off the foot before heading back to tackle Mt. Washington and The Presidentials. Currently, I see no reason to see a Doctor.
More later

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

More from September 29

9-29-07:
So on the morning of September 28th, I unscrewed the valve on my Thermarest Prolite 4 regular length sleeping pad to not much air escaping. Yep, this bad boy still has a hole or valve leak and I still have to reinflate it reglarly and often. I wished I had time to fix the problem on zero days. I always chuckle when unscrewing the valve.

I packed up wet gear and headed up the steep climb towards Spalding Mountain (3990'). It was a climb and at times a scramble over and around slick rocks and roots. Once up the first steep 1000' climb the trail flattened abit until the final 500' climb to a blue blazed summit trail. The weather was also humid today and while on top there was fog and wind.

The views are amazing. And now the entire mountainsides are rich with color.

Monday, October 8, 2007

October 4, 2007

10-4...good buddie, actually its 3:14am 10-5 Friday. From Full Goose Shelter, ME, less than 5 miles from ME/NH border. 10 and some change today...a tough 10 miles up Old Speck, down the Mahoosic Arm, through the Mahoosic Notch, up Fulling Mill mtn (south peak of Goose Eye mtn).

My legs are sore and I have been sneezing like a cat since Andover. Today I saw two people. Both were AMC employees hiking. We visited for a bit and they knew CuppaJoe (AT 05 NOBO). They are all planning an 08 PCT hike.

I went through the Notch pretty quickly, stopping once for a snack, a smoke and some water.

The weather today was again amazing. Sunny, clear skies and warm. The temperature read 68 degrees this morning at a kiosk in the parking lot of Grafton Notch.

I have been hiking in Maine now for nearly a month. The weather has been ideal, the Fall colors have been brilliant and the only moose I have seen was on a road and we were driving. Oh yea, there is a rotting moose in the Notch. The smell was horrid. I have taken five zero days here and all were warranted.

Gorham by Saturday morning to pick up food box and bounce box at the Post Office and maybe a care package from Team Portland aka Team Rob. Hopefully I will do some laundry there as my socks smell much like that dead moose!

White Crow and I stayed at this shelter last time through. There were a ton of people here then. Some section hikers and an Outing Club. I remember being put off by the noise and after the hoards of weekend warriors in New Hampshire's White Mountains I would have loved to have arrived to an empty quiet shelter. This year I did. I am tenting but am the only one here.

I love Little Debbie snacks especially the big Texas sized cinnamon roll and their fried apple pie. Both have at least 420 calories per serving.

The stars are out tonight.

I have been singing REO Speedwagon songs lately. Sometimes outloud and other times just to myself.

Talked to Bricklayer and Spoonman today while taking a break on Old Speck. Hopefully, Danni Wingfoot won't be too upset with me. Brick and I talked football which made me miss it even more. But I can hike around the NFL. I have seen all but one Monday Night Football game and I will be in Gorham on Saturday. If care package from Team Portland isnt there then I will zero Sunday, watch football, pickup box Monday on way out of town...

Until next time, cheers!
Happy Trails,

Totally Different Subject

Ed. note: Jakeleg, I didn't publish your comments because you had some private info in there, but rest assued that they have been sent to TDS. -rg

October 3, 2007

sobo mile:266 approx. from table rock, a blue blazed trail, roughly half mile South of Grafton Notch/ME26.

stars our out tonight. windy up here but have some cover from trees. no fly on tent tonight. will have coffee tomorrow.

zero day, 10-2, at The Cabin (Honey and Bear or Margie and Earl). Hawkeye, Wyoming, Bullwinkle, Fishstick, Dirt, Lazy Legs. pizza for lunch. blueberry pancakes, eggs, bacon, biscuits, potatoes, strawberry jam, cantalope, coffee, orange juice for breakfast. burgers, potato salad, corn on cob, brocolli, ice cream for dinner.

23 mile slackpack, 10-1, from ME17 to East B Hill road, up and over Bemis Mtn, up and over Moody Mtn, up and over Wyman Mtn. 8:40am- 7:15pm.
view from campsite on table rock (10-3) of Speck Mtn. top socked in clouds.

hit trail 9:45am. camped 6pm. beef lo mein lipton noodles, cookies and raspberry tea for dinner.

met and visited with Rider today. he met Crash Test Dummy in Hot Springs, NC 2004.

watched Last of Mohicans at the Cabin, MNF and ate like a king. did laundry...finally. several showers. 3 nights at the cabin.

talked to white crow last night. he is trucking along and night hiked last night.

up old speck, down mahoosic arm and through mahoosic notch tomorrow, hoping to hike to carlos col shelter, just before crossing into nh tomorrow.

saw cow moose on road yesterday.

this is one of my favorite campsites of the whole trail so far.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More New Photos

Just got these from TDS via Stan Bivin - thank you! -rg





September 25, 2007

9-25-07. From Safford Notch campsite (2240ft), 2 miles South of Avery Peak (4088ft) of Bigelow Mountain, SOBO mile:177.4.

Last night I stayed at West Carry Pond leanto...all by myself. Yep, nobody was there. Unbelievable and a first for me on the trail this
year.

