10/3 Sidney Tappan Campsite (11.7)

October 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

IMG_20131002_162440_860

Mark had to work pretty hard to get me out of my zero degree sleeping bag today.  It wasn’t particularly cold, but I’ve been seriously spoiled by having so much down fill in my life.  Lady Mac and Snacks left pretty early to reach Lady Mac’s grandparents – ‘Moose Slayer and Junior’ (Moose Slayer’s her grandma.  She’s a great shot.)  When the three of us got down to the road, there was soda waiting with a note from Lady Mac.  She was resupplying with her grandparents but would be back on the trail later.

IMG_20131003_101648_562We hit 2100 miles today, which is officially our last real mileage landmark until Katahdin itself.  The days are really winding down now, with less than a week to Katahdin.  I think in part because we knew this, we dragged our feet a little today.

We reached the Carl A. Newhall Lean-to for lunch only to realize when we were done eating that it was almost four.  Walmart tried everything in his repertoire to keep us there, stressing the extra distance we would need to go if we had to follow a blue blaze off for the next campsite and presenting a whole host of other reasons to stay behind with him and Grizzly Giant (Walmart used to settle insurance claims, so he’s pretty convincing), but we had to go more than ten miles today.  We secretly hoped if we hiked at dusk we might see a moose, too.  So far on the trail everyone has told us we’ll see one, but no moose have been up for the job.  Meanwhile, our fellow hikers seem to have moose stories coming out of their ears.  They’re practically saddling up and riding the beasts.

IMG_20131003_113148_889

We hiked over Gulf Hagas Mountain tonight so as to have the morning tomorrow to hike the Whitecap Range, the last mountain range in the HMW.  Whitecap is where we are supposed to get our first view of Katahdin, and we were pretty excited to finally see it, so we kept hiking.  The next couple miles were actually a very nicely graded ascent. We made record uphill time over Gulf Hagas, which is a good thing because we had enough light to notice a ‘K’ painted on one of the rocks.  We looked up and saw a familiar mountain shape looming in the distance, between the trees:

IMG_20131003_160126_738

It’s pretty far away, but that’s it: Katahdin.  After 2100 miles, we can finally see the end of our journey.  We spent a few minutes watching the shadows grow long towards the horizon, and then we hiked on Northward, towards that fuzzy blue shape in the distance.

IMG_20131003_173459_241

We camped at Sidney Tappan Campsite.  We had made such good time, we thought we might blow by it and see if we couldn’t get to Logan Brook Lean-to tonight, but once we saw the campsite we were sold.  Nutella, St. Croix, Nomad, and Flatfoot were there and Snacks and Ladymac showed up a little while after us.  It was a perfect campsite; not only did it have a privy, but there was a register in the privy.  I was pretty much sold on that fact alone.  Unfortunately not many people seem to sign it.  I’m going to assume it has something to do with feces.  Disappointing, but at least whoever accidentally reads it before they think about where they found it will know that we are headed to Cooper Brook Falls lean-to as of tomorrow.