the 100 mile wilderness
As soon as you approach the wilderness there is a sign bearing a warning: you need at least 10 days worth of food to make it through the area. Its supposed to be a 100 miles of wilderness and according to my guide book it is neither 100 miles nor truly a wilderness. Either way it was 10 days in the bush, with one minor hostel stop. Have you ever carried 10 days worth of food on your back? My pack was 50 lbs and weighed more than most of the other hiker dudes packs while I was out there. I was also carrying an slr and handycam for porn purposes, but hey, porno-making is a priority! It rained on us the majority of the time we were out there and each time it rained it brought with it more cold. I had to ford waist deep rushing “streams” in the pouring rain with a 50 lbs pack, barefoot since I lost my crocks to the Shenandoah. There were four or five streams that day and it rained all fucking day. My clothes were soaked and my spirits were low.
Most of the time in the wilderness I felt like I was o the verge of a mental breakdown, which sounds really spoiled but hey at least I’m honest . I was the hungriest I had been on the entire trail and all I thought about while I was walking was food and cooking. I was reworking recipes in my head and cooking in the kitchen of my dreams. I fantasized about fresh garden greens and my very own butternut squash soup, maple syrup and french toast and bacon bacon bacon. The bacon part is especially crazy since, those who know my eating in normal life know that I avoid all things pork. Anyways, thru-hiker hunger is no joke. It is a demonic beast that could sway you enough to rob or kill.
I wondered, mostly on the rainy days, why the fuck am I out here? What was the initial motivation for attempting this? Why why why would I want to tromp around in the woods of Maine during the fall when jack frost is about to come down on my Floridiot ass? Then the sun would come out, I’d climb a mountain or two and see a beautiful view and for some reason that made it all better.
I did see a couple mooses moving by at about 60 mph, dead on the back of trucks and trailers. They are so big! And I found some moose bones on an ill-fated bushwhack attempt.Woohoo! I fell a few times, really hard, my shin bones landing directly on rocks more than a few times. One of the last times I fell, I just sat there in the middle of the trail and cried like a little bitch. Not one of my proudest moments, but then again, do you people visit this blog for my pride or honesty?
The thing is, living as a backpacker/hiker is probably one of the freest lifestyles you can have in this culture. Its anti-consumer in the sense that you have to carry every thing you need on your back, its anti-capitalist in the sense of trail magick and its truly free in the sense that you don’t really have to answer to anybody (unless you’re in the Whites or in Baxter State Park).
When I was younger, one of my biggest fantasies was grabbing a pack and running away. Something I realized early on in my hike is that this would have been the perfect thing for me when I was 13 or even younger. I get frustrated sometimes thinking back about how traditional institutionalized education and shitty parenting failed me in many ways. Oh well.
Here’s the day to day events of the 100 miles as recalled by Yeti and I…
Day one: We got dropped off by Golden Waldo in Monson, ME. Golden Waldo hiked the A.T. in 1987 told us about his stories in the past and how much he misses the trail but his age prohibits him from doing so, so he runs a shuttle service for hikers.We eat at a shitty gas station, stomach hurts. Ran into some familiar faces that I hadn’t seen in a few hundred miles. Saw dead moose. Local man gives us a ride to trail head. He pulls a U turn out his way to pick us up and asks us where we’re going. He talks really fast and is hard to understand. We load up in the back of his pick up and he drives us 4 1/2 miles down the road. We get to the trail head he lets his dog out and we start talking about Florida and rollerblading. His dog comes up to us and we pet it, man says dog can sing, so we start howling and so does the dog. It was a mighty beautiful song. Dude wants to keep talking forever so we make it a point to tell him we have to get going. So we get back onto he A.T. walk North about .1 miles and see the sign that says “CAUTION: there is no where to resupply for 100 miles. this is the longest wilderness area on the A.T. do not underestimate its terrain and do not come unprepared.” There is a beautiful lake next to it, I get some of it on video and sign into the hiker register. Then we take off. SO we walk up, Yeti bought some wine, he drinks all mine. But I smoke all his weed, so its all good. Nice rolling hills with a light green lichen that looks like snow. Then it starts to sprinkle. Easy terrain but its hard because of the limestone and its wet and rooty. We end up stopping so many times just to stop and bullshit that its getting dark so we arrive at the first shelter. Its hard to find the trail to the shelter so we end up walking towards people’s headlamps. Cross the creek and go up the hill, the shelter is packed so we tent. We start a raging fire despite the rain, the abundance of paper birch in the area helps out with that. We camp out and it rains all night. So we go to the tent, Yeti gives me back massage, he rubs my vulva and my asshole and uses his other hand on my back. We have awesome anal sex in the tent and I cum really loud a few times. We go to bed.
Day Two: We wake up, its still fucking raining. We pull things out of the tent and pack shit up. We go to the shelter. A group of about six hikers show up, they’re purists which makes me barf. I write in the trail register about being a very very dirty yellow blazer and draw a sexy picture of a naked lady. We try to make breakfast, I end up loosing the lid to my pot on one of my many falls the previous night so Yeti walks back about .5 mile to find it. He finds it, we eat breakfast which is a lovely meal of four cheese sauce and orecchiette pasta. Yeah! We smoke some weed and start to walk. We walk and film some stuff, nude stuff. Then we walk some more. After more walking we decide to camp right before Little Wilson Falls.
