2016 AT Thru Hike Blog Archive

Day 155

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Date: 07 Aug 2016 1036PM

Location: HOME

Today's Miles: 10.1

Total Miles: 2189.1

 

Woke up at 0500 this morning to be at the gate of Baxter State Park when it opened. Trail angel friends cooked up some breakfast sandwiches for us and drove us to the base of Katahdin at the Katahdin Stream campground. Got to the campground and met up with the rest of the group and ate some trail magic doughnuts before heading over to register at the ranger's station.

 

GREAT day for summiting today. Weather was perfect, sunny with visibility in all directions. Katahdin is a beautiful mountain and is absolutely worth the climb if you're able.

 

Got the to summit in about two and a half hours. Hung around on the top taking in the scenery and taking pictures of everyone on the sign at the top.

 

Decided to hike the knife's edge across and pickup the Helon Taylor Trail down to the park road where our trail angel friends were waiting to take us out of the park and back to civilization.

 

What a perfect day to end our hike with. The weather was fantastic, all of the friends I've met out on the trail were present, and the hike is now complete.

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Day 154

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Date: 06 Aug 2016 0939PM

Location: Abol Pines Campgrounds

Today's Miles: 18.0

Total Miles: 2174.1

 

Early start today, wanted to get to the restaurant at Abol Bridge just as they opened. Got there a half an hour early, stood on the bridge and watched the Penobscot flow past with Katahdin in the background.

 

Ate an expensive, but delicious lunch of poutine and fish and chips while we all tried to figure out what we were going to do. The thru hiker campsite filled up before 0700 this morning, and there was nothing else available in the park.

 

I paid for some wifi and found out that the friends of mine who did some trail magic in the hundred mile wilderness were spending a few days at a campground just outside the park, so I began searching around for them. Found them pretty quickly and worked out a plan to slack pack southbound from The Birches back to Abol Bridge, with them dropping us off back at The Birches tomorrow to hike up to Katahdin.

 

The afternoon hike through Baxter along the AT was splendid. Took a dip in Daicey Pond and sat by Big Niagara for a little while. Such beautiful wilderness.

 

Got back to Abol and bumped in to Cupcake and Rambo, so good to see them and they're camping right next to us tonight!

 

Friends had a delicious dinner cooking for us of chicken and jalapeños on hotdog buns with fruit salad and coleslaw. We then had smores over a fire as the sun set over the river. What a great last night on the trail.

 

Early day tomorrow, want to try and hit up the knifes edge trail on the way down the mountain so we're getting to the gate tomorrow morning as soon as they open.

 

Katahdin.

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Day 153

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Date: 05 Aug 2016 0833PM

Location: Rainbow Lake

Today's Miles: 15.7

Total Miles: 2166.1

 

Got a relatively early start on the day, the sun was hot real early and we had a relatively big climb coming out of camp. Pretty hot throughout the morning, got to the top of Nesuntabunt Mountain and literally wrung the sweat out of my shirt.

 

Cruised along for a few miles and swam in a stream for a little while. A few more miles in we had lunch by another outstanding water hole.

 

Planned on going a little bit further this evening, but someone mentioned a great camping area right on the shore of Rainbow Lake so when we arrived we decided to stop for the night.

 

After setting up and going for a swim, we heard voices coming from across the lake. We though we recognized them, and low and behold it was the rest of the group! Me, River, and Johnny Rocket all jumped in and swam across to where they were, a happy reunion ensuing.

 

Spent the rest of the evening catching up and making food. It's such a good feeling being back together, knowing we'll be summiting together in a few days time.

Day 152

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Date: 04 Aug 2016 0819PM

Location: Nahmakanta West Beach

Today's Miles: 13.1

Total Miles: 2150.5

 

Another solid, yet lazy day. Woke up at the campsite and slowly packed up for the day. Sat around chatting and eating breakfast while we decided in what the plan was for the next few days to Kathadin.

 

Left camp and hiked for a few miles. Stopped at a shelter for a little bit, then pushed on. Around midday we arrived at a nice spot along a stream and hung out in and around the water and napped for more than two hours.

 

Arrived at our current spot and called it a night. We had planned on going a little further north to the shelter but when we got to the lake and found suitable campsites we decided this was it for the night. Glad we did, because this spot is beautiful.

 

Set up camp, took a sunset swim, ate some food and passed out for the night. 

 

While they call this place the 'Hundred Mile Wilderness', we've seen more people out here (locals and families, kids summer camping groups) then anywhere else on the entire Appalachian Trail. Around our secluded campsite alone there are over two dozen people camping. It isn't ideal, but it's nice to see people it and enjoying the wilderness and the good weather.

