The Beginning of the Appalachian Trail
Entering Baxter National Park

The Beginning of the Appalachian Trail

In the beginning, I did not know exactly how I would get to the trail. In the past, everything has worked out smooth flying by the seat of my pants.  After getting home from the PCT for two weeks, I was anxious to get to the AT to conquer another unforgettable adventure.  Within a week, I bought a plane ticket and found out my uncle was heading to Minneapolis.  From there my plane left the next morning.  I met up with my sister and her friend at a park.  They had scheduled a play-date for the kids.  The night before, I found out my sisters friend has a sister living in Boston.  “My not planning everything out,” worked about as good as it could go.  From Boston, I took Greyhound up to Bangor ME.  That night was an interesting one.  It was so blasted humid, I didn’t put on my rain-fly.  That was a bad idea, because they must of got a record dew.  Everything was drenched, so I had to lay everything out in a parking lot.  Turned out I was in a daycare parking lot.  The cops showed up and interrogated me, till I got everything packed up.  I walked to the interstate and posted up, hoping to hitchhike the last 100+ miles to Baxter State Park.  After waiting 2 hours, a retired old guy driving a pick-up swung over to the shoulder.  Was great to chat about both of our lives briefly.  He had some great story’s.  He asked me if I had mosquito spray.  I said, “Nope. If the bugs are bad, I’ll book it to the next town.”  He told me to open up his glove box and gave me a small bottle of bug repellent.  He brought me over halfway to Medway.  Fortunately, I was able to get my second hitch after a hour from the Lagasies.   Was a perfect hitch all the way to Millonocket.  Now it came down to the last road to Baxter State Park.  I walked about two mils before the third person picked me up. She was nice enough to stop at the painted rock before getting dropped off at the visitor center.  She asked if I had a MAP, I lied and said yes.  I saw the big map on the wall and figured that would be good enough.  I walked to the entrance and was questioned where I was staying.  I told them on the Appalachian Trail.  It didn’t matter what they said, nothing was turning me around with how close I was from Mt. Katahdin and how far I came.  I learned plenty of stealth camping skills on the PCT.  They just wanted me to pay and stay 6 miles off the trail.  I wasn’t having any part of it, I kept walking two more miles before getting picked up by a vehicle that slammed on their brakes.  Turns out to be an old lady driving pick-up for Baxter SP.  She said, “Did you call for an ambulance?”  I said, “Nope.” She asked where I was headed. She said, “Hop in the back.”  I ran to the back threw my stuff in the bed and jumped in. As I was sitting down, she floored it, almost flipping me out of the bed of the truck.  After the road speed limit at 20 MPH, she had to be going at-least double.  This curvy gravel road was horrible.  Blind spots everywhere, but that didn’t slow her down.  We met a good chunk of cars and she would slam on the breaks and have people pull off the road to escort the pooper scooper truck.  I was getting tossed around the truck like a rag-doll for eight miles, but it was better than walking.  Since it was still before 2 pm.  I told myself I had time to make it to the top of Mt. Katahdin.  I figured why put something off tomorrow when you can do it today.  Boy oh Boy, it was a climb.  There was rebar in the side of the mountain where you had to pull yourself up.  After taking the famous picture at the sign and putting a rock on the Karen, it was time to head back down.  Made it to the campground and met a good chunk of people staying at the thru hiker site.  Hung out for a couple hours by the fire before calling it a solid night.


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