9/27 Crossing the Kennebec and Caratunk (14)

October 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

IMG_20130927_093020_687Today 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.

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We were moving pretty quickly on the easy terrain, which was fortunate because in order to get to Caratunk we needed to take the ferry across the Kennebec.  The only river on the AT that the ATC suggests using a canoe to cross is the Kennebec, a massive waterway that would be more of a swim than a ford.  Every year the ATC issues warnings against thru hikers attempting to cross; there have been a number of hiker deaths there, which is why a man is now employed to shuttle hikers across in a canoe bearing a white blaze on the bottom.

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It isn’t easy though to paddle against the Kennebec’s mighty current, so he expects his passengers to do their own share of work.  He pulled up to the shore and put one of us in the middle and one in the front and we got to help paddle.  I was surprised at how strong the current was, and couldn’t believe that anyone would try to swim it.

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We made it to Caratunk right on Snakebite’s tail since he had had to wait, anyways, for the ferryman to get there for his afternoon hours.  The only place we could find that would accept general delivery packages was a brewery and inn that happened to also run shuttles.  Of course, this led to us drinking lots of beer and eventually, once we realized they had a hot tub, sharing a room there.  We ran into Garden Girl, who we met way back in HardCore, Avocado, and Scarecrow and enjoyed another night of revelry.

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IMG_20130927_142738_306Crossing the Kennebec River!

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Greenlite learns to use a hottub.IMG_20130927_190825_953