 

Three more days to Katahdin.

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Day 151

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Date: 03 Aug 2016 0835PM

Location: Antlers Campsite

Today's Miles: 18.1

Total Miles: 2137.4

 

What a beautiful day of hiking today. The terrain was totally in our favor, as was the weather.

 

Lounged around for a little bit this morning, but not too long since the logging road we camped next to was pretty busy throughout the morning. There was traffic on it as early as 0230 and on. Regardless, the night passed and another day of hiking began.

 

Near lunch we arrived at the beach on Crawford Pond. Stayed there for over two hours swimming, lounging, chatting, and eating.

 

Pushed hard for the next couple of hours and arrived at the Antlers Campsite. What a beautiful place. The entire campsite is on a peninsula of sorts, surrounded by water with numerous sites having direct access to the pond. We arrived well before dusk, set up our tents, made and ate our dinner and went for an evening swim as the sun set.

 

It's definitely starting to sink in that this adventure is practically over. In just a few short days the journey will be complete, the mission accomplished.

 

Oh to relish the last moments.

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Day 150

Date: 02 Aug 2016 0835PM

Location: West Branch Ponds Road

Today's Miles: 14.5

Total Miles: 2119.3

 

Another late start today. Everyone was up and moving around by 0630, but it was a lazy morning where we didn't get back on trail until 0900.

 

Had another supposed ford first thing in the morning, but we were able to rock hop across without too much difficulty. Two people got wet feet, but overall we made it work.

 

Shortly after starting our day we took a short side trip to Screw Augur Falls. It was a beautiful spot with an outstanding little swimming hole at the bottom of the falls. Took a little climbing to get down there but it was worth it to swim around in to frigid waters.

 

Spent the rest of the day slowly climbing the last real mountain on the AT through Maine. The rest of the hiking until Katahdin is minimal in elevation, and we're looking forward to this.

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Day 149

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Date: 01 Aug 2016 0846PM

Location: West Branch Pleasant River

Today's Miles: 16.0

Total Miles: 2104.9

 

Lazy start today. Knew the day was different when I woke up at 0730 and everyone else was fast asleep. Took advantage of the time and quietly packed up and did my morning chores.

 

We sat around eating breakfast and chatting until 0930 before everyone was ready to go. Morning was slow going due to Barren Mountain, but we picked up speed after the summit.

 

Water was scarce so we didn't end up stopping for a rest until later in the day when we came across a water source that was actually flowing. Took quite the break, which was welcome indeed.

 

Bunch of ups and downs to finish off the afternoon, with a long, steep down at the end. Got to our planned stopping point for the day to see our trail magic friends yet again, with snacks, drinks, fresh water, and most importantly - cheese burgers!

 

Managed to get set up for the night and get in the sack just before dark. Tomorrow should be another doozie of a day due to White Cap Mountain, but after that we'll have smooth sailing to Katahdin. 

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Day 148

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Date: 31 Jul 2016 0954PM

Location: Long Pond Stream

Today's Miles: 14.4

Total Miles: 2089.0

 

Excellent day today.

 

Packed up and ate breakfast in Orono this morning. Food was delicious, company was endearing. Switched vehicles to that of a good friend of mine who thru hiked last year. Her and her husband are delighted to help us however they can and offered to drive us back to the trail. They also offered to slack pack us today, something I gladly took them up on.

 

Arrived in Monson, ME and stopped by the ATC's visitor center in town. Pre registered for our visit to Kathadin, headed out of town to the trail.

 

Got our pictures taken by the infamous one hundred mile wilderness warning sign, then pushed into the wild.

 

Hiked together until a little under halfway, then I took off to rendezvous with the friends who drove us back to the trail. Met up with them, grabbed my extra stuff, and set up camp while eating a pizza they brought in for us.

 

Met up with Johnny Rocket on the way to the meet up place, he's camping just up the trail from us tonight. Really great to find him!

 

Camped tonight by a lovely stream. Typically it would be incredibly full and loud, but without any recent rain it's a pleasant drone in the background.

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Day 147

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Date: 30 Jul 2016 1040PM

Location: Orono, ME

Today's Miles: 0

Total Miles: 2074.6

 

Fantastic day of relaxing and hanging about. Slept in, took the dog for a walk, gathered the troops.

 

Hit up the local burrito place before heading over to Walmart for our resupply. Grabbed all the food we needed for the trail, as well as snacks for the day and some meat and veg for dinner tonight.

 

Lounged around for the day catching up on the world and watching our way through the Bourne movies. Neither of the hikers I brought home had seen them, so off we went!

 

Had ourselves a delicious home cooked meal, napped a bit on the couch, and fell fast asleep for the night.

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