Hiking the AT South: Days 11 – 28

Trail Name: Haiku

Day 11, July 19: Bald Mtn Pond Lean-to, 17.9 miles
Day 12, July 20: Sterling Inn, 18.4 miles
Day 13, July 21: Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camp, Nero 4.0 miles
Day 14, July 22: Safford Notch Campsite, 23 miles
Day 15, July 23: Stratton Motel from hell, 10.6 miles
Day 16, July 24: Perham Stream Stealth, 16.8 miles
Day 17, July 25: Rangeley Hiker Hut, 15.4 miles
Day 18, July 26: Rangeley Hiker Hut, Zero rest day
Day 19, July 27: Bemis Stream Stealth, 13.9 miles (plus 4 mile nobo walk 😕)
Day 20, July 28: The Cabin (Honey), 12.4 miles
Day 21, July 29: Grafton Notch Stealth, 11.3 miles
Day 22, July 30: Goose Eye Mountain Stealth, 12.2 miles
Day 23, July 31: Rattle River Hostel, 9.3 miles
Day 24, August 1: Lake of the Clouds Hut, Nero 4.2 miles
Day 25, August 2: Stealth @ View Point after Zealand Hut, 12.5 miles
Day 26, August 3: Stealth @ Falling Water Tr, 14 miles
Day 27, August 4: Hiker Welcome Hostel, 14.9 miles
Day 28, August 5: Home, 5 miles

Dirty girl gaiters
One red one blue new to me
Each lost its used mate


A sad day today
I’m missing my little dog
Tears run down my face


Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camp
Rustic cabins on the stream
Hummingbirds flock here


Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Your tiny body glowing
Would you please eat more?


A princess I am
I survived Stratton Motel
Despite the huge pea


Little Bigelow
Much tougher than your parents
After a long day


A difficult day
Moth rash lots of knee foot pain
Hiker Hut rescue

Browntail moth poison
Rash all over my body
Maine epidemic


Gifts from the mountain
Natural and organic
Blueberries so sweet


So much alone time
What you learn about yourself
Patterns become clear


Lost I found a plane
Engine wings pieces intact
Nineteen fifty four




The hardest day yet
Franconia pulls me home
But I must not stop


Posted in Other Adventures, The Long Walk (AT)

Hiking the AT South: Days 0 – 10

Trail Name: Haiku

Day 0, July 8: Travel to Millinocket, Maine
Day 1, July 9: Katahdin, Hunt (AT) and Abol Trails, 10 miles, AT mile 5.2
Day 2, July 10: Stealth camp Rainbow Pond, 17.8 miles, AT mile 23
Day 3, July 11: Stealth camp Nahmakanta Lake, 17.8 miles, AT mile 40.8
Day 4, July 12: White House Landing nero, 4.9 miles, AT mile 45.7
Day 5, July 13: Stealth camp Crawford Pond, 17 miles, AT mile 62.7
Day 6, July 14: Carl Newhall lean-to, 15.9 miles, AT mile 78.6
Day 7, July 15: Stealth camp base 4th Mountain, 14 miles, AT mile 92.6
Day 8, July 16: Stealth camp Little Wilson Stream, 15 miles, AT mile 107.6
Day 9, July 17: Monson Lakeshore House, 6.9 miles, AT mile 114.5
Day 10, July 18: Monson, Zero, rest day

My actually mileage is longer than these individual days due to getting lost, walking NORTH!!!! once for a couple of miles, the partial walk into Monson trying to hitch a ride without success before calling the hostel shuttle.

I’ve read that people end up walking the AT in the wrong direction and my very first reaction was ” are you kidding??”, my next immediate reaction was “that could happen to me but won’t”. Well, those white blazes are not terribly close together at times (therefore easy to get off trail). In my case I stopped midday at a lean-to to rest. Got up and NO white blazes to be seen anywhere but lots of blue blaze trails (privy, water, viewpoints, whatever). I did not remember how I walked into the shelter and when I finally found a white blaze I threw up a cheer and bolted down the trail – in the wrong direction.  I only figured it out when I got to a stream and thought the boulders to cross it looked very familiar.

