Hiker Stream of Consciousness: SOBO Days 17 – 19 – The Trek | Gmx Pharm

The Appalachian Trail from Caratunk to Stratton begins to become more mountainous. It’s like a little excitement before moving on towards southern Maine and New Hampshire.

This includes the Bigelow Mountains.

Some hikers are really great at reciting the history of a particular area, they may tell you how the mountains got their name or their cultural or indigenous importance in the area. Other hikers are great at cardinal points and can point to mountain ranges on the horizon and tell you what’s what as far as the eye can see. Others are very technical, competitive and know the exact ascent, descent, approximate ascent and height of each mountain.

I am none of the above. Although I can definitely be seen checking FarOut to answer the burning question: are we there yet?

Instead, I’m more of a “wow that’s beautiful”, “that’s so good for the soul”, “mother nature really easy DID this”, “I enjoy this so much” type of person. For someone with an engineering degree, I’m anything but technical when it comes to hiking.

For that reason I was surprised and interested to learn that from the top of Little Bigelow Mountain you can follow the Appalachian Trail down to Safford Notch and up to Bigelow Avery Peak and down and back up to Bigelow West Peak.

The mountains looked peaceful until I realized I had to walk through it all.


As I trekked through this mountain range, I tried to tune into my inner dialogue and mentally catalog the kinds of thoughts rolling through my brain. For your viewing pleasure, these thoughts are presented below.

down the mountain

Great view. It looks like it’s going to go on forever. Can’t believe we have to hike this next. It looks so high from here. Is this mountain higher than this one? It kind of looks a bit bigger. Why do we have to go so far down before we go back up? I wish the mountains were closer together so we didn’t have to do that. Okay, we’re going down I think. I feel like an old lady hiking down the mountain. Hold the tops of the poles. Is that the right way to hold the poles on a descent? I feel the wrist hurts less when you press on the top. Test the ground before sticking your pole there. Seems solid. What if it slips? I hope this pole doesn’t stab me if I fall. How close behind me is the next hiker? Oh damn right there. Don’t put your trekking pole through my bloody Achilles tendons. Oh watch out, Jana, the pole just slipped off. No broken ankles today. I wonder how I would feel if I had to leave the lane sooner. I don’t even want to think about that now. It happens to a lot of people I think. Isn’t it about 20% of hikers who actually complete this trail? Let’s get through Maine first, Jana. Concentrate on that one descent. Did I pack teriyaki or alfredo noodles for dinner tonight? I can’t believe the Knorr pages were $2.50 on this refill. Is food cheaper in America than in Canada? I wonder if it’s just more expensive in small towns. How is the conversion from USD to CAD again? Mental arithmetic is difficult to track down.

An unnecessary PUD

Is that a rockfall ahead…okay, let’s go. That reminds me of bouldering. Except it’s like Free Solo. But less dangerous. I don’t think I would fall that far. But I think my backpack would throw me off balance. Let’s go up. About that. I think that feels like a good crimp hold. Can I put my foot there? It’s a bit damp, but it doesn’t feel slippery. Okay not as bad as I thought. Damn, I miss the bouldering hall. I wonder how hot it is in Fredericton right now. It would be so strange to be in the real world right now. It’s crazy how quickly this daily hike became a habit. It feels so natural now. I like to move all day long. I wish I could exercise as much as I do on a daily basis. It’s just a Tuesday. That’s a big rock. If I were working, it would probably be almost noon by now. Now back uphill I guess, or is that just a PUD (pointless up and down)? Another PUD? When will it start to go up again? I forget how many kilometers we had to the next viewpoint. Should I wait for a snack at the lookout or have one right away? I’m getting hungry. I don’t want to faint. That’s dramatic, I can wait for the summit. I should have taken off this fleece before the ascent. I know you should be brave and start cold, but I’m always cold. But I’m warm now. Ugh, I hate stopping uphill. But it gets seriously sweaty. It’s a bit like hot yoga. I should do yoga tonight. Maybe put your feet up. I have to do that more often. The compression sleeves are great though.