The loons made more noise than the mice. This is a great thing. It was quite a performance put on by the males trying to gain the attention of a suitor. Or vice versa, the female trying to attract a male. The acoustics were great on the pond and I could hear so many different calls and yodles. I managed to record several minutes and may use as my ringtone since it was recorded on a cell phone.

The Fall colors are like a timeless painting. You get lost looking deeper into the colors. Reds, Yellows, brown, light green are all over this Maine landscape. Leaves are falling and starting to have a static presense on the trail. This time of year makes me think of football, turkey, pumpkin pie and Christmas present idea tv commercials.

Today, I got started around 8:30am and had a nice walk. Up over Roundtop Mountain, another hump and voila I am looking at the beautiful Flagstaff lake. This lake is part of the Northern Forest Canoe trail. I chose to not paddle her as the water into and out of were mighty low. But I can not wait to paddle this section and this time of year would be ideal....with more water and cow bell.

While taking it all in on the rocky shore of Flagstaff lake I, for the first time on either the AT or NFCT, watched three otters swim by. They saw me and held there head above water and made noises almost like they were saying "hi". They were cute and played as they swam and dived.

I made it over Little Bigelow just4 before dinner. It was a 2000ft climb but not bad.

The streams, springs and brooks are pretty much dried up. The water sources are nothing like they were this time several years ago. So when I stop for water, I tank up.

Tomorrow, another 2000ft climb to Avery Peak and then back down the mountain to 1500ft from 4000ft to Statton, ME.

It was great seeing all the NOBO's in Caretunk. We had many good laughs and beers and dips in thwe jacuzzi at Northern Outdoors. It was also neat to watch a football game. NY Giants finally got a much needed win to avoid an 0-3 start. Atta-boy, Plaxico and Eli.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September 20, 2007

Good morning readers! It is around 7:40am 9-20, Thursday, and I am about to have maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal courtesy of Quaker. The sun has just appeared over the tree line, over my left shoulder. I have been awake since 7:04.

A couple of notes while they are fresh...

Shoes: New The North Face trailrunners. My sixth pair of shoes worn while hiking the AT this year. The vote is not yet in but my money is on these new shoes not making "voted number one". I went down half size under the advisement of the shoe guy at outfitter in Greenville, ME. He said that The North Face shoes are sized bigger. While hiking downhill yesterday my toes were being jammed into the toe. This is neither comfortable nor healthy. So today I will hike without the shoes inserts. This will give me some room. If this does not solve the problem then I will use a thinner sock. Worst case scenario, I buy a new set of shoes.

My favorite shoes, still, are the ones made by Keen-Boulder and Targhee. The soles just do not last.

Last night a mouse chewed a hole through my pack cover. They gave up once through because no entry holes were evident on my pack. They also got into my food pot. Both scandals happened to be my first mice issues. So far I have been fortuante to have avoided the many mice scandals experienced by so many hikers. Last night they striked but no food was lost and gear still in tact and functioning.



Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

September 19, 2007

hey ya'll and how are you doing? 9-19, a site .5 miles South of Horseshoe Canyon leanto, SOBO mile approx 124. a short day today, just 9.5.

site is on flat rock just above waterline, just Left off trail going S. look left immediately after noticing campsite on your Right. down steep short path. pad big enough for 2man tent, 2 1man tents or 3-4 cowboy campin. well maintained low impact fire ring. view of falls.

a nobo named splendora passed by and then came down to take a picture or two. she liked how awesome the site was. she and her partner (I could not understand what his name was after asking twice over. I just pretended to know.) were hiking to the shelter.

a nice relaxing day was had. the yellow leaves of the birches and beeches against white and purple bark ruled my attention.

lots of red leaves too from the maples.

the sun was out, the temperature mild, some humidity when near water and the air so pure. another beautiful day, again a rocky mountain high...about 156 miles left here to hike in Maine. it will get harder. today, the trail, terrain and slope were nice and easily managed.

views of all sorts of water from the trail.

took zero yesterday in Monson at the Shaws Hiker Hostel. new owners, Dawn and Sue, are extremely hospitable and sincerely enjoy the hiker clientelle. their ayce breakfast is just what the Dr. ordered at a more affordable price than a visit to the Dr. you can enjoy dinner with them most nights. Sue and Dawn are wonderful hosts. the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the hikers and the huge AT community win by having these fine ladies running their show up in Monson, ME. thanks to the Shaw's for their many contributions to the AT community and especially the AT thruhiker! best of luck Keith Jr.

I checked email and news from Monson's Public Library. I resupplied at the General Store and I enjoyed food from the Mobile station. We drove to Greenville for supplies at the outfitter. While in Greenville I saw and read the NFCT kiosk located at the Southernmost point of Moosehead lake. We all drove to the Rockwood putin to see Mt Kinneo. This highway is frequented by moose.

it felt good to not hike yesterday. my body is thanking me. todays short hike helped also. starting this last phase slowly is helping my legs and lungs get back into the groove.

again its beautiful here. i can not fully describe the beauty but hope you all might have the chance to experience these woods for yourselves.

it has been great seeing all the NOBO's. again, Congratulations for your grand accomplishent.

