100 Mile Wilderness Center

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 25, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today I made it to Jo Mary road, the center of the 100 mile wilderness and a gravel road used for logging and emergency extraction. It was my first day completely free of rain, but the trail was still flooded and covered in mud and long puddles. I did 16 miles today, my longest yet, and my wet feet are hating me for it. Made it to a shelter that has a large waterfall and swimming hole directly in front of it. All of the shelters are located beside rivers or streams, so it's nice to be able to clean up all the sweat, mud, and mosquito guts after a long day.

The trail in this section is pretty remarkable. Most of the time you are hiking along uninhabited lakes and streams. Water is super plentiful here, as i cross streams and creeks dozens of times each day and ford rivers about twice a day. The water is so clear that it looks like it came out of a faucet, so i've been able to drink straight from the stream at a couple locations. Typically i'll take a break from hiking and go for a swim in a lake, a very relaxing experience in the cold water. The swamps are the least fun to hike through. Not only are you up to your thighs in murky water, but your feet are slowed by thick mud to your ankles, and hoards of mosquitos and gnats harass you from above. Haven't crossed any wildlife as exciting as a moose or bear, but I have seen several snakes, a grouse, hawks, and hundreds of frogs. I've also had a couple mice run across my face while sleeping in shelters. It's ironic that between the mice and bugs, the bottom of the food chain is antagonizing me.

I've met a fair amount of thru hikers, mostly southbounders. Met an interesting German named Johannes who is attempting to complete the trail before his 3-month travel visa ends. Also been on a similar cycle with Dave, a 33 year old from Ohio who "had been delivering pizzas for way too long" even with his 4-year degree, and is trying to figure his life out. I also came across Warren Doyle, an older man working on his 19th thru hike (that's a combined 8+ years of his life along the AT).

The night of the 30th I met 3 southbound thru hikers from Columbus, Ohio. They had summited Katahdin days before me but got held up after one cut his hand pretty bad and had to go to the hospital. Their names are Green Thumb (for his green cast-bandage over his cut thumb), Hopper (because he looks like Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider), and Toosh (because of his chafing at the start of the trip). They are 22-23, recent OSU graduates, and two of them are Eagle scouts. We all got along pretty well, and were all hoping to make it to the town of Monson, Maine for the 4th of July to celebrate the end of the 100 mile wilderness with burgers, beers, and fireworks. I'll speak more of our time together in the next blog entry.
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Nate on

Your writing is beautiful and I am looking forward to more entries. Stay safe.

chris jordan on

look forward to every entry, this journey of yours is fantastic

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