A Family Adventure of the 2,185 mile hike from Georgia to Maine - 2014

August 22 – Moxie Bald

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

August 21 – Crossing the Kennebec

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.

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August 20 – Almost 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.

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August 19 – The Bigelows

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

August 18 – Imaginary Lines

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

August 17 – Robin Hood and Little John

RobinHood and Little John have been thick as thieves since they met crossing a daycare sandbox and neither would give way. They sat there happily throwing sand in each other’s faces and have been mixed up in misadventures together ever since. Little John even skied with us into Baxter State Park this February, climbing up to Chimney Pond on the back side of Katahdin in order to enjoy a three mile sled ride down. So it seemed fitting that he should join us for a stretch in the backcountry. Read More

August 16 – Water, water everywhere

Bemis ridge proved to be some scenic ridge-walking with mountains melting the distant horizon and granite balds spreading thee view for all to see. In other places the trail was wet with myriad muddy mires. We engaged in a futile attempt to keep our feet dry as we hopped from rock to rock. It is in these situations where Cartwheel’s short legs put her at a distinct disadvantage. Read More

August 15 – Back in the Saddle

This was our easiest return to the trail, despite it being our longest time away. There are likely a number of reasons for that, among them that it was a mere two and half hour drive instead of the ten to fourteen hours of our previous off-trail excursions. Also, we spent our days away living outside, sleeping in tents, swimming in the ocean , and generally subsisting in the absence of electricity. Mostly though, it’s because we were at home. Read More

August 9 – 14 – Remembering Family

We came off trail for what we thought would be two days for a memorial service for Mama Bear’s uncle. The members of her large extended family were all present to celebrate her uncle’s life. That night, his wife passed peacefully in her sleep to join him wherever he is. One memorial morphed into two, and two days stretched into a week cherishing time with family. We’re headed back to the trail this afternoon, looking forward to the final few weeks until Katahdin. Read More

August 8 – Baldpate

We awoke to a misty morning and a relaxed morning routine. After we had all begun to sip our breakfast beverages, we were chagrined to discover that a mouse had drowned himself in the water bucket for which we had boiled the water. Only Grandpa Pete continued to drink his coffee after this discovery, stating blandly, “after twenty-three years in the Navy, I’m sure it’s not the first time I’ve had a dead mouse in my coffee.” Read More