Start Milepost: 2163.5 Time: 06:47
End Milepost: 2184.6 Time: 14.54
Miles hiked: 21.1
Miles to go: 5.2
Temps: cold to warm, windy
Blue Side trails:
Overnight: The AT Lodge
Map: Click on map pin
As I left camp this morning I spoke with two hikers who had arrived last night at 20:45. I inquired about the specifics of signing into the park ranger office at Katahdin and they advised I need only show up. They planned to go the full twenty miles – all the way to Katahdin Stream campground – instead of taking the two days of ten miles that I wrote about last evening. With that input I took off.
As has happened on numerous days, I got off to a very sluggish start – at least I felt sluggish. In fact, I was clocking 2.5 MPH on some fairly gnarly trails so I was moving OK, just not feeling energetic. All the while I contemplated going the full twenty miles vice two increments of ten. First I had to overcome the sluggishness I felt. More food was the fix.
When I reached the ten mile mark at 11:30 I popped out of the forest and met Dave, husband to M’am, a hiker I passed yesterday and saw a couple of hours earlier this morning. He offered me a Coke, which I readily accepted, and remarked that he was not sure his wife would opt to go the full twenty – a decision I had already made. I thanked him for the Coke and pressed on to the Abol campground office and an associated store not far down the road from Dave. There I bought a Gatorade and Oreos, got no useful answers about the trail north, and departed.
A mile later at the AT kiosk I signed up for a campsite at Katahdin Stream campground – the list validated the remark at Shaw’s – only twelve hikers could camp free. As I hiked on I considered staying at the AT Lodge instead, but that required that I be at the campground by 16:00 to catch the last shuttle. And that required that I pick up my pace. So, I did and arrived at the campground just before 15:00. The trail was the best to date to hike at a 3.0 MPH rate!
Having caught the 16:00 shuttle that actually departed the ranger office at 16:30, I am staying at the AT Lodge for the night. With that I get a shower and my laundry done. A young hiker who had one buck in his wallet would do our laundry with my $3 while I moved down the street for a burger and brew. I will cool my heels at the lodge/hostel until Scamper picks me up tomorrow in the early afternoon. In the meantime, approach Day #3 is off the schedule and a rest day has been inserted. I will complete my AT hike on Wednesday.
I am ready to leave the trail. I suspect Scamper is ready for me to leave as well – as long as I complete the final 5.2 miles! She will join me for the first couple of miles before taking Owl trail. Both of us are ready for chilly temperatures and windy conditions.
As an aside, she and I will sleep in a lean-to on Tuesday night. She passed on experiencing a night in a hostel – even if it was in a private room. Methinks she made the right decision even if the ambient, nighttime temperatures dip into the low 30s.
At the campground today I met Indiana Jane who I last saw at Bear’s Den Hostel in Virginia when my brother did not have the appetite to finish his pizza. She summited Katahdin today so she and her parents were giving away trail magic – all her leftover supplies of snacks and drinks. I claimed two bottles of Gatorade and some cookies. They leave for home in Canada tomorrow.
It is almost 21:00 and despite being very tired, I am nowhere near my quilt – because I have nowhere to go tomorrow and no rush to get there on a schedule! Nevertheless, my supper bill has been paid so I will find my bunk and retire for the night. Breakfast will be in the AT Cafe just a few doors down – at my leisure. Tomorrow’s meals will not be trail fare…