"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
Attitude is everything and the magic happens for me when I decide to see the bright side.
I’m not a fast hiker. I don’t skim across rocks or fly down mountains (though I’m pretty good at churning up them). Maybe it’s because I’m short. Or because I fell down enough times that I’d rather be careful than have two black eyes.
I already know what that’s like.
While U-Turn and Blue Stem could burn up some miles over varied terrain, my strength, I discovered, was in the scrambling. I'm good at the parts where arms are required—cliffs, rebar steps, boulder piles.
So is it any wonder that the Mahoosuc Notch was my favorite mile of the entire trail?
The hardest mile?
Guthooks described Mahoosuc Notch as a “deranged jumble of rocks.” They’re the size of VW buses and yurts and they’ve fallen helter-skelter into a steep-walled ravine. It’s a magical place full of luscious moss and ferns. It smells like Christmas and water gurgles invisibly under the boulder maze.
There’s no way around but through, and to get through the maze, you’ll need some upper body strength, some big-girl panties and some puzzle-solving skills.
Navigating through Mahoosuc Notch may be frustrating if you’re dedicated to hiking three miles an hour no matter what. Here’s where seeing the bright side comes in handy.
Mahoosuc Notch is known up and down the trail as the hardest mile of the Appalachian Trail.
It’s also known as the funnest mile.