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so they are accustomed to only carrying about 2-3 days worth of food. Needless to say

Time:2018-09-29 11:44Shoes websites Click:

JOURNALS 1000 hiked Miles wilderness

100 mile wilderness. 1,000 miles hiked.

Day 70: Shaw’s Hiker Hostel, Monson ME to stealth camp at Long Pond Stream (14.4 mi)

We woke up leisurely (in the neighborhood of 5:30 am), but I didn’t sleep too well due to the insane itch all over my legs from the no-see-um bites.  

Breakfast was at 7:00 and was a total feast! I had some more yogurt that the Madsens brought us yesterday with the granola Josh made us and put in our resupply box (so yummy!). The hostel staff made us vegan home fries and all-you-can-eat vegan blueberry pancakes and we were both so full after breakfast it was hard to think about hiking.  Any weight lost (which at this point we both felt that perhaps we had lost a few pounds) was definitely gained back from this incredible breakfast.

The first shuttle left at 8:00 and Fresh Feet and I got on it (Biscuits got on the 2nd shuttle).  

Poet, the owner of the hostel and former thru hiker, left us with some encouraging words, thoughts and terrain tips as we entered the 100 mile wilderness.  This 100 mile stretch is barren of any amenities or towns on trail and is the last stretch before arriving at Baxter State Park (where we would summit Mt. Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail).  There is one very bleak convenient store and restaurant at Abol Bridge, which marks the northern end of the 100 mile wilderness and the border of Baxter where hikers look forward to a taste of civilization and some food options at the attached restaurant.

We entered the 100 mile wilderness with a 6 day plan, then two days in Baxter state Park.  This meant leaving Monson with 8 days of food (with some security of knowing we could get something at Abol Bridge if needed).  Our heaviest resupplies had only been 5-6 days prior, and we definitely could feel the additional weight of carrying 8 days of food.  Most hikers resupply at gas stations and hop into towns more frequently because they don’t rely so heavily on their resupply boxes, so they are accustomed to only carrying about 2-3 days worth of food.  Needless to say, the heavy pack weight of the 100 mile wilderness was something we all had to grapple with.  Some thru hikers are so ready to be done at this point that they do the 100 mile wilderness in 4-5 days so they don’t have to carry as much food, but we were tired and ok with keeping a reasonable pace to feel a little more relaxed and comfortable.  Not to mention, the 10 day forecast looked great for an August 31 summit up Katahdin so we began to zero in on the idea of an 8/31 summit date, which left us a bit of wiggle room for enjoyment or “just-in-cases.”

We stepped out of the shuttle, and began putting one foot in front of the other, as we have done for so many days prior. The terrain was more difficult than yesterday in terms of technicality and slippery obstacles, but not as difficult as Southern Maine.

We moved slowly because our pack weight for the next 8 days/120 miles to the end was an adjustment and loaded us down. 

After about 6.6 miles we got to some epic water falls in a slate canyon.  The slate made so many rectangular shapes that the rock formations of the waterfall looked almost man-made! It was beautiful! I enjoyed my smoothie with a group of hikers hanging out on the rocks in the middle of the river at the top of the falls.  There were no bugs in the middle of the fast moving water, so it was a nice spot to take a break.

We had two river fords where it was necessary to take off shoes and the water was about shin to knee deep and the rocks were quite slippery!  Fresh Feet tried to rock hop the second river ford but ended up soaking his shoes instead.

After fording the second river we looked for stealth spots and found some great ones right along the river.  The boys were ready to call it a day before getting to the shelter (1 more mile), so we made dinner and set up camp for the evening at a picturesque open piney camping area on the banks of a strongly flowing river.  

The mosquitoes were pretty bad all day long, but I wore pants which helped and we lit incense at camp which made a big difference as well.

Day 71: Stealth camp at Long Pond Stream to Stealth camp at Pleasant River (16 mi)

Phew.  Today was long and tough. It was an 11 hour day with a LOT of elevation and very heavy packs. 

I took a Benadryl last night because the leg itch was out of control.  I was super sound asleep and groggy when I woke up at 6:45 am.  I tried to get ready quickly and get on trail because I knew we would have a LOT of mountain peaks today, which naturally slows my pace, but makes for a more interesting hike.

We had to climb up Barren Mountain, which consisted of two sustained climbs.  Then we had four Chairback peaks and a half peak in between the fourth and third Chairback.  It was hot, buggy, humid, and tough climbing.  Our views were pretty bad because there was so much humidity that the horizon was quite hazy.

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