Granite Gear, just email me and I'll give you an address to send the new 2008 Nimbus Ozone. I'm so excited and I just can't hide it, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it!

I miss the authentic Mexican cuisine of Enriques at the Ponca City (OK) International airport.

Charles Barkley should join the cast for Monday Night Football and replace Bob Costas for all sports broadcasts. Bob is just too short and not much of an athlete.
For dinner I had Liptons Beef Lo Mein with peanut butter. I added a spoonful to the boiling water. By the time it had cooked it was more like peanut butter soup with noodles. Kind of like the peanut butter soup Jackie Boyd made for us when we stayed with her and Father Boyd while my parents were attending Criseo (m/s) years ago.

Tommorow, Moxie Bald mtn and maybe Pleasant Pond mtn...that would be a 20 mile day. i have not done a 20 mile day in Maine thus far.

I should be running into Hungus any day now and maybe White Crow before long.
Happy Trails,

Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

Monday, September 17, 2007

More to come...

Ed note - TDS got into Monson, ME earlier today, and sent the updates below. I anticipate he'll be moving on shortly. As Jerry Reed once said, he's got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

In that spirit -- here is a tribute by a contemporary artiste:


September 15, 2007

From chairback gap lean-to, SOBO mile 88.5, 11.7 miles hiked.

Yesterday, 9-14, i rolled out late from a wonderful campspot on Crawford Pond. there was a fire ring but I made no fire. the wind was blowing but clear blue skies and two mountains to hike-Little Boardman mountain (2017') and White Cap mountain (3654').

The trail was nice and dry. The wind blew harder as the day wore on and as I climbed higher.
I started the 2400' climb, covering 5.3 miles, around 1pm and it was nearly dark by the time I camped at Sydney Tappen campsite.

The sign on top of White Cap entered my view. Someone was taking a picture of the sign and I knew him. Not Yet with Mr. Easy right behind and I were crossing paths at such a great place. We found a place free from the wind and visited. Cool Hand Luke and Lunchbox showed up and we had a pow wow. The last time I saw Cool Hand Luke was in Louisville visiting White Crow. We caught up and stayed until we could take the cold and windy no longer.

I left the guys and started down cold and ready for dinner and a sleeping bag. Just shy of Sydney Tappen Camsite I made home on some pine needles, had dinner and drifted to sleep.
It started raining today, early this morning, so I staked out the tent fly and went back to sleep. The next time I awoke it was still raining and 4am. Back to sleep after a brief exit from the warmth of my tent. 8:45am, up for good, not raining but wet.

Everyone was sure it would clear up today with promise of nice days to come. The rain stopped and then started. When it wasn't raining the wind helped the trees drop their available standing water on those hiking underneath. There was lots of fern overgrowth that also retained water.
Tomorrow, I am hoping for terrain and weather helpful as I'd love to knock off a big day, leaving a sub-ten mile day into Monson. There a box of food awaits along with great breakfast at The Shaw's.

Only squirells, chipmunks and mice today. No Sasquatch sightings yet.

Happy Trails,
Jason Bivin
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

September 13, 2007

From campsite on Crawford Pond, Maine, stealth, SOBO mile 62, 16.1 miles hiked.

What a beautiful Fall day in Maine. The air was crisp, an always present breeze kept the sweat away, cooler temps squashed the humidity and the sky was painted clear and blue. It was one of those days where each breath taken was the best. the conditions were primo for a walk in Maine's woods.

This morning we all rode across the lake from Whitehouse Landing. Once on shore and then on the trail, we said our Goodbyes. Gandalf headed North towards Mt. Katahdin with Radar while I headed South towards Deleware Water Gap. Gandalf will complete the Triple Crown once atop Mt. Katahdin and Radar will finish his first long distance hike. A hiker holding The Triple Crown has hiked all three long distance trails in the United States of America. Gandalf did them in order from the West Coast to the East Coast- Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail. Congrats buddy!

I took a zero day at Whitehouse Landing yesterday (9-12). Tom B, Radar, Gandalf and I had a nice relaxing day playing cribbage, chess, napping, eating and visiting. The night before Bird Dog stayed over and then Dick Wizzard, Quaso and General Lee stopped by for lunch. It was great seeing everybody.

I ate one pound deluxe cheeseburgers both evenings with chips, pickles, salad, Coke and Ben and Jerry's with homemade brownies. It was delicious and very filling.

I have seen several different types of frogs lately and a snake today. The snake was brown and camoflaged very well. He moved quickly across the trail. Some Merganzers just swam by making some racket. No loon sounds from the pond yet.

The trail was nice today, some roots, rocks, pine needles. I walked over many bog planks today. Some were safe, steady and level others were rotten, angled and slick.

The trail has passed by many ponds and several lakes for the last few days. Looking at them now, I feel a total connection.

(obviously) Passing by the lakes triggers memories of my recent paddle of the NFCT.

Congratulations to all NOBO's about to or having already finished!

The new Canon camera is making some great photos. I cannot wait to share them.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

September 10th - part II

9-10-07. rainbow streams leanto. sobo mile 30.1. 11.5 miles hiked today.

