Intermission 2: Here we go again!

Projected Katahdin day: July 15. If the weather looks bad for the 15th, I’ll have to figure out a way to get up there on the 14th without being able to check into my shelter space but still have it when I come down. But I’m hoping the weather’s going to be fine. The Mountain Forecast is looking good for the 15th—clear, but windy.


And the quasi-zero at Katahdin on the 14th will give me a day to walk around and adjust to the new conditions (more rocks, more bugs, lower humidity, lower temperature, different state). I’ll probably hike a bit to stretch my legs. I might even take a few steps up the Hunt Trail (the one I’ll be using) just to check the terrain. I don’t have much magical thinking about Katahdin at this point; I used all that up on Springer. (And I’m happy for my magical finish to be at the ATC Headquarters, where I get to celebrate with and thank the people who are responsible for anybody having the AT at all.) Katahdin is another big, tall, scary mountain that’s between me and the rest of the walking. That could change, of course, when I’m looking up at it—and up and up and up.

Travel: I hope the car service actually does come to get me at 8:30 on Friday morning. If not, I’ll adapt. Then it’s out the door around 10ish, drive up past Boston or someplace, crash somewhere, then get up sometime and drive the rest of the way to Bangor on Saturday morning. Get to Bangor, turn in the car, find a taxi (I hope; it’s an airport, after all), find a mailbox to send home my GPS (unless the rental car has one), get to the Cyr bus station, hope they have space on the Cyr bus, take the Cyr bus 60 miles to Medway, hope the AT Lodge shuttle picks me up at Medway at 7:30, then woosh! Off to the AT Lodge hostel for a night of potential nervousing among fellow hikers.

Bugs: Everything’s soaked to death in permethrin. I have bug clothes. We’ll see how it goes.

Pack: It’s heavy. But I don’t think it’s quite Springer heavy. I’m planning to pick up 2 days of food at Abol Bridge store if I can (or at least grab a sandwich there). Then the HMW.

Maildrops: As of yesterday, the gear I shipped to Millinocket last week still hasn’t shown up in online tracking. This has me nervous, given that one of the things I shipped was my tent. Fingers crossed!

Internet, email, and phone: Maine is supposed to suck. There may be long chunks with no updates; it could be weeks. Don’t worry; I’m perfectly fine. If I’d needed a rescue, I’d have phone service again and you’d already know about it. ;D

Projected end date: I have no clue. Just like before, it could be three days or three weeks or three months. But if it’s not three days or three weeks, then I’ll aim for October 15, expect October 31, and not be surprised with November 15. (And if I somehow miraculously were to finish by October 15, then yes, maybe I could still have continued NOBO and hoped that the Katahdin weather on that one day, October 15, would have been good. But I’m not that much of a longshot person, and the odds of me getting up there in time were very low. My odds of finishing are much higher now.)

Gratitude: Thank you all, so much. I’m beyond grateful for all the help and support I’ve gotten. What a long, strange trip it’s been, eh? I’m beyond thrilled to be hiking with you. 🙂

Categories: Appalachian Trail | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Intermission 2: Here we go again!

  1. Beth

    Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?……..We really do have lives here in Fl, but it’s so much fun to travel along with you. Thanks for taking us along. Praying all goes as planned. B&B

  2. Thanks, Beth (and Bernie!). And good luck with the tropical weather down there! Worse than Maine, that’s for sure.

  3. Shari wb

    Aha! There you are. I’ve gotten used to regular entries from you and was actually excited today to see this one.

    Youve got a great plan!! And i love the open flexibility you have about the target date. Haha.

  4. I hope I haven’t gotten so out of the habit of journaling that I forget how to do it. It’s like going to the gym! =D

  5. Derek Vreeland

    We (your blog followers) are grateful for you sharing your flip-flop journey with us. Godspeed!

  6. Hey, so glad you got some rest and preparation done. I am going to use the permethrin for fest, thanks for that idea. I leave in six days for long crew, five weeks on the land. I had hoped to be using a cane by now, but will make do using my walker. Next year I will be standing on my own two feet and waiting to welcome you home.

    Thank you so much for taking us along this hike. I am pretty sure this is the only way I will make it. Perhaps we can work out some sections, but even then I am going to be slooooow and cautious. I am carrying way too much steel and tintanium in my left leg and I do not want to add any more.

    Good luck on all your connections and I look forward to seeing your mountain top pictures. And no matter if what lies ahead is 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months, it has been a wonderous ride with you.

    • Red, thank you so much! I’m thinking of everybody heading to Fest for long crew, and especially you. I hope the weather is the best ever. I can’t wait to be back on the Land next year. In fact, if there were any way I could have swung it this year, I’d be there.

      I hope the permethrin helps! I’ve had good luck with it so far.

  7. Karma,
    I live 25 miles west of Boston, 3 miles off of interstate 495, have plenty of room and would like to offer to let you crash here. It is just my wife and I.

  8. Thanks, Ed! That’s incredibly generous of you! I think I’m aiming to head farther north, depending on how early a start I can get (I usually drive to Maine all in one day). But I’m so grateful for your kindness in offering!

    • You know that things don’t always go the way you plan. Send me an e-mail, you should be able to get it off of this comment, and I will e-mail you my home phone. So if you are a little late in your drive you could call anytime and be welcome here.

  9. Birch

    Karma. Just sending you out some good karma as you ready for the 2nd portion of your journey. Just some advice. Katahdin is one tough cookie, but so are you. My advice is take only what you absolutely need for the climb and leave everything else at the ranger station. This is what I did and it made all the difference. The vertical climbing is tough with a full pack and more dangerous. You can leave it in your giant garbage bag. If weather is good head out early. My partner and I were on the trail by 5. Again it made all the difference. Good luck with the logistics and be safe. Birch

    • Thanks for the karma and the tips! Did you borrow a daypack from the ranger station?

      I have shelter space at Katahdin Stream Campground for the 14th and the 15th. The shuttle gets to KSC at about 7 AM on the 14th. Depending on the weather reports, I’m looking at either going up the 14th (it would be an 8 AM start or so, not my favorite) or just hanging in the park all day on the 14th and going up early early on the 15th. The 15th is looking substantially windier, as of right now.

      A game-day decision! Either way, I was figuring on leaving my pack at the ranger station and taking a daypack (or leaving most of my stuff at the shelter, if it’s the 15th). I’m taking bug stuff, food, water, long pants, etc, but not the monster pack. In fact, I’d rather not take any of the ‘just in case’ stuff!

      • Birch

        Karma I didn’t take a day pack just because they were mostly gone and it was just easier to take mine. I emptied it out except what i thought i really needed. I summitted on aug 6 and It was freezing and windy – so bring gear to stay warm and dry. You want to be able to enjoy it so you don’t want to be cold or wet. Other than some food, water and cold/wet gear, headlamp. And camera of course. I didn’t bring much else. Go with your gut and talk to the rangers when you get there. They were great. You can do it! God speed. Birch

  10. Thanks, Birch! I can’t wait!

  11. Blackbird

    I’ll check the Katahdin web cam tomorrow (Sat.) around midday. Hope to see you waving wildly from up there. Sending you some positive waves for a great summit and southbound section!

  12. You are amazing. I shall follow your journey with delight!

  13. Donna

    Up, up & away!! Best of Luck my friend.

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