Sunday, September 4, 2016

Day 119: Saddleback

8/16: Powerlines - Spaulding Mountain Shelter
Mile: 1961 - 1987.4 (26.4 miles)

I'm tired and apparently not in a photo happy mood. It's a wooded forest and pond kind of morning. Nothing too different, I seem to trip constantly and it's not the easiest staying cheerful. I pass a trail crew at a campsite and a canoe sitting at the edge of a pond. But it's a behemoth and I'm thinking solo it would be not so fun. Overall a rolling slow start to the day.

It isn't until over 7 miles later when I'm crossing a real road at RT 4 that I start to perk up a bit. It's time to climb.

5 miles and about 2500 ft later I reach the beginnings of the saddlebacks. The first is Saddleback Mtn, then the horn and finally Junior Saddleback. It's a lot of time above tree level which I love plus there are ripe blueberries.

Looking towards the horn is a perfect snack break.

Coming down its steep rocky typical Maine. I've been leapfrogging another hiker for a bit and we end up hiking a solid 6 plus miles together. It doesn't sound like much but since I hike alone pretty much 99% of the time 3 hours of new conversation is pretty great.

We make solid time and head downhill for ages. The other hiker, Yardsale takes a nasty spill catching his foot on a root and decides to stop about 2 miles before the shelter. He's fine but is favoring the knee he fell on after injuring it not that long ago. I say goodbye to my new friend bad start hauling up the last mountain of the day.

The clouds that have been hovering all afternoon finally open up and my last hour is a light rain. Flat spots have been so inconsistent and with rain already falling I want a good campsite so I can stay dry. I call it a night at the shelter surprised to see at least 8 hikers I know. I squeeze into a spot and hope my tent cooperates tonight.

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