Sunday June 23, 14.7mi/23.7km
Spaulding Mountain shelter (1990.3) to Route 17/Stratton (2003.8) (ME) + 1.2mi side trails
I was awake before 6am, since everyone else was already up for some reason. I packed up, and was the last person out of the shelter at 6:15am! The first climb was easy… I think. I was only half awake. Spaulding Mountain is 4009ft/1222m high, and a view less summit.
On the hike to the next peak, there was a small break in the trees with a view of the upcoming peak, Sugarloaf.
There was also a cool plaque on a boulder in the middle of the trail, commemorating the final link built to complete the AT.
Saddleback mountain was up a half mile side trail, and since the vegetation was removed from the top, had great views. It is 4236ft/1291m high.
It also had a few ugly towers, and a ski resort too.
The descent from Sugarloaf was nice, and it skirted the Carrabassett Valley.
I was expecting a ford of the Carrabassett river, but somebody placed a single board, and I was able to kepp my feet dry. Brilliant!
The climb up to the two Crocker mountains was a steep climb UP.
But the views from the top of South Crocker mountain were nice, and it was a perfect hiking day, sunny with a nice breeze to keep the bugs away.
There was a short descent and re-climb to get to North Crocker. I ran into another hiker on top, and she took my photo.
The last few miles into town were easy. And I also passed the 2000-mile mark! Sweet!
I made it to the trailhead at 1pm, and read the signs while I figured out my town strategy.
I decided to hitch into town, and it seemed like a long shot since no cars came for 5 minutes. But then two cars came, and the second one picked me up! I got dropped off at the usual motel that hikers go to, Stratton Motel.
After getting laundry and a shower, I went next door to the White Wolf Inn. It was probably the best burger I’ve had on trail, it came with almost every vegetable, and even horseradish!
I spent the rest of the day either swimming in the river, eating more, or planning for my next trail… the PNT (Pacific Northwest Trail)! More details coming soon…