Day 142 – Safford Notch Campsite to East Carry Pond (mile 2023.8)

We had a pretty nice campsite last night at Safford Notch, but the chipmunks there were insane little beasts. We hung our food bags, but they climbed down the slick rope and gnawed multiple holes in both our bags and ate a little of our chocolate and some trash. If I can catch any of those cute little rodents, they are going in the cook pot as some delicious and cute extra protein.

Anyway, besides the chipmunks, we had a really nice day. We first hiked up the gradual and somewhat tough climb to Little Bigelow Mountain.


Avery Peak, as seen from Little Bigelow. Flagstaff Lake to right.

Then we descended down to the lean-to (aka shelter) and had a morning snack. The trail got easier as we went down and eventually even resembled an actual recognizable walking path. It’s a strange concept after hiking the Whites and Maine. We crossed East Flagstaff Road and then got flagged down by some older dudes in the parking lot who had a crazy trail magic spread. Score!


The dudes are all thru-hikers, the lady is a thru-hiker named Red Robin who we've been playing leapfrog with since Virginia

They gave us some breakfast sandwiches (it was brunch-ish or so), drinks, snacks, etc. We hung out long enough that they fired up the grill for lunch and we had some delicious cheeseburgers. Some of them are trail maintainers in Maine now, so that was really cool to here their stories and chat with them.

After we took our leave, we hiked on over fairly easy trail for the afternoon. We went by West Carry Pond, which looked dreamy, but it felt too early to stop. There was more trail magic at the lean-to there. Someone made cereal bars, like rice crispy treats, but with various sugary cereals instead of puffed rice…amazingly good. We pushed on for another 4 miles or so and got to East Carry Pond, which is equally as dreamy as the other directional Carry Pond . We found a fantastic site just off the pond. I really don’t know why they are called ponds though, these things are huge and would certainly be called a lake in Pennsylvania. We waded in the clear water near the sandy beach and relaxed. It was very nice to have a relaxing and pretty easy hiking day.


Sandy beach at East Carry Pond

I sat quietly by the pond at sunset writing most of this post waiting for a moose to wade in to the water, but no luck there unfortunately. The colors of the sunset were beautiful though.


Sunset on the pond with the moon

Tomorrow we’ve got about 10 miles or so to hit the tiny town of Caratunk, where we are stopping for a nearo and to resupply for the short push this weekend to Monson, the last town on the trail.

Vital stats for Thursday, September 4th :
Miles hiked today – 16.3
Mood – really good, so nice to have an easier day, get some great trail magic, and find a fantastic camping spot
Physical state – still tired overall, but the easier day helped a lot
Smell – unshowered moose
Song stuck in my head – mash-up of 2 Legit 2 Quit by Hammer (complete with hand motions), The Weight of Living by Bastille, and Burn Pile by Moving Mountains (by far the weirdest mash-up I’ve had on the trail)

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