Day Four = 42 Fabulous Miles

Day 4

42 miles

start time: 4:20am

end time: 9:10pm

From Brew—Another great day on the trail. Jen got to fulfill a dream of hers this morning: fording the Kennebec River. The Kennebec is the most legendary “ford” on the AT. Since 1985, outfitters in Caratunk have provided a canoe ferry twice a day so that hikers can avoid it, but Jen had her heart set on walking across. The water level was too high when we arrived at 6am (they raise and lower it at different times for the rafters upstream) so we went to an outfitter/lodge to soak in the hot tub, shower, and eat a big breakfast before heading back out at 7:45. The water level had gone down a foot or two to the point where Warren- who’s forded the river two or three dozen times- felt comfortable about the two of them crossing it. So Warren led her across, dropped her off at the trail, and then forded back again. “Hard core” is the best term I can think of to describe what they did. When Warren came back across, he howled then bellowed “I may have the face of a 61 year old and the belly of a coach potato, but I’ve still got the legs of a WILD RIVER MAN!!!” Then he struck the Atlas pose and flexed his calves. It was awesome.

 

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Jen’s adrenaline was pumping after the river ford. She hiked strong in the late morning and early afternoon before reaching the Bigalow Mountains. Melissa hiked with her a few miles from there and then hiked in to her again as she came down the mountain last night. She had Chili Beef and Mac with cheddar cheese and Fritos for dinner (thanks to Diamond Brand Outfitters in Asheville for the Mountain House!) and she did finally eat the Whoopie Pie so no Whoopie pie for me yet. Overall, it was another great day for the little hiker princess.

Animal sightings: I saw a red fox this morning while driving to the Kennebec, and the girls had two separate encounters with protective mommas. A momma deer stood her ground and snorted at Melissa in the early morning, and a momma grouse charged Jen on foot then dive bombed her a few times in the late afternoon. 

09/16/14 - Pierce Pond, ME - WALKING THE WOOD DAM - Hiked 9.8 miles to Pleasant Pond Lean-to - 146 miles to go.

Today was an easy two-part day. The first part of the day was all about getting to the canoe ferry across the Kennebec River before 11 AM to avoid having to wait for the 2 PM shift to start. Was worried that this would take too long at first due to the start of the hike seen pictured. That was just temporary and it ended up being a fast hike to the ferry point. Got there around 10:30 and enjoyed helping Hillbilly Dave paddle the canoe across the Kennebec. He has been ferrying hikers here for the last eight years.

Then I hitchhiked the two miles to Northern Outdoors in nearby Caratunk, the second to last trail town on the AT, for a nice lunch - chile, bread and apple pie a la mode. Afterwards, I relaxed and used the internet in the lounge area which was pretty sweet. This place even gave me a ride back to the trail head which saved me a lot of time.

The afternoon hike in the rain went very fast and I got to the shelter around 4:30. Normally, I would have gone on and looked for a place to tent but the rain put a crimp into that idea and I enjoyed having more time than I usually do for my evening trail routine.

Looking forward to good weather and a long day tomorrow which is the day I will achieve a major life goal - turning 60 on the AT.

At the shelter, met Spruce Lee, Walk Into Trees, and Onward and reconnected with Weatherman.

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