There was a drizzle of rain last night, just enough to moisten my tent fly, and it was chilly out. I had slept with my iPhone in my sleeping bag to dry it further, and the audio was working again. I realized that the pace we are making in the 100 Mile Wilderness will shorten our food needs by a day, so when we pick up our five gallon bucket of food tomorrow morning it will be time to start pigging out.
I ate a couple of Pop Tarts, a granola bar, and trail mix in my tent while the others awoke. I packed quickly and loaded my waist belt pouch with two full size Snickers and more pieces of hard candy than usual.
Tandem had seen a piece of tent tie down rope reflecting in her headlamp last night. Since I’d been one rope short on my side vestibule pullouts for the entire hike, I grabbed it and added the three-foot rope to the side away from the door, which will raise it for more air when tied out. The trail gives…
We left at 7:30 after Nemo and most of the section hikers, and the rolling climb of 1,700 feet up White Cap Mountain started immediately. All of the pre-mountains we summited had names also, starting with Gulf Hagas Mountain, followed by West Peak and Hay Mountains. We rested on top of White Cap Mountain at six miles and could see Mount Katahdin in the distance.
On the way down White Cap, we caught up with some of our favorite NOBO through hikers, Scout, Go Far, and Spruce, who were surprised to see us. Fiver was with them, but we hadn’t known her before this. Ragnar was missing from this group, off the trail in Monson for what I learned later were personal issues.
We hiked on another 1.5 miles down to the Logan Brook Lean-to and met Nemo there. He was doing the same distance as us today — nineteen miles to the Cooper Brook Falls Lean-to. He is speeding up on the “flats” to summit on the nineteenth, though. There were mice running around with no fear while we ate, and one even came up and searched right between my feet.
We packed up and Nemo took off as we hiked out down to the East branch of the Pleasant River, which we had to ford. I headed out first on the rocks and saw that we needed to use a fallen pine tree to complete the crossing. I made it safely, as did my iPhone. Tandem slipped in up to her knees, but got only her socks and shoes wet.
Now it was time to climb the final mountain, Little Boardman, that lay between us and 55 miles of the “flats” in the 100 Mile Wilderness. After the descent, we went around the east end of Crawford Pond where I took a break on a rock. Scout, who was looking at the pond as he hiked up, was startled when he saw me there
He hiked off, and I followed. Tandem came up behind me and we stopped later on the flat trail for water from a clear stream. She hiked on, and I turned on a genius list to listen to until my iPhone battery died. It was three miles of flat hiking along Cooper Brook to the Cooper Brook Falls Lean-to, and when I arrived at 17:30, Tandem, Mio, and Nemo were in the shelter.
I set up my tent while the clouds threatened rain. The chipmunks were very interested in what I was doing, so I had to keep my food bag elevated as I set up my tent, which upset them. I joined the others in the shelter to cook dinner and eat as much as I could before we pick up our halfway bucket of food four miles up the trail tomorrow morning.
Mio retired to his tent to watch a movie and Tandem crashed in her hammock. I hung my food bag in the shelter out of chipmunk reach and went to my tent to relax and write this. There will be some clothing changes for tomorrow, due to having only three trail days left before summiting Mount Katahdin on Wednesday, August 20. “Hump Daaay!”
We hiked nineteen miles today for a total of 2,125.5, and tomorrow will be 21.5 miles on the “flats”. There are 60 miles remaining to the summit of Mount Katahdin!