Maine with some Rain and Pain

4 07 2009

I seem to recall the Vermont Mafia saying they heard the phrase “No Rain, No Pain no Maine” last summer. The trend continues.

Dan and I started out from Gorham after the amazing and wonderful hospitality of Cousin Russ and co. of Beef’s family to discover a cache of trail magic courtesy of Sunbeam (SOBO ’08). I greatly appreciated the little debbies and Dr. Pop!

Since then, however, we’ve had lots of fog, two days of rain and lots of mud, as Dan has gained his trail legs, endured the Mahoosac notch and learned everything about backpacking from how to poop in the woods to how to purify water. He’s been a great sport as my mood has fluctuated, and deserves this amazing hostel in which we now find ourselves.

We’re in East Andover staying at Mr. Earle’s “The Cabin. We met Earle at South Arm road. He was actually waiting for some NOBO’s behind us and was very generous in offering his services. Dan and I were originally going to resupply (holy shmoly skinny boys eat a lot!) at a nearby campground, but after being sorely disappointed at the nearly empty shelves, we hitched back to Earle at the trail and took him up on his offers!

I am now extraordinarily happy we did: I am showered, my saturated shoes are sitting by a wood stove, my mildewy clothes are in the washer, we are minutes away from a delicious homecooked meal including hamburgers and amazingness, and we’re slackpacking to Rangeley tomorrow to make up for lost time. We will sleep indoors tonight on happy happy bunks, and have joined Jolly Rancher and Panama Red, two NOBOs I met at Galehead hut in the whites before I was crazy and did some serious mileage. Jolly Rancher wants to summit the 18th, and I hope to do so only a few days after, so I’m going to try to hike close to him for a while.

Dan earned a trail name! He is now “Pirouette 180” or just 180 for short, because he has mastered the hiking ability to do a 180 degree turn on the trail to get down off of slippery rocks/mud in a most graceful manner.

After our slackpack tomorrow, Dan and I will part ways. It turns out that my miles are the miles of a fiendish finishing Thru-hiker and are a bit ambitious for a first-time backpacker. The specifics are vague as of yet, but after Rangeley, we will part ways: I to make it to Katahdin around the 23, and Dan to either continue hiking or go his own way. We shall see where our lives of adventure take us next!

Happy Fourth of July, my friends, and I love receiving your comments, even if it’s just to say hi!

-EKG

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2 responses

7 07 2009
Bearwalker

Yahoooo! Its EKG cruising on the trail! I am with you in mind and spirit (oh…and physically “ON” the trail a couple hundred miles south of ya…:)
Wish I was out hiking with you right now. Your going thru some awesomely nice mountains and terrain! Have fun!

11 07 2009
Terri

Maria, after my first overnight backpacking trip, I thought I would declare that I would never do it again. Surprisingly, I think I might– but probably not where you’ve been this month, or at your pace! My goodness gracious, woman. Take care of yourself out there.

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