July 18, 2017
On the way down from Moxie Bald Mountain, we passed some huge boulders, with slim, twisty passages between. What fun! A miniature catacombs waiting for exploration.
July 19, 2017
The sunrise from a ridge near the top of Pleasant Pond Mountain set the tone for the whole day. What a glorious way to begin!
July 20, 2017
Today we crossed the Kennebec River using a canoe ferry! The Appalachian Trail Conference provides a free canoe ferry service for all hikers each spring, summer, and fall. There were six of us waiting on the bank of the river as the canoe crossed toward us. Craig, the ferryman, gave us a lecture on boat safety and highlights of the trail to come. Then he took two people at a time to the far shore, each time crossing back alone. When it was our turn, Jay kindly let me paddle, and he sat in the middle. The sun was shining, a gentle breeze kissed our faces, and the ride was over all too soon. “That was perhaps the best part of the trail,” I told Jay when we finished.
July 21, 2017
We entered the Bigelow Preserve today, named for a brigade commander in the Revolutionary War who climbed a peak “for military reasons”. We camped at Little Bigelow Lean-to, site of “tubs” along the AT. The tubs are natural, formed as a stream pools and drops down a deep cleft. We climbed down and around a couple of big boulders, and had a fast, cold bath all to ourselves! What a treat!
July 22, 2017
Today we climbed four mountain peaks in the space of 10 miles, Little Bigelow Mountain, Avery Peak and West Peak of the Bigelow Mountains, and South Horn. The tops of Avery Peak, West Peak, and South Horn were above tree line, giving us lovely panoramic views while the wind whipped in a frenzy around us. The terrain was the roughest I’ve seen since climbing Katahdin, and it took me 11.5 hours to hike 10 miles. I was one tired hiker by the time we reached our campsite at Horns Pond Lean-to!
July 23, 2017
On our way down the mountain from our campsite, we met a northbound hiker named Soul Flower. She is 70 years old, and really enjoying her hike! I thought of how tired I had been after climbing those four peaks yesterday, and marveled at Soul Flower’s energy and athleticism!
We talked a few minutes, and Soul Flower told us that her husband of 48 years had died in 2014. She hiked the PCT in 2015 as a way of grieving. Then in 2016, she started a thru-hike of the AT. However, she fell and broke her hand, and had to leave the trail at Harper’s Ferry, WV. So this year she is finishing her AT hike, going from Harper’s Ferry to Katahdin. She has made it through the toughest part of the hike, through New Hampshire and southern Maine. I am entranced with her story, and inspired to continue with my own!
P.S. Take a look at our Trail Angel page on the menu! Scroll to the bottom to see the latest trail angel help we have received.