Day 106 – A Walk in the Woods

I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees. –Henry David Thoreau

Since we walked more than we thought  yesterday, this was easy day. Our goal was 11 miles to get to Jo Mary Road and meet Hugh.

We meandered!

Truthfully we took so many breaks we ran out of things to talk about. We started out in about three minutes into our hike we came upon some rocks were the sun was shining. It was a cold morning and we decided our first break was going to be on those rocks after three minutes of hiking.

Then of course when you come up on a beach in Maine you have to do a little tanning. It was an incredibly enjoyable day because we were so relaxed about the time schedule. We knew Hugh because of his infusion was not going to be there before 2 o’clock so we had all the time in the world.

I wanted to show you what a blue blaze actually look like. These blazes show the way to shelters, privies, vistas, campsites and water.

Of course it would not be Maine unless there was a waterfall to see. This is a gorgeous state and the volunteers have outdone themselves. I’ve enjoyed every minute of Maine.

Sometimes, not always, the trail is perfect here is a picture of a perfect trail.

Day 105 – A Perfect Day

Today is the perfect day for a perfect day -Unknown

The funny thing about today was both Timeless and I were dreading it. It was a lot of ups and downs. We were hitting four peaks – And truthfully let’s face it, I’m tired of climbing mountains.

We hit the trail and it was gorgeous. I think this was the most perfectly maintained trail of the whole Appalachian Trail. There were beautiful waterfalls.

Then we came to a shelter and we realize the people of Maine really knew their stuff. Throughout the trail you always redesigned shelters in your mind to make them better. Well these people did it! They attached a bench to the front of the shelter that was both a step up to the shelter and a seat. The important part it was there was something to lean your back against. Totally brilliant.

We came across one of Maine’s many snakes. Interesting fact – none of the snakes in Maine are poisonous.

We also came across tons and tons of moose poop. We have looked and looked and looked, but have not seen a moose yet. We are still looking! The funny thing about the moose poop is it always on the top of the mountains. It’s like the Moose travel to the top to poop on the trail.

The amount of work the Maine volunteers have put into this portion of the trail is unbelievable. There are so many beautifully made stone steps up and down the mountains it’s mind-boggling. The trail was in pristine condition and I wholeheartedly thank all the Maine volunteers for making this day such a perfect day.

Climbing the Whitecap Mountain range was a delight. It gave us many beautiful views.

The last mountain of the Whitecap Mountain range was called Whitecap Mountain. How apropos, it was like topping off the day with frosting on your cake.

There’s a side trail from the summit of Whitecap Mountain that led you down to a viewing area where the hikers below are sitting. They are all staring at Katahdin. The couple on the left are from Australia and they are Hitch and Dingo. Jetpack, who you’ve met before, is the one with the green backpack.

This is Katahdin! and on Friday I will summit! We spent over an hour just sitting there snacking and looking at Katahdin.

Then it was down the mountain to our shelter. Once again the Maine ain volunteers know their stuff.

We got to camp I set up the tent and climb in, for the first time the mosquitoes were out. So I ate my sandwiches and talked with Timeless through the mesh of our tents. I was asleep by 8 o’clock.

Day 104 – The Chairback Mountains

Miles hiked 11.

Timeless had heard the best place to see a moose was at Cloud Pond Lean-to. We hiked farther yesterday just to reach it. We were up with the sun and took our breakfast down to the pond to watch for moose. It was a beautiful view, but alas….no moose.

Then it was time to start climbing. We had five peaks to climb before meeting Hugh. We were both glad to have pushed it yesterday so we did not have so far to go today. With all the PUDs yesterday and the peaks today we were tired.

Nevertheless the Maine forest was absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes you felt like you were walking in a Storybook Forest.

I love some the tops of mountains that don’t have views. It’s a different world there, where the ground is rock. It is amazing that trees grow up. I am always see trees growing right on top rock and it always shocks me that they are able to grab on and grow.

Maine is definitely on my favorite state list.

My mileage in the 100 mile wilderness is totally dependent on where I can meet Hugh. That is why today was so short. When we leave in the morning will have another 30 miles to go until we see him again. After that there’s 40 miles left at the hundred mile wilderness and then 10 more into Baxter State Park until you reach the campground at the bottom of Katahdin.

Baxter State Park does not allow RVs into the park. So Timeless and I will be camping at the bottom of Katahdin. We were extremely lucky! When we called in to reserve a campsite, we got one of the very last ones for that day.

Ready to take on the Whitecap Range!

Day 103 – PUDs

Good grief! – Charlie Brown 

Miles hiked 19.3

Today we entered the hundred mile wilderness. And we were not caring 10 days worth of food. As a matter of fact we each had three sandwiches, some crackers, pop tarts and lots of Snickers mini bars. Unlike most hikers we had Hugh meeting us on our second night.

We passed right off the start a beautiful lake. Maine is filled with lakes! All of them our picture perfect.

Main is filled with waterways. Each one beautiful. They have waterfalls, streams, ponds, lakes and rivers. What has amazed me has been the lack of insects bothering me. Only one day did I put on bug spray.

