Day 115: Gorham, NH to Carlo Col

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So today was a big day, not in mileage or mountains, but definitely an important milestone was passed: I'M IN MAINE!!!!!!!!! When I set out to start walking in March this seemed at the farthest reaches of my imagination. The Appalachian Trail: Georgia to Maine. I've done that, now I just have to finish the Springer to Katahdin bit.

For those of you that are ready to say congratulations or you're almost there, know this: Maine is the second longest state, the most rugged and considered the second most challenging (after NH) so I have about 280 mi to go and of course the final exam awaits at the end:
Katahdin. I get to ford rivers, camp with bears, swim with moose and loons, and walk through forests of pine. When we used to drive up to Canada nearly every summer we'd cross the Maine border and roll down the windows to get that "balsam fir" smell.

Woke up kinda early today but didn't feel real well. Probably because I just ate way too much: a whole family portion frozen lasagna and then a whole apple pie. So I sat around until 8 or so trying to work up the desire to hike. Sometimes it's just a real struggle.

When Pine Monkey got back from breakfast we called Ron the shuttle guy and he drove us to the trailhead where we started hiking at 9 am.  Second day in a row with a late late start time. Must break this trend tomorrow!!!

I heard that the eastern US is in a bad heatwave. Well it's also happening up here. It was very humid and upper 80s by the time we were climbing the first 1500 footer. We were definitely on the verge of heat exhaustion. Not fun.  So I decided to convert my pants to shorts (I've hiked 95% of the time in long pants) and started hiking without a shirt. These two steps definitely helped, as did getting to higher altitudes.  The trail wasn't too bad today except for the final miles around the state line. Southbounders had described it as NH giving you a final "F
U" and then Maine responding in kind. Really hard rock scrambles. Pine Monkey broke his hiking pole on the NH side and my hiking pole wrist strap broke on the Maine side. Luckily no damage to us.

Wearing no shirt took it's toll though. With no shirt to protect, my back is all chaffed up from rubbing the pack. I hope I can find a solution tomorrow, or it might be an especially painful one.
So I'm sure many of you also didn't think I'd make it this far (I know I didn't) so hopefully I've exceeded your expectations. I know that some of you have visited ME before and maybe even have done some hiking.  It's great to be up north and I hope to bring all of you closer to the
wilderness for the next couple weeks.

So 14th state, can't wait for it to be over too, but I'll try to have fun in the meantime. The way life should be.
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Hi Rob. Congratulations! The end of your adventure is in sight! Thank you so much for taking us along. You do all the effort, and we sit back in our easy chairs enjoying and also being educated in what the trail is all about. Some of your experiences have given me a shock, as I didn't realize how dangerous the trail can be. Every night aftern turning out the bedside light, I say your name and pray you are safe. Love Grandma

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