Nature's Bakery Community

Mahoosuc Notch -The Hardest Mile on the Appalachian Trail

It's in the mountains of Western Maine that I first discovered how much I really loved the outdoors and in particular mountains. Mahoosuc Notch is part of the 2,160 mile Appalachian trail or the AT, that runs from Georgia to Maine. It also just happens to be ten minutes down the road from my hometown of Hanover, ME. What's so significant about this part of the AT is that it is considered to be the toughest mile of this hike that runs over 2,ooo miles!

AT 1

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Myself along with my friend Casey and my Alaskan Husky, Freja decided to give this part of the AT a go this Memorial day weekend. I have hiked some portions of the AT in this region over the years but had never entered from this point before. We came in from the west and hike about 3 miles in on the Speck Pond trail where we met up with the AT near our first destination the Speck Pond Campsite. I've hiked Old Speck in the past but I had never approached it from the Speck Pond trail before so this was a nice change. When we were heading to the trail head we noticed that the parking areas to every trail had been packed. We had assumed it might be difficult finding a place to pitch our tents because all the tent platforms would probably be taken by the time we arrived. Having lived out in Tahoe for a decade and now in Sweden I had forgotten how difficult it could be to pitch a tent in this region without a designated camping spot.

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Photo cred. Casey Butler

As it turns out people must of been scared off by the weather forecast because when we arrived at the campsite it was empty. There was a little rain and wind in the forecast which made viewing the lake a little difficult but the bugs were almost all gone and the temperature was perfect for hiking, especially for Freja(the husky).

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Casey had a two person tent and we decided would give it a go with the two of us and a dog in the tent. Fortunately Freja had no problem getting comfortable, although I'm not sure how much sleep the Casey and I actually got. I love this shot below, Casey couldn't resist snap this shot of Freja and I passed out in the tent. It was a little tight but it worked.

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Photo cred. Casey Butler

The next morning we awoke to a little rain. We decided we'd wait a bit to see if it let up. We were hoping to get a better view of the lake but unfortunately that was not the case. Eventually the rain did let up and we decided to make our way to the summit of Old Speck following the AT through some of the toughest terrain it has to offer. Freja, who's not exactly on voice command but usually is able to hike off the leash was grounded on this trip. Just a week before she decided to battle it out with a porcupine. One unanticipated and unwanted vet bill later and she was grounded to the leash. That's not too much of an issue except the recent rain and tough terrain made things a little interesting. Everybody knows husky's love to pull. That's great when your out on flat terrain but hiking up and down through boulder fields makes it a little challenging. Fortunately for me Freja and I had worked out a system that did not involve me falling on my but at any time. Thank you for that Freja!

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Photo cred. Casey Butler

It was still cloudy while we ventured up to the summit. Don't get us wrong, we loved the hike regardless of the view but we still hoped it would open up a little when we got to the top. As we headed up we saw some breaks in the clouds and started to get hopeful that we would be able to see more than just clouds. What we did see was just as nice as a bluebird day in my opinion!


Photo cred. Casey Butler

At the top of Old Speck 4,170 ft up you'll find an old fire lookout. Even if you're afraid of heights it's well worth the climb up. I think Casey would agree. It's also a great spot to snack on some Nature's Bakery Double Chocolate Brownie bars! Yeah, okay maybe it's only 8am but it's never too early for chocolate!

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Photo cred. Casey Butler

Yes, although it may be hard to believe I really did wake up looking like that! Smile for the camera, now Casey and I are even with not so flattering shots ;-).

Soon we headed down from the summit of Old Speck to route 26 where we had parked one of our cars. We found ourselves in the parking lot just as the sun came out. As nice as it is to have perfect sunny conditions I think I prefer what we got. Two days on the trail and we only ran into 5 people that were just passing by. For what felt like the first weekend of summer it was perfect. I can't wait to head out into the mountains again! Thanks to my friend Casey Butler who asked me to join and who also took most of the pictures. That was key in making sure I could manage my very hyper husky!

FWT Season Finale

My goal in 2016 was to win the Freeride World Tour. When I walked away from the first contest in Andorra I felt I was headed in the right direction. I had changed my style a bit from "Go big or go home" to a more consistent and maybe smarter style.

Things changed in Chamonix and I struggled with my new tactic. I had a line that I had won with in the past and then I had the slightly more conservative line with a higher success rate. Unfortunately, I couldn't decide between the two lines and I ended up...

Cranworx World Tour

I knew it would be a tall order, but putting myself in these positions is nothing new. I had been grinding away for six weeks to get my recently repaired shoulder back to fighting shape. Bicep, tendon and labrum had been demolished, so the surgery was well warranted. However, the timeline was stressful. Since the adoption of a big Slopestyle event in the Southern Hemisphere, our "off-season" became pretty non existent. What was a slower time reserved for getting caught up with family and the occasional photo shoot, was replaced with a March event and having to stay on...

My Favorite Playground – KALYMNOS 

Photo of Rannveig Aamodt. By: Nathan Welton. ( /

Coming to Kalymnos as a rock climber is like discovering Nirvana. It's a little island off the coast of mainland Greece and it might have the highest concentration of sport climbing routes anywhere in the world. The style of the rock climbing is varied but often very steep and three-dimensional. Many times I've found myself in an ocean of stalactites sticking out from the rock walls wondering which way to face my body. The broad...

The New Happy Hour: Social Fitness

I heard a term recently that I think is brilliant. It is “social fitness”. You may already be participating it from time to time without even knowing it.

Social fitness is getting together with a friend (or friends) to engage in some form of physical activity together. You are getting social and active at the same time! Perhaps you try a new yoga class, go for a walk in the park, or even coordinate a group game of sand volleyball. In a sense, it is the new happy hour.


Life after the 2015 Red Bull Rampage

I have remained fairly incognito regarding my recent surgery, but it was a pretty serious operation. My career has lasted 20 years since my first race without the need to repair anything from the wrists up. My shoulder has been nagging since a crash just before the 2015 Red Bull Rampage, where I tore my SC Joint, which is where the collarbone attaches to the sternum. It was dislocating every time I pulled up on the bars and kiiiiilling me, but I was able to compete in Utah...

Latest Posts

The Rest of Us

Nature's Bakery Ambassador Trevor DeRuiséNature's Bakery Ambassador Jaclyn PaasoNature's Bakery Ambassador Jay and AnikNature's Bakery Ambassador Rannveig AamodtNature's Bakery Ambassador Denis IsbisterNature's Bakery Ambassador The Vegan CyclistNature's Bakery Ambassador Jody StoopsNature's Bakery Ambassador Matt BalzerNature's Bakery Ambassador Kelsey and Jared WolfeNature's Bakery Ambassador Fit Mom DietNature's Bakery Ambassador Ty TremaineNature's Bakery Ambassador H24cyclingNature's Bakery Ambassador Timothy MuellerNature's Bakery Ambassador Jason MattickNature's Bakery Ambassador Jenna DramiseNature's Bakery Ambassador Bryon and NatashaNature's Bakery Ambassador Jeremy PondNature's Bakery Ambassador Nelly SteinhoffNature's Bakery Ambassador Truckee River OutsidersNature's Bakery Ambassador Kreitler Racing TeamNature's Bakery Ambassador Moxie MultisportNature's Bakery Ambassador Jerheme UrbanNature's Bakery Ambassador Alex MockNature's Bakery Ambassador Parker Heath



© 2018 Nature's Bakery All rights reserved     Privacy Policy     Terms of Use