We made it out of the 100 mile wilderness today and reached Monson by 9am, after Ian and Leo easily got their first ever hitchhikes. I'll give a brief rundown of the mileage/camping we've done since hiking Katahdin. It took us 9 days (Leo 8 days) to go 114 miles (not coounting going up Katahdin), and we spent 7 in the 100 mile wilderness. Ian and I had great weather on top of Katahdin, and the next morning Leo went up and down before 2pm, then hiked another 9 miles to reach Abol bridge - pretty impressive day 1. The first day out of Abol it rained pretty much all day and we reached a full shelter late in the day. Most of our stuff got wet which set the tone for the whole week. The next few days were very swampy and muddy, and most streams and ponds were flooded from the rain. Finally we started to climb a few good mountains like Whitecap and Chairback, and some tough smaller hills that never seem to end (like Third and Fourth Mountain). The weather was iffy throughout, except today in Monson we finally had sun to dry out all of our stuff. After that firt wet night of tenting we tried to hustle to reach shelters each night to stay as dry as possible. There's a solid group of about 8 hikers that were near us so it was almost a race to get there before they fill up. By the third and fourth day we had worked our way up to the front of the pack so we had first dibs. Most days we did 15-17 miles except one rest day of only 10 miles, and our biggest day was 19.5 miles (besides Leo's Day 1). Our gear held up pretty well too despite the moisture. The river fords were tougher than expected since the water level was high - The toughest were East Branch Pleasant River (West Branch was really easy), Long Pond Stream (cost Leo a trekking pole), and Big Wilson creek wasn't too bad. Well it's getting late here in Dover-Foxcroft, especially for hiker time. Tonight a Ward family friend Bithy put us up for the night and supplied showers, laundry, medical attention, and so much more. Many thanks to her, Mark, and Zach for their hospitality! We're hitting the trail tomorrow after breakfast and going 5 days to Stratton, ME.
A-Frame on Ragged Lake
View of Moosehead from Indian Hill in Greenvile, ME
Male and Female White-Winged Crossbill feeding at East Branch Lean-To