Chairback Mountain & the Rain

June 23, 2010 2:15 am


Date: 6.23.2010
Location: Chairback Mountain, Maine

I awoke this morning around 4:30am with a few gentle rain drops kissing my face. I had the bug net on my hammock but did not put the rain fly on the night before. I got up and quickly put on the rain fly and went back to sleep for a few hours.

When I finally dragged myself up in the morning it was starting to rain all out. I grabbed my stuff, packed my hammock up and made my way over to the lean to. Dan had showed up there the night before and we began to chat, getting to know each other while trying to stall going out in the rain to begin hiking.

I had been lucky up to this point, I had not done any rain hiking but I knew it was inevitable I would have to. Shortly before I left I we met Thrill Billy and Tooth Pick.

I said my good byes to Dan and headed out in the rain eager to try out my expensive new rain poncho. Unlike most ponchos it is super lightweight and breathable.

Although I have hiked in the rain before, this was my first rugged terrain rain hiking experience. Well it was a rough one! I fell about 10 times!!! I am lucky I did not injure myself.

If you don’t rain hike you’ll never finish. So I rain hiked. Through a river crossing and Yup up and over a mountain:( Chairback Mountain had to be crossed and at its top, oh joy a great big boulder field. I wish I had a picture of that field. Since it was raining and life and limb were my main concern I did not get a picture. I survived it. Actually going up in the rain is preferable to going down, even if it is a boulder field.

My poncho did a good job of keeping my pack, chest and head dry but everything from my knees down was sopping wet as well as my arms.

I came to Chairback lean to around 5. It took me 6 hours to go 10 miles. Pathetically slow but at least it was uninjured progress in the rain.

Toothpick, Thrill Billy and a northbound section hiker named Stephan were already there. Dan showed up a bit latter and convinced us despite the rain he could get a fire going. He sure did! The rain let up and we all huddled around the fire trying to dry something to wear for the following day. Shoes and socks were singed lol but we managed some drying.

Just at last light 2 girls showed up. Connor and Carla. It would have been way too crowdedvin the lean to and I really had no desire to sleep in it so I did the gentlemanly thing and moved my stuff out to make room and set up my hammock for the night.

I hope the rain goes away tomorrow!!!

Carl A. Newhall Lean To & Tony

June 22, 2010 11:58 pm

Date: 6.22.2010
Location: Carl A. Newhall Lean To 100 Mile Wilderness

I had hiked a long way today including White Cap Mountain. I usually don’t stay anywhere near the lean to’s but they are near water sources and I was to exhausted to go any further so I stopped at a lean to just before it got dark.

As I got there someone was all ready there making a fire. His name was Tony and he looked to be In his late 40’s. He was wearing jeans and a tie died t-shirt. His story was a little inconsistent. He told me he was doing a hike for a homeless fund sponsored by his best friend Pete Seger.

He also told me he had no food and asked if I could spare any. My first thought was “what the heck are you doing smack dab in the middle of the 100 mile wilderness with no food!!!” Whatever his story I have in the past been hungry and if there is one thing I hate to see its someone go hungry. So despite being a little short on food myself I gave him 2 ramen noodles.

I set up my hammock and just as I was about to go to bed Dan showed up. He ran on with more stories to Dan and I bid them both a good night.

If your going to be homeless I have to believe there are better places than the 100!

White Cap Mountain

June 22, 2010 9:44 pm

Date: 6.22.2010

Location: White Cap Mountain Maine

Close your eyes here For a moment everything is perfect here

Close your eyes here For a moment you and I can find no conflict here

Close your eyes here For a moment our hearts hurt no more here

Close your eyes here For a moment we are all aligned in health here

Close your eyes here For a moment we all understand here

I Climbed White Cap Mountain today. It was a very steep and tiring climb topped off with a long, long climb up hundreds of stone stairs. As you ascend the mountain the smell of fresh pine floods your senses, but when I came across the top I smelled something else as well which I believe was fresh sage. White Cap has easily been my favorite time of the trip thus far. The views were simply stunning and unlike Katadihn which I found slightly overwhelming, White Cap had very gentle rolling peaks which set me at great ease.

Close your eyes here.

Sand Beach Jo-Mary Lake

June 21, 2010 2:14 am


Date: 6.21.2010
Location: Jo-Mary Lake, Maine

Had to stop here and rest. Just gorgeous!

