“A very” tough Peak
25 July 2017
AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 186.4 miles
AT Total Miles – 640.4 miles
% Complete – 29%
Today’s Miles – 13.5 miles
Time – 9.5 hrs
Speed – 1.42 mph
Start: Little Bigelow Lean-to
Stop: Cranberry Stream Campsite
This morning started off quite cool. With the rainy conditions last night, it didn’t make getting up very easy. Because of the wet conditions, I chose to sleep in the lean-to..
Oh, how I hate sleeping in a shelter.
Those lean-tos are loud and noisy. People snoring, moving around on their air mattresses and just not conducive to a good night’s rest. And there are the bugs and sometimes mice…enough said!
However, if it’s shelter sleeping or putting my tent up in the rain..I’ll take the shelter! Even though I won’t get much rest/sleep.
So I woke up to cooler conditions and had to put on my wet shirt (cooled me to the bone) , wet underwear and shorts and finally those wet socks..I really hate putting on wet socks.
Normally, I arrive at my campsite early enough to let my clothes air out and dry up. But since it was raining, they never got dry. Yuk…cold, wet, smelly clothes in the morning.
However, I forced myself up and ready like usual and hit the trail before 6am. It was nice cool hiking weather, but the wind was brisk at times. I put on and took off my pullover jacket several times UNTIL…
I started the uphill climb to Avery Peak in the Bigelow Preserve. It was definitely UP and challenging. I was sweating profusely the entire climb. However, the last portion was above the tree line and the wind was howling on this 4000ft summit. So the pullover was back on for the remainder of the morning. That included summitting Bigelow Mtn and the South Horn until the sun finally came out.
The views were AMAZING! I’m not sure how else to put it. Lakes, mountains, beauty!
After making it to Horns Pond Lean-to (10 miles into today’s hike), I had lunch before making the last few miles to Cranberry Stream Campsite.
Since tomorrow is a Nero (near zero miles) as I head into Stratton, Maine being closer allows me to get a full day in town to resupply, eat, shower and wash clothes without being rushed.
However, what I thought was going to be an easy 3 downhill mile afternoon stroll after the very difficult morning was not easy! It was climbing more hills followed by downhills that lasted for 2400 feet. Yeah, we were dropping like a lead balloon and my legs and feet felt every step.
Also, I tried to make reservations in Stratton for the Nero since I heard it’s a hiker madhouse right now. Two guys slack packing north told me about White Wolf Inn so I called and the office is CLOSED on Tuesday’s. But I left a message asking for a room. When I got to the campsite, I was surprised to see I had cell service and gave the hotel another shot. Lucky for me they answered and I secured a room.
I then passed the phone over to TJ and he secured a bunk at the motel. Now, we’re all set for a chillaxin’ Nero on Stratton.
Tomorrow, it’s a 2 mile jaunt to the highway to hitch hike into town.
Flip GA to VA
Flop ME to VA
“On the road to Damascus”
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