We Could Barely Make It Back To the Sign
The next morning found us feeling the difficulty of Katahdin. Our bodies ached from the climb the day before. Bitcoin had set up his hammock (“Yeah I’m feeling it man”) next to our shelter and he moved out first. Unfortunately he didn’t have much of a sense of direction and was last seen heading off toward China.
It was going to be a two mile hike up the dirt road before we would even reach the AT. My brain worked on finding a way to count the mileage on this hike but it failed…..it would remain uncounted….
Into The Evergreen Needled Forest Trail
We first had to return to the ranger station. I gave Mark one of my hiking sticks the night before to help him get out. Of course we thought that he was going to be with us. Luckily my pole was there on the porch minus Mark. He did not have a camping registration…. had he been drug away by the ranger gestapo and placed in permanent detention hall?
Pole in hand we crossed the river and found Fallon who was still happy after a night at an overflow site. She had realized that her pack was about a zillion pounds overweight so she went to the ranger station to leave hiker gifts in order to lose pack weight.
While she was gone Zak, Amy, Alex and his wife Allison arrived. They had teamed with Fallon the day before and planned to hike together. Jeb and I moved off into the forest.
With This Forest You Get Mud Bogs and Walkways
Each day you find yourself rather stiff for the first few steps but that feeling is soon gone as you force yourself along the trail. Sometimes you are raring to go…. other days…. not so much. Maine is a State of many ponds and we were about to see a string of them. I was on moose watch….actually I have been all my life without success. Maybe this trip will provide an actual sighting!
We booked it through the thick forest balancing our way along beams over the bogs where necessary. Any assist out here is greatly appreciated!
The day seemed to promise relatively easy hiking. A series of ponds was in our near future and that seemed just fine after Katahdin the day before.
By 09:30 we came upon Grassy Pond which provided this beautiful view of a serene setting with the mountains that we had viewed from above yesterday in the background. The only thing missing was the moose along the shore’s edge.
This Moose Was A Groomin
In another mile we came upon Daicey Pond. A path led from our trail to the waters edge and out of curiosity I followed it to the waters edge. I was looking at lily pads when I realized that the water’s edge was saturated with moose hair. I had stumbled upon a moose salon. No moose today but I was a step closer…….moose hair viewing without the moose was now on my accomplishment list for life.
I turned after this wonderful discovery and returned to the trail. Within feet I came upon my next of life’s highs…..moose poop….. life is beyond good.
Daicey Pond View of Katahdin
Jed and I hiked to the other side of Daicey Pond and came upon a small parking area. We took a short break and soon a fly fisherman approached us. They only allow fly fishing here (I know not why). “You really need to go up this hill and walk through the library and sit on the porch.” What??? Poor delusional Maine fly fisherman dude. This is a Wilderness!!!!! What library????
Thinking that both Jed and I were suffering from advanced trail brain we decided that we better not take the chance that we had heard him incorrectly. He could have possibly said that there was an ice cream shop out here in the wilderness. Just to make sure we left our packs on the side of the gravel road and slowly hiked up the dirt road.
We were rewarded with these views of Katahdin. One fellow was out on the lake attempting to fly fish from a canoe but the amount of swatting of his face said that he was mostly catching mosquitoes. He finally rowed to shore, pulled his canoe up and walked passed us. “Stinking mosquitoes ” he muttered as he returned to his cabin.
And Yes…..There Was a Library
🎼Just walk right in; it’s around the back; just a half a mile from the railroad track; you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant”.🎼. Or…… in this case walk right in, go through and out the back…… sit right down on the porch for a beautiful view.
The Kid and Soulshine
A half a mile later we came upon our first NOBO hikers. Husband and wife team from Canada. They were more than ready to finish their hike.
Grab On….. Hold on Tight
Nature continues to fascinate me.
The day itself felt casual but I was still pretty tired from the mountain hike the day before. We were rapidly working our way toward the Penobscot River.
Big Niagra Falls
No…… this was not the real Niagra Falls…..but it was a sign that we were rapidly closing the gap to the beginning of the 100 mile wilderness. That began at 15.2 miles.
Sketch and Doodle
One of the problems of being so far behind is the fact that I just don’t remember the details of these pictures. I did take videos of these crossings and they show both of us bobbling along from rock to rock ready to fall in at any moment.
As we approached Abol Store it was evident that we were not going to have much more gas left to go any further. If we stopped there we would only have 10 miles of the AT plus 2 miles of hiking or 12 miles hiked. For this decent terrain I was not pleased with that but my legs were shuffling.
Appalachian Trail Maintenance Workers
On the last mile to the store we passed this crew of young men all involved in trail maintenance. I stopped for a bit and talked to the leaders about their system of keeping the trails useable.
The Beavers Stopped Ne For The Night
Finally we reached the highway. Paint Splash and Walker were passed again as they stopped for their type of refreshment. I hit the gravel road with defeated legs. The store was in sight. A cold drink and perhaps a burger was in my near future. As I approached I found Fallon, Zak, Amie, Alex and Allison sitting on the walkway of the store. “The store is closed ” they informed me. It was many hours before closing. “They have no power”. I looked around. There were no power lines anywhere . We were at the beginning of the wilderness. 100 feet down the road sat two large generators….. both sat quiet.
Zak offered me half of his sandwich and Fallon offered me the rest of her Dr. Pepper. “I promise that I don’t have herpes!” she smiled broadly. I took both gratefully.
They were going to hike on to the next shelter 3 1/2 miles away. I didn’t think that I could hike 3 1/2 feet. Across the street was a State of Maine Campground that appeared nearly deserted. That would be our home for the night. First though we asked the shop owner for help with a ride to Millinocket 4 Miles away. “No”. How about a ride far enough to get a cell signal to call a shelter. “No”. How bout camping on the grounds. “No”. It wasn’t polite “No’s”. They were short clipped no intention of further conversation “No’s”. I held my anger. Jed and I hiked across the street and found a shelter right on the river. It was empty. To our right was a group of young girls camping who all seemed enjoy sitting around together on the ground outside the privy. That confused us. Maine was a little weird. I thought that maybe it would be better tomorrow.
What I didn’t know was that that tomorrow would bring a reuniting with Zak, Fallon, Alex, Allison and Amie. It would be the beginning of a great tramily through the 100 mile wilderness. Together we would hike on. But that was tomorrow.