July 8
I close the locked door
A nervous finality
What am I doing?

I ask myself why?
After hours on the trail
Tranquility comes


July 9: Katahdin

Spirit Katahdin
Looming, watching your kingdom
Your masterful eye


July 10:

A hike with no views?
I don’t think they understand
Forest is a view


July 11:

Without you I’m lost
In your absence you are missed
White blaze keep me found


Smooth and silent lake
Relaxing peace on your shore
Your gift of one night


July 12:

White House Landing weed
So smooth so easy to smoke
Giggles all around


White House Landing: an off-the-grid primitive place to stay with real beds, great food, owned and run by a hard working couple.  Bill makes this boat run to pick up and drop off hikers all day long.  Bill grows his own pot and each guest gets a free joint.  I only took a hit of another solo older woman’s joint.  Smooth stuff, not too strong.

July 13

They like the morning
Toads jumping across the trail
Happy to see them


Come visit me Loon
You are as alone as I
Crawford Pond with us


Stealth Camp with Loons

July 14

Stealth tenting is best
Boys and trolls ooze at lean-tos
Quiet sleep in woods


July 15

My opera singer
Hermit Thrush you make me smile
Lovely aria

Song of Hermit Thrush


July 16

Long loud swish then thud
The sound of a falling tree
All too close to me


July 17-18

A refreshing lake
Hospitality so fine
Lakeshore House comfort


Posted in Other Adventures, The Long Walk (AT)

Rain Training

My training goal yesterday was to walk 10 miles through Camden Hills State Park. In the rain. (We’re here for an AMC Italy bike tour group reunion). I was glad it was raining because I wanted to experience walking while soaked and test my poncho, set up my tent and sleep in the rain.

Part way up the steep and rocky trail to the Mount Battie Tower I realized I forgot my hiking poles. The reason was probably two fold: I am not used to hiking with poles and I really dislike them. That would have been fine if I didn’t need them as part of my tent setup. I continued on my hike rather than walk back to the hotel thinking I would take a shorter route to the campground then walk back to the hotel and return to the campground.

By the time I got to the hotel my hands were white and numb because I have Reynaud’s. My wacky body diverts blood away from my hands in cold weather even when I am not physically all that cold.  I stood in the warmth of our room, dripping water all over the floor, staring at the warm and cozy bed. I did not return to the campground.

I walked 6.9 miles; 1548 elevation gain.


Posted in Other Adventures

Lemon Farro Orzo Salad With Goat Cheese and Mint

For the pasta salad:

Kosher salt
1/2 cup farro
1/4 pound orzo
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
1/3 cup torn mint leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

1 large lemon for zest and 1+ more for juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook to al dente. Cook orzo to al dente. Drain both and combine.

While farro and orzo are cooking prepare the dressing: Finely grate zest from one lemon, and place zest in a large bowl. Squeeze juice from 1 1/2 – 2 lemons and add to zest along with salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes, whisking to combine. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed.

In a small bowl, combine onions, celery, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Let sit while the pasta cools, at least 20 minutes.

Add farro and orzo to bowl with dressing and toss well. Stir in apricots and onion, celery mix. Let farro and pasta cool, soaking up the dressing. Add mint and parsley. This can be done up to 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Just before serving, add almonds to the bowl with the farro and pasta and toss well. Gently fold in spinach and goat cheese. Taste and add more lemon, red-pepper flakes or salt if needed.

Posted in Beth's Recipes

Calories & Hiker Hunger

I have no idea how many calories I will need to walk all day with the additional weight of a backpack. I could start with what I eat now but that’s tough because I have to confess I get a whole lotta calories every day from beer, wine or the combination of the two. For the most part I will not have access to these nor my other high calorie favorites like Fage yogurt (the very, very best, rich, delicious yogurt!) And I tend to munch – and sometimes binge – on foods into the evening.

