Maine Appalachian Trail Hike Day 1: Carlo and Goose Eye Mountains

Today we learned, and quickly I might add, why Maine is generally considered the toughest state on the Appalachian Trail. New Hampshire certainly is no slouch either, but I have to imagine through hikers coming in from NH quickly learn that the trail isn’t getting any easier for them. The log book we found in the Full Goose shelter certainly bears this true. Here’s one of the gems:

“None of us are going to make it to Katahdin, we’re all going to die in these [expletive] woods.” — Sampson

For the first several hours of the day, I shared Sampson’s sentiment. I certainly was starting to question my own sanity for signing up for three weeks of this. I didn’t budget for hiring a sherpa or renting an alpaca, but I was definitely considering applying for a small loan to make this happen. Then the weight of the pack seemed to get easier, just when, of all things, the trail got harder. Much. Much. Harder.

We did 6.6 miles today, admittedly a modest number, but it felt like twenty. From where the Carlo Col trail met up with the AT, it was 4.4 miles to the Full Goose shelter. The first two miles elapsed in a normal amount of time. The last two miles were the longest two miles known to man. Between the Mt. Carlo summit and the three peaks we crossed on Goose Eye there were large elevation losses/gains.

The use of the word “trail” through here is also deceiving. It is a well worn path connecting one rock embankment to the next. So, yes, if your name is Spider Man, it is a trail. For the rest of us mere mortals, it’s torturous fun.

Tomorrow we have the Mahoosuc Notch on tap, widely considered the toughest mile on the entire AT for its maze of boulders. Can’t wait. Seriously.

Mt. Carlo shelter on the Maine Appalachian Trail.

A quick pit stop at the Carlo shelter. This one was interesting because it was more enclosed than the other, more traditional lean-to huts.

View of Goose Eye Mountain from Mt. Carlo.
The uh-oh moment where we realized the distance between Carlo and Goose Eye was more than what we thought. The image doesn’t really capture the depth of the valley.


Note the pack. It’s heavy.

Climbing Goose Eye Mountain.

Mother Nature hates us. Why else would she wet the rocks?

A ladder on Goose Eye Mountain.
Dear AMC: thank you for the ladder.

View from the summit of Goose Eye Mountain.
Mike and Brad taking a break on Goose Eye Mountain. As you can see, they were thrilled I was taking another picture.

A tent platform on Goose Eye Mountain.
We got the presidential suite.

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Wow! You made it all the way to the bottom. If you enjoyed this article, please check out my book, Open Season: True Stories of the Maine Warden Service on Amazon or at www.wardenstories.com. You can also follow Northeast Hikes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as contribute to our sponsored Google+ Community.
4 responses to Maine Appalachian Trail Hike Day 1: Carlo and Goose Eye Mountains
  1. The Quicks says:

    Congrats on getting started! Hope Day 2 was easier. Excited to read about the rest of your journey!!!

  2. Christine Penney says:

    Love it Darren, Just keep reminding yourself that after tomorrow it will get easier…..
    Awesome adventure – enjoy every moment…..See you in three weeks…

  3. Nat Berry says:

    Great so far Daren. You should have brought Fran to carry your pack, and Brad looks so happy knowing there are only 3 weeks ahead !

  4. Missouri Health Inurance says:

    The site looks kinda bad on my phone =(:)

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