Wow, what can I say about the 100 Mile Wilderness? Aside from being touted as the most rugged section of the Appalachian Trail, it’s also filled with such amazing views, from the peaks to the lakeside.
The first half was fairly flat and we were able to pull out double digit days, even having one that was 16 miles. But towards the second half we were entering more rugged terrain where we were certain that the trail was going over every.single.peak.
My emotions ran the gamut during the last 8 days. There were moments when we were flying and I felt great. Then we’d get to ups and downs that never seemed to end and every shelter just seemed so far away. A mile in the woods is definitely not the same as a mile on the road. My spirit would fade sometimes, thinking that we’d never get to where we need to go. But I just kept going and we’d end up accomplishing every daily goal that we’d set for ourselves.
As I write this (August 8th), we are staying at the Shaw’s Hiker Hostel in Monson, Maine. One of the owners (Poet) helped me reevaluate my footwear; unfortunately I had to throw away my Merrells already because I made the huge mistake of fording in them and they just couldn’t dry out. I was also struggling with my toes getting pinched and they were hurting on all of the downhills. He had me try on some Altras and I ended up getting the Lone Peak in a men’s size. The toe box is wide enough for me to move my toes and they’ll dry out easier when they get wet. I also bought some Injinji toe socks so I’m hoping that will help with the irritation on my toes. Oh, and we picked up some lightweight sandals for fording the rivers. 😄 And I might be getting some trekking poles. Lots of changes after 115 miles of hiking!
Poet also helped us with our gear shakedown to see what we can eliminate in order to make our pack lighter. We settled on sending some things home that we won’t need and then “box bouncing” what we might need ahead, to a town in New Hampshire.
Overall, I can see exactly why people like staying at this hostel. The owners are past through-hikers so they know exactly what a hiker needs. And they are just so friendly and accommodating.
Coming out of the wilderness, this was just the hospitality that we needed. ☺️
Be on the lookout for a few videos highlighting our time in the wilderness!