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Astro on the AT 2018

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    • Day 7
      0.2m back to Garfield Trail and then another 4.8m down to trailhead. Slept last night on all the dry clothes I had left other than a pair of socks.
      After my experience thus far with the Whites especially with Mt Lafayette, decided to move on to Rangley, ME. That will give me a chance to do another 220 miles this summer. Then pick up southern ME and the rest of NH when my body is in better shape.

      On the far right is the hiker who helped me down off Mt Lafayette. In between is his best friend from childhoodwho is visiting from London.

      I thought it was nice for trailhead to bench while I was waiting for my shuttle back to Hikers Welcome Hostel.
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      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      Day 6
      7.6m to Garfield Ridge Shelter. Storm with rain last night but I slept well as the lightning did not wake me. Cooler today, so for the first time I wore long pants and my fleece top, gloves, and bennie. Got off early by 6pm. First problem of the day was when I slipped and gashed my leg open. Instant pain and my pants leg covered with blood. First reaction was to wipe blood away, but it just kept bleeding, so quickly got leg horizontal so it would clot and then put band-aid on it. After 2500 feet up Liberty yesterday, started up with another nearly 400 feet. After all that continuous going up rocks, Franconia Ridge was pleasant walking, but unfortunately fog and nothing to see. Climbed Haystack and Lincoln and was doing fine other than fog/clouds blocking the views. A little mist to that point but no serious rain. Once I got to Mt Lafayette it started raining hard. It got so bad I could not see where the trail was. My glasses were fogging up and as soon as I wiped them they would fog up again. So now I am soaking wet and above treeline and can not see where to go. Fortunately a guy who camped at Garfield Ridge Shelter was on a day hike and could see I needed help. I am so grateful as he helped me get down below treeline. My gloves were so wet I eventually took them off. Was so glad to make it down to the shelter. Slept in shelter since I thought it might be warmer. Imediately took all the wet clothes off, and put all the dry ones I had left on.
      Too bad you hit it on a cloudy day, some of the best scenery in New England there. Take care of that leg. Well done keeping those other clothes dry, things can go bad fast without them.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • max.patch wrote:

      what a rough day; glad everything worked out in the end.

      will this be the first "gap" in your NOBO hike that you have to go back later and pick up?
      Yes, other than a section I plan to make up this summer around Rutland, VT ( when I had to replace my phone).
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • What tent are you using Astro?
      I can't decide if I want to take my Little Trailstar and bivy at 29 oz or a more A frame tarp and bivy at 24oz. The Trailstar has a wider footprint and heavier but more room and absolutely stormproof- just don't know if I want the extra 5 ozs.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • max.patch wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      what a rough day; glad everything worked out in the end.

      will this be the first "gap" in your NOBO hike that you have to go back later and pick up?
      Yes, other than a section I plan to make up this summer around Rutland, VT ( when I had to replace my phone).
      perfect excuse to spend a night at the inn on the long trail.
      That is the plan. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      What tent are you using Astro?
      I can't decide if I want to take my Little Trailstar and bivy at 29 oz or a more A frame tarp and bivy at 24oz. The Trailstar has a wider footprint and heavier but more room and absolutely stormproof- just don't know if I want the extra 5 ozs.
      Big Agnes Flycreek UL1. I think 33 oz.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Last night at Piazza Rock, and 8.9m today to Poplar Ridge. Climbed Saddleback, Horn, and Junior Saddleback today. Great weather and views. Will post pictures and reports when I get to Stratton in a few days.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      What tent are you using Astro?
      I can't decide if I want to take my Little Trailstar and bivy at 29 oz or a more A frame tarp and bivy at 24oz. The Trailstar has a wider footprint and heavier but more room and absolutely stormproof- just don't know if I want the extra 5 ozs.
      Endure the extra ozs. You’ll appreciate the enhanced sheltering in the event severe arrives.

      Astro, hopefully you’re carrying butterfly bandages. They are better than a typical bandaid with such a gash.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Dan76: Clarity ().

    • Was really enjoying Maine until I blew out my right knee coming down Sugarloaf Mountain. Driven back to my sister-in-law's in NY. And will try to get home in the next few days (don't know that I am up for over 1,100 miles in one day right now). Greatfull for cruise control as I drive with ice around my knee.