Boy was I sore this morning! In fact, I did not leave the shelter until 10:22am. Jakeleg and I had the shelter and the shelter mice to ourselves. He is SOBO'ing all the way and is from Johnson City, TN. We shared some laughs and many good stories.

This morning Couch rolled up to the shelter and we visited for an hour before he headed North towards Abol bridge. We had not seen each other since the Sheny's, where we had a blast hiking and drinking.

The hike today was beautiful. Much of the hike was through the dense boreal forest, over many slick roots and rocks. The trees shed yesterdays rain, on me. But with my pack cover on- no problem.

Up on rainbow ledges, the days high point, I saw a male spruced grouse singing Barry White to the ladies. He was strutting himself around with his tailfeathers fanned. The females were flying in and one landed on a spruce limb. The females were beautifully colored brown with black specks and pretty eyes. I observed them for awhile.

Lots of breaks today. Taking it easy to give my body a chance to find the groove. I am hoping to find my trail legs soon, so some easing on down the road can be attained.

Tomorrow to White House landing for resupply and since arrival will be preceded by 16 miles I'll probably stay for a shower and the one pound cheeseburger and AYCE breakfast. Then to Monson, ME by the 16th for the final day of Whiteblaze Hiker Feed and night over. The Post Office closes at 11am on Saturday the 15th and reopens Monday. Will pick up package and boogie.

This is the last shelter I stayed at in 2005. I was here with Crosstitch, Hi Pockets, Bricklayer, Pace, No Worries and Good Ol Boy. The water in the stream was much higher then. Then it was a ford, today its a hop, skip and a jump.

Little Red and Wolf here tonight, tenting. It was nice seeing them.

For much of todays hike the trail was near Rainbow Lake and it reminded me of my recent paddle. Yesterday, I hiked along the Western branch of the Penobscott river.

Yesterday, while talking to the Ridgerunner, Bluebearee, I noticed a pileated woodpecker fly by and land in a tree. I pointed the bird out to Bluebearee. It was the first one she had ever seen up here.

I will need to get some new shoes soon and preferably before Mohoosic Notch and arm. Maybe some Merrell's or Keen's or Solomon's.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

September 10, 2007

7:10am from Hurd Brook shelter, mile 18.6 SOBO and its raining.

Yesterday, I awoke from the Birches Campsite, took my time and finally hit the trail around 9am. I was pretty sore from the big climb up Katahdin. Todays hike was nice and after a little time the soreness went away.

While hiking yesterday I met Bluebearee, NOBO '02. She is the ridgerunner for this section. Got to see Dances With Sloths, Sandwich, Sublime and Gorilla on there way to Abol Bridge campground. They all had the same empty but intense look. I know that look. I am hoping they all get a brilliant summit.

I hiked 8 miles from the entrance of Baxter. I spent the night at Roaring Brook campground and before 7am the following day I headed up the mountain.

The Helen Taylor trail was all uphill and it was steep, a lot like the Hunt Trail. But since you are climbing towards Baxter Peak it's pretty easy to forget the toughness.

The weather was windy and foggy. Very windy and the higher I got the fiercer the wind blew. At the end of Helon Taylor trail is Pamola Peak at like 4900 feet. From there you can take the 1.1 mile Knifes Edge to Baxter Peak. Once on top I put on additional clothes, ate lunch and began the wait, along with others, for the weather to clear. Occasionally, the fog would blow away so that I could see Knifes Edge. It was usually for just moments but enough to see the severity of this trail.

Finally, I could wait no longer and headed down the Chimney to begin what would take two hours. The Chimney is the first obstacle. This starts with a 20-30 foot shear drop that you must negotiate down to a narrow pass before doing the same. It was a climb not a hike.
Along the way, wind gusts in excess of 30 mph had me hugging rocks like we were old friends and clawing at any crack that would hold. Most people do this with a peak bag, I did this with a 40+ pound pack.

Oh yea, it was narrow, with shear drops and the rock was jagged, angled and akward. I took my time. And it was still very scary but eventually I was like there is no going back and one slip would be the end, my friend.

I made it through the fog and wind and once at Baxter Peak, well, the same weather. My second time on top and no blue skies but it did not matter. I made it across Knifes Edge, I summitted Katahdin, got to do several other peaks up there, a different trail and no double miles.

Once down, I ran into Rio, Hemlock, Cocoa, Monkey and others. Blue Skies and I spent an hour together on top. She stayed longer than I hoping for blue skies. She got them as patience paid out. I was sore, my legs jelly and it was like I had not hiked at all this year.

To the Birches for sleep.

Great to be on trails that were meant for hiking. I have enjoyed being able to share my Northern Forest Thru paddle with others. There are many more paddling enthusiasts out here than I knew. In fact, the ridgeunner Bluebearee, knows one of the Pennsylvania 4 who did a thru-paddle this year.

Its raining now and while we need it bad, well, its always hard to get out in it when you are warm and dry.

I will try to make it to Monson by the 15th or 16th because Whiteblaze.net is hosting a hiker feed/gathering. Also, I have a food box waiting...the 15th is Saturday and the Post Office closes at 11am. So maybe I'll get there on the 16th. Only time will tell.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

From 9-7-2007

9-7-07 from picnic table in front of bunkhouse at roaring brook campground, east of Mount Katahdin.

