Thanks for tuning in for another installment of my 2017 Appalachian Trail hike. If you've not read up yet, my hike this year, the final leg of my 17 year section hike, began at Monson and continued north through the Hundred Mile Wilderness in Maine.
If you're reading for the first time, please take this link to jump to the first blog entry and get all caught up!
I last left off at Rainbow Stream Lean-To, camped near the idyllic stream. After a restful night of sleep, I continued north.
An early-morning lake of glass.
The climb up to Rainbow Ledges. It was a refreshing change of pace to have these open rock slabs to hike across! It is always fun to break out of the trees too for a bit, especially when there is a bit of cloud cover to block the sun.
Closing in on Abol Bridge, the end of the Hundred Mile Wilderness, and the entrance to Baxter State Park.
Closer by the minute.
A superb view of Mt. Katahdin! I really loved the framing the trees provided. Evidently and number of others did as well! I've seen this same photo numerous times on the internet. It's a popular photo spot for sure.
This guy was really big! I couldn't really get a good scale to show it, but he was about the size of a large dinner plate. When I first walked up, I actually thought it was a snake! His head was stretched out much further and, at first glance, I didn't see his shell, mistaking him for a large snake exiting the water onto the rock I had just stepped up onto!
Back down from the ledges and into the bog again. As always, I was SO thankful for the work of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club for building the bog bridges.
The northern end of the Hundred Mile Wilderness!
I made it through! The Hundred took me six days from the day of entry until the northern end. It is considered the most remote section of the entire Appalachian Trail. Also...there are a lot of bugs in the Hundred. A LOT.
The first paved road intersection since Monson...100 miles to the south.
The infamous Abol Bridge. It's one lane and used heavily by logging trucks. The AT crosses on the small portion to the left. This pedestrian bridge also serves as a snowmobile bridge in the winter. The black strip down the center is a rubber mat for the track to drive on and keeps the wood from being chewed up. This is definitely not a feature that we have in Oklahoma!
Mt. Katahdin from Abol Bridge over the Penobscot River. Just to the right (where you can see the red canoe on the bank) is the Abol Bridge Campground....with showers! It also had two very special guests this week....Dan and Marsha Church!!
Bug suit photo with Mt. Katahdin!
A loon floating in the river. The loons have a call that is like no other bird. It's breathtaking. I've had the pleasure of hearing them on several occasions and it captivates me every time.
I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to camp with my parents in Maine! They were on an epic road trip to the northeast and Canada and made plans not only to celebrate with me in Maine, but to camp near Mt. Katahdin and shuttle me back from Baxter State Park! I can't begin to describe my elation when I strolled into their campsite.
The mountain from our camp at Abol Bridge.
Not a bad setup! You can just see my dad at the rear of the car, enjoying a local brew!
I was ecstatic to have several as well! My folks found a variety of great beers from New England, and in typical fashion, had plenty ready on ice!
Taking off the following morning towards Baxter State Park. This was the start of my last two days on the Appalachian Trail.
Approaching Baxter State Park! I was headed to Katahdin Stream Campground at the base of the mountain. I would stay the night, then summit the following day.
A wild strawberry I found just before entering the park! Yum.
Entering Baxter State Park! Only a few miles remaining. Each step through the park had me thinking of the thousands upon thousands that led me here....both on the trail....and in life. What an incredible opportunity I've had. I don't take any of those steps for granted.
Thanks for reading! The next entry should hit soon. I can say now....sitting here....that it will be an emotional one to type. I hope you enjoy.
Have you been outside recently! It's worth the effort.