Blogs 110-80

Day 103...Solitude

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I got a late start today, due to not getting to bed last night until later than normal. Nice thing that I was the only person at the shelter. I could be as loud as I wanted and not have to worry about waking anyone else up.

My system is on a very consistent cycle, every day at the same time (or within 15 minutes) I will have to dig a cat hole. Today, since I started later, I had to stop almost immediatley after I started hiking.

It was one of those days that was really tough, there weren't any extremely big ups or downs, but there were a lot of smaller ones and to top it off, today was hot and sunny.

Again like yesterday, I saw very few people, only 6 total. Four of the hikers were headed south. I am surprised of how few people I have seen the past few days, hopefully I see more people tomorrow.

The 100 Mile Wilderness is the remotest part of the trail. It runs from Monson, Maine to Abol Bridge, which is about 15 miles from the summit of Katahdin. What I gathered, from other hikers before I started this section, is that the first 50 miles are very tough and the last 50 miles are not hard at all. I am looking forward to the second half.

I decided that it would be a good idea to stop around 6:30 pm to get a good night sleep and hit the trail early the next morning. Thankfully there was a stream that I crossed and filled up water only a stone's throw from a stealth site. It's been a while since I have been this tired at the end of a day. I think the heat has a lot to do with it.

As I was typing up the blog it started to really rain. I enjoy sleeping when it is raining; of course, I enjoy sleeping all the time, and in fact it is one of my favorite parts of backpacking.

Miles: 21.3 

Leeman brook Lean-to to Stealth Site

Location: Latitude: 45.44920, Longitude: -69.28546 

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Day 102...the 100 Mile Wilderness

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It was a clear sunny day, barely a cloud in the sky. And the day started, if you could believe it, by going uphill.  Today is the day of the eclipse, although where I am, the sun will only be partially blocked by the moon.

I only saw one other NoBo today, not too many SoBos. It is weird to see so few people now on the trail.

From 11:30 to 1:00 pm I hiked alongside a river, which meant the the terrain was more flat; in turn what that meant was I could hike faster. 

When I was only 3 miles on the trail outside of the road to Monson, Maine,  I was greeted by two guys sitting in chairs drinking beer. They said "We got c o l d  beer and h o t  dogs, welcome to Monson!"  I took them up on the hot dogs before continuing on.

When I got to the road that leads into Monson, I stuck out my thumb. It took 45 minutes to get a ride in to town. That is the longest it has ever taken to get a ride. The ladies who did finally give me a ride, dropped me off at the ATC (Appalachain Trail Conservancy) office. I went in to talk to the lady behind the desk.  I am glad I did that first, before getting food, since they closed their offices 30 seconds after I walked in. The lady told me about the rules and regulations around hiking Katahdin and how to do it. There are a lot of rules.  The other rule was absolutely no stealth camping in Monson, so I had to go get food and make it back on the trail before dark.

After I had finished at the ATC,  I walked over to the store and bought dinner and enough food to hopefully finish the trek. This may be my last food stop on the trail!  However, I felt sorry for the woman who checked me out, she accidentally messed something up with the cash register and had to call in her boss.

After I had crammed all my food into my pack, which was really stretched to the limits with all the supplies, I hitched a ride back to the trail. While I was attempting to get a ride, a man in the house across from where I was standing bet that it would be the fourth car that would stop to pick me up. He said that if it was the fourth car, he would give me some of steak he was grilling. Well, he was right, it was the fourth car.  So he made good on his bet and I enjoyed a really good piece of steak.

When I finally got back to the trail, it was 7:20 pm.  I had planned on finding a stealth camping site tonight,  but I could not.  So I did a bit of night hiking and backpacked to a shelter about 3 miles into the 100 Mile Wilderness. 

Miles 27.8 

Stealth Site to Leemans Brook Lean-to

Location: Latitude: 45.35067, Longitude: -69.49823

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Day 101...Getting Serious

I woke to the sound of my alarm going off and laid there until it went off for the second time. As I was packing up, I was surprised to hear G-G packing up as well. Most other hikers get up after 6:00 am, not 5:30. 

As I passed the '2000' mile marker painted on the road, I noticed that someone had corrected it so was now accurate...

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Today I had to cross the Kennebec River, which you can only do by ferry. The ferry, a guy with a canoe, only works from 9 am to 2 pm. Starting out that morning I was 18 miles away from the ferry landing. I hiked as fast as I could. I made it there by 12:40, and stopped for lunch on the northern bank. 

Today and the next 5 days will be focused on getting in the miles needed so that on August 26th, in the morning, I will be able to join the rest of my family in summiting Mt. Katahdin. I will take minimum breaks and hike as far as I can each day, pushing my body harder than I normally would, so I can get to the finish line on time.

I did not run into any other NoBo today just a few SoBos. Which was odd, I usually see more NoBos than SoBos. I must be going through a SoBo bubble. 

I found a place to stealth camp close to a stream. It gets dark out here close to 8:00 pm and light again in the morning around 5:45 am. I had to use my head lamp way more than I normally do to set up camp.

Miles 31.0

Flagstaff Lake Campsite to Stealth Camp Site 

Location: Latitude: 45.25276, Longitude: -69.83056