10/2 Chairback Gap Lean-to (12.4)

October 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

IMG_20131002_150753_767Our day started with a river ford.  Or, as I thought, a rock hop.  Wearing my brand new perfect water proof boots, I spent a few minutes surveying the river and decided that I could hop across it.  Because my shoes no longer suck up moisture like it’s their job, I figured I would be able to keep my feet dry in an inch or two of water, so I started my rock hop by stepping on a rock just barely submerged.  I carefully balanced on it as I started to step to the next one and promptly lost all traction and fell in to knee deep water.  I tried to get out but kept falling on the slippery rocks, a problem that was exacerbated by my fellow hikers’ inability to keep from laughing.  I guess my new dry boots did not have such an auspicious beginning after all. Perhaps this schadenfreude was some karmic retribution for laughing at both Scarecrow and the high-schoolers yesterday…

IMG_20131002_102938_989We didn’t hike for long today before we caught up to Nutella, Saint Croix, and company at the Barren Slide.  As the gateway to the Chairback Range, it had an incredible view of the flatlands we recently crossed rising up into the mountains we climbed days ago.  It looked like ‘The Land Before Time’ had come to life.  We spent a while sitting on the rocks and taking in the view.  Then we watched a logging truck go by and heard the distinctive beeping sound of something backing up.  So much for the wilderness part of the Hundred Mile Wilderness.

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Guru climbing the fire tower on Barren Mountain like a monkey.

Immediately after we took the side trail to Barren Slide, we reached Barren ledges.  Of course we stopped here too.  By the time we were finally on top of Barren Mountain, Limey had lost patience with our lollygagging and gone ahead.  His British efficiency couldn’t stand for us lying on every exposed rock we saw.  We continued at an easy pace and crossed most of the Chairback Range, which is a tough area of the Hundred Miles with a lot of PUDS (pointless ups and downs).  We had heard some stories of seeing Katahdin from the top, but had no such luck ourselves.  Any day now we’ll get a view of the finish line, but not yet.

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We stopped at Chairback Gap Lean-to, feeling pretty tired despite having had a short day.  The constant elevation changes coupled with some challenging terrain had tired us out, and we were ready to retire for the night along with Lady Mac, Snacks, Guru, St. Croix, Nutella, Wal-Mart and Flatfoot.  I built a giant fire without any prompting for a change to dry out my sad boots which were still staying true to their waterproof nature by holding in the stream water from this morning.  So it goes.

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