I jokingly crawled into Maine from New Hampshire. The White's behind me and the mud traps before. They say not to discount southern Maine. I've found this to be true. Maine is a rugged as it is beautiful.
My first order of business, the Mahousuc Notch. This notch is a boulder field in a tight canyon about a mile long. I arrived after nearly a full day of hiking. My goal was still 5 miles out. I'd decide after the Notch not to continue.
I paused at the southern end of the space for water and to reset my gear. I knew from the multiple climbs of the day two poles is a liability of safety. One can help me balance, push up, and stabilize for other hops.
I felt over all the hardest mile was the funnest. I can't describe the joy of rock hoping with a 40lbs pack over some spaces to make heart attacks a viable option. To crawling through narrow spaces that make the Lemon Squeezer of NY seem like a 4 lane highway. I hooted and hallered my way around enjoying myself as if I was playing on the boulder fields above Red Pine Lake (Little Cottonwood Canyon).
For the hardest mile, I think the last mile of each day is the hardest. That day I did wrap up by pulling into camp with half a dozen other NoBo's who chose to call it short for the day. I found a hang on a common tree with another hammocker.
The following day, I began the climb up the Mahousuc Arm. I climbed up sticky rock chutes. Not true chutes as one think of terrain traps of the Wasatch more like sections of treeless paths 5 to 15 feet wide and 100 to 300 feet long. I'd place a foot one up above the other straight up 30 degree angle. I loved getting to the top of each to see the view behind me except the view I had clouds and mist.
Loving getting to Maine. I reached 1900 miles hiked, the final State of the hike, and the "hardest mile.". I can say that the trail's rewards are fantastic.