This morning I had another wonderful breakfast at the new and improved Appalachian Trail diner, recently taken over by AT veterans Ole Man and NaviGator. They also bought the Appalachian Trail Lodge. The lodge is where hikers, bikers, snowmobilers and hunters can stay at an inexpensive, turn of the century, boarding house. Stay in the bunkhouse or a private room- they are all fine and Ole Man and Navigator are such nice and helpful folks. They are both true friends of the trail and are AT hikers themselves. While at the diner, sit up at the bar and you will be amazed at the past AT memorabilia. Even if you sit elsewhere you should spend a minute checking out the potpourri of AT regalia.

I took care of some post office business which consisted of packing and sending a food bounce box to Monson, ME and a box headed for my folks house- headquarters.

I was able to hitch to Baxter State Park entrance. From there I walked to the entrance booth. It was lovely to be greeted by such sour, rude, wise-assed park rangers and gate keepers.

Maybe they had a bad day, we all do? I was quickly advised that I needed reservations to stay in the park and they were not going to let me start up Katahdin. Instead of helping me resolve the problem, they kept giving me flak. Finally, I asked if I could hike down the Roaring Brook Road and camp there, summit Katahdin tomorrow via the Helen Taylor and Knifes Edge trails. There was one spot available in the bunkhouse, so I paid the ten bucks and headed down the eight mile road with thoughts of Katahdin, Maine, The Knifes Edge, the Whites and finishing this journey swimming through my mind.

Lots of traffic on this gravel and dirt road. I had a great view of Katahdin while passing a break in the trees. She is different when viewed from the East.

This is my third time to Baxter State Park and each time both the gate keepers and rangers have been rude, wiseassed, and unhelpful. They must hate their job or they hate hikers that don't always want to pay for a campsite or always stay in their few designated campsites.
So I will take the Helen Taylor trail to the Knifes Edge trail to Baxter Peak, Mount Katahdin. 4.3 miles and 3807 feet to the top. Then down Katahdin, atop the boulders making up what looks like a spine from the top, back to treeline and off on my SOBO AT finish.

I am carrying a pretty heavy pack. I have about seven days worth of food and have no plans to stop until Monson, except for sleep and breaks, of course.

Dinner time! And am hoping for a 4am or so start. I would love to watch the sunrise from Knifes Edge or Baxter Peak...

**Newsflash*** An overbooking occurred tonight at the bunkhouse. I volunteered to take a campsite. Jo, from Providence, RI, who is a ranger here at the campground, found me a great tent site and everyone is happy.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject
http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com

Through the 100-mile wilderness

Ed note: it's been confirmed that TDS is now through the 100 mile wilderness! It's the wildest section of the AT -- you need to bring 7+ days of supplies because there's no where to get them along that section. It goes from Baxter State Park to Monson, Maine.

My apologies to our posters who left some very nice comments to TDS -- I'm sorry it took so long to get your stuff posted. They are now out there, and I hope you'll continue to visit this site and stay updated on TDS's grand adventure. -rg

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

September 5, 2007

Greetings friends, family, countrymen....

I am typing from Northern Door Inn, a wonderful hotel, in Fort Kent, Maine. I have finished the NFCT paddle!!!!

It felt good to take a long shower last night and an epson salt bath today. I am warmer than I was yesterday during the last 17 mile paddle. I turned my canoe over not 50 feet from the end of the paddle.

Last night I had sirloin tips, baked potato and salad for dinner at the Swamp Buck restaurant. And some beers at Bee Jays. Everyone that I talked to mentioned the two guys here a month ago carrying a canoe. It was Ben and Jessee of the Wisconsin 2.

For updates of the last 9 days, check out my blog, http://www.totallydifferentsubject.blogspot.com/ And if you do, and send this email to 25 of your friends, my tracking software will go straight to Bill Gates and the inventor of the internet, Al Gore, and they will send you a check in the amount of $10 for each person you send to and $5 to each person they send it to. Trust me, it works, I am not an attorney but I did stay at the Northern Door Inn last night. hahahaha.

I hope former Gov. Jesse "The Mind" Ventura decides to run for presidency for our sake because the current candidates are clowns. Sorry Hillary fans.

Looking for ride to Millinocket, Baxter State Park to begin SOBO of AT from Katahdin back to NJ/DWG. I wonder how long it will take to get trail legs and lungs....?

Happy Trails, Best of Luck and Love,
Jason Bivin aka TDS.

September 3, 2007

9-3-07, its 7pm'ish and I am pretty tired.

28 miles today. From pelletier campground on the st johns river, near saint francis, maine, 17.5 miles to fort kent, maine, the end...my only friend the end.I just can't believe it. I really could live up here all year round.My hearing must be off or perhaps congested since all my songs I sang today sounded horrible, you know a little off. Or some might say way off. There was not only a store in allegash village but a diner.

