Day 62 (Mahar Tote Rd to Abol Pines Campsite)

I woke this morning to the sound of moose hooves on the ground near my tent. Because I slept with the door rolled up, I could easily stay in my sleeping bag and watch them go about their morning business. So cool!

Yesterday was my longest day on the trail yet so I woke up a little stiff this morning. I started hiking at 6:00. Within a couple miles, I was walking by the Nahmakanta stream. There was a family of wood ducks out for their morning swim. I tried to get a picture but they were too fast.

I climbed Nesuntabunt Mountain next. There is supposed to be a view of Katahdin from the top but it was hiding in the clouds. Hmmmm. I think Katahdin is hiding from me.

I hiked with a NOBO section hiker for a little bit right before the Rainbow Lean-to. It was the first conversion I’ve had in a couple days. I say “hi” to the SOBOs but rarely do we stop and talk. When I got to Rainbow Ledges around 7:30, Bald Eagle caught up to me. He was hiking to the next shelter. I told him I wanted to hike to Abol Bridge so that I could summit Katahdin the next day. We discussed the store hours at Abol Bridge and the fact it would be closed when I got there. I have plenty of meals but I’m running short on snack food for the next day.

I stayed at the ledges a little longer to check messages since it was the only time all day that I had cell coverage. When I got to the next shelter, Bald Eagle was doing what looked like an Indian rain dance. He had gotten to the shelter first and taken up a collection of snack food from the section hikers for me. So sweet!

The 3 SOBO section hikers and Bald Eagle were all very excited to help. The section hikers told me all about the trail for the next few miles. Then I set out with a smile on my face in the dark with my headlamp to hike the 3.5 miles to Abol Bridge. Back to back 30+ mile days but I’m out of the 100 Mile Wilderness in 4 days. Katahdin tomorrow!!!

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Day 59 (Lakeshore House to stealth site on Barren Mountain)

I woke up early at the Lakeshore House and went next door to Pete’s for breakfast. Then I went to the gas station to buy some food to supplement my resupply. There is no grocery store in Monson so the gas station is the only option.

I got back to the trail around 8:45. I hiked by myself most of the morning but caught up with Little Engine and her sister, Firecracker, early afternoon. We hiked together for a little bit. Little Engine started her thru hike in Georgia in March. Her sister is hiking the last 200 miles with her. They stopped at the Long Pond Stream Lean-to and I kept hiking.

There was an awesome view from the Barren Ledges so I decided to take a break and enjoy for a bit. It wasn’t long before Bald Eagle joined me. We met my very first night on the trail and have seen each other maybe 20 times in the past 59 days but we haven’t talked a lot. Today we sat at the ledges and talked for a long time…, ex-girlfriends, philosophy of life…..good conversation. We hiked together the next couple of miles up Barren Mountain.

I decided to stealth camp on top of the mountain because I had a nice spot and cell coverage. đŸ™‚ Bald Eagle hiked on to the next shelter a mile away. Great first day in the wilderness.

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Day 19 (Memorial Shelter to Graymoor Spiritual Life Center)

The day started with climbs over Black Mountain and Bear Mountain. Both are ~34 miles from NYC. You are supposed to be able to see the NYC skyline from the tops of the mountains but I couldn’t. Still very pretty views.

In the town of Bear Mountain, NY the trail goes through the zoo and then crosses the Hudson River. The zoo was kind of sad… animals in cages, etc.

In Bear Mountain I ran into a thru hiker that Laura and I met near Tray Mountain in March. Her trail name was “Prof” back then but she has since changed it to “New Found”. I’m camping tonight on a baseball field at the Monastery. They encourage thru hikers to stay here. There are about 15 other hikers here including Bald Eagle, New Found, Little Goat, Smokes, Shoeless, and K-Tar(sp?). Fun evening hanging out.

I've seen so many of these rock walls in the middle of nowhere. Are they old property lines or battle lines from the Revolutionary War or Civil War?

I’ve seen so many of these rock walls in the middle of nowhere. Are they old property lines or battle lines from the Revolutionary War or Civil War?

Day 2 (Dahlgren to a tent spot outside of Pen Mar)

That moment when. ….you are running down an awesome downhill singing your favorite childhood songs and all seems right with the world. …..and then you look up and see a blue blaze. 2 bonus miles today. HahaCashmere

blue-blazeI woke up in a fog this morning… really. It burned off around 11:00 and turned into another beautiful day. I experienced my first trail magic today. K2 and Bald Eagle were there too. They had a good laugh regarding my story about getting off trail but then they assured me that it happens to everyone.

I crossed the Maryland – Pennsylvania border (Mason Dixon Line) about a half mile before stopping to set up camp. Now I’m enjoying the sound of the creek right outside my tent.

Day 1 (Harpers Ferry to Dahlgren Backpackers campground)

I stayed up late last night grading papers and posting grades so I decided to sleep in until 8:00 this morning at the Econolodge in Harpers Ferry. First stop this morning was the post office to mail work stuff and airplane clothes home. Next stop was the ATC to check in and get my picture taken. Lastly, I stopped by the Outfitters to get some fuel for my stove.

I got on the trail at 10:30 and headed north. Blue skies with a high of 83. Great day for a hike. I had lunch at the Ed Garvey shelter with some other hikers. Lots of wildflowers along the trail and a lot of historical sites. I’m camping tonight with Deardog, K2 and Bald Eagle. There is a restaurant nearby so Deardog and I headed over after dinner for a piece of fruit pie. Yum!