Into the Wilderness

12 July 2017

Mileage

AT NOBO Miles – 454 miles
AT SOBO Miles – 18.6 miles
AT Total Miles – 472.6 miles
Today’s – 12.9 miles
Time – 8.5 hrs (took 2 hr break at Abol Bridge)
Speed – 1.51 mph

Tonight’s location: Hurd Brook Lean-to

Another early morning!  I woke up at 4:30am, but my aching body didn’t want to move.  However, when the car alarm went off at 5am, everyone in the campground was awake.  No more putting it off, Up-n-Ready was on the move.

I did take my time (I was slow) and finally departed at 6am.

Equipment of the Day

$3 bug suit from Walmart

I tried the bug suit on last night at Katshdin Stream Campground when it started getting buggy, but thought I looked ridiculous so I took it off and used bug spray.  However, today the bugs were licking my bug spray and saying “give me more”.  So out came the bug suit and everytime I met another hiker on the trail they commented on it regarding the pants — had never seen them.

Additionally, the suit worked great!  Even after fording 6 streams today.

BTW don’t forget to remove the head net BEFORE you spit!  I did it 2 times…yeah, yuck!

FORDing SUCKS!

Who in their right mind wants to get there feet, socks and shoes wet when hiking long distances?  In case you didn’t know the answer — No One!

So why is there 8 water fords between Katahdin Stream Campground and Abol Bridge?  Inquiring minds want to know.  I guess it’s Baxter State Parks way of keeping hikers out of the park.  Nice try, it doesn’t work so why not FIX (reroute) the trail?

I had heard about the high water bypass trail for one of the water crossings (It’s actually 2 crossing because it hooks up with the AT and never crosses the water.  So the NORMAL trail has to go across and across again.)

The first ford was ankle deep and only 15 feet across.  I moved quickly through it and barely got water in my shoes.  I thought “great decision not wasting time changing into my Crocs”.

Then the second ford appeared!  It was 10 feet across, but I could tell it was deeper, Much Deeper.  Since my feet were already “slightly” wet, I decided to forego the footwear change again and was up to my crotch in water!  Now this is Fording some water.  As I exited, I came across two ladies “drying out” from the crossing and I considered the same action as I hiked on sloshing with every step.  I had gotten my boots full of water and it was not exiting the Hoka eVent Waterproof interior.  As I considered stopping to empty my boots and squeeze out my drenched socks, I rounded a corner on the trail and BOOM, another water crossing.

As I cursed under my breath, I was astounded at the length of this water crossing.  It was at least 75 feet and had twists and turns along the pathway.  As I traversed this section with bushes beside me and water around me, I was so thankful to not be in Florida water like this.  In Florida, I’d be wondering where the Gators were.   Not only did I get wet once again up to my crotch, as soon as I exited the water I twisted my ankle and hit the ground.

That’s two days in Baxter State Park and two days of twisting my ankle, I sure hope this is not of sign of what’s to come. But…the water crossing kept coming.  With all of the long and deep.

It wasn’t until I arrived at Abol Bridge that I emptied my shoes of the excess fluid and squeezed my insoles and socks to reduce the moisture content.  Boy, were my feet WET!  And that short time of hiking with wet feet did a number on my feet. I’ll have to take care of them tonight or this 100 Mile Wilderness is going to feel like a thousand miles.

While at the Abol Bridge store, I saw they had wifi by the hour.  It was SLOW!  BTW it’s not worth the $2.  I only did it to message my family and let them know I’m alive and didn’t die or get lost in Baxter State Park.

After a nice easy day (I needed it after summiting Katahdin), I finally arrived at Hurd Brook Lean-to around 2:30pm, right after another Flip Flopper (Aquaman).

Tomorrow’s another planned short day.  We’ll have to see about that.

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