9/17 Andover (The Cabin) (8)

October 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm
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Baldpate from a distance

We survived the Mahoosucs and our own wavering self confidence, but we still have to survive 265 more miles of Maine.  We decided on a plan of action to handle this and we are now instituting project Camptember.  Even if we go 10 miles a day, we will still be making it to Katahdin before the campground closes, so we’ve decided we can afford to shift our focus from hiking to camping.  The nights are growing longer and the day is being pinched closed from either end, which means less and less sunlight to hike by.  We decided we are not going to night hike anymore, because there is no need to.  Instead, we are going to night celebrate the end of the trail by having a campfire every night, roasting marshmallows, making hot cocoa, and maybe making a few shadow puppets.  The time of camping is upon us!

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Baldpate up close

We put our new camping plan into action last night with a great campfire that Kobe and Davey Crockett enjoyed with us.  The fire was almost necessary as the temperature plummeted down into the 20s that night.  We got up pretty late as a result of it, huddling in our bags for warmth.  Since we’ve been doing more mentally challenging stuff (i.e. focusing on not falling all the time) we’ve noticed we’re a lot more tired at the end of our day.  Whether because of this phenomenon or because our bodies are trying to hibernate as the season comes to a close, we’ve been sleeping a solid 12 hours a night.  We waited to emerge from our tent until we could no longer see our breath – we do have standards.  We had already decided we were going to hitch out at the road crossing eight miles away to see ‘The Cabin’, a neat hostel that we had heard about.  It sounds like a great place to relax now that we’re over the Mahoosucs.  (Also we need more food.)  So, we got going finally after Nutella dropped by.  She had hiked up from the notch that morning and laughed when she saw us spread out all over the shelter, with a morning fire going and our long johns still on.  “It looks like you guys live here!”  And it did.

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The view from Baldpate

Baldpate was a great climb up beautiful exposed rock.  We lucked out – despite the cold, the day was clear and sunny and the views were gorgeous!  There was a little hand over hand climbing, but nothing like what we’ve been doing.  Also, the rocks were dry and well protected.  It was a really fun climb to start our day on.  We enjoyed the day and still made it to the road crossing fairly early (the secret is only hiking 8 miles).  We had made a call from the mountain top and in no time Bear showed up and drove us to his hostel, where he and his wife Honey also live.  They were a very sweet older couple who made amazing food and ran a fun place in the woods.  It was there that we ran into half of the people we know and talked to them about the trail.  It was uplifting to hear our thoughts corroborated.  Maine is getting better every day, and we’re all ready for anything now.