“CAUTION: It is 100 miles south to the nearest town at Monson. There are no places to obtain supplies or help until Monson. 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 AT and its difﬁculty should not be underestimated. Good Hiking!”
From Eileen: This is the sign that greeted Tori Barrow on July 1st as she, four friends and two counselors from Alford Lake Camp in Maine began their journey through the 100 Mile Wilderness, just part of their 300+ mile summer trek on the Appalachian Trail southbound from Mt. Katahdin through to New Hampshire. Tori is a rising high school sophomore, and her trail name is Tinkerbell. We are looking forward to learning how she got that name! Tori hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness in Rick’s name, sending letters along the way:
Mr. Marks & family,
Hi! I’m not sure if you remember me (he does), but I remember you teaching me in children’s chapel and just around in church very well. I am so excited to hike the 100 mile wilderness in your name, and wish you the best of luck on the rest of your trip. To give you some background on my trip, it is out of Alford Lake Camp and is a 7 week trip that goes from Katahdin to the Mahoosuc Range. I am with 4 other kids, their names are Cate, Rae, Jonah and Andrea. I talked to them and they all said that they will hike the 100 mile wilderness for you and raising awareness for ALS. The first thing we did was Katahdin. It was 10 miles and we hiked up Hunt Trail and down Abol Trail. The next day we went from Katahdin Stream campground to Abol Pines State Campsite (9.9 miles). The next day we entered the 100 mile wilderness and hiked about 4 miles to the Hurd Brook lean-to. The next day we hiked to Rainbow Stream lean-to. It was covered in moss and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. That was 11.1 miles. Today we hiked 8 miles over Nesuntabunt Mountain to Wadleigh Stream lean-to. The views so far have been 100% worth the blisters and knees and mosquito bites, same as I assume from what I saw of your blog before I left. Once again my group (AMT XLIII) and I are absolutely ecstatic to hike for you and ALS. Best of luck for the rest of your hike. Hopefully we will run into each other on the trail.
in the same letter:
Hi! I’m Cate! I’m hiking AMT with Tori. She has told us about you and it’s so cool you are hiking the AT! Just from my 5 days of hiking I’m amazed at people who are hiking! I’m so happy to support you and ALS! Good luck
Dear Mr. Marks & family,
These past few days in the 100 mile wilderness have been fairly flat, with the exception of today and yesterday. After sending the letter that I last wrote you on our last food/gear re-supply, we hiked to Nahmakanta Stream campsite and then to Antlers campsite (7.8 miles) the next. This was beautiful, as it was on Lower Jo-Mary Lake and had a sand beach on the way, which we had lunch at and swam/washed off. The next day we hiked to Cooper Brook Falls lean-to which was a 7.9 mile hike. After that we went to Logan Brook lean-to which was my favorite because unlike the other campsites, there were almost NO bugs and the privy was nice. That was yesterday. Today we only hiked 5.4 miles to Sidney Tappan campsite but there was a lot of elevation change which my legs were not used to. Best of luck on the rest of your hike.
Mr. Marks & family,
Hi from the 100 mile wilderness (actually we just finished it today!). We just finished hiking the Chairback Range and it was beautiful. We hiked 9.5 miles yesterday and 12 today. All the ponds are beautiful, and the views from above the tree line (especially toward the end) are amazing. I hope your hike is going well. A highlight (or lowlight) was getting an ENORMOUS leech in West Chairback Pond. It was like a snake coiling around my leg. Right now I am in Leeman Brook lean-to enjoying my sleeping bag. Hope to see you on the trail.
Hey Mr. Marks & family,
Thanks for the note and bracelets and hat. I’m a little rushed (at resupply) but I really hope to see you on the trail. Happy hiking,
in the same letter:
Hi Rick! My name is Anarea. I’m the Spanish girl on AMT with Tori. She told me about doing the 100 mile wilderness for ALS & I joined her immediately. The 100m wilderness was hard, full with mosquitoes everywhere but so worth it!
p.s. we got the bracelets, they are awesome
Hi! My name is Rae, and I’m also hiking with Tori this summer. I hope you’re having an amazing hike and I hope to see you on the trail. We got the ALS bracelets and the whole trip is wearing them. Happy Trails!
Hello – I’m Jonah and I’m another member of Tori’s group. I think what you’re doing is really admirable and I’m proud to be a part of it. Good luck on the rest of your hike!
From Eileen: Thank you Tori, Cate, Anarea, Rae and Jonah for hiking this key section of the AT for Rick. We are very grateful for your help in raising awareness of ALS, and especially for your kind words and encouragement!