QLU: Caratunk to Stratton
Quick little update:
Notice I say “we”. I am referring to myself and Brandon aka Double Tap, just in case you didn’t know we are hiking together.
After a great nights sleep in a bed at the Sterling Inn and a 3 bagel breakfast, off we ferried across the Kinnebec River!
In a race with the weather we hiked 3.7 hike to Pierce Pond Lean-to. We won. It started to rain less than an hour after we got there so we decided to stay there for the night. You’ll for sure meet some of the coolest people on the AT, and it’ll make you realize how small of a world it really is! But more on that later. (Next blog) That night I woke up because my air mattress had a hole in it and would deflate every two hours, not fun. But from the lean-to I saw a gap in the trees over Pierce Pond and saw some stars. I decided to get up and check it out. I walked down by the pond and holy cow I’ve never seen so many stars in the sky! This was the first time I’ve had a clear sky without trees in my way to see the stars! Phenomenal!
The next day we were feeling good and pushed 17 miles to Little Bigelow Lean-to. On the way we met Zephyr, a former thru-hiker and current trail angel!!! He was clearing the trail and had Oreos and soda for hikers! TRAIL MAGIC! At the lean-to we met up with Ben and Melissa, now with trail names of Shark Tank and Scavenger, Brown, and Lt. Dan. We all went down to “the tubs” to ice our aching feet, had dinner, and became best friends! That night was clear as well and of course I got up in the middle of the night because since when can you sleep through the night on the AT? As I got up I noticed the stars again, so after a quick pee I decided I’d lay down on the bench and check them out. Literally as soon as I laid down a shooting star flies across the sky! Yes, of course I made a wish! And no I’m not telling what it was! But I will tell you that this has been my favorite night on the trail!
The next day we got up and of course Brown was already packed out and on the trail before 6AM! Tough 10 miles up and over Little Bigelow Mountain, Avery Peak, and Bigelow Mointian West Peak! Super windy but definitely the best views we’ve had so far!
Made it to Horns Pond Lean-tos (yes there are 2 there) ate and went to bed! Next morning hiked a few miles to the road that goes into Stratton and holy crap we have the worst hitchhiking abilities in the world, literally ranked. It took us FOREVER to get someone to pick us up! But finally we got a ride and met up with friends in Stratton. We ate lunch, resupplied, watched a movie, and thanks to Nemo being awesome I mailed back my old tent and holy sleeping pad because they sent me new ones! After a chill day there we headed back out and up North Crocker Mountain. We hiked for about 2 hours before we realized we needed to find a place to camp before it got dark! Found a nice little stealth site just off the trail and called it a night!
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