Monday June 24, 17.9mi/28.8km
Route 27/Stratton (2003.8) to Flagstaff campsite (2021.7) (ME)
I slept in a little, it was nice to have dark windowshades to block out the 5am sunrise. I got packed up, finished my quart of ice cream, and the motel owners drove me back to the trail. It was another perfect hiking weather day!
Since it was warm and sunny, I saw many forest friends today too.
So many reptiles! A few miles in, I passed a sign for the 2,000 mile mark. The trail changes distance every year (usually increases), so this sign must be from a few years ago.
Maine seems to have many ponds and lakes, and today was no exception.
The Horns pond, in front of South & North Horn mountains.
I climbed up to 4000ft elevation for the last time, hitting both of the Bigelow summits. West peak is 4144ft/1263m high.
Looking ahead to Avery peak, which is 4088ft/1246m high.
The descent down was steep, as the trail dropped off the ridge.
Just after the summit, there was a plaque for Myron Avery, one of the founders of the AT, and for whom this summit was named.
Up on the ridge, the trail was surrounded by these nice white flowers. There were thousands of them, so it also attracted lots of bugs.
After the descent, I passed a ridiculous trail junction with a typo. The viewpoint was certainly more than 10cm from the AT!
I also passed thru Safford Notch, which was filled with dozens of house-sized boulders.
The final descent of the day was nice, heading down towards Flagstaff lake.
I hiked a couple of miles along the lake, and setup camp at an official spot. The water was nice and clean.
I was soon joined by another hiker, a SOBO named Claire (no trail name yet). It was fun to talk to other hikers, and swap trail stories. We even setup a food hang, which I haven’t done in many weeks!
After dinner, we sat by the lake and watched the sunset, and tried to go for a swim, but the mosquitoes prevented that…darn.