Blogs 110-80

Day 106...Reunited

Kate and The Kid Reunited

Kate and The Kid Reunited

I set my alarm for 5:30 am. It was twenty minutes later than I have been waking up lately. At some point very early in the morning, it couldn't have been later than 3 am I heard a big truck, it sounded like a semi-truck go by on the dirt road by my tent. I woke and moved my equipment searching to find my watch to check the time. I could not find it in the darkness, so I went back to bed. When I woke up the next time, it was 6:30 am. It turned out that I had covered my watch when I was looking for it and slept right through the alarm.

I needed to hike 17 miles to get to Abol Bridge, the end of the 100 Mile Wilderness, and where I was going to meet up with my family. We were planning to meet up around 2:00 pm. I arrived at 1:45. It turned out that there was a bit of confusion about what time we were suppose to meet, and they arrived to meet me around 2:30.

I had a very late lunch at a small restaurant near the bridge. The rest of my family had already eaten, then we headed to their cabin, where I took a shower and we made an early dinner of pancakes and eggs. My Dad drove up to the Baxter State Park to get some more information about rules for hiking up Katahdin, not an easy place to hike, and there was a big concern that we would be able to hike together on Saturday.

I probably should tell you who is in my family. Starting with my oldest sibling Bonnie (she is married to Riley, aka Gas Tank) who hiked with Plant and I in the Shenandoah’s, Kate - she hiked with me for the first 13 days of the AT from Georgia to South Carolina, Max who hiked with me for 12 days from Vermont to Mahoosuc’s Notch, Maine, Jonathan 12, Joshua 10 and my Mom and Dad.

Dad came back with the information that the only way we could hike together, would be for us all to get started at the Abol Bridge, 10 miles out of Baxter State Park.

Miles 17.0

Stealth Camp to Big Moose Lodge

Looking out over Moose Lake

Looking out over Moose Lake

Day 105... A little bit closer now...

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When I woke up, I packed up my gear as quick as I could so that I could get as much hiking in as possible today. It was another beautiful day for hiking. The terrain was very nice with the exception of a few bogs. Thankfully, on top the first mountain, I had enough cell signal to send in the blog; something I had been worried about in the 100 Mile Wilderness, due to not having any really tall mountains to climb until Katahdin.  Mt. Katahdin looms larger and larger ahead as I hike.  It really rises high above the adjacent hills.

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This morning, I was able to keep a good pace of 3 miles an hour. By lunch, I had hiked a little less than 18 miles. While I was stopped for lunch (at a shelter), a couple walked up just to check things out. They did not look like they had been out for a hike. Later on, I came to little cove, and there was a boat tied up there.  I think it was the couple's boat: otherwise, they would haved to hike 10 miles and they did not look like could have done that.

Today, I saw only a couple more people than yesterday, making it a grand total of eight.

Lately, I have been stealth camping a lot. Stealth camping is the AT term for not camping in an official shelter or campsite. Since it gets dark enough to need a headlight around 7:30pm, and due to the fact I have been going as far as I can hike each day; the shelters often don't end up being in the right places.  The shelters and campsites are many times either too close or too far to make it before dark. Tonight, for instance, I was to considering going to the nearest shelter, but it would have been about 8 pm before I would have arrived.

On one hand, I enjoy staying in the shelters so that I can visit with other hikers. It is a lot of fun to learn about their story as there are many interesting people on the trail. The bad part of staying at shelters is that it is hard to go to bed early. The shelters are small and you end up staying up with the others until they are ready to settle down.  Also, there is a lot of snoring and other sounds in the night that makes it harder to get a good night of rest.  

On the other hand, stealth camping offers a lot of peace and serenity which is good, but you do miss sharing good stories and learning about other's experiences on the trail.  Since I did not need the extra miles today, I set up camp near a nice brook. Besides having about 1000 mosquitos swarming around, it was a lovely little spot. 

Miles 33.0

Stealth camp site to stealth camp site 

Location: Latitude: 45.77932, Longitude: -69.17310 

Day 104...Goal in Sight

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Around 1:30 am it started to rain and I mean really rained. It was very loud and I was glad that I had staked down my tent properly. The down pour kept up for 3 hours. I stayed nice and dry and warm in my sleeping bag. When I started to hike on the trail, it was more like a stream than an actual hiking trail. Thankfully, it was a nice partly cloudy day, perfect for hiking.

I had to do my first river fording where I had to get my feet wet. Fortunately it was only ankle deep, so I put my camp shoes on and walked across no problem. After I crossed I was putting my shoes back on when I saw some day hikers crossing the river. I thought it a bit odd to see day hikers in the 100 Mile Wilderness, but I remember passing some old dirt logging roads that I think they can access for a fee.

After lunch, I climbed the last group of mountains before Katahdin, there were 4 peaks in 5 miles. On the north side of the last peak (White Cap Mountain) I could see it for the first time off in the distance, Mt. Katahdin! It was the first time I could actually see my goal . It felt great to be able to get a look at it. I have been working towards this goal for so hard and so long, I can't wait to climb it.

I must be getting close to the end of the trail, since most of the of the people I pass going south, say congratulations as I hike past. I plan on summiting on the 26th, so only 2 more nights and 3 more days of hiking. 

Miles 24.6

Stealth Camp Site to Stealth Camp Site 

Location: Latitude: 45.60797, Longitude: -69.17279

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