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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Holy frozen boots batman! it's cold out there.

Day 24

hiked today: 7.3
hiked total: 364.2
to katahdin: 1814.1

well, we are inside again. And I will tell you why...

We woke up at our normal 6:30 freezing cold. We both decided (without leaving our mummy bags mind you) that we would wait another hour until the sun came out. So we half slept until 7:30. As soon as we got out of our freezer, a.k.a. our tent which was lined in ice, we checked the temperature on my little thermometer, and it was less than 0 degrees. This is at 7:30 with the sun out! I can't even imagine what it was last night. We had our emergency blanket over us (for those of you who don't know, its essentially a large thick piece of tin foil that keeps all the heat in by being impenetrable by moisture, i.e. our heat doesn't evaporate out of it) but since it keeps all the moisture in, our bags usually get wet. However, our bags weren't wet this morning -- they were frozen. It was a tough morning to get out of camp. Our socks from the previous day were, no exaggeration, rock solid. Theres a picture of Andy holding up his that I just put up to prove it!

Anyway, the honey was frozen, but we had double hotchocolates again to keep our insides warm. So far it was a cold day, but nothing too crazy, until, that is, we tried to put on our boots. It honestly took us half an hour to put on our boots, they were frozen! we worked them, rubbed them, flexed them, and we couldn't move the laces or put our feet in. I finally got my feet in, but Andy was still having trouble. We almost brought out the stove to put it under the boots. eventually after a lot of pushing, Andy got them on. Once we got our boots on, our feet instantly froze. I was on my last pair of socks seeing as my other hiking socks were frozen, and everything we had was frozen (i.e. wet.) We were worried that tonight setting up camp would be bad with a frozen tent, frozen sleeping bags, and frozen clothes. Not only was tonight a concern, but in the morning when we really had to get dry clothes. We looked in our book and noticed there was a hostel not too far away. We instantly said we have to go there to at the very least dry out our clothes and bags. My pack had an inch of ice around the straps. It was a cold morning. We trudged through over a foot of snow to get to the gap. We called up Greasy Creek Friendly and made sure they were open and if there was anyway they could pick us up from the trail. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to leave the place, so we had to walk along the road until we got a ride.

Once we got to the road, we walked for about 10 minutes and a pick up truck passed us without stopping. About 5 minutes later, he came back around and told us to jump in the back -- so we did. He brought us to the hostel which was very nice of him, and although cold from riding in the back, it was much fun and very generous.

So we got to the hostel -- or Friendly as CC likes to call it (a parody on hostile.) She is a very sweet woman who lives out here and runs the place. She has been very nice to us and helped us with anything we need. We are warm and happy right now, and she even cooked us venison burgers -- for FREE! She has a crazy neighbour who puts up closed signs so hikers don't stop by, and apparently when he knows there are hikers here, he makes lots of noise in the mornings to wake them up and upset them. A lot of people have complained about it, but it's not her fault. She is very nice, and I would suggest this place to any hikers coming through. We are warm, happy, and eating well. We may stay tomorrow night to wait and see if some snow melts. It is incredibly difficult to walk through knee high snow all day. 17 miles is a lot of miles, but nothing we can't do, and yesterday it took us 10 hours! That is way too long.

Anyway, we are happy right now and although we wish we could be pushing out the miles, we know that it would be dangerous. Yesterday was border-line dangerous... actually Andy just corrected me and said it WAS dangerous.

Andy says thank you for all the birthday wishes! Although it may not have been the most 'normal' birthday, it is definitely one of the most memorable.