What is this blog about?

My name is Lori. In August, 2014, I plan to hike the Camino de Santiago trail. Feel free to join me on my adventure by following me on this blog.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I remember my first zero day. I was in Hot Springs, and couldn't help but think  "I should be hiking". I also remember how much my body hurt once I did take a day off. It was like my body telling me, "it's about time you stop for a bit so I can show you what you're doing to me!" I listened, and proceeded to take an hour long soak in a hot spring filled tub. 
That was almost 5 months ago. 
Today is my last zero day. There is no hot spring here in Stratton Maine to soak in, but I do have a bath tub, a soft bed, and a market across the street. 
It's hard to believe this is my last day off before my AT journey ends. My body feels the stress of the last 171 days. My muscles are strong and my joints are sore. My body craves calories this week as the last few days hiking seemed to deplete my energy stores. 
I love Maine like I loved New York. It is very difficult, but it's exciting and beautiful. There is water everywhere. Unfortunately much of it is mixed with dirt, making deep sludgy mud. 

We aren't the only ones slushing through it though. It's bear hunting season, so the bears seem to be hiding well, but we still see their tracks every now and then. We also see a lot of moose tracks, but still no moose sightings for me. 
Luckily, Maine has a lot of board walks so you can stay out of the mud a little. The problem is, most of the boards are old. They get slippery, they break, and sometimes they just float on top of mud and sink when you step on them. This is when it pays to hike behind someone! Hahaha. We have heard many stories of people having boards break, or slipping off them, and falling into mud hip deep. Yuk!
The top of the mountains in Maine turn again to rock, much like New Hampshire. The views of the woods below are spectacular!

There are several places in Maine where we have to ford rivers. Bridges get washed out every year, so they don't rebuild them. Hikers are expected to walk through the water. When rainfall has been low, sometimes you can rock hop across. When rainfall is high, so is the water. We forded our first stream a couple days ago 24 hours after a rain storm. The water was up to our thighs. If we had been there the day before, it would have been higher. However, the day before we were hiking the saddleback range, that itself had turned into a river. There was flowing water on the trail the entire day. I had a tough time this day. I wasn't feeling well, and to add to it, the sun never came up. We hiked all day in a cloud making visibility slim. It was actually pretty dangerous conditions, as we had some steep areas going up and down. It was windy and wet, so I have no pictures from my phone. Along with many, those pictures will remain unseen until I can download them from my go-pro camera. 
Here is the second stream for us to ford, but luckily a board was in place so we didn't have to get wet. 

The "fun" part was that once you step on the board, you see that it bends down almost into the water. That got my heart pumping!
Nothing against New Hampshire and its lovely views above tree line, but I love being in "the woods" again!

I love how the trees, the plants, and the mushrooms greet me as I go by. 

We were excited to get to Stratton yesterday. It was Silvergirl's birthday! After about 5 minutes of trying to hitch a ride, a lady came and picked all five of us up. 

Turns out it was the same lady who owns the hotel we had reservations for, so it worked out great. 
We got Silvergirl a giant whoopie pie and a Maine blueberry pie to celebrate. 

After dessert, we went to dinner. That's right. I said dinner AFTER dessert! When you hike for six months, you earn the right to eat like a ten year old boy who was just left home alone for a weekend with an endless supply of junk food. 
Dinner was enjoyed at the karaoke bar across the street. 
Life is good hiking the AT!

Two weeks left of this journey. Exciting and a little sad at the same time. 

Miles hiked: 1996.0
Miles to go: 188.2


  1. Wow! So cool that you are getting so close to being done. Very jealous of how fun these remaining days should be.

  2. What a bittersweet time for you. You are amazing Lori. Enjoy your last weeks on the trail.