Day 142 – Maine

Long Falls Dam Rd to Pierce Pond Lean-to – 13.5 miles
2029.6 / 155.2

Yesterday was ridiculous! The hut master let us make sandwiches for the road, take leftover French toast, and hit up their pantry for whatever we wanted. So awesome. Thanks Flagstaff Lake Hut!

We were a little late getting going but only because we got to have a couple of beers on a pontoon boat. The terrain was pretty easy except for when it turned very boggy at the end. Were in that part of Maine where there are lots of mud pits.

We killed the remaining 10 miles in about 4.5 hours just as it started raining. The lean-to was awesome, right on a pond. And we got to tent on the pond.

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Day 141 – Maine

Little Bigelow Lean-to to Long Falls Dam Rd – 4.2 miles
2016.6 / 168.7

Last one to Katahdin wins! Ok, so I’m kind of ahead, I’ve started becoming distracted on the trail. I can literally stop almost anywhere on the trail and pick wild raspberries and blueberries. And they are delicious! But here’s the real reason we only hiked 4 miles today.

I woke up at 5:30, fully intending on getting up at 6. I fell back asleep and woke up at 6, but realized it was cold out and all my stuff was wet. Since it was pouring last night Fresh and I set up our tents on the last tent platform available. Freshes alarm went off and he didn’t budge, this was the perfect day to sleep in. It was cold and grey out, but in my sleeping bag I was warm and dry. I didn’t see the point of getting out of my sleeping bag. So I slept again til 7:30. I knew the sun might make an appearance so I kept dozing. I heard Fresh move and once establishing we were both up we decided last one out of bed wins.

Well I finally got out if bed at 8:30, the sun was out, and it looked like it was about to become a beautiful day. We decided to dry our stuff and there was no hurry. I ate a big cooked breakfast of mac and cheese and made coffee and really took my time, and we were out of camp at 11:15. It was so nice out now! The terrain became the easiest ever, slow downhills with no rocks on the path and we did the 4.2 miles in about 1 hr 30 min.

At that moment we decided to have lunch, and that very decision was the butterfly effect for the rest of the day. We sat near the road and ate and relaxed. A minivan approached and a mom dropped her kids and husband off for a trip. I asked her jokingly if she had any cokes to sell and she said no but had a banana and a blueberry muffin for each of us. Whaaaaat! Our day just got better. As we were sitting there saying how lucky we were, a guy on a bike rode up and started asking us questions about our hike. Told us he knew of a place down the rd a couple miles that had great food. I was intrigued.. He said it’s the flagstaff lake hut, and for $100 we could get breakfast lunch and dinner. Umm a little out of our price range but sounds nice.

‘Oh but wait!’ He said. ‘Theres only 5 guests tonight, you guys could stack wood for us do some dishes and stay and eat for free’! Done! Got directions and set out 5 miles out of the way to our new destination. And that is how we hiked just 4.2 miles of trail today.

The hut was like a mansion. It had everything. Electricity, actual toilets, water, showers, great food, etc. this turned into the best day ever. Did I mention they had the best lake view ever?! I spent hours down there. Then we had dinner of pulled pork, coleslaw, cornbread, beans, etc. amazing! In the morning we had French toast with home made bread, bacon and eggs. They let us pack out sandwiches, chocolate chips, pot roast, apples, leftover French toast, so much food!

Best 4 mile day yet.

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Day 140 – Maine

Cranberry Stream Campsite to Little Biggelow Lean-to – 13.4 miles
2012.4 / 172.9

A very rough day indeed! It started with a 2500 ft climb in 3 miles. It took me 2 hours! I was exhausted by the top and took a break. Fresh wasn’t too far behind me, and behind him was Deep Blue, who was so tired yesterday he just slept right on the trail. We moved on to South Horn and then off to West and Avery Peaks. They were all tough climbs and by Avery it started to rain. They were all above treeline and we had some 40 mph winds knocking us around.

Well the rain didn’t stop. It only increased in intensity. We actually had lunch under a boulder to get out of it for a little but when we hit he trail again it just kept raining. Only when we reached the shelter, and we were completely soaked, did it stop raining. The shelter was full so we tented. I was in bed and dry by 7 but them more storms came and it rained on us all night.

The best part of the day was picking blueberries

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Day 139 – Maine

Stratton Maine to Cranberry Stream campground – 1.8 miles
1999.0 / 187.3

It was a wet day and a hard morning so we stayed in town a while. I ate breakfast and took naps in this lady’s room I just met, to stay out of the rain. It rained very hard til around 3 and Fresh and I decided to leave town. I was tired and we both decided to hike 2 miles to the first campsite. We found valley girl and wildlife there and had dinner with them. Fresh’s friend Pilot found us and we spoke to him a while. Then it was bed time.

A free zero day!

Day 138 – Maine

Spaulding Mountain Lean-to to Stratton Maine – 13.5 miles
1997.1 / 188.2

I was up at 5:30 am excited to get to town. I left at 6:10 am, super early! Got to climb up sugarloaf which was a real tough climb down. My knees feet and everything were so sore. I made pretty good time and was 6 miles in when I ran into Flex doing trail magic with her girl friend. I got a coke and some Oreos, and realized it was the most beautiful day. Again it was 70s and breezy, both sunny and cloudy at the same time. We are so lucky!

I got to Stratton around 12:30, and it is a beautiful small town. I stayed at the Stratton motel, and everyone was in town. People I haven’t seen since Pennsylvania! And Fresh showed up around 5:30. We all went out as a group to the bar and played pool and met the locals, a real fun night!

