August 6, 2013
Today’s mileage: 15.9
Total mileage: 2071.4
We started the morning right off with a stream ford. It was a fairly tame ford compared to a couple others we’ve done, so we got across easily. The day went by without anything crazy happening to us. No ankle sprains or freak thunderstorms on mountaintops. We forded the west and east branches of the Piscataquis Rivers with ease. Our guide book warned that the west branch could be dangerous to ford in high water times. Thankfully, it hasn’t rained much in the past week, so we had only a knee-deep ford. There was a rope to use for balance, but we got by just using our poles. The temperature was perfect today and great hiking weather.
My ankle was feeling a lot better today. It’s amazing what a good night of rest can do for your body. It wasn’t nearly as sore as I thought it would it be. However, I did manage to trip and fall on a branch laying in the trail. My left foot attained further damage from the fall, making the inside of foot feeling like it had a permanent cramp. Despite this little setback, we flew through the terrain today, only a few minor ups and downs along the river.
It was such a relief to reach Route 15 and the road into Monson. It’s strange to think that this same road runs right through my hometown. We called the Lake Shore House and Rebecca picked us up at the parking lot. It’s a great spot here in town. We have a nice room here, took hot showers, did our laundry, and organized our gear. My dad drove up here to meet us with our food resupply and to hang out for a few hours. The general store is closed down here and we were worried about getting a good resupply for our last week on the trail. My dad will meet us halfway through the 100 Mile Wilderness with our last resupply because we’re pretty sure we’re incapable of carrying 7 days worth of food. I feel lucky that my parents were nice enough to gather all of the food and bring it to us. We had an awesome dinner here at the Lake Shore House restaurant. I had a Cuban sandwich and Miles had a pizza. Right on the shore of the lake and with a really nice staff all around, I can’t recommend this place enough.
With an easy hike into town and a nice, relaxing afternoon and evening at the hostel, we’re ready to enter the 100 Mile Wilderness tomorrow. It’s the last leg of our journey and it’s hard to believe that this entire thing is almost over. The beginning of the end is starting tomorrow and we are already starting to feel a difference in emotion. It feels bittersweet. We are ready to finish and go home, but at the same time, our lives out here have been full of so many amazing things, that it will be hard to leave all of that behind. We hope to enjoy this last stretch of the trail and use this last week to reflect on the highs and lows of our journey. It sure has been a journey, that’s for damn sure.
I’m going to warn you all now that it’s very possible that I won’t have any cellphone service for the rest of our hike. That also means that you probably won’t hear from me until after we summit Katahdin next week. I know that a lot of you look forward to my daily posts, but during this last stretch, patience will be the name of the game. Don’t worry, it will kill me to not let you all know about what I hope to be is an eventful and beautiful week in the Wilderness. But I can promise that I will be writing every night, with the day’s hike fresh in my mind.
100 Mile Wilderness. Baxter State Park. Katahdin. That’s it.
Until next week, my friends.