Gorham, NH to Stratton, ME [1997 miles]

tostrat

EGORHAMTODSTRAT

I confess.

I didn’t fall in love with Maine until Day 6.

It didn’t hit me until I was bundled in my sleeping bag at the Sabbath Day Pond Lean-To. As the sun set, I could hear wild singing on the nearby lake.

Loons.

And in that moment, cozy in my sleeping bag, I fell completely and helplessly in love with Maine.

My first days in this state were, to be honest, brutal.

I didn’t realize that anything could be harder than the Whites. Then I met the Mahoosuc Notch, the hardest mile of the AT.

I always knew it would be challenging. I heard tales of how hikers had to push their packs over refrigerator-sized boulders and through rocky tunnels.

I was ready for it.

Then it rained.

1 mile took me 3 hours to complete.

It rained for the next 4 days. It was the kind of rain that soaks everything you own. It was the kind of rain that makes your bones ache.

Welcome to Maine. You will not be granted a simple waltz to the finish line. This will be a stinky, bloody fight to the end.

After 4 days of difficult trail and rain, I snuck into town to rest, dry my gear, and spoil myself with a pizza buffet. When I hit the trail for round 2 of Maine, the clouds had finally cleared and the sun was shining.

I started to fall in love.

And since then, the terrain has been easier and the days sunny. The temperatures at night are flirting with the 30s, but I’m fine with cold, as long as I’m dry. The colors are just beginning to change, and I’m so lucky to be a thru-hiker in Maine watching the leaves change.

I think back to April in Georgia, and watching the flowers and trees spring to life. I still remember the first trillium flower emerge in Georgia… I have watched it come full circle.

When I first dreamed of hiking the AT, I felt such guilt at taking 6 months out of life to go hiking. But now? I realize I took 6 months out of life to be alive.

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Categories: Maine, New Hampshire | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Gorham, NH to Stratton, ME [1997 miles]

  1. Love the shadow pics 🙂

  2. chris f

    you did it…home stretch now. thanks a ton for sharing. i am proud of you and i dont even know you.
    keep moving and as you have been, take it all in.

  3. I so love your photos Acorn. What’s up with those North Face shorts? Do you think you will have any problem getting them replaced? I don’t think so!
    The photo of the Grey Jay literally eating not only from your hand but on your hand. How did you think to have the camera ready to take that shot?
    Looking at the profile map, then reading about how easy the hiking had been once you left Rangely, surely shows just how strong a hiker you have become (don’t get me wrong, you were a strong hiker from the moment you stepped on the Trail) over these 2,000 miles. You are a hiking machine! I am just so happy for you Acorn; happy that you have made your dream come true, happy you have kept going when so many did not, and especially that you have maintained your ability to see not just the Trail stretching in front of you but the life that exists on either side as well. Well Done!

  4. Josiah

    I’m so happy for you, I hope you enjoyed your travels as much as I enjoy watching you rock this hike!!

  5. Justin

    That might just be the best book ever written. Congrats on getting to Maine, almost there!

  6. Kent Walley

    You should be so proud. I am amazed Keep on hiking!

    ________________________________

  7. Andy

    I am reading White Blaze Fever for the first time. I read a little every night trying to keep the book in step with Acorn. There are very few pages left! Go Acorn!

  8. Marc

    Almost there Acorn!!! What a journey. Thanks as always for sharing the wonderful stories and pictures.

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