Day 120 – Speck Pond Shelter

9.5 miles, 33,137 steps, 361 stories climbed

1926.2/271.8 miles/left, 5,117,798 steps, 45,383 stories climbed

So, yesterday I celebrated making it to Maine. Today, Maine said to me “You made it through 13 states, congratulations, but you still gotta get past me!”

Today might have been the most difficult day on the trail. The first four or so miles where the usual wet rocks and muddy messes that seem to define New England hiking. Next however, was the Mahoosuc Notch.
The Mahoosuc Notch is a valley where at some point in history a bunch of large boulders fell into. Then, someone said lets make a trail through this.

You need to climb over and crawl under these large boulders, contorting your body into odd and uncomfortable positions. There were many times I thought that I would fall and break something when taking my next step but I somehow made it through without any major damage (just a few scrapes to add to yesterday’s).

The areas that I had to crawl under, I had to remove my pack and drag it beneath the boulders while trying to crawl through.

Just when you think you’re done and the terrain is getting better then, you hit the Mahoosuc Arm.
The arm is a very steep uphill climb over more wet boulders but now they’re very smooth and slanted and you need to figure out how to get up it without slipping all over.

I did not do a whole bunch of miles but today was still a long day taking almost eight hours to do the 9.5 miles. I am exhausted and sore to say the least.
AWOL, the maker of my guidebook, wrote in his book that Mahoosuc Notch is the most difficult (or most fun) section on the whole AT.

It also had some pretty big changes in temperature with some areas vein below freezing (and having large chunks of ice) and some areas having oddly warmer temperatures then the areas both before and after the notch.

When I reached the shelter, I didn’t care that it was still a bit early, I just said that was enough and started setting up camp. Still, after a rough day like today there is certainly a nice feeling of accomplishment.

3 thoughts on “Day 120 – Speck Pond Shelter

  1. I’m going to agree with your guide book — the most fun. You COULC be stuck in Chicago, or Topeka…. but no, you’re climbing under boulders and squirreling with the chipmunks in the wilds of Maine. You’ll miss it when it’s over.

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