600 Miles to a Catatunk Milkshake

23 July 2017


AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 155.2 miles
AT Total Miles –  609.2 miles
% Complete – 27%
Today’s –  9.7 miles (am 5.7 miles, pm 4 miles)
Time –   morning 2.17 hrs, afternoon 1.5 hrs
Speed –  morning 2.6 mph, afternoon 2.67 mph

Start: Pleasant Pond Lean-to
Stop:  Pierce Pond Lean-to

Today started off a little late since we were headed into Caratunk for milkshakes and pulled pork sandwiches.  With only 6 miles into town, I decided to hike with Laurence vs my early start time of before 6am (the reason for my trail name).  So at 7am, we departed on a nice trail…pretty flat most of the way, but there was one good climb.  I was wondering how long it was going to take us to get to town….not long.

After just a little time hiking, I thought we were traveling pretty fast — and the times prove it.  I guess it was those thoughts of milkshakes we heard about from other hikers and read about in the lean-to logs.  They drove our feet faster and faster until we arrived in the little hamlet of Caratunk.

It was a quick 2 hour and 10 minute hike for 5.7 miles…or 2.6 mph!  Now that’s cruising…but ice cream does that to me!

Today also took me past my 600 mile mark.  Another milestone surpassed.

Then it was time for some wifi, cell phone charging, resupply and eating the goodies before getting back on the trail.  It was well worth the stop!

I highly, HIGHLY, recommend the Milkshakes.  They were as smooth a silk — your choice of  vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or coffee!  I had 2 chocolate, but considered a 3rd as coffee.    It’s   probably better that I didn’t have a 3rd milkshake…I was hiking this afternoon you know.

Paul, Boulder and Andrew were great hosts.  I had a milkshake for breakfast, how about that for AT hiking food?  BTW The house is really laid back atmosphere…

Then there was lunch!  Chocolate milkshake and pulled pork sandwich, which I also highly recommend…they did that sandwich just right.  Laurence had 2 sandwiches, but could have easily done 2 more!  They WERE that Good!

I then phoned home via my Google Hangouts account.  It allows wifi to landline calls…very good for those locations (most of Maine) where AT&T cell coverage is non-existent.  Lots going on back at home.  I almost thought I’d need to get off the trail.  But myWife reassured me to continue hiking on!  I will, but my mind is back in Missouri.

We made the Kennebec ferry crossing right after lunch.  How cool it is to be paddled via canoe across the river.  I am SO GLAD I didn’t have to ford this river…it was wide and flowing fast!

The final miles were just as quick as the morning.  I’m going to have to stop hanging around Laurence…he walks too fast and is pushing my pace. LOL. Really it’s that we’ve both been on the same distance schedule.  Hiking alone most days and meeting up at camp.

The last 4 miles to camp took 1 hour and 30 minutes…that’s a 2.66 mph pace OR very quick in my book.

Tonight’s Lean-to is right on Pierce Pond with great views.  This is living the Maine LIFE!  After I set up camp, I heard some people splashing in the pond.  Swimming HAD crossed my mind, BUT...I’ve been told there are leaches in these parts.

Leaches…No Thank You.  But I had to check out the people swimming and they didn’t have leaches.  So, I decided it was swimming time for me too!  I put on my Jockey underwear and jumped on in.

It was GREAT!   

Tomorrow’s a long day.  All in preparation for Little Bigelow Mtn, Avery Peak, Bigelow Mtn west peak followed up by South Horn the following day.  The last 3 are all around 4K feet and will be tough!

So Goodnight.  I need some rest!


Flip   GA to VA
Flop  ME to VA
“On the road to Damascus”

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