9/22 Sugarloaf Camping (11)

October 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

IMG_20130922_122526_323We 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 together and ventured out into the early afternoon as the clouds made way for sun.

IMG_20130922_122937_501Our first downhill was a little steep and slippery after the rain but not too bad.  At the bottom waited Orbeton stream, our first real ford.  After the rains last night it was knee deep and the group took a long break while we watched everyone cross and cheered each other on.  It was a warm day and the cold river water actually felt nice.  We also discovered fording is a great way to clean our feet, which are beginning to get really gross from all the mud being absorbed into our holey shoes.

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We ironically climbed up Lone Mountain with the whole group, then came across Walmart at Spaulding Mountain Lean-to where he had been waiting for everyone since this morning.  We thought about staying, especially when he told us that Davey Crockett had sent a message through to him that the Carrabasset river that was coming up was impassable, but we decided we should push on to at least camp before the river.

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Thanks, Maine!

We made it to Sugarloaf where we saw Jungle Jym’s sign about the river.  Patches and Davey weren’t able to fight the current or the water, which was chest deep right after the rain, and they had had to hike back up the hill and then over Sugarloaf to find a way down the ski trails.  Dismayed but optimistic, we decided we would be able to cross tomorrow and found a stealth spot nearby with Ketchup.  Tomorrow, the formidable Carrabasset and the Crocker Mountains are all that stand between us and the town of Stratton!