Since last leaving y’all we were in Rangeley, Maine. Now we have advanced forward to Monson, Maine, our last town stop on the entire trail. Everyone seems to be a little bit sad about this last town stop, reminiscing in the log books. It does seem surreal that we won’t be continuing our walk north towards a far off destination.
We left Rangeley and got to the first shelter two miles out for lunch to find that our friends Moose & Tetherball had finally caught up to us and passed us. Drat! Merf’s friend Inferno had done the same. We climbed up Saddleback mountain and had a beautiful view. Supposedly you can see both Mount Washington and Katahdin from the summit but it was a bit hazy and we could only glimpse what we thought was Katahdin. The next day we had a pretty easy day and had only planned 14 miles but tossed around the idea of doing 17 or so until we came to a stream at mile 13 and Chris decided he wanted to fish so we took two hours and sat around before walking up to the Crocker Cirque campsite.
The following morning we left Merf at the road to Stratton. She has a later finish date and so she wanted to take a nearo and stay in town and we continued on and summited both the West Peak and Avery Peak of the Bigelows and camped down in a notch between those and Little Bigelow. It was a quiet campsite and I thought a nice place to stop. It was another 17 mile day. woo for higher mileage days! The next morning we went up Little Bigelow and found out that our friends Moose, Tetherball, Cubbie and Dilly Dally were only five miles ahead of us and we were fairly certain we were going to catch them that night at Pierce Pond. Sure enough at lunch we ran into them at a shelter! We hadn’t seen M&T since New York when they were slowing down to do some zero’s with family. We did 22 miles into Pierce Pond shelter. The reason to push was so that we could get a super awesome breakfast at Harrison’s Pierce Pond camps about .2 off the trail. The owner walks over in the evening, or you can call him, and tell him if you want sausage and eggs with your 12 pancake breakfast. The next morning you walk over and sit down in his dining area sipping coffee, watching the hummingbirds at the feeders and just chill out. He goes all out, powdered sugar, maple syrup….oh it was really, really awesome.
Our next big “thing” was to cross the fabled Kennebec River. It’s the only ATC sanctioned moving white blaze on the trail. At least one person has died trying to ford the river and many get swept down stream or lose their packs, so for 20+ years during certain times of the day, a paid canoeist will come and shuttle you across the river. We picked up a package in Caratunk and kept on going yesterday and ended at 18 miles. We did 22 miles today to get into Monson and will take the morning off and head out somewhere into the 100 mile wilderness tomorrow.
It’s so insane. We are almost done. Last night we were flipping through our photos on our camera. We switched our card out when we went home in Pearisburg so we only have from Pearisburg until now, but it was hilarious to see my brilliantly pink hair, and so many other photos that you all haven’t seen yet. There will be many more stories to tell.
So far in the animal count, no moose yet. Everyone says we will see them in the 100 but who knows. Everyone also jokes that the only moose they will see will be the ones on the road out of Baxter State Park! hah! We saw two grouse this morning, a ruffed and a spruce. I saw three garter snakes today, too.
what can I say? The journey is almost done. we have plane tickets for the 17th and my mom is coming on the 12th to pick us up/hang out with us in Maine for a few days. Since we were concerned about the whole summit thing we were leery about getting something too close, but I am excited to have some time to tool around Maine. I want to do a trail magic day, go to Arcadia National Park, eat a lobster dinner, and hang out in Bangor some. A mini-vacation.
So….sometime next week I’ll be back with summit photos! 🙂 Until then keep thinking “Class I day….Class I day”. 😉 Class I day is like having the as perfect a day as possible on Katahdin.