I’ve read hiker hunger doesn’t strike until week three but it really depends on body fat; and mine is pretty low. Initially hikers burn fat reserves but once those reserves deplete survival mode kicks in. Survival mode’s voice is “eat more; a lot more” and it reminds you with persistent hunger. I wouldn’t be surprised if I begin to feel hiker hunger within a few days.

I don’t want to push my luck on hunger pain, but one thing I learned from fasting is that hunger does not kill you even though it feels like it will. It passes. It fades in and out throughout the day. What I don’t know is its effects while pushing physical limits all day long.

One woman claims it’s possible to avoid getting into this starvation-like state altogether by consuming 45% or more of food calories in fat and to begin eating a high fat diet first thing in the morning. No skipping breakfast as has become my norm (I try to be in ketosis part of every day, thru 16+ hour fast plus exercise, in order to burn fat). Add in plenty of protein so the body can heal muscles damaged by hours of walking.

Back to calories: I’ve read women burn far fewer calories than men for the same distance and rate of walking. Women are just efficient machines. If my goal is 3000 calories/day then I will need 150 grams of fat and 412 grams carbs/protein. That’s about 1.25 pounds of food per day.

Posted in Other Adventures

Prepare to Walk – Landaff & NYC

I don’t walk much.  I’d like to walk more; our California grocery store is less than 2 miles from our home and my only excuse is time.  I DO park as far away from store entrances as possible in the most undesirable spots not because I want to walk farther but because I want to protect my car – and that really doesn’t work because, no matter how far away I park, even in football field sized parking lots, 9 out of 10 times I return to find someone parked right next to me.  I mean, there are no cars around for 40-50 parking spaces but someone is immediately next to me.  I once asked a guy why he parked right next to me when there were dozens of spots all around in a nearly empty parking lot.  He told me he was trying to increase his “steps”; his weird grin only confounded me more.

I digress … so I have this huge walking adventure coming up and I don’t walk though I am relatively fit from cycling and swimming.  Today I made an effort.  I walked from our car guy’s shop in Lisbon, NH back to our home; 6.1 miles flat start and then mostly uphill at 3.5 mph; less than 2 hours.  My trail runner shoes felt good and I outpaced the black flies.  Tomorrow I’ll repeat the same route out of necessity (though with some logistical difficulty I could ride my bike, but walking is key now).

They say when you start walking the Appalachian Trail you should only walk 10 miles per day.  Granted I will not be walking 3.5 mph on the AT but still.  10 miles?   Per day?  Like so many who start the AT I’m sure I can do more …

For my records:
June 11, 6.1 miles, 3.5 mph, 750′ gain (dale’s auto home)
June 12, 6.1 miles, 2.5 mph, 750′ gain (dale’s auto home)
June 14, 6.0 miles, 3.3 mph, 814′ gain (gale chandler, cobble hill trail)
June 17, 9.2 miles, 3.4 mph, 895′ gain (woodsville home; feet are sore!)
June 20, 7 miles, ?mph, 1550′ gain (camden hills in the rain, got cold)
June 21/22, 8.5 miles, ?mph, (3 trips to/from Camden campground, Camden hills)
June 29, 6 miles Landaff
July 1, 9+ miles, (NYC, Central Park, 911 Memorial)

July 2, 13+ miles, (Lower Manhattan Esplanade)

July 3, 12 miles, (NYC, Central Park, Staten Island)

Bath Bridge

July 17,Bath Bridge from Rail Trail June 17

July 1, NYC Central Park


July 1, Bridges, NYC Central Park


July 1, The Dogs, NYC Central Park


July 1, 911 Memorial and Museum


July 2, Bridges, NYC East River Esplanade



Posted in Other Adventures

EZ Reference Menu


Posted in Beth's Recipes