As we get closer to finishing and returning to our somewhat more indoor lives, our thoughts are naturally returning to home. We’re savoring our last few days out here before the kids return to school, I return to the office, and Mama Bear returns to field. It’s nice, therefore, to be in our familiar recreational playground- lands we come to every year. So it’s exciting that the Forest Society of Maine, an organization I do a lot of work for back in more normal life as land conservation attorney, is working on a project with Pine State Timberlands, LLC to add to the conserved recreational amenities we’re passing through right now. Read More
Every once in a while it’s nice to take a day off. And what better way to spend a day off then hiking and swimming in one of the world’s special spots. So here in our last week on the trail we decided it would be the perfect spot for our first near-trail zero-mile day. This is an area of Maine that we come to every year, so it seemed fitting to have a bunch of friends and family come join us to lounge around for the day. Read More
Living in Maine has many perks, one of which is having family come meet us for a day in the middle of the hundred mile wilderness. We would spend two nights car camping on the Katahdin Iron Works road along the western branch of the Pleasant River, taking a zero-mile AT day to hike the 8.5 mile Gulf Hagas loop with friends and family. After 135.6 AT miles, today was Little John’s last backpacking day with us (he would stick around for the 8.5 mile day hike the next day as well). Read More
Little John plunged out of the back eddy below Slugundy Falls, letting the current grab him and whip him around the smooth wall of the gorge, spitting him out in a foam of white into the open water of he gorge. It was perhaps the third time he’d let the current spin him like a washing machine while RobinHood perched apprehensively on the thin ledge, not sure how willing he was to let the current pummel him along. Read More
More large fords today; the kids love wading through the water and Little John hit a hundred miles hiking with us just before we all enter the Hundred Mile Wilderness area leading to Katahdin. He’ll join us for another thirty, getting off at Gulf Hagas. Read More
As we get farther north we have more and more river fords. Mama Bear lost her footing early in one of them and took a wet seat in June stream, but recovered in time to shepherd the kids across the way. Read More
The kids all cruised ten miles in a little under four hours to make it in time for the morning ferry across the Kennebec. The ATC runs a canoe ferry for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon because the hydroelectric dam releases upstream make the river unsafe to ford. The Kennebec flows right by our house, so it was yet another reminder of how close we are to home.
The last thing I did in my real job (other than pawn work off on my colleagues : “you need me to do what while you’re gone?”) was to handle a conservation easement closing for the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust on land adjacent to the trail corridor on Long Falls Dam Road just north of the Bigelow Preserve. Walking by that property as we get close to the end of our journey was a fitting bookend and a stark reminder that real life is nigh once more.
Little John’s top three favorite things about hiking the Appalachian Trail:
1. Going to bed.
2. The views.
3. Having hot chocolate with hot buttered bagels in the morning.
Actually, after hiking with us for a few days, Little John switched the order of one and two. Read More
Parents are always setting imaginary lines and kids are always crossing them. Today, however, we all crossed a much more interesting imaginary line: the forty-fifth parallel. Just before reaching the top of Spaulding Mountain we all found ourselves exactly half way between the equator and the North Pole. Thankfully, we’re much more than half way between Springer and Katahdin. Read More