AT 2022 – Day 10: 13.6 miles (111.7 total)

I take it slow. My back has started to give a few little aches that has me paying attention, and so I move through the world intentionally this morning. Sometimes the mantra I have to repeat to myself is “Gently.” That is today.

The rain will come later, but as I sweat up more rocks and roots I decide I will welcome it. It won’t really matter since my clothes are soaking wet already; it might actually help the smell.

I have this good thing going with the world. We take care of each other, scratch each other’s backs if you will. On a snack break the sun broke through the clouds to give me a quick hello and help dry out my sweatiness. I love it out here.

I take a selfie and note my haggard look. I look rough with bags under my eyes…but no matter. Nature doesn’t judge, I’m free to be me….crows feet and all. 

I go down the other steep side (all sides are steep sides out here), and walk with the threat of rain through the neon moss greens. I don’t drink a ton of water out here. Am I desert acclimatized to the point that my body absorbs the thick humidity through my skin? Feels like it.

Nobos come and go. No one is real talkative today. And then 100. An enterprising hiker made the sign out of sticks: 100 miles from Katahdin! I met both 100-mile markers today: the one celebrated in sticks, and my total mileage. I’m counting everything I walk in this blog total up top, that climb up Katadhin? Counts. The extra 0.2 (both ways) to a camp spot? Counting it…that’s almost half a mile! 

It is a quiet contemplative walk today. I really really like hiking solo. I can do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. It’s a real asset out here to be comfortable alone. I’d love to see more people enjoy their own company. Don’t get me wrong, I love hiking with friends too…the perfect hike is a mix of the two, so far this trip is winning.

A staircase of tree roots stretched into the sky – a spiderweb of footholds and tripping hazards. I had to pick my foot up just above the eroded tree root or risk a faceplant.

I can do it!

More walking and I cross a few fords that could be dangerous in high water…which makes me a bit relieved to be over them before the heavy rains start…which they do about dusk. 

I look for a hidden spot for camp…by the way, hikers mention “stealth spots” for camping in the comments of the Far Out app all the time. There is nothing “stealth” about a camp spot right off the trail for all to see. Stealth means hidden, and so I stealth for reals and find an amazing waterslide/falls/swimming paradise for my day-end dip. Amazing.

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