Right before the bow back to the allegash bridge there is a big sign that read lunch. A pepsi symbol under the word lunch. Guess where I went? Double cheeseburger with bacon, large french fries and a pepsi. The real treat was visiting with bluegrass kelley a mandolin picker of many, many years. We had a nice talk and if I ever am in maine in june, I’ll definitely hit the bluegrass festival on the coast to hear him pick. The folks there were real nice!

Thank you keen for making some great durable, sticky and tough water sandles. These have lasted until a couple days ago and as rough as I am on shoes, i'd say you have one he11uva shoe/sandle. Now trash the glued together soles on your targhees and use a one piece molded vibram sole. You will have a customer forever and the best low cut hiking boot.

No moose today. I talked to two others on the water and they had not seen any either.The water on the allegash river was scratchy in many places so I was watching the water more than the scenery.Wind at my back today. It made the water pushy. But at times I could fly 3, maybe 4 mph without a paddle in the water. Not all day though.

Should I perm my beard or what? Let me know what you think. Should I not cut my hair and go with a mullet until there is world peace?I sure would have liked to see randy moss and bret favre play together on the same team. Maybe in 2008 both favre and moss will wind up playing for holmgren in seattle...

A big thank you and round of applause to my boy rob gore for managing the blog. With grad school, a fulltime job at wellsfargo, a wife and 2 boys I don't see how he finds the time. I think it looks great and the blog is something that i'm proud of. If I were to manage one, hopefully it would look as good.

Hey, has paris hilton left a comment yet? While in line at the grocery store, I noticed lyndsey lohan made the cover of maxim. I checked out the pages containing her hottie images. I didn't, however, read the story. Wonder if anybody else didn't read her story?

It rained last night, the sun was out early this morning and a wind was active. Life can't get any better.I do not think my mom, susie, would allow my gear in her house. He11, she might not let me in. I have a pur water filter pump, msr miox pen and polar pure at home. I have used none on my at hike or nfct paddle. Thank goodness I just love gear. Let me know if you would like to borrow one.

You ever notice the good guys never run for political office? I like actors, they are entertaining.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September 2, 2007

From cunliffe depot campsite, allegash river, maine, 45.5 miles from ft. Kent, maine, northern terminus of nfct.

Wow! Ideal, ideal, ideal conditions today. Very little wind. Any wind was always at my back. No rain, just sun and blue skies. Although, it was nearly 10am before the sun burned off the fog. There were dark clouds too but they went away. And all downstream, mostly quick water and some rapids.

33 miles paddled today, my biggest day. Also, I saw more wildlife today than any other, anytime or any other place! Today I saw 8 moose (1 bull, 6 cows and 1 calf), 2 bald eagles (one swooped down right in front of me for some fish), 2 snow shoe hares, 1 ermine swimming, many great blue heron, blue jays, grey jays, canadian goose, loons, tons of fish jumping or swimming, 1 osprey, other ducks and birds.

I wonder if moose, especially cows, like people? It seemed they have always been very near a campsite. Always in the water too, eating. They also don't seem to mind me. I give them plenty of room and talk to them in passing. They are fun to watch because they seem so chill, easy come easy go. Maybe its just the time of year?

I loved watching the bull this morning. He let me get close enough to get a spectacular viewing. He was in the water so that it came to his shoulders. Given the depth of the water of umsaskis lake just south of the bridge at the thoroughfare, I knew this guy was tall. His rack was large and all velvet gone. He would submerge his head and part of neck under water to forage. Once satisfied, he would pull his head back up and chew. The sound of the water trickling, running actually, off his head back to the river sounded like a waterfall, or like when you just step out of the pool and the water runs off your body and swimsuit and hits the water or ground. Over and over he would do this and I just hung out to watch for awhile.

Both eagles flew close enough that I could see their eyes and the detail of their feathers. The one that swooped down on his prey had large talons and to see the whole process from flight to swoop to catch to eat makes me feel blessed.

Gosh, what a great paddle! To cover as much ground felt great. It has been one of the few days I have not had to fight weather. Oh, glorious day. How bout another one, tomorrow?

The weather here is constantly changing, this time of year. One day it rains, the next day wind and gusts in your face, then maybe a thunderstorm with lightning or intense sun and hot, or cold. Each condition means something different for the canoeist.

Like say the wind in your face. You can paddle through some. It makes for long days, your mph goes down and your muscles get a workout. But what happens when its blowing so hard you can not paddle any further? Or what do you do on a big body of water when the wind is causing waves that now are dangerous? How about thunder and lightning? Often, the answer is to get off the water. Sometimes it may be temporary and at times the wind ends your day.

A day like today can not be beat for paddling. And a place like this would be hard to beat.

Mountains were in abundance today. The maples have started turning red. Fall is around the corner here in maine, usa. Many brooks and streams dumped into the river making for some riffles and mostly swift water.

I just knew a big day was possible. Hell, my arms are not sore at all and I never stopped paddling today when on the water. Only two breaks and both under 20 minutes.

I need a couple more big days to Ft. Kent. Hopefully, the St. John river will be running and not low and scratchy. The last 27 miles are on it. The St. John river is the international border between the Maine, United States of America and New Brunswick, Canada. It is illegal to land on the canadian side.

