Written by: Brandon "Monkey" Imp
We are less than two weeks away from Katahdin, and our negative-NH mentality has been completely flipped upside down. We are happy, healthy, and looking forward to re-entering society. While hiking, I got to thinking about the best way to prepare myself for society. What do I do in society that I do not do on the Appalachian Trail? Well, a lot. A whole lot. But to keep it simple, lists. I love lists. I love being organized, whether the organization is in my head, on a bookshelf, or written on a piece of paper.
The first list I made in my head was based on my surroundings - easy and convenient. What has the Maine terrain offered that we have seen infrequently on the trail?
1. Wind. Above treeline in Maine, we are practically blown over! I was filmed being held up by the wind while wearing my pack - that's how strong the wind is up there.
2. The bouldering of Mahoosuc Notch. This notch (aka a valley) is one mile long on the AT and filled with boulders and ice caves. We have climbed over rocks before, but this was straight-up bouldering with a full pack. The one mile stretch took us two hours to get through - tough but fun!
I began making more and more lists. Most of them were trivial (favorite actors, best musical numbers, listing the 50 states) but some were constructive. One of them is the Katahdin 5 - the five things I want to do on the summit. Crying on top of, punching, and hugging the sign were givens, so they are not included.
THE KATAHDIN 5
2. Photo shoot the 8 rasa.
3. Recite "Oh The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss.
4. Shave a new mohawk.
Number 5 has not been established yet, so I am open to suggestions. I was considering "Watch other thru-hikers reach the summit," but 1. we might be the last of the day and 2. that is creepy.
The other four have to be worked on, but they are solidified.
1. Champagne - is it legal to have alcohol in Baxter State Park? I must look into this.
2. The photo shoot - Adbuhta, Sringara, Bhayanaka, Bibhatsa, Vira, Hasya, Karuna, Raudra - eight Sanskrit words that I learned in a theatre technique called RasaBoxes. They are kind of the "flavor" of emotions, so I plan on having a photo taken of each one on Katahdin. Later in life, no matter the mood I feel, I will have a photo to suit me.
3. Dr. Seuss - I began memorizing it in VA and haven't done much since. Must finish it and recite it!
4. Mohawk - because I love it.
Lists lists lists! Society, I'm coming back!