Since we were by ourselves in the Hall Mountain Lean-to, we slept in until 8:30. I pulled and filtered a few liters of water for both of us and had a Carnation Breakfast Essentials and Tandem had coffee. We enjoyed a family breakfast in the shelter.
We packed and left by 9:45, then hiked most of the early part of the day separately with our iPhones broadcasting what we wanted to listen to. We had an early steep climb up Moody Mountain, which made me moody.
After lunch at the South Arm Road, we climbed our largest mountain of the day at 2,200 feet. It was Old Blue Mountain and I was blue after that climb.
On the way up, I passed Mio and Mombo slack packing south. They suggested we join them in the Rangeley to Stockton slack pack, and I said maybe. On the way down the mountain, I later found Tandem at a water source with a full dromedary to share with me. I didn’t need water but thanked her for the squeezing. We discussed the slack pack plan and decided that it would be a push to get there in time to share vehicle costs with Mio and Mombo.
We had agreed to meet at the Bemis Lean-to for dinner and a decision whether or not to push on. That would be 12.8 miles. Along the way, I passed Bacon Dog talking to a SOBO hiker named Hydro. I chatted, then hiked on. When I arrived at the lean-to, there were three SOBO there talking to Tandem. She was cooking her dinner, so I stated doing the same.
Two of the SOBO hikers were from Atlanta and one went to UGA. He knew Tandem’s freshman dorm roommate from high school. They had a lot to talk about, so I cooked Ramen and chatted with Bacon Dog about slack packing with us. He was interested in the plan.
The SOBO hikers had a fire burning. This is the second time in three days that SOBO hikers have made a fire at a lean-to. We NOBOs had burned out on building fires after it got warm in April.
The three of us packed up and headed out to hike 3.5 more miles to the camping area by the stream at a dirt road. We hiked over the second Bemis Peak and headed downhill. There was a large thunderstorm to the northeast thundering every half minute. It got dark quickly as the sun set behind clouds, and the storm was growing.
I had issues hiking in the waning light and fell twice. We put on our headlamps, and it started to sprinkle. After the pack covers were on, I started looking for an earlier tenting site, which we found at mile 1,950, .6 miles from the campsite. Just as we were set up, it started to pour rain. I hoped that Bacon Dog had gotten set up in his hammock down the trail in time, too.
We hiked 15 miles today, and it will be another 15 mile day tomorrow and a hitch into Rangeley, ME.