Well folks, I confess: I'm tired. Exhausted really. We are now only two miles from the 2000 mile mark, with 188.2 miles remaining. We are nearing the end and are looking forward to completing our trek.
Our journey through the Whites was slow and difficult. We are now in Maine, and the terrain, while different from New Hampshire, has been challenging and difficult. Imagine long, steep climbs up and down granite rock faces, some of which made us wonder if we should have rock climbing gear. Imagine hiking through days of rain and thunderstorms that roll in as you reach the peak of a mountain (truly not where you want to be in a thunderstorm, and yes, I shrieked like a little girl at the booming thunder overhead.) Imagine boulder fields and steep rocky descents. Imagine every size of tree root, all twisted and gnarled together in a path of mud and rocks, which are all treacherously slippery when wet. Imagine mud bogs, where you might sink to your knee in mud if you step in the wrong place (yes, I did). Imagine that you are gingerly proceeding down a rock face one baby step at a time only to have your feet suddenly come flying out from under you so that you land ungraciously with a thud on your ass. Imagine fording a river up to your thigh with a swift current. Imagine all of this while carrying a 35 plus pound pack on your back. At this point, you might be asking if we're crazy, or why in the world we continue. We ask ourselves the same questions from time to time. We are not always happy on our hike. And yet, we love it. The feeling of accomplishment when you conquer the worst possible conditions is part of what keeps us going. And, just when you need it, the most amazing views imaginable. We were descending a peak with gorgeous views of the valleys below the other day when I turned to Trouble and said, "Stop. Listen. It's so peaceful here." This is the answer to our why.
Next stop, Monson, ME, our last stop before the finish at Mount Katahdin.
Two Socks fording one of the easier river crossings.
Happy to be in town for resupply, laundry, showers, and lunch of a half pound burger.