      Have doctor appointment in Little Rock on Tuesday with same doctor that did my wife's knee surgery. Will provide trip reports, pictures, and more details once I get back home.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Well darn it! Sorry to hear about the knee. Welcome to The Old Guys with Worn Out Knees Club.
      Ice is your best friend. 20 minutes at a time at least 4 times a day. You really can't ice it too much as long as you do 20 minutes at a time.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Well darn it! Sorry to hear about the knee. Welcome to The Old Guys with Worn Out Knees Club.
      Ice is your best friend. 20 minutes at a time at least 4 times a day. You really can't ice it too much as long as you do 20 minutes at a time.
      Thanks, I have been driving with it for hours (until it melts), so I have the 20 minutes covered. Just unfortunately not elevated (which I am able to do now in a recliner :) ).
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:

      Well darn it! Sorry to hear about the knee. Welcome to The Old Guys with Worn Out Knees Club.
      Ice is your best friend. 20 minutes at a time at least 4 times a day. You really can't ice it too much as long as you do 20 minutes at a time.
      Thanks, I have been driving with it for hours (until it melts), so I have the 20 minutes covered. Just unfortunately not elevated (which I am able to do now in a recliner :) ).
      Also apply ice cold beer as necessary.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Sorry to hear about the knee Astro, but you keep on chipping away at this thing.

      Hopefully things will heal up quick and maybe you can get a few more miles in towards the end of the summer.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Damn... I feel like I just left a football game after my team lost - I was rooting for you. Sorry to hear about the knee. At least you knocked off a few more miles.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • Astro wrote:

      StalkingTortoise wrote:

      Damn... I feel like I just left a football game after my team lost - I was rooting for you. Sorry to hear about the knee. At least you knocked off a few more miles.
      Thanks, and I have a much greater appreciation of what I am up against. :)
      Now you've got time to prepare for the mountains of Maine
      I read somewhere that between Rangely and route 27 at Straton is the hardest part of the trail in Maine.
      Not having done all of Maine yet I can't confirm or deny that, but it was hard for me, that I am sure of.
    • Well, guys, I crapped out again. The first four days were relatively easy except for a new pain...tendons where the calf muscles join the bone below and to the side of the knee. At the end of day three I thought my hike was ended but I had a pack of steroids the doc had given me for a hike on the Foothills Trail following my knee surgery, didn't need them then so I saved them. The steroids (which I hate to take) healed that issue but after a 19 mile day of rock climbing followed by a 17 mile day of the same the knee surgery proved to be in vain, right knee started swelling and the left hurt from what I believe was hyper extension (from jelly legs), stayed two days in Monson hoping to recoop, thought about staying a couple more days but went home, which was the right decision, knees got a little worse after getting home but now feeling better after some gym therapy. Got the 100 mile wilderness behind me and was going to give up hiking but after watching a walk in the woods again today...the trail still calls. Had a great time for while I was there and relish the time spent with great trail folks. Regret I didn't get to meet Astro and hope he recovers quickly.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • Bummer about the knee. On my first AT hike (central VA around Dragon's Tooth), my knee gave out about three days in. I had planned a 5 day hike, but then took a day off and then did McAfee Knob as a day hike (no pack). I was worried that this would be a recurring problem, but it hasn't ever happened again but then I haven't done a hike with as much elevation gain/loss since then either. Plus I am better about keeping my pack weight under control. Places like NH concern me, but I really feel I should give it another go. The Dr said it wasn't really injured, just weakened from overuse.
    • Day 8
      1.8 miles to Piazza Rock Lean To
      Started day off by taking Mountain Pete with me to Gorham. He thru-hiked in 2016 and was doing a flip-flop from Harper's Ferry. Unfortunately he needed to go home and take care of his elderly father. Gorham is much better for logistics in his getting back to Michigan than Glencliff would have been. He called me a true trail angel, but I was just paying forward from James helping me get down from Mt Lafayette to treeline.
      I picked up my maildrop from Rattle River Lodge and Hostel to supplement getting me from Rangeley to Stratton. I also stopped by the sporting goods store to buy a new pack cover. Best I could find was a 5oz Mountain Hardwear one. It appears a lot studier than the 3oz ULA one that flew off some where on Mt Lafayette. I think the extra space it took up in Circuit mesh pouch was more of a drawback than the extra 2 oz.

      Drove on to Rangley to try and find a hostel I might be able to park the van at. Really didn't feel good about leaving it at the trailhead for multiple weeks. Finally lady at Ecopelagicon agreed to shuttle me and arranged for me to park at the Congregational Church (for a donation).

      Along the way I bought a new pair of shorts to replace the ones a slip on Kinsmen had put a whole in. I didn't think duct tape was the best long term solution. Treated them with permethrin, but unfortunately forgot to grab the belt out of my old ones.

      Loved the trail to Piazza Rock, reminded me of the AT in the south. Interesting rock formations, unfortunately trees made it difficult to get good pictures. 3 father's were there with their sons. One man was from Brazil, so I had a fun conversation with him about the times I lived there. Mentioned forgetting to grab my belt off my old shorts, so he gave me some parachute cord. Good thing I already have a trail name, I would hate to end up with Jethro Bodine. :rolleyes:
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      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I am currently at home, went to knee specialist Tuesday, MRI scheduled for this Friday. Unfortunately Doctor on vacation next week, so follow up appointment to review MRI not until July 10. His initial opinion was torn meniscus and surgery.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General