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Yesterday, Cane did well with his hiking for 8.3 miles from Rt. 17 to Little Swift River Campsite despite some lingering shower in afternoon to late evening. We camped out on that night. Please let me tell you something….I had a very strange dream that I got slammed onto cold rock-bed to sleep on. I hated that feeling which caused me waking up….guess what, I discovered that I slammed onto the cold ground with my back and head with my hammock. After frantic inspection in darkness (totally blind), I found out that my hammock’s end rope came loose (my hammock was stuffed and hung with many gears due to wet weather) which dropped me onto the ground! The tree straps were intacted. Thank goodness that I hung my hammock low due to shower and had my rain fly over me. I was in utterly shocked for a long while! I counted my blessing because last time I hung my hammock was in the shelter around 4 feet off the ground. Imagine what would happen to me if…..*shudder*. I fixed my hammock by replacing the end from the strudy rope that finally came loose after 3 years of using with trusty carabiner in total darkness and shower. I didn’t had a good night’s sleep after this unbelievable incident. Ugh! I replaced other end with carabiner today to ensure it doesn’t happen again! By the way, Can slept through all of this rustle and had no idea until next day I told him about it. I think other hikers who camped near us heard me and they said nothing but smiled in the morning. Oh well. 🙂

Today, we hiked the remaining 4.8 miles to Rt. 4 in Rangeley. It concluded our 13.1 miles of hiking. It leaves us with 62.2 miles left to hike the section 1. Cane is pretty worn out from doing all of “pulling out of his poles” that got stuck in mud/bog/boreal and getting up after slipping/falling down due to wet trail condition. He just kept going on, but was glad that he didn’t get injured after falling off the edge of the trail around 3 feet drop-off into the mud bed. His vision was not affected, so was his heartburn. It might be that he wasn’t adequate training for this rigorous Maine trail (or Ram Sham’s boot camp – *winks*). We are now discussing what is our next hiking plans. I plan to keep you posted.

By the way, we would like to express how gratitude from bottom of our hearts we are with Cane’s friend named Peter M. who helped us out by meeting us in Andover, then moving my car from Stratton to Rt. 4, so we can get a shuttle to Rt. 17 and hiked toward to my car the next day all at once in one night last Saturday. It was very long drive to do that – around 4.5 hours. Peter and I were tired, but it was nice trip to get each other know a bit more. 🙂 He is practically our trail angel here in Maine along with Ilene, David, and Patty. 🙂 Time for me to sign off for the night. Until next time, folks!

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I am back in town, but only for a day before Roger and I go out hiking again tomorrow. Roger had a little accident with his hand last night which required a medical attention in town, but he is fine and dandy as ever. I am going to defer this to Roger to tell the story of what happened to his hand. We got off at Gooch Gap today, so we will go back to that same spot tomorrow to continue our expedition.

Ok, here is my story for past two days –

6-April – We hiked from Springer Mountain – the southern terminus of Appalachian Trail – to Hawk Mountain Shelter which was around 7.8 miles plus 0.9 mile of hiking from parking lot to get to Springer Mountain.  It was hot and sunny on that day.   I got sunburned even though I used the sun block.  I am now one of “red necks”! 😉 Roger ran out of 1.5 liters of water at halfway. He became dehydrated for rest of the trail.  I found the brook and collected the water into nalgene as an insurance. He needed water so badly, so he drank the water. As of today, he seemed to be doing ok. Thanks goodness! I grumbled after around 3/4 way because I discovered to my shock that I was gonna carrying 40 lbs on my back instead of 30 lbs! I miscalculated by not factoring the water in hydration pack and extra last-minute stuff to add. Grrrr! I told Roger straight flat that I am open to quit hiking if I have to carry that crap on my back…..it made me feel like a mule! Roger carried way more than me, though. He carried 50 lbs! Of course, he hated it since it made harder for him to maintain balance and trug it along on his shoulder and hip. Not fun at all! I told Roger that we might need a day of rest next day. Now, we barely made it to Hawk Mountain Shelter at 19:00 (yes, I use military time and shall use it rest of this blog….Roger gets a bit annoyed with me 😉 ). We set out our hammock and went down to the brook to get water….we ended up making dinner in the dark. The food Roger made was good – chickpeas salad with balsamic vinegar and no-bake cookies (made by his sister, Diane). We went straight to hammock. However, my feet wanted to have a conversation with me before going off in zzzz’s land. It said, “Roni! Look at me…..beaten up, in pain, blistered, and sore. I am so ugly! Why are you doing that to me!?” Ahem, I anointed it with lavender oil and said some blessings to it, then went to sleep.
Here is my scale of rating of that day (0 – nothing fancy, 1- a little to 10 – very much):

Love life – 5
Hate life – 2
Pain – 6
Food – 5 (I developed an avert reaction to walnuts after eating 2 handful of trail mix which Roger made. I couldn’t stand that particular walnuts for some strange reason.  So, I just dish it out to Roger for him to eat ’em.  😉 )

7-April – I woke up in the morning feeling good. I was shocked that I wasn’t in sore or pain except for my feet, of course.  I told Roger lets hike! We ate our breakfast, then broke down our hammock. We were going to hike to Gooch Mountain Shelter which was around 7.3 miles away. Not too bad as I initially thought.  However, Roger’s hydration pack drained out all of its 1.5 liter because the o-ring was out of its place and didn’t seal completed before he put it in his backpack.  2nd day of no water for Roger.  Ouch! I had my insurance of water which I shared with him only when I drank from my hydration pack.  He suffered a slight case of dehydration and it wasn’t good at all especially it was another day of hot and sunny.  My skin was cursing at me mercilessly!  I slathered it with sun block and off I went to hike.  There were no leaves on trees –
they haven’t bloomed yet….so sun beat down on me and my poor fair skin!  Of course, I cursed for 2 days in row.  Roger swore like a sailor for past 2 days due to water…..I knew him for 3 years and never heard of him cursing profanity.  Dehydration played a big role on his mental, emotional, and physical states.  Anyway, after climbing the mountain, we came down to Cooper Gap.  We tried to find water source, but no luck.  Roger was in state of terrible dehydration. Ah, time to sign off….to be continue with this story for our next stop in town.

As of now, both of us are able to hike even with sunburn, bruises, cuts and scrapes…..but, we are still in one piece. 🙂  We are ready to go hiking today – Friday 9-April.  Until next time!

Last night, Roger and I slept in the backyard in our separate hammock at my parents’ house.  It was in high 30’s, but I was so cold on my back especially my shoulder area!  I didn’t sleep well.  UGH!  Good thing that I am working on solving that problem before I leave this Monday morning.  I think I need to get better sleeping pad as insulation and sleeping bag liner to increase the temperature rate for my sleeping bag.  My sleeping bag is Dreamwalker 450.  My sleeping bag’s temperature rating is:

Temperature rating EN 13537*: Upper Comfort = 19°C / 66°F; Comfort Women = 8°C / 46°F; Comfort Men = 3°C / 38°F; Lower Extreme = -11°C / 12°F Traditional North American Rating = 1°C/35°F

I asked Roger if he slept ok.  He said he slept ok except for his cold feet.  He plans to buy fleece socks to see if it will remedy the “cold feet” (no pun intended 😎 ) situation.

Hopefully, tonight’s sleeping will improve for us.

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Appalachian Trail

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km - through 14 states - Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Map of entire Appalachian Trail - 2,179 miles/3,507 km

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