Thursday, 19 June 2008

AT: Before the start

The famous sign on top of Katadin
Back in Dekalb with Raru I went through my stuff and started distributing it around the US by sending out parcels. I went to Chicago, spent an afternoon in the Chicago Art Institute and stayed at an airport hotel overnight because my flight to Bangor left early in the morning. And then all started to go wrong... The flight was overbooked and I was assigned to a different flight. I was shit scared about my checked bag! And of course they fucked up my reservation on their computer system and I had trouble getting on my new flight.... But in the end everything worked out. I arrived in Bangor and my bag was there - I could have kissed the Continental Airlines ground personnel when they handed me my backpack.

I then had my first experience of trail magic. I tried to find the bus stop and asked at the information desk which was coincidentially staffed by 2 German women. They took pity on me and gave me a ride straight to the bus station and a shopping mall where I could do all my resupply for the first stretch of the AT. I have met the first AT hikers already in the bus to Millinocket but I was not impressed. None of them seemed like an experienced long-distance hiker.

First AT signpost in Baxter State Park
The hostel in Millinocket is offering thruhiker specials that I am taking advantage of. They pick you up at the bus stop, shuttle you to the hostel where you stay the night. And the next day you are shuttled to Baxter State Park after a huge breakfast. Good arrangements and nice hostel. Right now I am in the hostel in Millinocket and will get a shuttle into Baxter State Park in the afternoon. Tomorrow I will summit Kathadin. And guess what: It is raining......

1 comment:

Axel Magard said...

>>> None of them seemed like an experienced long-distance hiker. <<<
This reminds me of the book 'Picknich mit Bären' ('A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail') by Bill Bryson, an excellent and funny read about his attempt to do the Appalachian Trail.
It is amazing how many start this adventure without having every hiked before. I guess that is the optimistic attitude of Americans.