Beaver Damm

June 21, 2010 2:14 am


Date: 6.21.2010

Beaver damms are nothing new to me there are tons of them in upstate and western NY. I thought this one was neat though cause the AT goes right over the top of it:)

100 Miles of Wilderness

June 20, 2010 6:45 pm

Hey all. Making my way through the “100 Miles of Wilderness” limited service and battery. Should be to the first trail town by Friday. Regular updates after that. This is the longest and toughest stretch on the AT

White House Landing

June 20, 2010 2:15 am







Date: 6.20.2010
Location: Pemadumcook Lake, Maine

Woke up this morning and decided to try and find a logging road marked in the data book that said there were M for meals there. The data book is very basic with mileage markers, elevations, shelters, and letters abriviating things like W water, M meals etc. It’s small and lightweight though and its all I carry. Some people carry guide books or full maps, I am winging it.

Thinking I am a little short on food and a meal off a logging road certainly can help.

When I came to what I thought was the logging road I headed east as the data book said. It did not make any sense to me since I was walking mud bogs and to my east was only a large body of lakes. I headed down the road any how.

I came to a side trail with a business card that said “White House Landing a Oasis in the 100 Mile Wilderness” Curious and having no other options I followed the side trail. About a mile in I came to a dock with a air horn tied to a tree.

There were instructions to give the horn a quick short blast and wait. I did and dropped my gear on the dock to wait. No less than 2 minutes later a boat came speeding across the lake. It came to a stop at the dock and I was instructed to drop my gear in and sit down.

We quickly sped to the other side where I found a camp/hostel for hikers. They had a main cabin where they were serving lunch. They only had pizza and burgers, both of which I rarely eat but I was famished and wasn’t expecting to eat well on this trip anyhow. I ordered the biggest burger I had ever eaten.

I asked about a room for the night and was told a semi-private room was only 49$ for the night which included a huge breakfast and hot shower. I jumped on it.

I got settled in, did some yoga, and hand washed my clothes in a bucket with some lake water, them hung them on the line to dry.

Super Guide and Dan showed up for dinner but didn’t get rooms. Since I am not too wild about Super Guide I am glad. I don’t know Dan very well but he seems cool.

It turns out I am the only hiker here tonight and I have a whole cabin to myself:) This place is truly an oasis!

Natures Alarm Clock

June 19, 2010 6:10 pm


First light makes It’s first appearance around here right at 4:30 and just moments later the birds begin their gentle song. I am typically getting up with the birds. It’s a great gentle alarm clock.

Nahmakanta Lake

June 19, 2010 6:09 pm


Date: 6.19.2010
Location: Namakanta Lake. Maine

I really pushed it today hiking 18 miles. Thpugh some were easy miles many were not. I am far from in shape to be pushing this hard 2 days in a row but this 100 miles of wilderness has me a little uneasy with my food supplies running tight.

Made a great camp spot right on the edge of the lake. I have been lucky to find camp spots right on lakes so often out here.

Rainbow Lake

June 18, 2010 6:09 pm




Date: 6.18.2010
Location: Rainbow Lake, Maine

Today was my first full day of hiking the trail after taking a zero day to recover from summiting Katadihn.

I hiked the 10 miles out of Baxter State Park. After that you go a little ways down a logging road and begin the “100 Miles of Wilderness”

There is a sign at the entrance warning hikers not to begin this without 10 days supplies, it is the longest stretch of wilderness in the Appalachian trail, and not to underestimate the seriousness of this stretch.

I headed in knowing I didn’t have 10 days supplies but closer to 6. I figured it couldn’t take much longer than that to do 100 miles.

I headed in and hiked another 7 miles.

Most hikers tend to stay at the shelters or “lean to’s” as they are frequently called. These are essentialy just 3 walled wood structure’s with a roof.

I think they are disgusting. I look at the floors and wonder how many dirty sweaty hikers have layed on them and since they provide shelter from the rain I don’t see how they ever get cleaned. They are also notorious for rodents.

Anyhow I passed the first shelter in the 100 miles and kept on going, knowing I have a hammock and can set up just about anywhere.

I had a goal to try and make it to Rainbow Lake as marked in the data book. I pushed on and made it and found a beautiful camp spot right in the edge if the lake. I am so happy to have passed in camping near the lean to and thrilled to have made 17 miles in my first full day if hiking.

Having a hammock sure has advantages as to where you can set up out here. No need to use the shelters, no need for flat ground, just 2 tree’s and they are everywhere:)

I took a dip in the lake to clean up, made dinner, treated water for tomorrow and am now headed to bed. What a amazing camp spot!!!