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[at-l] FW: Hello from Monson!

Terry has just completed the 100 mile Wilderness and is now in Monson!  I
did send him a postcard to Caratunk (of Colorado, of course. :)  ) Looks
like he is having a great time.

The true harvest of my life is intangible... a little star-dust caught, a
segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.

-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Norton [mailto:at_98@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 11:11 AM
To: Iname Acct
Subject: Hello from Monson!

After 118 miles (plus 5.2 miles to get to the top of Katahdin)
and 9 days, I pulled into Monson this morning.  Last Friday, Tim
picked me up from Nashua and drove me to Baxter State Park.

We bivied along the road about 10 miles from the park entrance,
then he dropped me off to walk the Knife Edge to the top of
Katahdin.  This trail was a fitting beginning to my journey, as
it reminded me of some of the summit trails on some of
Colorado's lesser climbed peaks.  Around 10 am I was on the top
and at the first white blaze of the Appalachian Trail.

The first 60 or so miles south of Katahdin cross a flat, marshy
area that Southerners would call a swamp.  My hiking pace was
kept at a maximum as I tried to outrun the mosquitoes.  I
carefully replaced my bottle of insect repellent after each use
and verified it was safely stored at least twice each time I
stopped.  A day and a half of drizzle and fog helped minimize
the damage, but the next day the bugs returned refreshed.

Thanks goodness that all if Maine is not like that first 60
miles.  The past two days have been wonderful as the skies have
been clear, and the bugs have been minimal.  Although the
weather has been a little hot...ok, very hot (90 degrees, 90%
humidity), I have been making good time.  After some rain today,
highs should return to the 70's.

I have seen or passed about 20 southbound hikers.  Several have
been struggling under the load of immense packs.  "DoubleStuff"
must be carrying 80 pounds.  First he has to clean and jerk his
pack and lean it against a tree, then he carefully threads each
arm through the shoulder straps.  Finally, he has something that
looks like a belly stabilizer he positions under the buckle of
his pack belt.  He is now armed for battle.  He is making 8
miles on a good day.

Five north-bounders have passed me.  All started in late January
or early February from Georgia.

Physically, my training hikes this spring have paid off.  I must
admit that I enjoy seeing the 20 year old's struggle under the
50 pound packs, while I "breeze" by.  The rolls will likely be
reversed in a few weeks.

My hiking partner right now is Mike from Reading, MA.  He
summitted Katahdin with me on June 9.  He is also traveling on
the light side.  We had a "100 mile week" that came to an end
today.  I probably won't have another one until Massachusetts.

Thank you again for all you hopes and prayers.


 06/09  Katahdin Stream CG     5.2  (+5.2 approach trail)
 06/10  Hurd Brook Lean-To    18.6
 06/11  Rainbow Stream LT     30.1
 06/12  Pataywadjo Sprng LT   48.3  (side trip for maildrop)
 06/13  East Branch LT        67.8
 06/14  W. Pleasant River     84.2
 06/15  Cloud Pond LT         95.4
 06/16  Leeman Brook LT      111.5
 06/17  Monson, ME           114.5

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