Mile 1965.5 Rangeley, ME – Still Hiking

I usually try to write about three things that have happened since my previous post, and I put those items in the title. I don’t know what to list on this post. Really, I’m just still hiking. It is completely and utterly ridiculous. No one should do this. I’ve been posting some nice pictures on Facebook, but the reality is that those are the few exciting moments. 99.7% of the time hiking the AT is just a long boring miserable walk. Well, walk would be too generous a term particularly for Maine. It is a frustrating mud, rock, and root scramble. I’m completely jaded and can’t recommend to anyone that they should hike this trail. If you want to try it out I suggest walking around wherever you live for hours in a rainstorm carrying a bunch of weight.

I expect I’ll somehow forgot all this nastiness and look back fondly on the hike. But I hope all my good friends will tie me to the mast like Odysseus if I ever hear the Siren call of hiking another trail.

I’m in Rangeley Maine and it is a beautiful town. Of course, it’s raining outside. It rains almost every day on the AT it seems. I gave my umbrella to Johnny Walker a few weeks ago because it seemed he needed it more than I did. I could probably use that back, but I prefer carrying as little weight as possible, even if that means I’m out in the rain.

I have enjoyed the miles of alpine terrain in Maine. The trees are short or non-existant and mosses and lichens cover the ground. Blueberries are everywhere. Raspberries too I’m told, but I haven’t seen them.

I don’t recall if I wrote in my last post about Mahoosuc Notch. This is the most difficult mile on the AT. It is massive boulders and takes over an hour to walk through. Naturally, it started raining when I was half way through the Notch. It was pretty dangerous. So was the Mahoosuc Arm – a 2000 ft climb immediately after the Notch. After a number of falls I went to Bethel ME and bought some shoes with better grip. I’ve since been amazed how well I can walk straight up slippery rock faces.

I passed through an area where a hiker has been missing for two weeks now. She is a 66 year old lady. There has been no sign of her. Most people are specualating that her husband may be involved in the disappearance despite his claim to be waiting at the trailhead for her and having her never show up. There’s been other trouble this year on the AT as well. A man a few weeks ago died of a heart attack in New Hampshire. These things will happen. The trail is dangerous, but so is life.

I’ve got a few more 3 day hikes to do. Then the long 100 mile wilderness and finally the final climb up Katahdin. I’m ready to go home. I don’t really have a home, but will be glad to just be done hiking for a while. I’ve got some work to do in moving out to Colorado for Seminary. A whole bunch of projects keep coming up in my head. I want to compare Jesus’ references to the Old Testament with the Greek Septuagint and Hebrew Masoretic text versions. I want to continue my work on the biography of Gordon Clark. I want to read the works of the early church father Origen. Of course, I’ll have to focus first on my courses at school. It’s 12 credits of Greek language this fall, I think. I’ve been looking forward to this day (where I study under those much more knowledgeable them myself) for a long time.

-BANZAI!!!

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About douglasdouma

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan (BSME), Wake Forest University (MBA), and Sangre de Cristo Seminary (Mdiv). I've learned far more from books than in school. I'm particularly in debt to Martin Luther, Ludwig von Mises, and Gordon H. Clark for any thoughts I have.
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One Response to Mile 1965.5 Rangeley, ME – Still Hiking

  1. Doug – a friend in NC passed your blog on to me and I was so interested to read your latest post. My daughter and I started what we hoped would be a 2000 mile hike on June 2 at Fontana (had previously done Springer to Fontana) but just came off the trail last week near Troutville, VA. What an accomplishment that you have done this. I can soooooo relate to your feelings of “why am I doing this?” despite the fact that I have thought for the past 30 years that I wanted to thru-hike the AT. In the end, I missed my husband too much to continue and had the decision to get off the trail affirmed by my fear of heights and falling freaking out during a rainy traverse of the slippery slabs about 20 miles south of the Dragon’s Tooth.
    Best wishes to you as you complete the trail – you will never regret that you have done it and you never have to do it again :). God bless!

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