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Gutsy Journals from August 22nd to August 28th

>As you all know, Gutsy finished at Katahdin on the 29th and then made up the
>sections around Hanover that she missed on the 2nd. I just received her
>journals yesterday on her hike through the 100 mile wilderness in Maine. She
>saved her journal on the ascent of Katahdin to post herself. Congratulations
>again to an AT Thru-Hiker who certainly earned her trail name!
>Thursday, August 22nd
>Two big happenings: 1) I'm in the 100 mile wilderness and 2) I have less than
>100 miles to go! We, Geo, Guiness, and I, were planning on camping at the
>Long Pond Stream Lean-To but 20 girls are there, so we're camping near the
>water. It's beautiful here. There have been several beautiful waterfalls and
>cascades along the way. 
>So much for the term "wilderness"! We met a family coming out of the
>wilderness and they indicated that during their 3 day stay, they  counted 90
>people! Someone said we would even see day hikers in a couple of places in
>the wilderness. 
>My pack is the heaviest it's ever been. I'm carrying lot's of food plus a
>tent. Pack weighs almost 40 lbs. I hope I can get the weight down soon.
>Friday, August 23rd
>Hiked to East Chairback Pond and camped. Ross and Matt have joined us and in
>fact camped with us last night. A day ahead, about 10 younger thru hikers
>have banded together for the finale. Guiness thinks he may be the 1st man
>from Ireland to thru hike the AT. He keeps us laughing all the time. He even
>makes the mostly solemn Geo smile!
>The climbs today were hard but I did them and still had some energy left. It
>rained today so there weren't many views. I hope the sun comes out tomorrow
>so we can dry things out.
>Saturday, August 24th
>Hiked over Gulf Hagas Mtn., Hay Mtn., and White Cap. White Cap had the best
>views. I think the next mountain we climb will be Katahdin. We lunched at the
>Carl A. Newhall Lean-To where we tried drying some of our wet stuff. It had
>rained before we got settled last night and things got wet. 
>Heard the group ahead of us,(I think they were slackpacking), had an accident
>with their rental car, so maybe we'll see them again. 
>We're at Logan Brook tonight. We're calling ourselves the "G-Force" for
>Gutsy, Guiness, and Geo. I think it may also stand for "geriatric". The days
>seem so long because I am ready for this hike to be over.
>Sunday, August 25th
>Last night I dreamed I was shopping ( I usually despise the activity), but I
>was having a wonderful time! I woke up at 6 and told Guiness my dream and he
>told me to go back to sleep so I wouldn't wake Geo. Before I did, I asked
>Guiness if I could use his credit card.
>It was a beautiful day today. The sun was shining and a cool, dry wind was
>blowing. We, Guiness, Geo, Matt, Ross, and I, stopped at Crawford Pond, which
>has a sand beach, and ate lunch. All of us went into the water, and some more
>than others. I went in clothes and all, since everything needed cleaning. The
>water wasn't exactly warm!  Letitbe wrote in a shelter register that
>Katherine broke her arm on the rockpile right after Chairback Mountain. Geo
>thinks that was the "Esther" of the "Polly and Esther" thru hiking duo. She
>already had a sprained foot. Geo noticed that they hadn't been writing in
>recent registers, so he assumes it was she. They had always signed the
>register with something witty all the way from Springer. It's so important to
>be careful, especially with the end so close. Today I slipped at a water
>crossing, but was fortunate that I only got a little wet. 
>People kept telling me that the terrain would get easier, but I don't listen
>because even now, the terrain requires work. It may look flat on the
>profiles, but what one doesn't see is all the roots and rocks. I said after
>being sick that I wouldn't do anymore 20's and I haven't and won't. The
>desire to do big miles is gone.
>Monday, August 26th
>I saw Katahdin today from the Jo Mary Lake! It was big and very much like the
>pictures. Tonight, we're camping on a sandy beach by the Nahmakanta Lake.
>Unfortunately, it's raining at the moment. On 39 miles to go! 
>Hiking today was fairly easy--nice and level.One section did have a lot of
>roots to climb over...plus lot's of mud. Found out that Esther did indeed
>break her arm---in fact, a very bad break that required surgery. Polly
>probably finished up today. 
>It's midnight and it's still raining. I got up to go to the bathroom and now
>all my bug bites are itching, so I can't go back to sleep. Guiness arrived at
>8 pm, after doing 15 miles after 11 am.(He had Keith Shaw bring him a 1/2 way
>food drop). He was in good spirits and cheered us all up.
>I forgot that Michael Lanza, an outdoor columnist in the New England area, is
>camping here with 2 friends.
>The spring here is an interesting one. The water runs through the sand into
>the lake(this body of water is actually called a lake and not a pond!). You
>dig a hole, and the water fills it and then you scoop it out and it's cold,
>clean water too. (We treat it anyway)
>We met Stampy and Flatliner and their son, who were hiking southbound in the
>wilderness today. We have't seen any of our other friends today. We may catch
>them coming down Katahdin. Saw Bob, the River Bum (Pa-->Me). He was also
>getting a food drop with Guiness.
>Swan, who calls herself the Oreo Slug is hiking naked, so has made herself
>the talk of the trail. No one seems impressed, though. She just turned 18 and
>is very immature. 
>Later still (2:31 am)...
>Got up to go to the bathroom (again!) and let in another batch of no-see-ums.
>I spent 15 minutes earlier trying to chase them down and kill them and now
>I'm repeating the process. It's difficult to believe that such a tiny
>creature can have such a ferocious bite. How do they do it? Some of the
>beauty here in Maine is dimmed by the many varieties of blood-thirsty pests.
>I don't remember this many bugs when I used to live in the Amazon jungle!!!
>Just about everyone, but me, bathes themselves in 100% DEET. I wear long
>pants and try to bear it.
>Tuesday, August 27th
>Last night, I didn't sleep well, so I was pretty tired all day. Around lunch,
>I decided to stop for a nap because my thoughts were such that I would rather
>die than hike. I rested at the Wadleigh Stream Lean-To. Lord Bacon, who left
>the same day as I at Springer, was there. He had flip-flopped and still had
>600 miles to go. I slept and then hiked to Rainbow Pond, arriving after dark.
>Geo and Guiness forgot to put a note on the trail for me (they said they
>would), so I hiked too far, ending up in a bog. I decided that I couldn't
>navigate the bog in the dark, and it would be best to just camp by myself at
>the lake where I could at least get a bath. When I went back, I called out a
>bit, and found them.(I can't wear my prescription sunglasses after dark, so I
>really can't see after dark.) That's why I missed them.
>Wednesday, August 28th
>Here we are at Baxter State Park, specifically Daicey Pond. The mountain is
>beautiful over the lake.I went out in a canoe after dark ( the moon is full).
>That was fun. Tomorrow is our big day of hiking. Polly is here , as is
>Sundog, Skye, and two Austrailians. I think Geo and Guiness and I are the
>only ones of this group doing Katahdin.
>The cascades and the waterfalls were beautiful on our walk from Abol Bridge
>to here.
>Thursday, August 29th
>Gutsy will post her thoughts on this last day. She should be home on
>Thursday, Sept. 5th.