9/29 Camping at Piscataquis River (15.3)

October 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

The whole group cleared out early today to see sunrise on Moxie Bald.  Of course, we were guilty again of sleeping in.  We did wake up uncharacteristically early for us, though, and managed to make it to the top in time to still see the early morning sun and catch our fellow hikers in the act of napping!  The weather was right; the Indian summer was in full bloom and it was warm and pleasant on the rocks at the top. The warm weather and cloudless sky really made it feel like a lazy day.  We had a long flat […]

9/28 Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to (14.7)

October 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

It took us a little while this morning to get a ride back to the trail but we were OK with waiting and eating a hot breakfast.  After the hot tub and good food we were feeling a little spoiled.  Maine has made us feel that way in general, between the friendliness of the locals and the sunny weather that’s coming on.  It looks like we were a little preemptive when we bought zero degree sleeping bags; the weather is turning back to a toasty Indian summer temperature for the next couple of weeks.  Oh well, at least we’ll definitely […]

9/27 Crossing the Kennebec and Caratunk (14)

October 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Today we woke up early with a mission: hiking to Caratunk as early as we could.  We are all getting packages there.  For us, it’s going to be zero degree bags to keep us warm.  Snakebite left extra early because his package contains food and he is almost out.  We tracked him along the trail by looking for gnaw marks on the trees and squirrel remains.  We stopped for a while at Pierce Pond Lean-to, which by far is one of the most beautiful shelters on the trail, situated directly on a beautiful pond with a swimming hole. We were […]

9/26 West Carry Pond Lean-to (12.6)

October 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

We all got moving mid morning today, with Limey, Greenlite, and First Gear in the lead as usual.  Snakebite and the two of us sat around the morning fire for a bit but finally got our act together.  Our focus has really shifted away from hiking and towards camping.  The view from Little Bigelow was a little cloudy but lovely.  The contrast of the leaves on stormy skies is so striking, it’s hard to even be disappointed by an overcast day in Maine. We came across a beautiful sandy beach today with a driftwood lean-to someone had built.  Whoever put […]

9/25 Bigelow Mountains and the Safford Notch Campsite (10.4)

October 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm

The weather took a turn for the better today and we woke up to sunlight sneaking in the curtains.  We had breakfast to the diner and said goodbye to the staff and the lingering hikers just as our ride pulled up to the Motel!  We couldn’t believe that one of the locals would show up and help us out like that, without us even asking.  Snakebite is usually faster than we are, but today he really had to hold back for us with his plastic grocery bag slack pack while we ascended the Bigelow region with our full resupply.  We […]

9/24 Zero in Stratton

October 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

We did our laundry and resupply today and all the while kept an eye on the mountain.  It was shrouded in clouds during our errands, and as the day went on the sky started spitting rain and sleet.  We weren’t planning to take a zero in Stratton but it was starting to look like a really good option.  We already didn’t need much convincing when Snakebite and Hagrid both sent us texts from the shelter up by the Bigelows saying that everything was miserable and covered in ice.  So, we checked back into the motel! We’re actually quite excited about […]

9/23 Crocker Mountains and Stratton (10.5)

October 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

We woke up freezing!  Literally!  We knocked ice off the tent and off the trees as we packed up.  We got moving as early and as quickly as we could to get warm; neither of us slept particularly well last night as the temperature plummeted.  Fall is here!  We had just gotten warm enough from moving when we came across our first big obstacle of the day: the Carrabasset.  Those of you who tuned in to yesterday’s episode know that we were warned against crossing yesterday, as the river was still impassable from rains.  It looked to be only mid […]

9/22 Sugarloaf Camping (11)

October 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

We woke up early to the sound of rain on the shelter roof – a reassuring sound.  We hiked through rain for two months; now, we wait for it to finish up before hiking.  We don’t need to rush anymore, and the rain doesn’t stick around the way that it used to.  It’s nice to embrace this new way of hiking, where our end date doesn’t matter.  We waited in the shelter eating breakfast and boiling coffee while the rain came down.  Eventually our cozy crew had to pack up and leave.  One by one we hesitantly got our belongings […]

9/21 Poplar Ridge Lean-to (8.9)

October 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Today was amazing!  We crossed the Saddleback range, which had some of the best views of the entire trip.  Maine has been even more beautiful than NH, in a way, because of how wild it is.  The views of the landscape from Maine’s peaks are uninterrupted by the visual noise of highways running like veins across the terrain and developed settlements pockmarking the land.  The panoramas are sweeping and broken only by the rivers and lakes that create natural divisions. We ascended Saddleback early with the whole group, and climbed above the morning clouds, which still lingered in the valleys. […]

9/20 Piazza Rock Lean-to (16)

October 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Today started with a short climb up to ME 17, which actually had some amazing views!  It is hard to believe that we started without leaves on the trees and now we’re watching them change color and fall again.  We are entering our third season on the AT, and finding Maine to be full of hidden beauty spots.  Indian Paintbrush and Winterberry are everywhere, adding accents to the early fall.  Sabbath Day Pond had a surprisingly sandy beach and clear blue water and we stopped there for a snack. We were excited to get to Piazza Rock  lean-to and see […]