AT – Days 4 to 6 – The Thud, the Mud, the Crud and the Bud

DATE:  October 20-22                                                              20121026-232714.jpg

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!








AT – Days 4 to 6 – The Thud, the Mud, the Crud and the Bud — 3 Comments

  1. Hey Swami! Just wanted you to know I have been following every step of your journeys. Thank you for posting on a regular basis, your humor, entertainment and clever writing, and all around great attitude. Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you in the upcoming storm and hoping you find safe shelter and the trail still remains passable. I am posting on my blog your pic and a little of what you are doing if it is alright with you. I always look forward to reading your journal entries.

    • Hey Rockin’
      Great to hear from you! How are things going in California? Bet it’s a little drier and warmer than my current hiking locale in NH. I am presently holing up at a friend’s place; hopefully the worst of the storm will be over in a day or two. No worries about posting stuff from the trip on your blog. Hope all is well, and please send some sunshine in my direction!

  2. Thanks for expanding my vocabulary with ‘quagmire.” Also, I cursed the mud up north on the AT many a day and many a late night. Bog logs sent me flying off balance regularly and I recall one particular moment that happens late afternoon after arriving at a shelter in Maine. The shelter was packed to the brim, stuffed with sleeping bags tighter than sardines in a can. It was pouring rain, but that didn’t stop me from turning and walking out. I too turned down an offer of bud—the herb not the beer—and hiked on. A few miles later, guided by a dimming headlamp, I found myself to be inconveniently submerged up to my thighs in mud.

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