TenBeforeTen, Moose Tracks and Scooby Snacks

24 July

Mileage

AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 172.9 miles
AT Total Miles – 626.9 miles
% Complete – 28%
Today’s Miles –  17.1 miles
Time –  8.0 hrs
Speed – 2.13 mph

Start: Pierce Pond Lean-to
Stop: Little Bigelow Lean-to

This morning WAS supposed to be an easy day before tomorrow’s mountains.  However, after just a little while on the trail that was so gentle, I wondered “Could this be a 10 miles before 10am kind of day?”

Since the trail continued with it’s easy path meandering through Maine, I knew I had a chance!  Joiner and I “almost” had a 10 b4 10 day, but missed it by half a mile in the Great Smokie Mountain National Park.  It was a predominantly downhill section which made it faster.  However, it was a No Joy that day…but TODAY was different on a very fast and flat trail.  Even after te first 2 hour breaks for water and crackers, it still seemed “possible”!

I did IT!  Ten miles before ten a.m. (TenBeforeTen) and I’m stoked!  The trail was great and it didn’t take too much effort on the flat and fast trail. Only a few sections slowed my pace and even then I was moving.  Best of all I felt great…but the final 7.7 miles of the day into camp after this morning’s ten miles weren’t as nice.  But here I sit, arriving at the shelter just as the rain begins to fall.  That cool overcast day has turned into rain 😕 but it was great to help with the quick morning.

So another milestone complete – TenBeforeTen!  Check it off the list!

The wildlife were on the move this morning.  I don’t know if the overcast and cooler temperatures drove them out to look around or what.  The two very large whitetail deer were only a few feet away before they danced over the trail and off into the brush.  However, the Moose was a whole other matter!

Since I was pushing my speed this morning, I didn’t even see the Moose until he started running!  I guess I startled him and then he startled me.  When I first looked up at the sound of an animal on the move, my first glimpse had me thinking Bear.  Then I realized it was a Moose on the trail.

I think the Moose was confused and kind of danced around before finally heading AWAY from me.  At about 15 yards up the trail he finally bolted into the brush and kept moving.

It was a little interesting, BUT I got to see a Moose again!  Sorry, no pictures this time…it happened so fast.

When I arrived at the West Carry Pond Lean-to, I found Trail Magic.  Scooby Snacks for the hikers way out here! How awesome it was.  They had cupcakes and cookies.  Even though I usually decline unsupervised trail magic, I took a cupcake today as my TenBeforeTen reward.

I guess today was trail magic day.  As I came down to East Flagstaff Rd, there alongside the trail were these…

Water for me to fill my bottles and not have to filter.  I was running a little low on water because the spring at West Carry Pond Lean-to was dry!  So I’d been hiking since this morning on limited water…so glad this was here!

A BIG THANK YOU to the cupcake and water trail angels.  It made this hikers day even better.

Finally, I ran into this crew on East Flagstaff Rd. They are AmeriCorps volunteers working for the Maine Conservation Corps!  Let’s give it up to those who maintain the trails.

Up-n-Ready
Flip   GA to VA
Flop  ME to VA
“On the road to Damascus”

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