START: Carl Newhall Shelter
FINISH: Caratunk / US. 201
DISTANCE: 72.6 miles (116.8 km)
DAILY AVERAGE: 24.2 miles (38.9 km)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 151.3 miles (243.4 km)
The Thud: Whoosh…..thud……groan……expletive……was more or less the sequence when on the morning of October 20, I slipped ‘arse over tea kettle’ whilst descending some slick rock not far from Carl Newhall shelter. The fall itself was Chaplinesque in execution, unfortunately the recovery was not quite up the standard of the Little Tramp. Whereas Chaplin’s famous character would nonchalantly pick himself up from any tumble, I lay there in a daze for 15 seconds or so. The back of my head had hit the rocky surface with some force. Thankfully, the rock had been flat rather than jagged in form, so I managed to escape with nothing worse than a little grogginess, a decent bump and on the positive side, a timely reminder to take greater care.
The Mud: It absolutely poured down from the evening of the 19th through to the early morning of the 21st, thus turning an already muddy trail into a quagmire. That being said, the mud here in Maine really isn’t too bad, certainly not up to the lofty standards of SW Tasmania and Stewart Island, NZ (which receives approximately 300 days of rain a year!), which to this day are still the muddiest places I have ever walked. Funnily enough, they are also two of my favourite hiking destinations.
The Crud: Rain+Mud+Sweat=Crud
The Bud: I was offered pot on two separate occasions during this stretch. I declined both offers, the second of which came as I was listening to Bob Marley and the Wailer’s classic Kaya album……..I must have been putting out some Rasta vibes!