Mile: 2005.2 - 2028.3 (23.1 miles)
Do you know that feeling of an involuntary muscle twitch? Sometime after midnight I thought my back was spasming. While strange I honestly didn't think much of it, then it happened again and I had the sinking suspicion something had just scampered over me. My light confirmed it, a mouse had just run across my back. I hadn't fully closed my mesh after a bathroom trip and here was my reward. Thankfully it was easy enough to shoo it out the door but my sleep was pretty pathetic after that. No damage to my gear that I've found yet but we'll see. Good morning nature.
It's a cold and misty start, I feel like I'm in a fairy forest and I'm in love with this stretch.
The mist comes and goes and and I get a glimpse of Horns pond before heading down to it. I can't see the peaks I'm climbing to but I know the trail heads up.
Leaving Horns pond and campsite it's more magical fairy forest. Little flowers and the ever abundant moss are perfect this morning. It's a climb up but then just a series of smaller climbs all morning. First up is the North and South Horn. The mist blows around and I get secret glimpses. I keep underestimating how many lakes Maine really has.
After the Horns it's up to West Bigelow Peak. It's gloriously windy and I take a million pictures. I can't get over how great it is up here. I think I've only gone 4 miles by 10, I just keep stopping and soaking it all in.
There's even a spring box with perfect cold clear water in the middle of a ridge. Water and mountains. My favorite. I turn a corner and have a short state down with a pine marten, it's not in the mood for photos but leaves me grinning and even happier.
The last peak is Bigelow Avery, one of the main people behind the whole AT.
Then it's time to head back down. It's a long ways down alongside the babble of creeks towards the ponds I've been admiring all morning.
The trail becomes a magical highway that I can cruise along making today even better. Yes there were sections filled with roots but breaks make all the difference. I chat with a trail maintainer, this has bee his section for over 20 years and because of him I get fresh new white blazes marking trail today, another treat.
I had thought to camp at East Carry Pond but I have to go farther to find a flat spot. It's warm tonight but my feet are tired and it's only 46 miles to Mondon, my very last trail town. And tomorrow I cross the Kennebec River by ferry (a canoe is actually the ferry, sponsored by the ATC) and can stop worrying about that timing issue. So many milestones are creeping past!
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