My camera has not worked since yesterday. Too bad as today brought some once in a lifetime photo opps. Maybe, if the camera is not working, I will get a disposable camera at allegash village. I hope to make it in tomorrow as I hear they have a store. Eighteen miles stands between here and there.

To save fuel, I cooked dinner on a fire tonight. Mountain home spaghetti and meat sauce. I could go for some italian cuisine big time.

I can't believe the paddle is almost over. Not sure what the official mileage will be but whatever it comes out to this has truly been a privilege, a challenge and a victory.

I know hiking maine and new hampshire will eat my lunch, but seriously after what I have endured over the last month and a half on this trail, this paddle, I feel like I can survive, I can survive.

The allegash wilderness waterway ought to be in your top 20 things to do and see in your lifetime.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

September 1, 2007

From umsaksis lake, just 1.5 mile shy of map 13, the last map. Had to pull over due to high northwest winds. I am paddling northwest and this is the worst I have seen in the whole paddle. The lake is black with plenty of whitecap to boot. At least 3 ft waves rolling into me.

It has been a battle all day and since I can no longer make forward progress I will break. Break either momentarily or for the day. Its almost 4:30pm but I had hoped to have a big day. If stopping here, 15 miles. Hoping wind will die soon.

Broke camp and was paddling by 8:50am. Apparently, too late. But seriously, at 5am it was just as bad. I know because nature called. Rough paddle heading up churchill lakes west shore. Briefly through heron lake, which is more of a pond when compared to many of Maine's lakes, a short portage around churchill dam and I was ready to have some whitewater fun. I also figured here would be the place to make up some time.

The ranger took my gear down four miles to a place where bissonnette bridge used to stand so I could hit the class II rapids dry. In my canoe, having no weight means the canoe will skip right over the waves. They charge ten bucks and many do it. I joined the crowd.

Very nice to be heading downstream on the allegash river. Once I got knocked sideways and out by a unexpected and unseen rock. I actually almost rebounded center from the left with a third of canoe filled but just rocked back over right. So I got to go swimming a bit. Kept everything but a bottle of water. Had one sandal clinched between my teeth, one arm over the stern end and a hand grabbing my paddle. Here is how bad the wind was...I was through the rapids in some flatwater, swimming over to the shore when a gust came up and started moving us back upstream. Only me and my thwart bag got wet, and all its contents. Namely my camera. By the way, pelican 1030 series watertight boxes are NOT watertight, waterproof or water resistant. Maybe nothing is out here?

Got to gear, dried out, visited with some folks who just ran the rapids. They were doing several trips in the area for labor day weekend. Warmed up, ate the last of todays snack rations and headed back down the allegash.

The last several days, I have just been drinking water out of the lake or river. It is probably not going to kill me and I never took it from a source that was stagnate, standing or hosted beaver lodges. The water tastes pretty good. The first part of maine I was boiling water. Geez, this is a timely method of purifiction. Now, the 15 minutes with polar pure or iodine tabs, or 20+ minutes with aquamir seem quick.

There are tons of different types of mushrooms here in these woods. Yellow, orange, red, brown and various earthtone colors to one that almost seemed like a black light was shining on it. Will try to take some photos.

A ranger said there is a store in allegash village. The family informed me that the st john river is running low. Until a ranger says so I am inclined to not believe the family. St john river is the last stretch of the nfct, running the last 27.5 miles into ft. Kent, maine.

If a store is there and open I will supplement a shrinking food bag with fried apple pies, little debbies, beef jerkey, granola bars, etc. Heck, i'd even lug some beer.

More later.

Its nearly 7pm. The wind has died down some and while there will be another hour of sunlight, I just could not get warm eating dinner. Its been cool today, temps in 60's with that wind. My feet have been numb pretty much all day. In socks, longjohns, down jacket and stocking cap, tucked inside sleeping bag I am now. To finish sept 5, I have 4 paddling days, 3 dinners and 3 daily snack rations (about 1700 calories per day) and 78.5 miles.

Oh yea, those squirells with little thin flat tails, well, they are called ermine and I am not sure if they are related. A picture of the animal along with its name was on a bulletin board of churchill dam.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

August 30, 2007

From mud pond, less than a mile from chamberlain lake. Its 3:10pm and I'm in the tent.

The rain started about the time I was unpacking canoe for mud pond portage. A 1.8 mile jaunt covering slick rocks, tree blow down, moose muck, mud, mosquitoes and the spooky chance of a moose runin. The trail was marked with a white arrow on a red sign. The trail was more like a stream and very narrow. It was fun and with a canoe overhead I avoided the rain. I did get wet though. Sometimes I’d walk in water up to knees. The put in, following the portage, was moosemuck for 20, 25 feet out. The kind where you sink. Pulling out of one hole, the back strap of my keen water sandal broke.

While paddling up Lake Umbazooksus, I saw moose #4 and #5, a cow and calf. Mom was out 100 feet from shore, in this very shallow lake, and her calf was between her and the shore, much closer to the shore. I slowed and as I neared the calf ran towards mom. I turned back and paddled away. More as a gesture, just waving my white flag. Mom turned to look at me then with calf behind they headed for shore. This was very near the takeout for mud pond portage.

