Tuesday, 9/15

AT Miles = 22.2 / 2023.1
Other Miles = 0.3 / 63.0
Total Miles = 22.5 / 2086.1

Miles to Katahdin = 155.2

Yup, you read that right; 22.5 miles today. I don’t think I’ve done that many miles in a day since back in New Jersey somewhere! Basically, I hiked the 5 1/2 miles I had hoped to do yesterday, then I hiked the 17 miles I had planned to do today.

That first 5 1/2 were up and over Little Bigelow Mtn, and I took my time with them. Once I got down Little Bigelow, the terrain really eased up. There were a couple of hills, but they were just hills, not mountains. One of them had about a mile of steady uphill, and the next maybe a mile and a half.

I stopped at West Carry Pond Lean-to, 12.5 miles into the day, and felt good enough that I decided to try to crank out the 10 miles to here. I left West Carry Pond at 1:15, and arrived here at 4:45; 10 miles even in 3:30. Sorry if I sound like I’m bragging, but I feel so good knowing that I could do this.

Okay, there’s more to write about than just how great a hiker I am as long as the terrain is easy.

How about the weather? It was cool yesterday evening and I thought it was going to be a cold night. I rigged my hammock for frosty weather, and went to bed wearing my long johns. I got up about 11:30 to pee, and I was very overheated. I took off my long johns and crawled back into bed. A few minutes later it started to rain very lightly. There were very light, brief showers on and off during the night. It never did get cold, and in fact I think it was warmer when I got up this morning than it was when I went to bed last night.

It looked like we might get more showers all day, and in fact it still does, but so far no rain.

And how about water? It has been wonderfully dry weather for the last couple of weeks. That makes for great hiking. But it also means that the springs and small brooks that serve as the water source at many of the shelters and campsites are starting to dry up. At West Carry Pond, where I stopped for lunch today, there is a nice little spring that even has a spring house built over it. Only problem is, it’s bone dry. That left the pond as a water source. It has been quite breezy all day, and the lean-to is sited at the down wind end of the pond, so there were quite large waves crashing into the rocky shore. The waves were big enough that they acted like surf breaking against the rocks, and while I was trying to dip my water bottle into the pond to fill it, a wave broke and got me full in the face!

From where I am tonigth it is only about 3 miles to the Kennebec River. The Kennebec is quite a large river, and the official way to cross is by ferry. Now, we are not talking about some big car ferry. We are talking about sa canoe. The ATC contracts with an outfitter to provide ferry service for hikers during the season. Right now, that means from 9 – 11 in the morning, and from 2 – 4 in the afternoon. I intend to be at the river waiting to be the first passenger of the day at 9:00AM. If I can do 18.7 miles tomorrow, and 13 on Thursday, that will leave me just 9 miles shoirt of Monson. That means I can be in Monson by noon on Friday. I am hoping Jodi is not working on Friday, and can pick me up then instead of on Saturday. Unfortunately I can’t check her schedule, nor can I send this blog entry, as I have no cell service here.

Well, it is getting dark enough that I am having trouble seeing the keyboard, so I am going to go square everything away for the night, crawl into my hammock, and read for a while.

“Home is where I hang my food bag”

Allen Freeman