From Monson, Maine to the base camp at Katahdin there is a stretch of trail called the 100-Mile Wilderness. On this section of the A.T. there are no towns and only a few road crossings. There is a Caution Sign posted at the trail head just beyond Monson that serves a sobering reminder to hikers concerning the realities of the journey ahead. The sign reads:
“Caution: There are no places to obtain supplies or get help until ABOL BRIDGE 100 miles north. Do not attempt this section unless you have a minimum of 10 days supplies and are fully equipped. This is the longest wilderness section of the entire A.T. and its difficulty should not be underestimated. Good Hiking!” MATC
I have read that the first forty miles are more strenuous than the last sixty. Research has also revealed that there is a very unique resupply area at White House Landing (about 1 mile off the trail) at the 70 mile mark. After taking the side trail off the AT, the hiker will come to a wooden dock on a lake. There is an air horn on the dock. The hiker blows the air horn and waits. Soon a motor boat arrives and escorts the hiker to White House Landing. You can spend the night there ($39/bunk) which includes an AYCE (all you can eat) breakfast or you can just stop for a meal and a resupply. Hopefully, White House will give a boat ride back to the dock. I am sure that the resupply will be expensive but it might be imperative depending on my situation.
It is somewhat difficult to strategize this section but here is my Plan A and my Plan B. Plan A is a five day hike with a resupply at the beginning of Day 4. Plan B is a six day hike with a resupply for breakfast on Day 5. Right now my plan would be to hike into the wilderness with a lean 6-day food menu in case I can’t make it to White House in 5 days. Here’s the potential agenda:
Plan A: Day One – 19.1 miles; Day Two – 19 miles; Day Three – 24.6 miles (This is the challenge day); Day Four – with a stop at White House): 23.7 miles; Day Five – 15 miles to resupply and then on to Katahdin Stream Campground – 25 miles for the day.
If I find I cannot make 19 miles on the first day, Plan B falls into place: Day One – 15.1 miles; Day Two -15.2 miles; Day Three – 16.4 miles; Day Four – 19.5 miles; Day Five – including a stop at White House 20.2 miles; Day Six – 15 miles to resupply and on to Katahdin Stream Campground – 25 miles
It is quite difficult to plan today what I will able to do after hiking 2000 miles. I know this – I will be much more confident when I get to Monson and make my final Plan C (C for Confident).
Air Horn Photo: http://papabearnewyork.com/papabear/AT2004_Maine_Adventure.html
Wilderness Sign: http://news.runtowin.com/2011/06/20/maines-100-mile-wilderness.html