Once back in the canoe, I was paddling through mud with all my might and finally broke into some deeper water. The rain kept on coming down, thunder occurring and now fog. I could not see well and with the wind at me I pulled over and set up tent.

Only ten miles so far today. I had planned on 20.

The best place I found was a place that is the worst place to set a tent, let alone have to sleep... A giant root runs under where my hips would lay. At my ankles another along with a severe dropoff. With my pack under a tree I began pulling items out for setup. I did a pretty poor job at keeping tent dry. It was pouring.

Dried as much out as I could with silk bag liner. Got back into it and in sleeping bag. Ate lunch. Read. Getting warm and the rain stops, no sun and a wind. So no chance of drying gear out.

Stepped outside to look at the weather, to see if I might pack up and venture out in search of mud brook into chamberlain lake. Cold, windy, cloudy and looked like it might rain anytime and I was still cold so with all my gear wet, I decided to get back in tent, get in longjohns and down jacket, back in sleeping bag.

The day is pretty much bagged, so I will read some, have dinner, get to bed early and hopefully have a sunny morning tomorrow with successful passage to chamberlain lake.

2 portages today, 1 mile and 1.8 mile. The first was from longley stream bridge, at umbazookus stream, along longley stream road to marked sign for putin at umbazooksus lake, avoiding bog. The other, I spoke about earlier. I may have just completed the last of the long portages...if memory serves me accurately.

Happy trails,
Totally Different Subject

August 27, 2007 -- out of order

8-27-07, from moosehead lake, me. map 11.

an evening start. paddled an hour from the public boat access, near town of rockwood, me. water nice and smooth and no wind during evening paddle. got to camp-hardscrabble point around 7:00pm and established camp. tent up, temp now getting cool, a very nice coolness. not too far from water. should get nice sunrise over shaw mountain and little kineo mountain to the east and north.

lots of food. rations for 8-10 days. dinners, bagels, chips, ham, cheese, beef jerkey, granola bars, little debbies, a few energy bars and misc. will be my diet. no fishing. not going to eat berries because i dont want animals eating my food.

got a book, tobacco, the water, the woods, a canoe, paddles and pack.

very excited to have these miles, here, in front of me. the northwoods of maine. deep. the roads, towns, people and cars are fewer than woods, water and wildlife, here in maine.

Happy Trails,
Totally Different Subject

August 29, 2007

Oh what a beautiful morning...its 8:35am, still in camp. A ranger stopped by early, we visited, she wrote me a permit and I paid five dollars. For this, I do not mind paying. Muskrat dancing in the water last night under a full moon. A big bull moose is having breakfast not 200 feet away.

I heard what sounded like swimming. I walked down to the shore and could not see anything. With camera in hand I started walking to the noise. Sure enough, across the river was ol big bull eating. He heard me, and looked in my direction. I took some photos and let him be.

Two guys in a motor boat with buckets (probably loaded with food scraps to bait bear for upcoming hunt) scooted by and spooked him off back into the woods. I was then about to hit the water and hoped he and I might visit. No such luck.

They do an excellent job maintaining campsites up here!

A nice swift paddle down the Penobscot should be expected according to the ranger. Chesunook Lake is down, which could create some issue getting to mud carry, a 1.9 miles portage into Chamberlain Lake, the southern Allegash region. If Umbazooksus stream is low and not navigable, there is Longley Street road to Umbazooksus Lake and then mud carry portage.

6pm. Dinner time, camped at Longley stream campsite on Chesuncook Lake. Winds of south today. This made paddling down the Penobscot a breeze. It made paddling chesuncook wobbly.

Saw my 2nd bull moose today, just shy of long pine campsite today. He was big. He did not stay in the water long. After a good look at me he climbed out of the river and walked the bank until back in the woods. Great pics. It has been so awesome happening upon these moose. They truly are large and in charge.

The flies are horrible at this site. What a nuisance these bastids are! Have not seen them so thick since the pct.

Saw osprey, bald eagle, moose, Canadian geese and other birds.

Sunny today and few clouds.

Near the end of the Penobscot and beginning of Chesuncook Lake the winds picked up and created jerky water. Waves behind me and to the side. I decided to call it a day and get off the water.

Boiled water today, for lunch and dinner. Not sure how potable the Penobscot was and this lake is low and I would bet the quality, also not potable. To save what fuel I have left, I used a campfire to boil water and make dinner. If boiling proves to not be enough, well, I have a script of flagil.

Will have to ration food, especially snacks. About 120 miles left and five days, maybe five and a half rations. Never seem to get these long stretches right. Too much or too little.

Some clouds are moving in. I suppose some rain is due.

Excellent view of Mt. Katahdin today, upon hitting the lake. Can’t wait to be there looking down!

Getting back to katahdin and or my truck in Rockwood, ME has been on my mind. If I could get back without having to wait, I could summit katahdin by September 10. If this can be accomplished then I will be five days ahead of schedule.

Allegash tomorrow! Yee haw!

The sound of waves crashing against the beach will make soothing sleeps. What beautiful country this is and what fortune I must hold to be here breathing it all in.

Happy trails,
Totally different subject