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Day 136 – Maine

Bemis Stream Campsite to Plazza Rock Lean-to – 16 miles
1966.7 / 218.6

The rain lasted all night, and when we got up, our stuff was soaked. I had spent 15 hours in my tent and I think I loved every minute of it. I needed rest. It turned out to be the most beautiful day out! Low 70s and breezy, 60s in the mountains. I got some great views of mooselookmiguntic lake (I made up the spelling but it exists!). My parents have a cabin in Rangley Maine and I’ve been to that lake! Very exciting.

I made it to the shelter I was going to be at last night for my first break. Mary poppins and figgy were there. I had lunch at a campsite by a lake. It was beautiful with canoes and everything. I hung out my tent and rain jacket to dry. Life is just good today! Made it to the shelter I stayed at by 5 and it was packed with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Found an awesome spot to camp at away from the crowds.

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Day 135 – Maine

South Arm Rd to Bemis Stream Campsite – 12.2 miles
1950.7 / 238.1

Another brutally hot and humid day. This one ended with huge thunderstorms that are still ongoing, so you can imagine the humidity. I got a ride to the trail around 8:30, so I got another late start. The hike started with Old Blue Mountain, a 2200 ft climb around 2.8 miles. I was soaked in sweat and very tired so it was rough going! I had a snack on top with Mary Poppins and continued down the road. Before I knew it I ran into Figgy who I haven’t seen in a bit. It’s always crazy on the trail with people popping in and out of your life.

We made it to the shelter around 1:20 and it was starting to look bad out. The storms were supposed to hit between 1 and 4, but everyone wanted to push on another 8 miles to make a 17 mile day. Thin mint and Davinci also made an appearance at the shelter and wanted to push on also. I left first at 2 and Figgy ran me down soon. There was a 3 mile hike down over the ridge line to Bemis Stream, which we had to ford. But shortly before arriving the sky turned pitch black, and thunder was in the distance.

We made it to the camp site when it first started to sprinkle, and Figgy looked at the sky and said I’m setting up a tent til this passes. This peaked my curiosity because I was tired anyways but I wasn’t sold. Figgy was about halfway done with his tent before I heard a huge crash of thunder, and the dark sky was getting closer. I too started setting up my tent. Davinci and thin mint decided to keep going so we waved at them from the campsite and wished them luck. Then Mary poppins came running in and started setting up her tent in a hurry. It was only 3:30.

Another huge bolt of lightning and rain drops as I was finishing up my rain fly. Da Vinci and thin mint came sprinting back and started frantically setting their tents up. Just as I got my fly on it came down in a torrent. The 5 of us have been camped out in pouring rain, on a spur of the moment decision, for the last 3 hours. I’m super cozy and dry and am just listening to the rain hit my tent and the thunder boom.

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Day 134 – Maine

E.B. Rd to South Arm Rd -10.1 miles
1938.5 / 246.8

Pine Ellis offers Slackpacking from each exit to Andover. This is about a 10 mile very steep section, and I love me a good slack pack so I was in. Me and Uff-da chose to sleep in and get the 10 am shuttle to the trail. Bad idea. It was 86 and humid. I should have hiked those miles in the morning.

We hiked the first half pretty quick and then we came to the steepest section of the trail so far. It was 1400 vertical feet, in .8 miles. But to make matters worse, 1000 of those ft were earned in the first .4 miles. Insane. Add to that the heat and humidity and I was dying. We made it, and waited 45 minutes for a ride back. I was able to kill about 6 deer flies. I deserved a beer.

Got dinner, and ran into Fresh, haven’t seen him in a couple weeks. We all stayed at the cabin together with Mary poppins and diesel. Good times, and more to be had tomorrow.

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Day 133 – Maine

SPECK pond shelter to Andover Maine – 14.9 miles
1928.4 / 256.9

It was a beautiful night at Speck Pond shelter, we were right on the water. I was up at 6 am to start the day and left around 7:45. I did a work for stay involving picking up trash so I didn’t have to pay the fee. Hiked with Uff-da for the day and we made it 1.4 miles to the top of Speck Mt in good time. However I forgot my camera at the shelter so had to hike back down and then back up again!

After that it was an easy climb down 2500 ft to Grafton Notch where we took a break. We then had a climb of 2100 ft up Bald Plate Mt which was very steep and taxing. The weather was beautiful and so were the views. Ran into Flex and Two Forks on the trail and we all headed to Andover together.

We made it to the road by 6 pm, waited 20 minutes and a guy in a pickup truck gave us a ride. He was a character. He had surveyed the trail in Maine before GPS, he was a ‘taxidermy teacher’ (he gave me his card) and he was in the Guinness book of world records for longest canoe. 149 ft and 1 inch. We got to Pine Ellis lodge in Andover where the 4 of us got a ‘rustic cabin’. I met the Fox sister whom I had hiked with back in NJ and now they were heading south from Katahdin, it was very cool to see them!

We were driven to the cabin around 8:30. We arrived to a spot straight out of a Steven King book. It was well in the woods, and had a covered bridge next to it and everything.

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Day 137 – Maine

Plazza Rock Lean-to to ? -16.9 miles
1983.6 / 201.7

Today ended up being a beautiful day! 70s and breezy again! I was up at 5:45 by some act of God and out of camp an hour later. The first climb was Saddleback, a tough 2000 ft climb above tree line. I was up it pretty quickly but it was socked in by clouds. I tried waiting for it to clear but it never did. Made it to the summit and started going down and it cleared right up.

The next climb was the horn, and it was all ridge walking, and it was beautiful!

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