The reflection in this pond, my eye and I had to share.

When South-bounders were passing us they kept telling us about the Roots and rocks in Maine. Yes Maine does have roots and rocks but it’s no worse than anywhere else on the trail. I have found the roots to be very helpful in the state to be used as steps when going up and down mountains.

Sometimes here in Maine the trail is absolutely perfect. It’s a Wonderland a walk-through and a pleasure to walk on.

Other times it’s more challenging I’ve been that all in all Maine has been one of my favorite states.

We had a hard hiking day today because of all of the PUDs. That stands for pointless ups and downs. If you look at the elevation map you’ll see the first half of the hike was simply going up and down Little Hills. It takes it’s toll on you and makes you very tired.

The last part of the day was spent climbing a mountain. The shelter we were headed toward was at the top. We got beautiful vistas on the way up.

We wanted to reach Cloud Pond Lean-to. Timeless had heard it was the best place that gave you a chance of seen a moose.

It was a very tiring day. We got to the shelter around six.  Camp was set up a half an hour later and both of us were in our tents eating our sandwiches and asleep by 7:45 PM.

Day 102 – Rivers, Streams & Lakes

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; It’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand

Miles hiked today 25. 

Today we had one mountain to climb and a lot of miles to cover. Other than that it was all about water. We started off today hopping from rock to rock over our first large stream. Then it was into the forest.

It was a truly beautiful walk up the mountain. Where we came across some unusual rocks and a cave.

As we walked up the mountain we had beautiful views.

Once again as we got closer to the summit it was all about walking and climbing across a rock face. These are some of my favorite things.

At the top it was glorious! 360° views of this beautiful state of Maine.

Then it was down down down and time to start crossing streams and rivers.

Are one true “fording the river” came-there was a riptide across for backpacks. It turned out to be too tall for me-and I yelled across to timeless just to leave her backpack on and walk across.

 I ended up taking my pack off the road and just carrying it across. We got to the other side dried up our feet, put back on our shoes, and continue to hike.

The lakes in Maine are so gorgeous. And they are everywhere!

Most of the day was simply putting in the miles to reach the highway where Hugh was waiting for us. 2 miles away we had our final vista where we sit down and enjoy the short break.

Loving Maine!

Day 101 – A Short Walk

I’m walking here! I’m walking here! – Dustin Hoffman Midnight Cowboy

Miles hike today 13.2

Today was a short walk because of the meeting place. Some days the roads determine where we start and stop this was one of them.

In the morning we had a nice climb and had some great views.  The weather cooperated and we had clear skies.

I tend to really love the top part of Mountains as they have the rock faces that you climb and walk across once you are up there. I have to give the main Appalachian Trail clubs kudos for how well marked the trail in Maine has been.

You never have to look very far to find a white blaze it has been so refreshing after walking through New Hampshire where there were none.

After our climb it was just a walk in the woods. And to be honest the words were not that interesting today. There was nothing that really stood out.

I did have some fun walking across planks and hopping over stones-I kept my feet dry all day.

I had to stop and get a picture taken by this big tree that had come down. Just to show you they grow them big here in Maine.

The last part of the trail was pine forest that almost look like the trees were dead but if you looked up they were not. The greenery was all at the top.

After we met Hugh we then drove into Monson Maine because we were told we had to register for the hundred mile wilderness. That ended up being untrue. But we did make our reservations for the campground at Katahdin steam campground. We were lucky all tent sites had already been taken and there was only a lean-to left, we booked that.

We were excited that meant we did not even have to carry our tents just our sleeping bags and air mattresses. We booked the site for the 31st and we will summit on September 1st.

Getting close to Katahdin,

Day 100 – One Big Fairytale

There must be more than this provincial life! – Belle (There is! I’m living it.)

Miles hiked 20.4

Today I had a boat to catch!

The Kennebec River is in unfordable river. The canoe ferry ran between 9 AM and 2 PM, so we had to make the river by 2 PM. It was 20 miles away.

Between us and the river was the fairytale. Lakes so blue, Moss so green, skies that were perfect. All surrounded by mountain peaks that just put the The tiara on the princess in this fairytale.

They had wonderful boardwalks through the boggy areas. And with no rain the boardwalks we’re not slippery and we made good time.

But the real jewel in this fairytale was the forest itself. It was simply stunning. You expected Snow White to be skipping down the trail followed by the dwarfs. Timeless and I kept telling to eat chowder what a beautiful hike.

Then the trail led us to a beach on the lake. We took two minutes to Soak up the sun but that was all… We had a boat to catch.

Over and over I had been told that there were no bridges in Maine. And over and over today there were planks of wood that our feet dry.

But I need to reiterate how absolutely beautiful but for us twice-it truly was a setting for a fairytale.

Then the trail took a turn and took us right up against the lake where it was dammed. We climbed over rocks and wood and then back into the forest we went.

On the way down to meet the Kennebec River we followed a stream that had waterfall after waterfall after waterfall. We just follow the music of the stream all the way to the Kennebec River.

