It's Not Always Good To Know What's Up Ahead
Monday October 2, 2017
Miles: 1943.0 - 1956.4 Completed: 13.4
Time: 6:05am - 6:00pm
Weather: Crispy morning warm and beautiful day
Stealth camped north of Route 17 near Oquossoc, ME
We were able to slackpack today. We love to do that. It is a totally different experience hiking with an empty pack compared to the experience of hiking with a 37 pound monkey on your back. Slackpacking is taboo on the trail with thru hikers. Just like skipping parts of the trail which is known as yellow blazing. Serious thru hikers who consider themselves purists think slackpacking is cheating. I think those people secretly wished they had a Batman of their own to transport their gear ahead.
For me, if your feet connect with the ground from Springer Mountain Georgia to Katahdin, Maine following the designated Appalachian Trail then you are a thru hiker, end of debate. It doesn't matter if your pack weighs ounces or mega pounds. I do feel if you skip a spot, yellow blaze, aqua blaze, or anything besides white blaze, then you are not a traditional thru hiker. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone experiences the trail in their own way. I just found it to be a pet peeve when I'd hear hikers say they hiked the AT then find out they skipped a spot because it was too hard, or they skipped a set of mountains because it was too cold. My favorite excuse was, "I jumped ahead to be with my bubble because I couldn't keep up". There is no prize, or reward for thru hiking. But there is the satisfaction and pride that goes with accomplishing something only 25 percent of the people who attempt it. And when someone says they thru hiked it, when they didn't negates the effort of those who did. Just saying.
That was a tirade I had not intended to go on. That happens sometimes. I have found this blog has taken me places I have never been on and I don't even need to leave my house.
I'll finish with October 2nd's hike. It was another incredible fall day. It was a roller-coaster kind of day but not too hard. We had a little bit of everything. There were ups, downs, hardwoods, primitive mossy evergreens, exposed rocky ledge peaks and closed in forests. Batman leap frogged ahead and hiked back in to meet us like normal. This time though he brought bad news, nothing horrible. He forgot to record his vacation request in the books so he was schedule for an out of town meeting. That meant we had to change our plans on the fly. After a quick melt down I gathered my whits. Oh well, sometimes plans change. I have learned to roll with it out here. Life is too short to worry about what you can't control. Being flexible is way less stressful.
We were enjoying the hike. It was a 13.4 mile day but I knew what was coming at the end. It's not always good to know what's up ahead and this was one of those times I wish I was in the dark. I kept it to myself. I didn't want to burden Shortcake. It wasn't terrible, I just knew the ending climb was steep and hard. It wasn't dangerous or scary, just hard and long. Somethings are better left unshared. She soon found out for herself. We both were glad to reach Route 17 and the car. I was a large parking lot with a scenic view over looking Rangley lake. Once there we had just enough time to resupply from the Batmobile, hike on a mile to a stealth site and set up tents by sunset.
Rangley Lake, Maine
Another long, yet successful day on the Appalachian Trail.