Those couple days of camping really paid off for how I feel, not so much for my supplies. My breath and energy are returning and the fall colors have suddenly popped, just as I hoped.
I’m rolling along in silence these days, enjoying the stillness as I move deeper into the wilderness. No more Bluetooth speaker or podcasts and music all day in my headphones.
You know I pre-purchased and downloaded a dozen audio books from Audible before I left in May, and I only listened to half of Orwell’s 1984. Half of one audio book the entire way! I even had volumes 1-3 of Learn to Speak Spanish lol. I thought I could do an hour a few mornings a week. Nope. Not a damn one, and here I am nearing the end.
I keep hoping to see a moose down in one of these flat clearings. Another AT bucket list item, an injury free moose encounter. Really, I’m surprised by the lack of animal sightings I’ve had throughout all of Maine in general.
Each day in the wilderness seems to have a decent sized river crossing.
Time to take the pack off and break out the camp shoes. I remember laughing at those damn ugly velcro sandals. They’re the same pair I’ve had since the fifth day on the Shenandoah river, these cheap things outlasted both pair of expensive, busted ass, Barefoot sandals I started with. Stubbornly I repurchased them again after the first pair broke in French Broad River, way back in North Carolina. I can’t believe these things made it the whole second half.
I attach my hiking shoes to the outside of my pack and begin a careful fording of the freezing river. I’ve abandoned using the ropes that are often there for balance, and just utilized my poles.
This bridge is definitely out of commission.
Another river crossing, they’re proving to be a momentary hiker meetup spot. Often sharing snacks and smokes, while wet feet are drying on the other side. I did a little trading of tobacco for snacks. Believe it or not, I actually got a hard boiled egg and a package of mayo and some salt from a guy named Dingo. He’s got a badass HD drone and some beautiful footage he’s editing when his hike is over. I got to check it out at the beginning of New Hampshire. I want a mini HD drone now of course. Anyhow, damn, that egg was great. I swear I could feel the nourishment difference.
It’s cold enough out here to keep foods like turkey, hotdogs, and hell, even eggs! I should of thought of that. Hard boil a six pack carton and keep them at the top of the pack and enjoy 2 each day. You could break it up in tuna to give it a little something different, though tuna pretty much overpowers and ruins everything these days. At least I’m not low on coffee, tea and fuel. Priorities…
This is the most impressive beaver pond I’ve ever seen. It was much larger than pictured above. The damn beavers in Maine know how to build now.
Even though I’ve taken every precaution to reduce my power consumption, as well as my food rations, I’m running a bit leaner than I wanted on both.
I made an audible to explore some blue trails to a series of logging roads leading to an old ranger’s fire tower path, then back to the AT. It should be a short cut, though that last trail get a little shady. I’m hoping I will make up some time.
Ya it’s abandoning the AT, purist would even call it cheating. I don’t much care. Going off trail and stitching together your own path less traveled adds a fun layer of unknown, with some sprinkles of fun foreboding. Plus, its often resulted in my trips best highlights.
Immediately I notice how much better shape the trail itself is. Far less erosion and roots. This makes me happy and sets me up for miles of fast, smooth coasting down to a road where that continued on for more miles.