Walking in the forest on a bed of Pineneedles was like walking on a cloud. I had a grin on my face all day long. It was a great day.

Then at the end we came to the Kennebec River. We held the ferry-which was a guy in a canoe-and caught a ride across the river.

Dan the man was our canoe driver.

Timeless said in front of me and she also paddled. I just took a ride!

Day  99 – Perfect Day in Maine

Miles hike today 16.
What a great day today was. Hugh dropped us off at the trailhead and we started hiking around 730. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that Main does not have any bridges I’ve been the first thing we did was cross the bridge. I’d say that was a good start. 

All day today the forest reminded me of the fairytale. There was a lot of moss, twisted roots and just beautiful scenery. 

Today we went over the Bigelow’s. Those are the mountains shown in the picture below. It still amazes me that I can take a picture and then hike over something that seems so far away.

Here they are a little closer. You’re looking at Bigelow West Peak and Bigelow Avery Peak.

I hiked with timeless to contain day. She lands perspective to my pictures so I love it.

The mountains in the background we had already gone over there are North horn and South horn.

This was Bigelow Mountain West Peak. In the background is The Colonel – Grey Eagle. He is 75 years old and he is keeping up with us! I want to be Gray Eagle when I grow up.

Today we saw Katahdin for the first time. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see it but it’s directly above the rock – very faint in the background. 

Most of the day we had beautiful views of the lake Flagstaff. This was taken on Old Man’s Head Vista.

The forest was beautiful throughout the day. It was a pleasure to walk in, soft underfoot and well marked.

Not often on this hike have you been able to look back and see what you have climbed. But today that was not the case. It was very cool to turn around and take a picture and say I climbed that.

He was waiting for us at the designated spot with the grill going cooking hotdogs. He had set up trail magic for other hikers and fed about seven hungry hikers that passed by.

It was a great day!

Day 97 & 98 – Maine Mountains 

Because in the end, your won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that damn mountain. – Jack Kerouac

Miles hiked 32.2

First off let me just say the weatherman is always wrong up here! Today started out OK but soon the weather changed. Our “sunny” day was a cold rainy, rainy day.

I hiked again with Timeless and enjoy the company. Plus she gives perspective in pictures on some of the trail. We had heard over and over by South bounders how hard Maine was. We were prepared for the worst and we have found the best. It has been a wonderful trail in Maine 

We waited an entire day so we could climb Saddleback Mountain and see the views. This is what we got-this is the summit of Saddleback Mountain.

As the day wore on the clouds lifted some, but you can see how they are hovering over the peaks of the mountains.

By the time we reached Saddleback Mountain Junior we had some views. I love the fact that there are two skulls on the mountaintop.

Then it was time to go down. With wet rocks going down is always a challenge. There were many slips that day. 

The Appalachian Trail in Maine is known for not having any bridges. Most of the other states put bridges over larger streams, not in Maine. You either have to hop on rocks, or ford the river. 

Our goal for the day was to reach the Spalding Mountain Lean-to. They do not call them shelters in Maine they call them lean-tos.

It was my first and last time of sleeping in a shelter. Evidently I am a light sleeper because every movement by the other hikers in the shelter woke me up. Plus the fact that thermorest mattresses are noisy anyway – when you put four of them in a shelter it’s a no brainer that someone is always moving. I did sleep but woke up about seven times. 

When morning arrived I got to use the privy. The five steps up make it seem grand, but believe me it was not.

What was Grand was the weather… Finally!  We had 14 miles to reach the RV.

Below you can see they put up a 2 x 6 to get us over the water. We heard Maine had no bridges I think this is as close as they come.

We had some steep uphill’s but nothing too drastic. It was another wonderful walk in the woods.

It is the end of blueberry season. But there are still some on the bushes and it’s always nice to stop and pick a few.

Our last mountain of the day was North Crocker mountain. We started off with Spalding Mountain, then Sugarloaf and finally South Crocker before our last one of North Crocker Mountain.

I’m not sure if it was because of my interrupted night sleep or just the miles I put under my feet, but today I was tired. It was good to be done for the day and hit the RV.

Day 96 – The Weatherman is Always Wrong

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. – George Carlin

Unlike George Carlin The weather forecast we looked at was incorrect. Today was supposed to be a full day of rain. It was not. The sun shone all day.  And we zeroed. 

This next hiking day is the last hiking day above tree line, until we reach Katahdin, and we wanted to see the view. So we did not hike today because of the forecast. Yes it was a mistake, but a nice one. 

Instead of sitting in the RV all day, I was able to sit in a lawnchair and enjoy the sunshine. We got laundry, shopping, and some errands done. 

Tomorrow I’ll strap on the backpack once again and tent in the woods overnight. There’s a 32 mile stretch between where Hugh drops us off and where he will pick us up. Timeless will be hiking with me. 

I have been enjoying Maine. Tomorrow looks like one of the hardest days of hiking in the state of Maine. We have some mountains to climb before we hit the flat stretch of the 100 mile wilderness. 

Taking it easy,