Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day 160- The Beginning Of The End

Sept 08, 2015
Monson, ME(2074.7) to Stealth campsite(2084.6) 9.9 Miles

Today marks the beginning of the end of my journey. This afternoon, after a late start, I entered into the 100 mile wilderness. I was hoping to get an early start, but that did not happen. Since yesterday was Labor Day, my final resupply package didn't arrive in Monson until 10:00 this morning. I was up by 6:30 this morning. The owner of Shaw's, Poet, offers a hiker sized breakfast for $9. We were fed three eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and unlimitited blueberry pancakes. I wish I could have eaten more, but I just haven't been that hungry lately. I felt like a failure since I only managed to eat the eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and one pancake. After breakfast I hung around the hostel waiting for the post office to open at 9:30. I watched most of my friends head back to the trail while I cooled my heels. 
Zen, Huckleberry Thug(drinking a morning beer), Laces, Cheesebeard, and Blade

At 9:15 I walked down to the PO to check on my package. It seemed like every hiker in town was waiting on a mail drop. The woman at the PO was very busy and hadn't sorted through the new packages that had arrived. Finally around 10:30 she dug my package out and I was one step closer to heading out. I went back to Shaw's and began sorting through my food. 

I'm not really sure how long it is going to take me to get through the wilderness. I've heard anywhere from 4-8 days. I do know one thing, carrying this much food is going to suck for the first few days. The 100 mile wilderness, is 100 miles without a resupply. There are no towns and only forest service roads. It is truely the only section of untouched land on the entire trail. After repackaging food and packing up my things I was ready to go at 11:30, but I had to wait for Poet to drive me back to the trail. 
Definitely not carrying 10 days of food
Poet the owner and former thru-hiker
Shimmy with his trusty bottle of whiskey at the PO

I didn't start hiking until 12:30. That puts a major hiccup into my plans for the week. I just started this section and I'm already behind schedule. I ran into more friends at the trailhead. I haven't seen Rocky Mountain High since Massachusetts. We hiked together for the first few miles so that we could catch up. I also saw, Forgetful Jones, Oscar Mike, and Clarity. I love the bubble I'm in right now. It's great that I will have so many friends around when I summit. I hope the majority of them will be in my group as I go through the wilderness. 

The trail was pretty easy for most of the afternoon. I passed by six different ponds today. Maine is really showing off lately. 
Spectacle Pond

The trail was full of little ups and downs, rocks and roots, and small section of muddy and boggy trail. I really enjoyed the hiking today. It was just hard enough to feel challenged, but not so difficult that it slowed me down. 
Mud pond, not exactly what I had pictured

I wish I would have had more time today. It was really hot out and I could have used a dip in one of the ponds. A few miles later I passed by an amazing waterfall that I would have loved to take a snack break at, instead I took a few pictures and pushed on. 
Little Wilson Falls

After following Little Wilson stream for half a mile we had to ford it. The water was about knee deep and the current was swift. The slick rocks should have made for a tricky crossing, but my Luna sandals are awesome. They are so grippy it's like having super glue on my feet. I made it across with no problems. The girl crossing after me wasn't as lucky. She slipped and fell in. 
Blade crossing Little Wilson Stream

It was a very long, short day. It's getting dark so early now, that after our stream crossing we decided to find a spot to stealth camp at nearby. There is a huge bubble in the wilderness right now. I think 30-40 hikers entered around the same time as me today. There was a shelter .6 miles from the stream, but we figured it would be packed, so we took our chances stealthing. We didn't find the best spot, but we made due. By the time I got my hammock hung it was completely dark. I cooked dinner in the dark and then went to bed. 

We are trying for a 15-18 mile day tomorrow, so it will be an early start to make that happen. I don't have any high elevation climbs tomorrow. It will mainly be several short ups and downs, like a mini roller coaster. The terrain promises to be difficult though. I've heard that this section has a ton of granite rock slabs, so hopefully the forecasted rain will hold off for a few days. 

"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Albert Schweitzer


  1. Happy to hear you are with good people who will be fun to finish the journey with you. Some beautiful scenery with the ponds, waterfalls, and streams. Make the best of the 100 Mile Wilderness and look forward to Kahtadin!

  2. Not sure if you have cell service in the 100 mile wilderness, will keep checking for updates. Maybe you should be wearing those sandals more when the rocks are wet! Sorry about the late start but you will make it up most likely cause you are bad ass that way.

  3. We sent pkg to Shaw's, so why at PO? To bad you got late start and couldn't take time to enjoy ponds, waterfalls. I'm very happy there are people around you for this last part. And, it's nice you know so many of them. Hike on and as always, be safe out there. LY

  4. Hey Yoda
    All the thru hiking journals who have finished are saying the the birches(thru hiker shelter in Baxter park) limits their spaces to 12. A lot of hikers have had to change their summit date due to the rangers strictness on this policy. Reserve your spot as soon as you are close enough. Happy trails!


  5. Until October 15:

    At Baxter State Park’s Long-Distance Hikers site, “The Birches” near Katahdin Stream Campground : Visitors hiking at least 100 continuous miles and arriving at Baxter State Park without reservations may stay at “The Birches” site (limited to one night stay), which has a capacity of no more than 12 (two 4-person lean-tos and one tent platform). Standard per person, park-wide fee applies. Large groups or commercial entities will not use The Birches, but will use their advance knowledge of trip itineraries to work with the Baxter State Park reservation system.

    At Katahdin Stream Campground : There are no Thru-Hiker designated sites, but you may check with any ranger you see for availability of a regular public site (at regular fee). Availability is least likely in August and on fall weekends, most likely mid-week after Labor Day.

    Reservations for regular campground sites (not The Birches), 10 or fewer days before the desired date, can be made using credit cards over the phone — call Park Headquarters at (207) 723-5140. However, as has always been the case, ranger stations INSIDE the Park, DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS. The Park does not allow “work for fee” camping or other discounts. Please take care of all your food, supply and payment needs before entering.

  6. Wow - what a bunch of hoops you'll have to jump through regarding camping prior to summit! Unfortunate that they make it so difficult for people that have hiked over 2k miles!!! Praying it goes smoothly for you! Loved today's pictures - as usual! Wish you'd had move time to enjoy those beautiful spots! BTW - I saw "A Walk in the Woods" - funny movie, but doesn't hold a candle to your blog!!

  7. Good luck with the last stretch of your hike Yoda! I love the pictures you always post and - like many of the other people who comment on your blog - will miss reading about your adventures on a daily basis. Airlock and Sasquatch are not very far behind you (two days is my guess) and are starting the wilderness today (10/9).
    Don't forget to enjoy what you see and take the time to take it all in. Safe hiking.
    Groetjes, Anja

  8. Once again Beautiful pictures. Enjoy the remainder of your hike. Yes as J Lawless stated BSP can be very difficult to deal with for thru hikers.... With all the postings BSP have been doing it would seem they do not want Katahdin in loop anymore. Instead they should embrace the people getting out and increase the accommodations. Scott Jurek has agreed to pay a $500.00 fine for drinking in public and BSP has dropped the other charges. That's BS to me. Can't wait to read the rest of your journey and see more pictures.