Back to some traveling posts! I don’t remember exactly where I was in the last post, so I’m going to just talk about my favorite day that we had! Hiking Mt Katahdin! We ended up staying in this really ghetto hotel on Wednesday night since the bugs in central Maine were just insanely horrible! We opted out of camping, which was kind of a bummer since the weather was so perfect for it and we had a good time camping at Acadia! When we woke up early the next morning, we got into the rental car to find that we were supposed to pull over cause our engine was too hot! I’ll probably get into this in another post (make a nice review on the Hertz in Portland, ME), but it ended up delaying our day by about 3 hours since we had to wait on Hertz to bring us another car. We did end up getting a nice breakfast at a local place and having some time to repack the car and organize our camping stuff.
I think we got to Katahdin around 11 and started our hike around 11:30. We had been told that it can take 8-12 hours to hike it (by the way, Katahdin is the northernmost point of the Appalachian Trail, and since we have the southernmost point in Georgia and have been there frequently, Jon really wanted to do this hike) and figured that we could probably make it in 8 since we’re fairly in shape.
There I am, in shape. The guy at the information booth had told us that there were two trails to hike to the top and that both were similar in difficulty. He actually told us this the day before and he told us we could hike out to a waterfall near the Abol campground and that it would be a good indication of how difficult the trail would be.
We got to the waterfall without any real issues (from the Abol campground). Jon has a really hard time with inclines because his heart rate increases so much and he loses energy (he’s actually been to a doctor for it), so we had a few breaks, but nothing major. We hit our first mile in 22 minutes and thought we were golden!
(That picture is actually on the way down, but that was the waterfall.) We kept on hiking and realized that it was getting harder and we ended up taking way more breaks for Jon. We passed a few people going up who were asking us how much longer it was which I didn’t really get since we were clearly on the ascent as well. Most of them never caught back up and we never passed them going down, so I assume they turned around.
As we kept going, Jon and I were just amazed by some of the rocks to climb.
I’m only 5′ tall, so some of the rocks to climb up were just ridiculous! We were walking through small streams and scaling rocks. It was absolutely nothing like the easy peasy hike to that first waterfall! Our second mile took us about an hour and 15 minutes and we honestly thought it couldn’t get much harder! We kept waiting for it to get easier and Jon had told me that the last 2 miles were above the tree line so I assumed that they would be easier!
After I took this picture (in which Jon lifted me up to the rocks because it was was so high), we ran into a man and his kid and asked if the trail was about to get any easier. He looked at us in all seriousness and said, “It’s going to get way harder. Good thing you’re small (he was looking at me, obviously), because it’ll be easier to get through some of the areas when you’re small.” I don’t even know what that means. We could tell we were almost to the tree line though, so we kept on going.
And then we saw this. And we both kind of looked at each other and thought about if we should keep going. At the same time that we were deciding, we were absolutely freezing our asses off because the wind above the tree line was so intense! There’s still snow at the top of Katahdin in some areas, so think about how cold it must have been. We stopped and ate some sandwiches and I tried to curl up underneath Jon’s legs and by his body somehow and my body hurt from my muscles being so tense from shivering/shaking so much.
We decided to just snap some pictures where we ended and that making it all the way to the summit wasn’t that important. At this point, we were over 3 hours in, meaning each subsequent mile after numero uno was over an hour long, and I had been telling Jon all along how hard this trail was going to be to go back down due to how steep the rocks were. So, somewhere around three miles in, we turned back. Mt Katahdin won. And then I continued to absolutely freeze for probably the next mile back down. Our knees were killing us and we joked about how old we are now and then the inflammation set in and our knees finally felt better.
We did get some awesome views heading down though.
We reached the end after almost seven hours. Our time down took almost the full three hours that it took to go up, which really wasn’t surprising. I felt like I was going much slower on the way down than we did on the way up. We were both pretty happy when our hike was over, especially since I ate two PB&Js at our turnaround point and was having some serious bathroom issues towards the end (this is the real world, people). I think I ran to that nasty outhouse with flies everywhere and it seriously looked like a golden throne by that point.
On our way out, we stopped by this gem:
After that, we headed back to Kennebunkport to try and stay at Cape Arundel Inn, where we had stayed a few nights prior and absolutely loved. Come to find out, they put an ad on Hotel Tonight for Cape Arundel Inn but were putting guests at their sister hotel that didn’t have a beach view (after we drove a few hours for this specific hotel and were paying $130 for the room which was way more than we wanted to spend- but we LOVED it the first time). We thought this was shady business, so cancelled that night. Let me just say, if you ever need to book a hotel on the day of, use Hotel Tonight! They have good deals and were seriously awesome in handling the whole fiasco with Cape Arundel Inn! We got a real person on the phone after a short hold and then when she had to go to call Cape Arundel Inn, she called me back to keep me updated despite not hearing back from the manager, but she didn’t want to keep us waiting. They were unable to fix the situation so they ended up refunding our room at Cape Arundel Inn so we could book at a place down the road (and they have a “no refunds” policy) and then gave us an additional $50 for booking whenever we want since we had to go through all that trouble! And that wasn’t even their fault- they had no idea Cape Arundel Inn was booking people for their sister hotel! Jon and I were both amazed at what a great job Hotel Tonight did getting everything taken care of and they were so nice about it! I have a feeling we’ll be booking everything on there from here on out. (This is NOT a paid advertisement, obviously, cause who would pay somebody with like, 5 readers for an advertisement?)
Anyway, off to bed. I just finished up three nights at work in a row and have tomorrow off. I’m meeting a girl from my old job in Boston tomorrow since she just came up here for a travel assignment closer to the actual Boston area. I’m pretty excited, but the weather looks pretty crappy for tomorrow. Bummer.