10/1 The Hundred Mile Wilderness (13.6)

October 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

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Here we go… Into the Hundred Mile Wilderness, our last chance to eke out the end of Camptober (we can change with the times, we’re flexible).  Snakebite thinks we should call it ‘GetToKatahdinBeforeWeFreezetober’ but I don’t think it flows as nicely.

IMG_20131001_140326_676We all stopped at Little Wilson Falls today to enjoy some sun and some beautiful waterfalls.  The trail into the HMW is fairly flat with some small ups and downs, but that hardly means it’s uneventful.  We had a big river fording today at Big Wilson Stream which turned out to be pretty entertaining.

IMG_20131001_151026_839A group of highschoolers showed up while we were fording the river and watched us go across.  The thru-hikers all went first, fording at multiple spots one at a time.  We had our boots around our necks and struggled with the slippery rocks on our bare feet but everyone made it over.  Then we saw Tangy, Scarecrow, Guru, and Munchies on the other bank.  They all started fording randomly, with Scarecrow in the lead.  As he made his way over, we yelled, hooted, and chanted at him on the slippery rocks.  Then he lost his footing and went down.

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The current wasn’t too strong, so he was back up quickly, safe but a little bit wetter.  As he fell, we cheered and laughed and when he got across everyone patted him on the back.  The high school crew looked aghast; the counselors with them sighed.  Then Tangy made it across and we could see the other reason for some of the kids’ horror.  It requires some back story:

IMG_20131001_163000_610There is currently an X-rated item circulating around the thru-hikers.  If you find it in your bag, you have to strap it to the outside of your backpack for a whole day before you can foist it off on some other unlucky camper.  Tangy happened to have the unfortunate totem hanging out of his backpack as he crossed, and all of the hikers broke into hysterics when we realized it was the cause of the high-school chaperone’s anguish.

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After being completely inappropriate in front of some fifteen-year-olds, we figured in for a penny out for a pound and stayed around to watch them cross, cheering the kids on, but not-so-secretly hoping for another fall.  They crossed in a line, holding each other for support and wearing their boots for stability.  One bold kid decided to follow our lead and take his off.  The thru hikers were merciless when he fell down and almost took the rest of the line with him.  As the counselors led their (mostly dry) charges onto safe ground, they sighed and told them “these guys are thru-hikers.  They’ve hiked a lot of miles and earned the right to do pretty much anything.”

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We laughed all the way uphill from the stream crossing.  The knowledge that there was a horde of highschoolers on our tail was a great motivator, though, so we passed the Wilson Valley Lean-to in favor of future camping possibilities.  We hiked into dusk and found a flat road bed just before Wilbur Brook where we bedded down for the night with Limey and Snakebite.  It was a smaller group than usual around our little campfire and it was nice to share stories and talk about what was left ahead of us.

 

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