Up the hill

Are the trees getting thinner? It looks like they’re getting shorter. I can see blue skies. If there were more mountains to climb I don’t think I could see the sky. However, this could be a false peak. Don’t check FarOut, let’s assume it’s a false peak. Don’t get excited yet. Look down, just wander. Should I turn on music for this incline? It’s so motivating. However, I feel I should appreciate the sounds of nature. However, at the moment I only hear my heartbeat and my breathing. There’s no harm in listening to some music. I’m hiking alone right now. I wonder how far away the group is from me. I think I hear their poles. Yes, this is definitely a pole. And movement. Good stuff, they’re still behind me. Okay, melodies are. I listen to my cup of coffee playlist because it’s upbeat. I feel like I only listen to upbeat music these days. It’s a change from the chill tunes when I’m doing homework. I need some new artist recommendations. I should download the Arkells Radio playlist when I’m in town. It had good stuff on it. The trees are definitely getting thinner. When does the alpine zone technically start? Do I have to dig another cat hole here? I wait for the others at the summit. But if it’s windy I might go down a bit so I don’t get cold. I wonder if the cheese in my bag is still good. It’s just been, what, two days? Probably good to go. I think I did three days earlier. Is it bad? Meh, it’s never made me sick. Is this a byway? The eternal struggle – is it worth it? Oh it says it’s an excellent view. That seems dramatic, I feel like I need to see it. I shouldn’t skip these, but damn they add extra miles fast. I just leave my backpack and go fast. Hop, hop. Oops, that’s downhill, that’s uphill on the way back. Well, the view is probably worth it. OH WOW. Yes, it’s worth it. I can’t believe this is my real life. So happy to do this now. I am so grateful. I take out my phone for a photo… nah. Wow, look at these lakes. i love maine Alright, back to my backpack. I hope a squirrel didn’t get into my food. If so, I’ll live on peanut butter all the way downtown.

at the peak

Okay, that’s not a false peak by any means, I see a sign. what does it say I literally just had my eyes checked, these are new glasses. How about having a 20/20 vision? Waking up and being able to see would be like… are you kidding me? “Alpine Zone, please stay on the path.” Okay, ok, it was a wrong peak, that’s not the sign I’m looking for. There is another sign. This is what the peak looks like. Oh you could hang out in this rock structure if it was really windy. Today is a beautiful day. That makes me happy. Not too hot either. Why do maritime people always think so much about the weather? Yes, that is the summit sign! how many feet Oh god, what’s that in meters? That looks like sugar loaf. I wonder if dad ever skied there? Maybe I have service here. Oh look at this, Mint Mobile finally has service. I’m writing to mom and dad to let them know I’m alive. Maybe I can send my sister a picture. what time is it for you What day of the week is it? I wonder if they’re already at work. I’ll try with a text anyway. Damn, this wind is cold. Time to pull the fleece out again. Oh, I forgot a snack. Cliff or Nature Valley? I’m pretty hungry, let’s go Clif. I love the peanut butter builder bars. These are worth their weight in gold. mmm Ah, there are the others! Yay, friends! This is so much fun. I’m so happy right now Have I already added electrolytes to my water? I should drink more of that. Hydrate! This water bottle needs to be cleaned in the next town.

city ​​thoughts

It seems that on the trail, my stream of consciousness constantly wanders into the “real world” of what I’ll be doing after the trail, and then gets thrown back into the present moment. I never get bored on the trail. There are always things to see, terrain to consider, thoughts to process, music to hear, people to talk to. Every day is so different and varied, it’s more dynamic than I expected. Sometimes I find myself hiking for a whole day without pulling out headphones because I’m so focused on the hike or my mind is so deep I don’t even crave to distract myself.

There’s something so exciting about hiking; Even parts that might seem monotonous, like tuna wraps and endless miles of trees, still evoke excitement and interest. And of course, as the miles slowly draw me closer to town, the lure of comforts like a shower and chilled food are enough to ward off any sort of boredom on the trail. As I approach Stratton, I think of the soft feeling of sleeping in a real bed, replenishing my Builder Bar collection, suds and fresh vegetables. But I can also anticipate the queasy feeling from the city as I long to get back on the trail, anticipating the next rocky ruckus, steep climb, and searching for the best spot to pitch a tent for the night .

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