You may be wondering, “Eddie, what have you been up to? I haven’t seen an update for a while. Did you get stuck on Katahdin?”
No, I didn’t get stuck on Katahdin, although I have returned several times, thankfully in much better weather than on my thru-hike. It’s hard to sum up over a year in a blog post. To sum up, I’ve fallen in love with Maine. This started while trekking through Maine’s beautifully rugged mountains on my thru-hike. You may be able to tell in my videos that I was enthralled with the landscape, the remoteness, and particularly the people.
I still vividly remember many of the encounters with generous Mainers. Frank and Joe; Jeff and Tracy; Bean’s parents, Debbie and Willy; rafting day with Connor and Jim; Kathy and the camper in Monson. In particular, the 100 mile wilderness region captured my heart. I longed to return.
Once I gathered my senses a bit, I set my sights on returning to Maine. I had three goals: 1) return to Maine 2) work in an outdoor environment 3) work along the AT. Amazingly, all three of my goals worked out perfectly. From May to October of 2018, I lived in Monson, Maine working with the ATC as a ridgerunner.
Over the course of the summer and fall, I continued to fall in love with this area of Maine. The beauty and landscape speak for itself. However, it’s the people that make this community feel like home. The towns are small, and everyone knows everyone, or at least a someone who knows that other someone. People have each other’s backs. You walk into the local hangout, Lakeshore Pub, and before you sit down, you’ve received several hugs and there’s your go-to beer in your hand. Overall, Northern Maine runs on a different scale of time and life is pretty stress free.
After spending over five months here, I wanted to stay for the winter. This would be a true test to see if I would be able to survive living in Maine year-round. I didn’t just survive, I thrived.
I love Maine’s winter. Mornings routinely showed -10 or colder on the thermometer and only warmed up to maybe +10 in the afternoon. There’s plenty of snow. In fact, from December through mid-March, the lowest snowpack was 18 inches, and that was after a two day rain. For most of the winter, the snow total hovered around four feet. It sounds cold, because it is, but you do get used to it. On a warm, sunny 20-degree day, you find yourself doing outdoor chores in a t-shirt. All the snow transforms the landscape into Narnia. It’s absolutely beautiful. Despite the snow and cold, I still found plenty of ways to enjoy this wonderland. I snowshoed and hiked several mountains. I learned how to cross country ski. I even saw a dog sled race. I’m not sure which I like more, summers or winters. Or fall. Fall is gorgeous.
Spending the better part of the last year in Maine has been nothing short of amazing. Or should I say aMainezing? (I couldn’t resist that bad joke that stems from my days as an AT thru-hiker.) I want to stay there. Throughout the last year as my love for Maine grew, another passion continued to burn in the background. I set my sights on another long distance hike. This one longer, and in a landscape foreign to my east coast world.
I will hike the Pacific Crest Trail starting April 11, 2019.
More on that in an upcoming post. First, some photos.
I am a filmmaker. I am an adventurer. I believe in children. My friends are obsessed with my beard. I am obsessed with beer. I want to embrace and fully live this life I’m blessed with. I want to be known as someone who loves deeply.
On May 16, 2017 I set out on my dream, the adventure of a lifetime: a 2,189.8 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. I want to push people to live their dreams and pursue their passions.