AT 2022 – Day 17: 10.7 miles (193 total)

It’s Kirk’s birthday! I will celebrate by climbing some mountains and not eating cake (I sure hope he eats some cake though).

Ok wet rain soaked trail and rocks…what will you bring me? 

It rained alllllllll night. I didn’t stir super early and emerged when the deluge started to slow down. Three tents had appeared since I tucked myself in last night, and all the occupants seem wet and tired from the ordeal too.

I was the first one out of camp, and wasn’t sure how treacherous the going would be up the two high peaks today. The hike up was your typical rock and root gauntlet, and then I entered a cloud. It wasn’t worth checking out the many view points along the way, there were no views today. 

When I got to treeline my knees started to shake. The wind was howling…like mach force wind howls and I worried about getting blown off the mountain. It was ripping, and I took my first few steps out and felt pushed over by the velocity, so got into a crouch and hobbled my way up and over the exposed summit parts as close to the ground as I could get….sometimes crawling. Thank goodness I weigh alot! I am super nervous, but my mass successfully holds me to the ground. Ok, first one done, now to the next.

I climb up to the second peak. Thankfully this one has less exposure overall, so I’m up and over that one using the same technique. Into the trees and I give a big sigh of relief. I find Trout Lily waiting to go up, unsure of the safety of it all. I share some tips and comment that her pack cover might act like a giant sail in the wind….that could be really scary. 

My phone stayed in the pocket for most of this.

Ok, time to go down, but the downs out here always involve some ups too. Go figure. My legs are burnt, but I keep going.

I look down and notice a slug on my leg. I’m glad the woodland creatures think I’m one of them, but the slug has to go.

Why do they think it’s OK to call this trail? The acrobatics contine most of the steep way down the mountain. This is ridiculous. 

I finally put on some music to keep the moral up and Annie Lenox’s song “Why” was playing when I was bouldering down vertical waterfalls. Why indeed?

Finally the trail flattened out and the sun appeared. Thanks sun.

Then the road! I cross to the other side and see a man waving me over. Trail magic? Trail magic!!!!! Bourbon Batman has a trunk full of coolers and snacks. It’s my first legit trail magic of the trip! I grab a PBR and some oreos and revel in the luxury. My shuttle ride shows up a short while later….I’m staying at the Maine Roadhouse tonight (and maybe tomorrow night too). My body is beaten: knees screaming, back sore, shoulders tight. It’s time for a rest. All of southern Maine is as rugged as the past few days and I need to mentally and physically prepare myself in the comfort of a cozy hostel.

Jenn picks me up and soon I am showered and wandering around her beautiful place.

The rest of the afternoon/evening involved showers and laundry, burgers and beer, meeting new hikers (Gormet…from Oregon!) And seeing old (Hero pulled in just at dark).

I talk to Kirk and find there is no cake, so I’ll just have to make one when I get home in September.

Not walking tomorrow will be devine.

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