Bemis Mountain Lean-to(1951.1) to ME 4, Rangly, ME(1968.8) 17.7 Miles
I've been looking forward to today for awhile now. Everyone agrees that the trail gets easier after ME 17, and I only had to hike 4.5 miles to get there. Since I was hoping to make it into town today to resupply, I left camp early. I had a short hike to the second summit of Blueberry Mountain, properly known as Bemis Mountain. There were so many blueberries at the summit that I, once again, took way too much time picking them. I just couldn't resist. I was so focused on gathering blueberries that I almost missed the view.
The 4.5 miles to ME 17 seemed to take forever. The nice trail from the last few days suddenly disappeared and was replaced by slick rocks. About one mile short of ME 17 I had to ford Bemis stream. I expected to have to take my socks and shoes off and put on my Luna sandals, but luckily there were a couple of downed trees that I could walk across instead. After fording Bemis Stream, the trail went steeply uphill before hitting the road. At the stream I found Tree Beard, Burl, Taco, and Shell, so we walked together until the road crossing.
I was more than a little surprised when the trail didn't get any easier after the road. What the hell? Just as I was cursing everyone that had lied to me, the trail magically became better. By better, I mean relatively flat. I also passed by two ponds, one of them even had a nice sandy beach. I was thinking about going for a swim when, Boomerang, came along. He is part of the Warren Doyle group that I have been seeing for the past week. He informed me that all of the ponds in a Maine have leeches in them. That helped me to make up my mind. No swimming for me.
I sat by Sabbath Day Pond and ate my lunch. While I was eating I saw a splash in the pond. I couldn't believe my eyes, it was a beaver, frolicking in the pond. It was too far away to get a picture though. As I was getting ready to head out, Cindy Lou, another member of the Doyle expedition came by. I hadn't met her before, but she knew who I was. A member of her hiking group from back home, Bama, follows Airlock's journal. I'm not sure if he reads my blog as well, but I'll give him a shoutout nonetheless. Hi, Bama. As I walked away from the pond I caught a flash of movement right next to the trail. Before I even knew what was happening a moose ran right in front of me. It all happened so fast that I barely had time to register what had happened. The weird thing was just how quiet she was. I always figured that a moose would make a ton of noise in the forest, but I barely heard anything before I saw it. My first moose sighting in Maine!!!
It was still really early in the day and if I hustled I could make it into town tonight to resupply. I didn't want to stay in town, but I also didn't want to hitch in. Rangly is nine miles from the trail and I wasn't sure I could get a hitch in, resupply, and hitch out before dark. I decided that if I could make it to the road before five o'clock, that I would stay at a hostel in town since they would pick me up. I listened to my audiobook and the miles flew by. I'm currently listening to a Star Wars book and I'm loving it. They use all kinds of Star Wars music and sound effects. It makes me feel like I'm watching a movie.
The trail stayed nice and easy all the way to the trailhead and I made it there at exactly five o'clock. Just before I made it to the trailhead, I heard a loud crashing sound off to my right. I looked up just in time to see a bear running away. Wow, a beaver, moose, and a bear all in the same day. It was amazing. I also saw a squirrel, but I see tons of those everyday. I can't think of any famous beavers, but seeing Smokey, Bullwinkle, and Rocky was pretty cool.
Some of Warren Doyle's expedition were hanging out in the parking lot when I arrived at the trailhead. I was surprised to see that, Tabasco, was one of them. His brother, Simple Man, is the father of the Texas hiking family. I haven't seen, Tabasco, since the NOC in North Carolina. Back then he was still hiking with the family. We chatted for a few minutes and he told me about, The Hiker Hut. It was only .3 miles off the trail and they offered a free shuttle into town. I decided to walk over and check it out. I'm glad I did, the place was awesome. As soon as I walked onto the property I was greeted by, Steve and Catherine. Steve offered me a cold beer, which I declined, then he offered me a Dr. Pepper, which I gladly accepted. As I sat down to enjoy my cold beverage he gave me a bowl of chips with salsa. We talked for about twenty minutes and I decided that I liked the vibe of the place and decided to stay. The property sits on Sandy River and is entirely off the grid. Steve offered me a ride into town, but first I wanted to take a shower. Since they are off-grid, Steve offered to heat up some water for me to take a camp shower. He set everything up for me on the bank of the river. I've never had a camp shower before, but it was great. It was a huge bag of heated water with a hose attached. Taking a shower outside and listening to the river flow by was great. Once I was cleaned up, Catherine drove me to town to resupply. We stopped by an outfitter so I could get a new fuel canister, then we went to the grocery store. She said to take my time and didn't mind waiting while I shopped. The Hiker Hut doesn't get cell phone reception, so she was going to get caught up on phone calls. She also suggested that I charge my electronics in the store while I shopped.
Once I had my shopping done, I took a few minutes to call my parents. Now that I'm getting close to the end of this journey it is time to start making travel arraignments to get home. I have settled on an end date, but I'm keeping it a secret for a little bit.
When, Catherine and I, got back to the hostel Steve already had dinner made. He cooked farmed raised, grass fed hamburgers. The cow that we ate was raised seven miles down the road. Talk about fresh! It was one of the best burgers I've ever eaten. We sat around the fire pit while we ate. I really enjoyed getting to know Steve and Catherine. Steve recently retired from professionally racing in triathlons. I loved listening to his stories. It was way past hiker midnight by this point, so we called it a night. I had the entire bunkroom to myself and I got a great night of sleep.
"Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work."