Monday, September 7, 2015

Day 158- Doing Work

Sept 09, 2015
US 201(2038.0) to Moxie Bald Mountain Lean-to(2056.8) 18.8 Miles 

No ifs, ands, or buts about it, today felt like work. I think it's because now I'm on a time schedule. Yesterday my plane ticket was bought. I'm locked into a finish date now. I haven't left myself with a lot of wiggle room in my plans. I'm still not revealing my end date, I thought it would be fun to have everyone guess. Whoever comes closest to the end date and summit time will receive a prize. Email me or post your answer as a comment to this post. Sorry, General, Hannibal, Alie, and Kyle, you guys are automatically disqualified from the contest since you already know the end date. 

I was up way too late last night and I didn't sleep very well. One of the guys in the bunkroom with me was snoring really badly. I dugout my earplugs, but that barely helped. I was up and ready to go by seven, but I had to wait until everyone else was done eating before getting a ride back to the trail. Breakfast was included, but it was a pretty poor selection. I had a bowl of cereal and a blueberry muffin. I have been forcing myself to eat lately. I'm hungry, but I'm also tired of eating all of the time. It's like my stomach says, "feed me", but my brain says, "ugh not again". 
Sterling Inn

I was back on the trail and hiking north, by 8:15. Today wasn't nearly as easy as yesterday. I actually had two mountains to climb. After such a big and fast day yesterday, my legs didn't have much umph today. Everything started off great. The trail was a nice and gentle up from town. Usually leaving town means a big climb, but today was nice. I banged out the first 5.7 miles in less than two hours. I stopped at a parking area to have my second breakfast with the hopes of getting some trail magic. Well that didn't happen. 

After the parking area the trail went straight up Pleasant Pond Mountain. It wasn't very pleasant. It was very rocky and rooty to start off with and then the trail had a reroute. The rerouted section was pretty sketchy, the trail was already badly eroded. I felt like I was going to slide off of the mountain. I did, however, get the satisfaction of blowing past two groups of day hikers. I love it when I go flying past day hikers with no packs on. It makes me feel like Wonder Woman. 
Rocks and roots

The view from the top wasn't much. I think I'm so incredibly jaded about views at this point in my hike. 
It's alright(shrug my shoulders)
View of where I'm going. Moxie pond looks pretty far away, but it's only 4.5 miles

The climb down the mountain didn't look too difficult on paper, but my knees disagreed. As I was nearing the bottom I met, Quixote and Halfway, they thru-hiked in '96. We talked briefly and as they were walking away they told me they had left trail magic down at the road crossing. Well, that definitely put a pep in my step. 
Thanks Quixote and Halfway

The cooler had beer, chips, blueberry nut bread, herseys chocolate bars, and roast beef sandwiches with horseradish(my favorite kind of sandwich). I skipped the beer, but enjoyed everything else. 

I seriously considered taking a nap at this point. I was pretty spent and still had over seven miles to hike, including one more mountain to climb. Today was really hot and humid. I was drinking a ton of water, but I still felt dehydrated. I did the only thing I know how to do at this point, I put my pack back on and kept walking. I immediately had to ford, Moxie Pond. It's been so dry lately, that all of the fords have been easy. Moxie Pond was no different. I was able to rock hop across without having to change into my sandals. 
Moxie Pond 
Easy rock hopping across

After making my way past Moxie Pond, the trail leveled out for awhile and I made great time. I passed by a really cool looking cave. At first I thought it was a shelter. I explored the area for a few minutes and then continued on. 
Cool looking cave

I had one more mountain to climb before I could call it a day. I struggled up, Moxie Bald Mountain, but at least the view was worthwhile. I also got cell service, so that was an added benefit. 
Moxie Bald Mountain summit

The top of the mountain isn't above treeline, but because of a forest fire several years ago there weren't any trees blocking the view. 
Decimated mountaintop

The summit was also covered in blueberries, so I took an extended break eating my fill. The climb down to Moxie Bald Mountain Lean-to was easier than expected. My knees hardly protested at all. I got to the lean-to well before dark. Bald Mountain Pond was right next to the shelter and I found a great place to set up my hammock right next to the waters edge. I soaked my feet, rinsed the dirt off of my legs, and cooked dinner. I found a rock next to the water to sit on and I listened to a moose calling out while I ate. As I was finishing up my dinner a beaver swam by and I was able to get a picture this time. 
Beaver in the center of the picture
Bald Mountain Pond

Tomorrow should be a pretty easy hike into, Monson, my last town stop before, Katahdin. I've enjoyed being in town every other night this week. I've also lucked out on my camp spots the last two nights. I have an actual river to ford tomorrow afternoon. This time there is no canoe to take me across. The water is supposedly knee deep going across the Piscataquis River. I'm excited to finally have a real river ford. 

