Not a Victory Lap . . . Yet

Ok. So you’ve made it to Maine but this beast isn’t over yet. If I had any advice for a thru hiker it is this – don’t spend too much in the Whites because Maine wants to be noticed too. I attacked the Whites and tried to show her I could keep up my same pace. I may have won the battle but she took a chunk out of me for sure. I am in a bit of a recovery hole. I am getting some more sleep now but waking as tired as I went to bed. I’ve been here before with overtraining and I know what I need to do – slow the hell down.

Honestly, I think this is a little how you are supposed to feel after hiking over 1,900 miles so I’m not that concerned. Every hiker I talk to is pretty beat up. Our conversations have turned from how beautiful everything is to how we are managing our bug bite sores. Like it or not, we are struggling so it’s time to be extra kind to our bodies. Today was easier than yesterday but still really challenging, hot and buggy. This adventure still has some serious work for me.

My sweet beautiful Trail is back

I started the day with a steep climb up Baldplate and it looks a lot like Stone Mountain. The hike is a steep ascent up granite and the views are amazing from the top. It was a really clear day just after sunrise and I got some good video for you. The descent back into the valley was not that steep and then when I got to the other side there was actual Trail. The dirt kind! I hadn’t seen that since Vermont and it felt so good to stop pecking across boulders and settle into a nice pace on the soft path.

I stopped for lunch at a roaring river and waterfall and spend some time soaking in the cool water away from the bugs. Astronaut, Jellyfish, Fire and NC’Ice were pushing another 26 miles today trying to get done by July 4 but I have a few extra days so I shortened by day to 17 and got a room in tiny Andover. The Trail Angel at the Pine Ellis Inn is so sweet. Eileen is in her 80s and loves to have thru hikers stay at her house. She showed up with cold lemonade for me for the ride into town.

When I arrived, I ran into a crew of hikers that I had met in Gorham, NH and they are also slowing down so I am going to head out with them in the morning. They are a sweet bunch and one of them (Nasty Noodle) and I hiked the first two weeks of the Trail with. It’s funny how we have been so close all this time but had not seen each other until now. I think slowing down a bit will do the trick and I have a plan that should still get me to Katahdin by July 5/6. Just have to take the next days as they come and be kind to my body.

5 thoughts on “Not a Victory Lap . . . Yet

  1. Drew, I love that idea of slowing down! With the beautiful scenery like your video, why rush through anyway? Gorgeous Maine! As I keep saying, just enjoy and embrace and as you said, you know how to get feats finished when you are worn down! These are the last miles and you will truly miss it when it is over! Have a wonderful and amazing day! 🤗❤️

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  2. I am glad you slowing down. You went through a rough part with all those boulders. Hope your hike is easier from now on. As always the pictures are awesome. It’s great that you met up with some of your earlier hiking buddies. Just be safe and don’t push your body too hard. Hugs!!!!

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  3. Dang, I’m impressed. You got this. As Benjamin Disraeli said” Difficult roads always lead to beautiful destinations. ” the best things in life don’t come easy. Sometimes it is damn rough, and there will be setbacks and moments. But look to what you accomplish. The road less traveled leads us to great treasure. The destination will be beautiful and even more so because of the person you become on the way. Keep on.

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  4. Holy cow, what a journey so far. Slowing down and resting is so on the menu for now. The views are stunning. Maine certainly has some cruel trails and intense challenges but delivers spectacular views and memorable experiences. I feel this adventure has changed you already in so many ways. I hear your words, see your expressions and enjoy your beautiful photos. What a rich and personal experience. You will carry these memories with you each and every day. Loved your video, could hear the birds singing, carrying you along. Rest and rejuvenate. Be safe. Hugs and much ❤️

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  5. Drew it is hard to believe you have come 1900 miles. Every post has been amazing . The part of the trail that was boulders and rock up a mountain was scary . I don’t know how you made it you are so determined . Keep up the good work and I wish you all the luck!

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