Friday, October 14, 2011

October 11

It was a chilly morning; we were up at 5 and headlamped it until daylight, around 6:40. We had a climb right off the bat but it wasn't as difficult as it looked. The terrain was more rugged today than it was yesterday, but still pretty flat. We set out for 22 miles to Abol Bridge, and hoped to get a few miles farther.
We passed Sky High and Icebreak this morning going southbound! Apparently they flip-flopped from Monson. They warned us of mud and more Maine terrain ahead, and that's exactly what we found...I was just thankful it hasn't rained for several days because the mudholes would have been even worse! The terrain slowed us down to about 2-2.5 mph. I was lucky to avoid stepping in much mud but Bear Bag slipped off a log and his foot went in up to about mid-calf!
It was another beautiful sunny day...a bit cooler than yesterday but still nice. I hurt though...my feet were killing me from the long day yesterday and the miles seemed to take forever.
We got to Rainbow Ledges and got another view of Katahdin...only 20 miles away this time! We had about 6 more miles to Abol Bridge where we saw the mountain yet again, framed beautifully by the Penobscot River and the setting sun. It was gorgeous, and it was sad.
We stopped at the camp store at the bridge and got cheeseburgers for dinner...one last feast before the end! We got some snacks for tomorrow as well and then headed out with headlamps for a few more miles, to shorten tomorrow.
The trail was flat and smooth and wonderful; we made great time. We crossed into Baxter State Park and I was feeling good...I felt like I could just keep walking all the way to Katahdin! But, we stopped around 7:30 and found a nice spot to camp. We're getting up at 4 in the morning to do the 7-ish miles to the base of Katahdin and then the 5 miles up (and 5 back down!).
We've had so many conversations about the end the past few days. What will it be like to go back to "real life?" To stop hiking? How can we explain to people what we've seen out here, what we've learned out here? How can anyone else understand?
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