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A trail update is on its way soon! Currently we are taking a Zero-Day in Stratton to wait out rain and let some friends to catch up.
We’ve had a couple of people ask what a typical day on the trail is like, so here goes:
5:00 am- Sunrise. If a NOBO (Northbound hiker) stayed the night in the lean-to, they’re already gone. The one’s we’ve seen are the fastest of the fast. NOBOs may slow down as we reach the back of the pack. Around this time, people start rolling over and waking up. Not us, or at least not Kristen.
6:00-6:30ish Now we can start getting up (with Kristen’s permission). The higher the temperature, the easier this is. Typically we do any needed wardrobe changes under our sleeping quilts, then deflate the pads and pack our clothes. We smush clothes, quilts, and sleeping pads into our compactor bags inside the bottoms of our packs. If we feel like it, we heat up water to make oatmeal and coffee. There’s nothing quite like peacefully sitting surrounded by nature, sipping a pot full of steaming coffee (according to Kristen. This is slightly stressful for Levi as he wants to start moving). Otherwise, we pour Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder into a water bottle and divvy up snack food for the day before packing food bags into our packs.
6:30-7ish One last privy stop and water bottle fill before hitting the trail. Typically lean-to sites have wooden privy shacks (more on those in a later post) and water sources close by, though nowhere near one another. Gotta avoid Giardia!
7ish-12ish Hike. Stop frequently for breathers if traveling uphill because we still haven’t got our trail legs. The trail so far has been rocky and rooty so we go around 2 mi/hr. Occasionally we stop for water fills at streams/springs, make some Gatorade or Propel, and eat Cliff bars/Poptarts/Snickers. If we hit a good resting place like a lean-to or mountain top we may also make peanut butter and Nutella tortilla wraps. The more calories, the better!
2:30 Our typical rule is if we hit our mileage goals by this time, we reward ourselves with more hiking. In other words, if we arrive at our intended lean-to stop for the day we sign the trail register and move on to the next one.
Sometime between 4:00-7:00 we hit our final campsite or lean-to for the day. Don’t worry moms, in Maine, it doesn’t get dark until almost 9. With our 3-person tent sometimes we are unsuccessful finding a tent site and choose to sleep in the lean-to. We have only slept ONCE by ourselves. Typically we have plenty of SOBO friends sharing the site (more on them later, too) and someone else gets a fire started to keep bugs away.
We arrange our sleeping area (tent set up or pad/sleeping bag set out) and then begin filtering water and making dinner. Kristen makes Ramen or mashed potatoes (or some combo of the two), plus olive oil for dinner and Levi does the dishes. Basically he scrapes the pot, swishes it with water, and swigs what remains. Delightful. Sometimes there is evening cocoa, cider, or tea before bed.
Then we sleep (usually before sundown).