The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately 2,181 miles long. The path is maintained by 30 trail clubs and multiple partnerships,and managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions do traverse towns and roads, and cross rivers. The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Along the way, the trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monson,ME and the 100 Mile Wilderness - 9/22

Received another short phone call from Ryan last night.  They arrived in Monson, ME around 5 last evening.  He reported that they have covered 19 miles per day this week.  They’ve been trying to make the last few hundred miles last but he said the trail is so nice and flat in this area that it’s hard not to cover 20 miles in even a half a day. 
I received an email from the post office at 9:00 this morning that Ryan got his package.  We’re still a little tentative about packages since he still doesn’t have a valid photo ID.  Apparently taping his picture to the package did the trick.  They gave the package up.
He sounded nearly romantic in his description of the Maine woods.  In the past few days, he has seen two moose.  He went on and on about the loons on the lakes and the awesome sound they made in the evening.  He described the forest as primitive, Jurassic, and isolated. 
He’s sending a picture disk home with 4GB of pictures and videos he promises to be the best stuff of the trip. 
They are camping this evening in the back yard of a trial supporter in Monson who is trading dinner, breakfast and stay for feeding the chickens and pigs in the morning and picking up all of the apples in his yard.  Ryan felt it was a good deal and a nice change of pace.
At Monson they are at 2066 miles.  That leaves 115 miles to Mount Katahdin.
While writing this Ryan called again to let me know he got his package and to say we’d probably not hear from him again until after Katahdin.  They are entering the 100 Mile Wilderness and Baxter State Park.  There is no telephone reception at all.   He was glad to get his rain pants and heavy boots as they are predicting rain for the next 4 days. 
Ryan will finish the trail with Chimp and Kipper.  These three have been together off and on since Virginia. They have one last goal for the trip other than to climb Katahdin and that is to do a 30 mile day.  They plan on doing this in the 100 Mile Wilderness after Monson.
He said their packs are heavy with food and supplies and he is looking forward to this week with excitement as well as dread.  He said it was really going to be weird not being in the woods after 6 month on the trail.  He knew he was going to miss it.  The adventure is winding down and is finishing with the most remote section of the trail yet.  I copied this description off the web and pasted it here:

The 100 Mile Wilderness is the northernmost section of the Appalachian Trail; the 2181 mile footpath running along the mountainous region of the Eastern seaboard from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. Surrounded by more than 15 million acres of virtually inaccessible woodlands, this is also one of the most remote sections of trail in the entire United States. This is the land that time forgot; unspoiled, uninhabited and seldom traveled. This is a land of harsh contrasts; pleasing to behold, yet unforgiving to the ill-prepared. Make no mistake about it; this is nature in the raw. Treking across a rough and ragged footpath through an impenetrable forest of dense spruce, fragrant fir, mixed hardwoods and stately pines, the trail provides the traveler with a true Maine wilderness experience. Fording swift moving icy rivers, skirting pristine lakes and ponds, past narrow slate canyons flowing with cascading waters, thunderous waterfalls and deep pockets of emerald pools, the mind begins to wander as the miles slip by. Ascending high mountain ridges with far reaching panoramic views, the Appalachian Trail through Maines’ 100 Mile Wilderness is not only a journey of epic proportions, but a true test of ones own physical strengths and resolve. For many, this is a dream hike; a once in a lifetime experience that calms the soul within. This is a place of solitude and quiet contemplation; an opportunity to explore not only the vast wildlands, but the chance to look within ones own inner self. The 100 Mile Wilderness offers the visitor an outdoor experience rarely found elsewhere. Savor the natural beauty with each awe inspiring mile as you make your way along a path encountering but few, yet marveled by many. In many ways, your life will be changed; never the same. A new awakening to a world that once was and still is. This is Maines’ 100 Mile Wilderness.
Makes you wonder how fast you can drive up to Maine and walk that last 100 miles with them.   I hope to get the picture drive from him by the weekend.  I’ll get the pictures posted ASAP. 

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