Sunday, September 28, 2008


After a lovely week in the wilderness I summited Baxter Peak on Katahdin Friday evening. I will post thoughts and pictures later, I'm still processing and traveling right now. I should be in the botetourt/roanoke area tuesday-friday before heading to Georgia for my final leg of the journey. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and love. Hope to see some of you soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008


The Appalachian Trail crosses ME 15 3.5 miles from Monson Maine. Monson is the first town southbounders come to, and the last for northbounders. Suffice to say many of my friends and hiking partners are feeling bittersweet about where we are and what this means for their journey and their life. I have the luxury of about 2 more months until my lifestyle must change; it cannot be ignored however that despite the fact I'll still be on the trail after Katahdin my life will be different. I am 114.5 miles from Katahdin's summit. I spent the morning watching the Early show, eating Ben and Jerry's, journaling on a dock, drinking Long Trail Harvest Ale, playing Burass (my new WV friend) in checkers. The snackpackers are off into the wilderness, our fellowship dispersed slightly. Monson is an extremely friendly town. I decided to take an unexpected zero when I found out there was a friday night inpromtu bluegrass jam session outside the general store. There are many other reasons I dug around for to justify a day of rest around town, but honestly, pickin around in the fall was about all it took. God bless bluegrass =)
Big thank you to the Reeds, Amtowers, Vangilders, Mom, and Outdoor Trails crew for sending mail to Monson. I was surprised when I went to retrieve shoes to leave with about 5 pieces of mail. All of your thoughts, prayers and encouragement are very touching. I don't say it enough, but thank you and I love you.
I plan to hike out of town tommorow morning; entering "the one hundred mile wilderness". That will lead me right to the foot of Katahdin I suppose. My tenative plan is to climb the mountain Saturday September 27. Plans after that get a little more complicated and open, but somehow I'll make my way south (not on foot) to either and Virginia, NOLA, Georgia. If any of you would be interested in taking me from Daleville VA to Springer mountain in GA the first weekish of October let me know.
The trail has mellowed out drastically from the rocky steep craggy mountains of New Hampshire and southern Maine. The past week has been rolling through pond sides, pine forests, and snowmobile trails with an occasional welcomed mountain in between. I hear, I hope, the wilderness is similar to that, with Special K rising about 4,000 in elevation at the end.
I am excited to have come so far. I am excited to spend time with such amazing people. I am SO excited to head back down south =) where perhaps more of my heart is than I realized.
Carrie is working on loading a small MP3 player with music to carry me through the lonely chillly southern part of my journey. Feelin good about that, feelin good about what's to come. As always, I'll keep you guys posted ;)
Now go enjoy the fall!
If the chill, sun, color, etc are anything where you are like they are here the only place to be is outside marinating in the awe some season =D

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr.Seuss

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In shadows of mountains

Stratton Maine is less than 200 miles from Katahdin. It has been 50, 40, 30 degrees around me for the past 4ish days. It has rained at least two of those. I climb craggy mountains for above treeline views; walking through wind, hunkering in stone fortresses for some warmth on lunch breaks. I'm with good friends and press on; further up and further in. It seems ludicrous to continue north while wildlife disappears south and fall and I seem to be colliding head on. It is beautiful, mind contorting, and toe numbing. I don't know how I'm getting to Virginia after Katahdin, I don't know where I'll sleep tomorrow. If you'd like to say a prayer, pray that the moments I fall into are exactly as they should be, and that I can make it south wild, joyful, feeling alive.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I'm in Rangely Maine at a fellow hiker friend's house. Life is good overall but the terrain is tough. I'm keep on keepin on but at a much slower pace do to the sheer vertical nature of the landscape. I probably won't update much through Maine, trying to embrace this wild north woods ( with a little holding my breath for the southland/ northwest?) Love to you all
~Rebekah Ann