Well I’m in Stratton, Maine today Tuesday the 16th of October. It’s been an awesome 175 mile week. Paul “Old Man” picked me up at the bus stop in Medway and got me on the trail the next morning up Kathadin by 7:30am. It was a much easier hike up to Baxter Peak than I thought it would be. I still took some time to talk to people and enjoy the good views. I made it to the peak and had a few good moments before the clouds moved in. I got a good few pictures of myself and Bill the Pony and his dad. Then I made my way back down, picked up my pack from the Ranger’s cabin and then headed south to Hurd Brook Lean-To, 3 miles into the 100 mile wilderness.
The next few days were good, if somewhat cool days. I made OK mileage coming south towards Monson. I stopped in at Whitehouse Landing and had the 14″ pizza. I waltzed right through it. It seems that the folks at Whitehouse have only gotten about half of their normal traffic this year and are hurting for it. I didn’t stay there but I did refer it to everyone I passed going north. Hiking Whitecap Mountain was interesting. The day was rather cloudy and cool and it was a VERY long day. I got lucky and came across a guy dishing out trail magic just at the base of Whitecap. So I ate a couple of doughnuts and stocked up on trail snacks then headed up the mountain. The climb was long and strenuous and the peaks were all cloudy and wet. There were lots of stone steps that were a blessing. I made it all the way to the West Branch of the Pleasant River. Unfortunately, a huge rain storm hit and the climb up the Barren Mountains was really unhappy. It was a river over slick slate and full of ankle deep puddles. I made it about ten miles and stayed in a shelter with 5 northbounders and a dog. They told me that the fords on the other side of the Barrens were already high as they were coming across and that the rain was seriously going to raise them. I made the decision to go back the way I came to the Kathadin Iron Works road and get a ride around those fords. Then headed into Monson.
I stayed at the Lakeshore in Monson and had a great resupply and couple of meals. I got out late on Sunday at about 9:30am but still made the 22 miles to Bald Mountain Lean-To by 6 pm. Next I got up and on the trail by 7:30. I pushed over “Pleasant” Mountain and down to the Kennebeck, 15 miles, by 1:30. Steve the Ferryman got me across the river in short order plus he brought me food and some soda, awesome. I headed of 3 more miles to home for the night. It was somewhat less than a perfect night. I woke up at about 4 and couldn’t get back to sleep so I got on the trail and just hauled butt. I made it to Avery Peak at about 3 and decided to push for Stratton. I got in just about 6 and have since made my report home. I’m pushing new photos and journal entries to the web site as well.
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I hope to be in Gorham next Tuesday and Hanover by the 28th, 5 days latter, but that’s unlikely. In all probability I’ll be in Hanover when my uncle is visiting. That would be cool. We’ll see. Well off to bed.