WURL, And I think to myself...

9 years ago I moved to Alta.  Ever since, Ive stared up at these ridgelines in awe of mother earth.  Isnt she lovely?  I tried to run and scramble on as much of these rocks as I could.  By the end of the summer 2012, I realized I had done much of the route I had just recently heard of (The WURL).  In 2013, it was my goal to do the route in its entirety.  One weekend, I set off from Fergy and crested over sugarloaf and descended home.   Next morning, hiked up Baldy and finished the route.  Total time something like 36 hours with sleeping 8 hours in the middle.  I repeated a similar outing in 2015, “getting more comfortable with the route” I told myself.  But all out efforts on the AT, PCT, and a big ole bike tour, hindered feeling 100% in other years.  So last summer 2018, with no hinderances, I tried.
            First time.  Moving well, but fading a bit over baldy/hidden.  I got up Red Stack to see a big ol nasty dark cloud over Utah lake bearing down on me. I paused.  Threw up my ha…

AT17 - Day 7 - Notched

Day 7: 8/10 246.4-276.9 Full Goose
            Starting at 4:30, I made it up over moody in the cool morning.  Then up HallMountain and then Wyman.  Lots of climb on the course today.  I felt good, but these climbs are straight up and for the other part they are straight down.  It was tough on the legs.  I climbed up Frye and then started fading on the climb up Baldplate.  I decided to take a breather near the top and dry my feet out in the sun on the slab rock.  I reminisced about the last time I was here.  During Hurricane Arthur.  Where I was sitting nice and dry now, was just flowing water.  The rock was so slick, I fell many times and my body ached so much.  I guess weather makes a huge difference.
Down Baldplate and across Grafton Notch, I was able to grab a coke at the trailhead from a trail magic.  The climb up Old Spec is only 2,500feet up but it seemed like an eternity.  I was starting to get slightly nervous as I wanted to make sure I got through the Mahoosuc Notch befor…

AT17 - Day 6 - Adjusting

Day 6: 8/9 207.5-246.4 Cowboy Camp
            I got up 3:45 and made the climbs up over the Saddlebacks under cool even cold weather.  The top of Saddleback was windy and very cold, but the sunrise was gorgeous and put me in an excited mood.  The middle third of the day sucked.  Rolling flat with just heinous roots and rock as Maine has.  I was in a bad mood and my energy levels were all off (hypoglycemia, nausea, dizzy/lightheadedness).  I wasn’t freaking out, this has happened to me before on these hikes.  I speculate, you keep crossing thresholds of exogenous calorie (ingested as opposed to already stored in body) use and that insulin/glucagon system has to readjust to keep the blood sugar just right.  No big deal, your body figures shit out.
After crossing ME 17, I made the climb up Bemis mountain.  This put me in a better mood and the views up top were/are sensational.  I worked my way across the ridge and topped out OldBlueMountain right before sunset.  I decided I would make …

AT17 - Day 5 - Rhythm Forming

Day 5: 8/8 172.9-207.5 Cowboy Camp

            I snoozed from 3:33-535-6, because it was still raining, but eventually got out at 6:15.  I really enjoyed this day.  Bigelow is one of my favorites on the trail.  It was foggy at first but cleared up and was sunny the rest of the day.  The climbs and descents put me in a good rhythm and the time passed quickly.  I was really hoping to grab some cell service by Sugarloaf (often ski areas have cell service as a safety measure) but no luck.  The skies were clear, so I did not expect rain.   Which meant I would walk on and whenever I felt tired just lay down.  So that is what I did.  I actually highly like making camp this way.  Often times I can find a “bath tub” type spot.  One where the ground is up on both sides so I can have my feet elevated and my head up as well.  If I roll over on my stomach, which I often do, then the ground stretches out my hip flexors.  Hey, I believe the little things matter and soy loco.  I can then just sleep …

AT17 - Day 4 - A Big Low

Day 4: 8/7 136.5-172.9 Little Bigelow Lean-to
            I took off at 3:43, as I still wanted to get to Caratunk and on one of the first ferries across the Kennebec.  I arrived the the Caratunk Bunk house at 8:40 and grabbed my box.  Still no phone service, I logged into their wifi.  My heart sunk when I checked my SPOT.  I had no pings.  I thought for sure this must be an error.  I checked everywhere nothing.  I sent out a quick email to Bill and Matt to see if they had anything for me.  I was losing it.  I ate a snack and packed my bag.  I wanted to keep moving, I was feeling good.  Bill got back to me quick.  My take was, it was not the end of the world as long as I had other documentation, but also, that I could just start over.  I hastily decided to keep going.  Which, was the right choice for me.  But the SPOT loomed over my head.  I spent $150 on it, $150 on the service and probably about $100 more on batteries for it.  I also was not keen on carrying it because it was heavy…

AT17 - Day 2 & 3 Have't Found My Groove Yet

Day 2: 8/5 48.3-95.4 Cloud Pond Lean-to
            The pack already felt much lighter in the morning at 6:00 and I was able to run the last bit of flats before some very nasty punchy climbs.  The day became socked it, which kept me cool but the darkness drains my vitality.  I imagine it as a reverse “Lord of the Rings” While NoBo, I felt like Frodo heading into the darkness and destroying the ring.  SoBo, it feels more like I have cast the ring into the fires of Katahdin and am heading home to the Shire (Springer).  Lord of the Rings references already, losing it! Lost! Man this guy is loopy.  I was really hoping to get past the 100 mile mark today, but I failed to remember how difficult the climbs were in this area.  Feeling fatigued, I thought to call the day a bit early and stay near a shelter in case of a nasty storm.  As I was setting up my camp, it started to poor.  Then lightning flashed and thunder boomed.  Damn, exactly what I was worried about.  The trail quickly became f…

AT17 - Getting there - Day 1 - Ease Please

Joey Camps AT Thru Hike 2017 Trip Report
The goal of the hike was to have fun, experience some beauty, and ultimately see what my body could do!
The self-supported record for the AT is set by Heather "Anish" Anderson at 54days 7hours 48mins The supported record for the AT is set by Karl Meltzer at 45days 22hours 38mins
I will be traveling as a self-supported hiker, which means:
Walk into and out of resupply towns to purchase or pick up prepacked and mailed supplies. Hike as a backpacker, carrying all food and equipment between resupply towns. Follow the official AT route, no detours, road walks or alternates of any kind. Do not have anyone follow, or provide support in a prearranged manner. Do not get into a vehicle for any reason during the attempt. Honestly and thoroughly document the attempt. Practice Leave-No-Trace ethics.
I will be carrying a SPOT Trace and my Iphone for pictures and video, to document my trip.
Gear List: Pa’lante FKT Proto-type Pack SOL Escape Bivy Th…