Wednesday June 26, 18.8mi/30.3km
Hwy 201/Caratunk Hostel (2040.8) to Bald Mountain Pond shelter (2059.6) (ME)
I slept in until almost 7am, and went over to the main hostel building for breakfast. Bacon, home fries, French toast, eggs, and fruit! Then, an hour later, I got a chocolate milkshake… just because I could. Paul (“one braid”) is the hostel owner, and he has hiked the AT, PCT, and he makes the best milkshakes!
By the time I finished my milkshake, did some planning for my travel to Montana next month, it was already 11am! The river crossing canoe only runs 9am to 11am, and I had seen some new hikers come thru, but not Bob. So now I don’t think he is behind me, and no one ahead of me has seen him… maybe he quit the trail? It’s a strange mystery.
I did a short roadwalk back to the trail, and it was a surprisingly sunny and hot day.
The first five miles were flat and easy, and there were all these purple flowers.
I stopped for a break after five miles at the Pleasant Pond shelter. It had a fancy new long drop toilet, always nice to see.
I also took a very quick dip in nearby Pleasant Pond, since the water was so cold.
It felt good, but I had to reapply the bug repellent, there are so many mosquitoes! The climb up to Pleasant Pond Mountain was steep and slow, with lots of roots and rocks.
The top of the mountain didn’t have much of a view, but it was fun to walk on the big slab of rock.
The descent was easy, and soon I was at a river ford, the first of many this week. There is even a blaze on the rock in the middle of the stream!
There was a nearby pond that was connected to the stream, and the good views were quickly disappearing as a low cloud moved in.
The low lying marshy areas were nice to look at, but there were so many bugs!
The next climb up to Moxie Bald Mountain was easy, and towards the top there was a jumble of boulders that made a cool cave system.
The views on the top of the mountain were completely blocked in by fog. Oh well.
It was getting late, so I hurried down to mountain, and arrived at the shelter at 7pm. Only one other SOBO thru-hiker was there, and the two of us shared the shelter, along with the two hundred mosquitoes. Usually I would tent, but the sky is a little drippy, so I’m hiding in my sleeping bag tonight!