07-21-2018. Day 137. 15.9 miles. Monson, Maine to Bald Mountain Stream. (703.5 + 130.4 = 833.9 + 8.8 = 842.7 Miles)

On the Trail Again

It was time to get back on the trail again. Jed, Zak, and Fallon were all refreshed and I was ready. I needed to get rid of that feeling that was always present after a stop. The feeling of my body not wanting to do this again. It always took at least two miles. Today we hoped to get more than 14 miles in so that we would have a significant chunk of the mileage done to Caratunk.

Another big breakfast at Shaw’s and then I joined Zak and Fallon as we went to the Post Office to mail extra equipment home. The Post Office was open at 0730 on a Saturday morning. Walhalla’s Post Office should take lessons from them,

Buck Hill View

We managed to get one more view of the mountains from Buck Hill before dropping down onto Hebron Pond next to Monson. Over the next 15 miles we had to ford both the East and West branches of the Piscataquis River. Both involved removing our socks and boots and putting on our Crocs.

The hike around Lake Hebron brought mosquitoes but more importantly the sound of loon whose calls echoed across the lake as a light mist rose from the water.

My How Time Passes

This section of hiking was easy and it gave me a moment to think about all that had happened on this trip. It also allowed me time to think about all of my previous hikes and travels. Coincidentally as I was typing this one of those Facebook remembrance moments popped up on my screen. 14 years ago on this date Whitney, Tory and I were exploring the United Kingdom. What a wonderful trip that was! Somehow my hair has become a bit gray now and my children have grown into well rounded responsible adults who have retained their desire to roam the world. I am truly blessed!

Spoons Reunion: Formerly Bear Bait

In the afternoon I finally ran into Spoons and One-T. It was great to see her once again. Our original tramily had endured the worst of conditions way back in March and April. Those days were now just a memory but they had served to make hardened veterans of us. She was one of the 25% +- who were still hiking. Now she had only about 125 miles to go. I’m so very proud of her.

We Didn’t Spend a Lot of Time Together

In spite of our shared closeness there was no time to spend a lot of time together. What had happened before was history so there was no reason to rehash it. She was hiking with One-T and I with Jed. All four of us had survived the wintry hike and were still hiking…… nuff said. Promises were made to find one another again after the hikes were done.

Spoons, Defib, and One-T

I really liked Spoons hiking companion. He was immediately likable with a positive outlook and smile that was ready to appear at every moment. It was good to know that she was sharing the trail with him. As I entered his name in my notes he told me that his first name was Bennet……. spelled with one T. He obviously had to make that correction many times…. his trail name is now One-T.

Before I knew it the sun was setting. We were going to stealth camp. We crossed Bald Mountain Stream before climbing Bald Mountain. Among the many downed trees Zak and Fallon found a relatively clear spot to pitch our tents. Within moments the tents were up and supper was prepared. The night was spent on wonderfully soft ground cover. 15.9 miles had been hiked. If we could get 15 miles the next day we would have a short six or seven miles into Caratunk, Maine. That was important……. we did not plan on staying there other than to resupply. But…….. it was on the Kennebec River. A river you could not ford … it would be a canoe ferry…. and they only operated from 9 am to 2 pm. Timing would be essential to avoid a NERO.

At that point in order to ‘hike on’ we would first have to ‘paddle on’.

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