"I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I'm going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice." -Mike Ericksen


  1. I don't know what you will be doing after the hike(other than a nice BIG rest), but your photography is worthy of a prize in itself! You could have a career as a nature photographer. You also have a way with words that make us feel like we are hiking with you(except we have all the comforts of home).
    You have become part of daily life for so many of us-----I have followed you since that first day on Springer---so everyday for 5 months.I have worried about you, laughed with you(at your "hangry face", celebrated your accomplishments, and my heart ached for your injuries,(I am the Generals assistant)
    Stay safe and healthy, and enjoy these last few with that here is my guess for summit time 9/15 @ 1 PM
    What airport are you flying out of? I am not trying to cheat---just curious.
    Kathy.....'The worrier"

    1. Kathy, where is Jokes? Hope he is doing well.

    2. He is about 2-3 days behind Yoda. No time constraints to worry about.....just "real life",so he is still taking time to "smell the roses".
      Best of luck to your family, and enjoy your beach vacation!
      You should do a guest blog :)

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  3. Love a good contest! I pick Tuesday Sept. 15 @ 9:10 a. m. for your summit date & time. The mountain and water pictures are still pretty to me. Keep up the good attitude and stay hydrated!

  4. Put me down for September 15th at 10:30 AM. Watch out for those roots!


  5. Pictures are beautiful, Yoda! Keep up the great work, you are doing amazing!

  6. Since I can't give date, I still get a prize, you're finishing and meeting us at beach!! We will be waiting with a chair for you. Yoda is my beach buddy every year. The picture of rocks and roots looked menacing. I liked all the water pictures and you finally saw beaver. Maybe you'll still a chance for moose picture. Hike safe and think celebration in Destin! LY

  7. Once again - wonderful pictures and fantastic quote - maybe my favorite! I agree with Anonymous, however I AM also the General's worry partner - as much as I hate the end coming soon...I will be very thankful for you to be safely DONE! So with that - and knowing you have a beach chair in sight....I'm guessing 9/14 @ 4:45! Come on now Yoda, work with me...I like prizes:)

  8. Love the contest idea!!!
    Yesterday, after reading 'Busting" I was looking at your miles and got out the calendar and figured I had until the 15th to enjoy "our" hike. Looks like others came up with the same calculations...but,

    I'm gonna officially guess that you will summit Monday September 14 at 2:15 pm...then meet with the family ( I am imagining/guessing that you guys have plans to meet at 4 but everybody, in excitement shows up 2ish) and fly out on Tuesday.

    I feel the excitement of this adventure coming to a climatic end....and I feel the ache. Like Kathie the Worrier I have, through your words and pics, felt your joy, laughter and pain...('Hangry' was one of my favorite pics too!) and after these5 wonderful months I am going to miss you Yoda. We will never meet, but I will sure remember the name Katie Fleming when I see it on a book cover someday.
    Chris ~Nashville

  9. doggoneit...just read that the General is waiting to meet you at the beach...hmmmmm...why did I think you were meeting on Mt? Oh well, I am still guessing the 14th at 2:15.
    C. Nashviile

  10. 9/16@ 11am. Figured I'd give you an extra day, I've had the prize getting to read you journal daily :) Congrats Yoda and Enjoy your summit.

  11. Yoda!! My morning cup of tea won't be the same without you and your adventures. Please keep us filled in on life post-hike. I wish you nothing but smooth, easy hiking through the 100 mile wilderness, relaxation and rest when your hike is finally done. My guess is Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 11:15 am.

    1. Your guess was very close! I summited at 10:15. Thanks for following my blog. I will have more updates soon.

  12. I love that finally got to see a beaver. Hearing moose the past few days is cool, but I hope you get to see one. Tho roots in the root/Boulder picture look like something from a fairy tale. Considering your average daily miles right now and the fact you said there is no wiggle room, I am going to guess 9/14 at 10:30 a.m. So far, I think that's the earliest guess, but I know you can hoof it when your mind is made up. I would think even more so if there is a chair, a beach, and a beer waiting. Go Yoda!

  13. Katie, Thanks for sharing your adventure with us here in web world. I know you can knock down some serious mileage when you get in power hike mode so I'm guessing 14 Sept at 1:45pm. (It's also my birth date so that guess is a bit biased). Be safe and as always wishing you good health and hiking. Steve

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  15. Whoops, hit enter too soon. :)

    I'm going to guess 9/14 at 11 AM. I've really enjoyed reading your blog this summer, and I'm going to be sad when it's over.

  16. I am really going to miss your blog Katie. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us. My guess is 9/14 @ 2:15pm. Margie Hernandez

  17. I think you're going to take your time and visit with friends as you go and get as moose picture and will finish on 9/16 at 11:35 AM. As far as prizes, I like chocolate! Be safe, Katie and especially enjoy the rest of your trip. We certainly have enjoyed traveling with you!!!! Thanks for that! Happy Trails!

  18. Christel asked me to post her guess: 9/14 at 3:55 p. m.

  19. This is Amber! Hmmmm. I am gonna say you will summit Mt. Katahdin on Sunday 13 September at 1437. It's a long shot but I have faith in you!

  20. I'm guessing you'll be more aggressive over the next couple of days.. my guess is 9/13 at 11:30am.

  21. Chris's guess for your summit date and time is Sept. 13 at 5:00 pm EDT.