Last night the loons were making their loony noises for a while. It was a really neat sound to hear them with the breeze blowing through spruce fir trees. It was another one of those magical Maine moments.
We got up pretty early to get to town a bit earlier. I was scoping the pond out before 6am in hopes of a moose sighting, but no luck, just a few of those crazy loons floating around. The sunrise came up and exploded gloriously over the pond though, so it was still awesome.
So cool. Ok Maine, you already won my “most scenic state” award, there is no contest.
We hiked today over alternately good and evil Maine trail. We had 3 fords today. Trippy took her shoes off and forded all 3 in her crocs. I rock and root hopped 2 of the 3, which mostly just got my feet wet. She is much smarter than I am.
Taking the ford the smart way
We were able to move pretty fast throughout and we got to the trailhead at ME 15 by 3:30pm or so. We got a shuttle from the Lakeshore Lodge where we are staying quickly. Monson is tiny, but seems pretty cool. The Lakeshore has a pub attached where we grabbed dinner with our trail doppelgangers Z and Gia. We did both our 1000 and 2000 mile days on the same day, so it was great to catch up and have some beers and try to figure out where we can do trail magic someday somewhere between PA and Kentucky where they live.
Z and Gia
We also got our 15th and last maildrop from Packy and Tapey today (it was actually more like 17 or 18 drops I think!). Thank you guys so much for all the logistical support on this adventure! We also got the bonus goodies from Aunt Linda and Uncle Mike – thanks a million. It’s been awesome to have so much support out here from friends and family.
Tomorrow is our last zero day on the trail. It’s already a little bittersweet for me. We are really excited to finally finish and come home, but I know I’ll miss this amazing adventure real soon.
Vital stats for Sunday, September 7th :
Miles hiked today – 17.9
Mood – awesome
Physical state – tired, but resting up for the last week out here
Smell – like a fresh Maine pond
Song stuck in my head – Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
We had a really quality continental breakfast at the Sterling Inn. Shortly after, Eric from the Inn shuttled us and a few other hikers back to the trail around 7:45am. It was easy going trail for quite a while as it gently ascended to Pleasant Pond Mountain. I started to refer to this kind of normal and flat trail as “good Maine” vs. “evil Maine”, where the trail is gnarly and filled with crazy roots, rocks, and PUDS. The weather was holding out for the morning, although it was crazy humid and sweaty. We climbed Pleasant Pond Mountain and had some clouds coming in by the time we reached the summit.
View North on Pleasant Pond Mountain. I think that's the Barren Mountain range out in the distance, one of our last.
We descended and hiked for 5 miles or so more on evil Maine terrain to the south outlet of Moxie Pond, which was another supposed ford. Again though, the water was low enough for us to hop across the rocks without getting wet. We hiked on and the skies grew more ominous. We got to the Bald Mountain Lean-to and things looked really imminent for a storm, so we hustled under the shelter as it started to rain. I think this was the first time on our entire hike that we got lucky enough to be near a shelter just as it started to pour. We hung out and chatted with a south-bounder until it stopped 20 minutes later or so. We then climbed over Moxie Bald Mountain in a misty cloud. It was another fairly easy climb, with mostly good Maine going on.
Misty approach to the summit of Moxie Bald
We hiked down to the Moxie Bald lean-to, which is on the Bald Mountain Pond, and found a tent site just off the pond. We had some light drizzle as we ate dinner under the tarp, but it blew out and a sweet (and almost double) rainbow popped out across the pond.
Rainbow over Bald Mountain Pond
The weather really cooled down, which is great for hiking tomorrow. We have around 17 miles into Monson, the last town on the trail. Wow.
Vital stats for Saturday, September 6th :
Mountains remaining – 3
Miles hiked today – 18.8
Mood – great, other than lack of moose
Physical state – Maine normal
Smell – oozing Moxie…or something like that
Song stuck in my head – Hail To The Lion by The Pennsylvania State University Marching Blue Band (first thing I did when we got to the top of Moxie Bald was to check my phone signal to see what the final score of the Akron game was.)