Day Three: I convince Yeti to take a zero so we can camp out and make some porn. Right as I’m just getting into it and making some beautiful photos my still camera runs out of battery and so does my video camera. Boo! So, we make dinner. I give Yeti a bomb-ass backrub which is cut short by a blow job (damn!), we have sex and as we’re laying there in the afterglow a little mouse comes up and bites my toe. Fucker. I freak out and Yeti thinks I’m crazy till he sees a little mouse scurry away. Fuckers. We go to bed. Day Four: We cross every fucking stream which are all flowing heavy because of the rain, the Little Wilson, the Big Wilson, Wilber Brook, Vaughn Stream, and Long Pond Stream. We stopped at the next shelter because it was pissing down rain. There is another couple there taking an off day because of the shitty weather and another dude decides to stop. We’re all debbie downers on each other about the weather.
Day Five: We leave the shelter and walk up to the Barren Ledges (photo above) and then Barren Mountain. We walk down to the base of Fourth Mountain, which is one of Maine’s famous bogs. Whats cool about these bogs are the carnivorous plants, which are called pitcher plants (photo below).
I’m a fan of carnivorous plants so it was cool to read about these coming up in the guide. I just like the idea of carnivorous plants…who doesn’t? Anyways, we walk through this bog which is mostly water (photo below). I misjudge one step and end up knee deep in bog mud sludge mess. Yuck.
We stumble up on a camp site after the Fourth Mountain bog and make a fire. I try to dry my boots out which have been soaked for days due to the weather and they end up with giant burn holes in the heels, totally compromising any waterproof abilities they might have had before then. I get pissed and throw them down the trail and announce that “I am so done with this shit”. The overwhelming frustration of constant rain and just trying to dry your wet ass off in front of a fire which does nothing but spit sparks at you so that you can have matching burn holes in all of your clothes is beyond my mental capacity. So I throw a little bitch fit. Woo. Which does nothing (obviously).
Day Six: We take off and walk up Fourth Mountain and we run into a dude we haven’t seen in a while that decided to flip-flop, Kcuf for short. A former Cornell student that got kicked out of school for smoking weed and said fuck it and hit the trail, his trail is Fuck Cornell backwards. He gives us a giant pack of oreos. We blue blaze on a side trail and logging road and walk a few miles and stop at a gravel road. Some people pass and Yeti asks how you get to Katahdin Iron Works. They’re Canadians from Nova Scotia and give us a ride down the road to Jo Mary Road which is a tiny gravel road in a wilderness area and they dropped us off at the visitor’s booth. We walk a .25 mile up the road, we’re hungry so we make some shitty instant mashed potatoes. Its getting late and a van pulls up so we jokingly stick our thumbs out to see what happens. The van stops and asks if we’re headed to the A.T., we say yes and they ask us to hurry up because they’re meeting someone. Turns out they’re the Aunt and Father of another hiker we know. They drop us off and we say HI to Sweet Cheeks and Scapegoat. Then we hike about 2 miles up to Cooper Pond (photo below) which is off a blue blazed side trail. We make a camp site, its a beautiful spot except we couldn’t set up the tent (soil was too loose) and it was a freezing cold night.
Day Seven: We wake up and walk a few miles without any food, there is supposed to be a hostel where we can eat and resupply a little bit. We get to the side trail which leads to a lake and boat dock after a mile or so. The guide says to honk the air horn but only once because otherwise it pisses off the owner, after he hears the air horn across the lake he’s supposed to come get you in his boat. When we arrive at the dock there are at least five other hikers already waiting. One dude already honked the horn, so we wait. Thirty minutes pass and I ask how long they’ve been waiting. I suggest swimming across and grabbing a boat to come back across and pick everyone up but they’re too worried that this would piss off the owners and no one would eat. So we do the old fashioned thang and call on a cell phone. Dude comes over in his boat and picks us up. We eat yummy pizza and stay the night in their bunkhouse which has a cozy woodburner in it. I’m also able to charge my cameras a little bit. The cool thing about the hostel is that it used to be an old logging camp where hikers have been stopping for food and resupply since the 20′s.
Day Eight: October 5, Yeti’s birthday! Ate breakfast which was all you can eat pancakes! We got a ride back across the lake. We start hiking. We hike through to Nahmakanta Lake which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Maine. We camp near the shore of one of the sandy beaches.
Day Nine: I wake up and try to take sexy photos of myself. I have big fat bags under my eyes, but the mist on the lake looks wicked on the video later. Yeti has the grand idea to bushwhack around Nahmakanta lake instead of taking the A.T. It looks ok on the map, so I say what the hell? It takes us all fucking day, then it starts to sprinkle and then it starts to pour. We rock hop and stumble through thickets and come across streams and ponds not marked on the map (which were due to beaver action). This is where I find my awesome moose bones which makes this bushwhacking adventure worth it. We come across some private property which turns out to be a lake camp. We stumble up to the office door asking to buy food and the hot M.I.L.F. that answers the door kindly gives us four muffins, a tin of icing, a pound of pasta and chewing gum. She says not to tell anyone else, so don’t say anything, internet. We’re super grateful. We walk out of their property and pass by at least 20 sled dogs. Its still raining. We make it up to the next shelter. Lazy and Bizzy are there, two brothers in the Riff Raff gang that we haven’t seen since Connecticut.
Day Ten: It starts raining in the morning. The Barbarian Utopia, a father and son (who is 8 years old) stop to chat. The eight year old has hiked the majority of the trail and he is super cute. His father is from Mexico so they’re bilingual which I appreciate being from South Florida. We hike and hike and its freezing. We stop once to eat icing. Then we trudge up to last shelter, which is packed of course. We get there late and camp and eat.
Day Eleven: We wake up and are excited to almost be out of the 100 mile wilderness. I run off to take some photos for ISM, which is challenging due to the early morning chill and my tired face. We leave and hike the miles to Abol Bridge and catch a shuttle for half price (reluctantly from the owner of a local hostel).
So that was the 100 mile wilderness on the Appalachian Trail for me. I did this as a day to day event thang because people keep asking me about my non-existent journal.
So there it is, folks…
I forgot to mention happy fall…
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