Friday, September 9, 2016

Day 125: Into the Wilderness

8/22: ME 15 - seasonal stream
Mile: 2074.6 - 2095.1 (20.1 miles)

It starts raining in the night and I can hear the rain pouring off the roof whenever I wake up. But the bunk room is quiet and I sleep pretty well. My mind is racing suddenly knowing this is over but I manage to get some solid sleep, maybe everyone talking about it has made it more real. It's still raining during breakfast but as we eat the sky lightens and it really stops. I hustle my stuff together and manage to be in the first shuttle back to the trail. This place was a little overwhelming at times with all the hikers but I'm sad to go, Shaw's was a really great stop.

The trail immediately enters the 100 mile wilderness, it feels strange to finally be here. I've been hearing about this stretch forever. It's 100 miles to food and my pack is the heaviest it's been in ages but it's cool out and I'm happy to be out.

The trail is mostly a creek with rocks and occasional bog logs (planks of wood to keep you semi dry). I manage to dodge most of the puddles as I wend my way through the forest around ponds and through the trees. As expected it isn't flat but the small rollers aren't bad and other than a few rather ungraceful slips I manage to stay vertical. Some of those big logs are slicker than the rock!

There are rushing rivers/creeks and I finally have to ford some streams. I think it ends up being at least 4 or 5 by the end of the day. The deepest is to my knees but slow flowing and warm enough that it was really just a break to wash my feet.

Then it's 2000 ft up to Barren Mountain. As expected in Maine it's rocks and roots but the glimpses of never ending green forest and lakes are fantastic and it's a fun climb.

The ridge line is muddy and puddle filled and I finally trip enough to get my whole foot submerged in mud but overall it's not too bad.

I'd planned to start heading up into the Chair Mountains but for the last few hours the wind has picked up and it's actually cold out. I decide to treat myself and in a lovely pine grove stop early.

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