7/31 East B road to South Arm Road (10.1 miles)
Today we did a short slackpack between the two road crossings that go into Andover, ME. The day wasn’t to0 bad at all and we finished our day around 1 pm (although we had to wait another hour for our shuttle to arrive).
Overall, it was a pretty uneventful day of hiking, but we have definitely come to hate seeing a notch on our trail maps for the day. Pretty much all of them involve at least a 1000 ft very steep descent followed by an equal steep ascent afterwards. We can definitely feel our miles slow down the more that we have in a single day.
After making some phone calls I hung out with the owner of the hostel we are staying at for a couple of hours along with a fellow hiker. It was interesting hearing him talk about how his goal each year for the hostel is to break even. They don’t even count the money when you pay them. Moreover, they are staffed by former hikers, many of whom seem to mostly (if not exclusively) get paid with room and board. They are definitely not running a typical business. It seems many, if not most, hostels on the AT operate with this same sort of attitude.
8/1 South Arm Road to Bemis Stream (12.4 miles)
We got off to a late start today, and didn’t hit the trail until 9am. We started the day with a very steep climb that was harder than we had expected looking at the map. It really sucked the energy out of me, and I wasn’t really feeling it most of the day.
We summited a few mountains today, but none of them had spectacular views. I suspect it will continue to be like this (possibly with a few exceptions) for the rest of the trail until we hit Katahdin.
We ended up cutting the day short since we have a short day tomorrow, it looked like it was going to rain, and none of us really wanted to keep going. It ended up being a great choice as it started to rain as we were finishing up dinner.
8/2 Bemis Stream to Rangely, ME (14.0 miles)
Today the terrain really flattened out, and we were able to do 14 miles by a little before 2. This is very different from the last couple weeks when we would be struggling at the end of a 14 mile day. Overall the day was mostly flat terrain. There are definitely a lot of roots and super rocky/root filled steep sections in ME.
We got to the hostel around 2:30 took care of our showers and laundry and headed into town for dinner. The was a BBQ restaurant in town, and we were all able to enjoy it.
We also set our schedule for the rest of the trail.We will be hitting all the big towns in ME, since our finish date to coordinate with our families is pretty late. While the slow pace might be tough on some days, I am looking forward to extending this awesome adventure.
8/3 Zero in Rangely, ME
We all woke up much earlier than we had hoped today. We headed into town to get breakfast and then went out on a canoe for an hour. It was fun the hang out on the water.
After that we went up to the grocery store for a resupply. The store had pretty slim pickings and was overall pretty pricey. It’s weird to think I only have two resupply trips left before we finish.
We hung out at the hostel for the rest of the afternoon and it was nice and relaxing.