Today I was dropped off at Flaggstaff Lake and began my hike south again. Now hiking in the opposite direction as I had all week, I began to run into hikers I had met earlier: Promethius, March 4th, Go Forth, The Germans…. It was a fun recap. I had already completed the AT from here North all the way to Katahdin, except a few miles in the HMW I missed due to an injury.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Flagstaff Lake to Bigelow Col Campsite
I would like to dedicate this post to FDNY Chaplain, Fr Mychal Judge, who died praying over rescuers, injured, and the dead in the North Tower on September 11th, 2001. May we all take a lesson from his act of selfless sacrifice in service to his fellow man and to our almighty God.
Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Crocker Cirque to Carabasset Valley
Take me where you want me to go,
Let me meet who you want me to meet,
Tell me what you want me to say,
And Keep me out of your way.Father Mychal Judge, FDNY
The fourth day of my journey started off chilly at the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to. Like most mornings, I had coffee in bed, read for a while, and then went and got my food bag so I could have breakfast. I didn’t have far at all to go this day, so I wanted to kill a lot of time with long breaks. I took these at the summit of Spaulding Mtn, somewhere on the path to Sugarloaf, again at Sugarloaf, along the ridge descending Sugarloaf, and at the Carabasset River. Long breaks. Like 30-45 minutes each. I think this is the first day I got comfortable not really going anywhere. I even took a nap!Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Spaulding Lean-To to Crocker Cirque
My third day of hiking started with a steep climb out of Obereton Valley up toward Lone Mountain on the Spaulding Ridge. It was another short day of less than 10 miles and just a few thousand feet of gain. I first summited Mt Abraham on a side trail, and then came back to camp for a long afternoon of reading. If you don’t count my side-trip to Abraham, my total progress this day was only 5.2 miles. My next day would only cover 6.3 miles, not counting a side trip to Sugarloaf Mountain. The day after that would be only 7.4 miles not counting a side trip to Reddington. This entire section could be done in far less time if you were really committed. There is some serious elevation gain along here, but the trail is in such good shape that it isn’t that hard.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Sluice Logging Road to Spaulding Ridge Lean-to
On “Day 1” of my week in Maine, I hiked from Sabbath Day Lean-To to Piazza Rock Lean-to. I’m calling this “Day 1: because it was the first day of hiking and full immersion. On “Day 0” I drove most of the day and hiked for 1.5 hours. I hiked about 11 miles on “Day 1”, and climbed about 1700 feet. That’s a pretty easy day, but I was carrying much more weight than usual with 5 days worth of food on my back. I developed a small pain in my shoulder because my shoulder straps aren’t long enough. It was a crisp, clear day with signs of fall everywhere.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Sabbath day to Piazza Rock
In September of 2019, I spent a week alone hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine. There’s no bragging about the mileage on this trip. I very intentionally set my daily mileage below 10 each day. While my goal was to complete a 64 mile section of the Appalachian Trail and grab 10 of Maine’s 4000 Footers, my deeper goal was to spend time enjoying the woods. On so many of my trips, each moment is polluted by the feeling of needing to get to the next place. This keeps me from fully enjoying the time and place that I am in. This time I wanted plenty of time to relax, read, journal, reflect, and pray.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: ME 17 to Sabbath Day Pond Lean-To
Appalachian Trail Section Hiking
2016 was a year of discovery and adventure as I renewed my goal of Appalachian Trail Section Hiking. During this epic year I hiked more than 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail, climbed some of the North East’s most famous mountains, and explored unique and interested places. Most of all, it was a year of building new friendships which I hope will last a lifetime. To show my appreciation for all those who helped make my 2016 Section Hiking Campaign great, I put together this video: 2016 Appalachian Trail Section Hiking with HVH.
Over the last two years I have had the pleasure of hiking and hosting with Hudson Valley Hikers. Among my friends at HVH are some of the kindest, most helpful, ambitious, knowledgeable and exciting people I have ever met. Powered by HVH, I climbed dozens of the Northeasts toughest mountains, hiked more than 500 miles of the Appalachian trail, tubed down raging rivers, drank beer I’d never heard of, and been introduced to thoughts and ideas that are totally new to me. This is the story about how a group of hikers has changed my life and how it might change yours. Continue reading Hudson Valley Hikers
When heading out into the wilderness, one must always plan ahead, study the route and weather predictions, carry the correct gear, and have a back-up plan. Perhaps these rules are never more true than when winter backpacking. Knowing your the route, the weather, the abilities of your crew, how to properly use your gear and having some survival skills make a fun time out of a potentially dangerous situation. Continue reading Winter Backpacking – Backup Plan Implemented
Whenever venturing out into the wilderness, I have a plan. My plan details the “who, what, where, why, when, and how” of my trip. I always leave my plan with a responsible friend at home, with instructions on what to do if I don’t return. Putting together a trekking plan is an important part of any trip into the wilderness, no matter the length.