03 2023-09-02 SA – the Wilson Falls are spectacular

Summary: Hike 12 miles from Doughty Ponds to route 15/6 to Leeman Brook shelter and through pond and lakes to Wilson Valley shelter


05:55 wake on the banks of Doughty Pond. I am completely alone, but the noise from the road reaches up here. Every next night is a bit warmer than the previous night. I woke up 2 times during the night – at 22:40 and 03:35. Strong wind forced me to reattach the roof rainfly and hide the raincoat inside the hammock. The light from the full moon doesn’t penetrate the forest canopy and creates intricate lace-like patterns on the ground instead.

06:19 The secret of speedy sorting and gathering all things into the backpack is to spread them out on a tarp on the ground.  That way I could pack all the thing in the right order, without picking up dirt and dry leaves from the ground.


I am alone on the pond at 6AM in September. There is an absence of sound around me. Three water going vessels can be found not 30 years from the camping spot.  Complete with paddles and even a life jacket.


06:42 I discover 3 water going vessels not 30 yards away from my camp. They are 3 different types of self-propelled boats, not chained and with paddles neatly stacked underneath.  There are no roads nearby, it is unclear how such massive hulks could get here?

07:12 I start the hike and almost immediately a cell signal appeared.  I was able to complete my Duolingo.  I could see that the soccer game in Newton went on as planned without me.  Nice.

08:05 I’ve reached the road after a little bit over 1.5 mi hike.  I drove here on Thu, 08-31 at around 10:50 AM. At this point I am entering into a 100-mile wilderness, but with much less trepidation this time. Four years ago, on Tue, July 30, 2019, this was my starting point of hike taken in a cowboy hat, that I just bought in Quebec back then.  Who knew, 4 years ago, that July 30 would be a day of my father death in 2023.


Crossing the 6/15 highway. Let the 100-mile wilderness begin. This section is no different than any other AT section, but still the magic of name works. All is working out well.  All body part are cranking.  The load is no longer a killer and weather is just fine.


09:59 – 11:09 I am Leeman Brook Shelter – 4.54 mi today and 26.64 mi total.  The shelter itself is too dark, but I want to be in a bright spot.  I spread my thing under a tree a few paces from the shelter, and have a breakfast with Grape Nuts, dried fruits, nuts, and cold filtered water. To better protect my feet, I put on thicker REI socks, I finish all morning routines and prepare for the next 3.6 mi to the falls and 7.4 mi to the shelter.

11:36 – a picture is taken of a lake or some other body of water

12:55 – As soon as I sit down to rest, NoBo hikers begin to pass.  So far, there were only one SoBo pair today


After 1PM I arrived at Wilson Falls. The great and unexpected chasm in the ground helps to create a waterfall that exposes sedimentary


13:29 – 14:37 – I am at Wilson Falls. 3.9 more mi remains today.  So far completed today 8.16 mi and my total reached 30,22 mi. I climb up and down the slopes of the cliff, take tons of pictures and walk 100 yards away from the action to take a dive in the river without extra pairs of eyes. The walls of the cliff here are very interesting as they apparently fell by 90 degrees forward and now all the sedimentary lines are oriented vertically instead of usual horizontal orientation.



I walked 100 yards up the river to find a quite swimming spot. Further down the trail you can see a pultruding rock formation extending several yards into the abyss. I couldn’t force myself to walk on it.



14:55 I am ready to cross the very same river that formed the falls.  This is one more wet crossing

15:14 AT makes a sharp turn from Haul Rd. up the hill. As I climb, I begin to see the pond and bog below where I just walked.

15:52-16:29 – instead of rushing forward, I sat down right on the edge of the trail to relax a bit, to do Duolingo, to estimate my whereabouts, my plan for tomorrow. There are 3 more mi to go today.  The place is gorgeous, the view is gorgeous, the weather is gorgeous, and everything goes as planned. Normally, we are too busy to stop and enjoy.  The Duolingo points gained here on cliff should play an important role tomorrow when the final weekly tally is calculated.

17:24 last wet river crossing for today and surprisingly long climb to the railroad grade.

17:53 I finally reached the shelter.  Total hike today 12 mi and 34.11 mi total in 3 days.  There is no signal here.  There are about 8-10 people already here.

18:29 hammock is hanging a good comfortable distance away from the hut.  It is nice and warm this evening in the forest. And there is still some daytime remaining before the dark.



Making furniture out of flat slabs of stone – a reclining chair is a featured  landmark. My camp cooking gear – titanium alcohol  stove – just like a new iPhone.  The wind skirt is made from a folded aluminum foil.



19:22 The tea is ready but too hot to drink.  The meal is cooking on the alcohol stove – Vegan Coconut Black Bean & Rice.  I am writing this with a head lump on already.

20:37 I climbed into the hammock.  I am studying the road for tomorrow, trying to piece together pages 5 and 6 of the maps and looking at the extreme edges of the map. It looks like I would need to go 3.6 mi to the road and then weave left and right on forest roads towards the car. I can see that there is a sure road back to a main road, but that would require a big swerve and several extra miles of walk.  Another very unsure way is through an unknows Phoenix shelter way -way off the trail with a possibility of a dead end.  Today I walked for 10H from 07:12 to 17:43 with three big breaks at the Leeman Brook Shelter, at Wilson Falls and at Wilson ledges. After crossing the last river, it was a surprisingly long climb to the railroad. And now I can hear the train passing by somewhere behind the trees.  It is warm in the hammock. I only wear a long sleeve t-shirt. One other outlandish plan for tomorrow – is to follow railroad to the North to intercept the main road.

21:01 too many options – will see what will happen tomorrow.

(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)

Navigate through the List

  1. 00 AT 2023 Sep - Preparation for the trip (2023/08/30)
  2. 01 2023-08-31 TH - Taking on wilderness one mile at a time (2023/08/31)
  3. 02 2023-09-01 FR – The same AT section with a new attitude (2023/09/01)
  4. 03 2023-09-02 SA – the Wilson Falls are spectacular (2023/09/02)
  5. 04 2023-09-03 SU – take a raw shortcut to the bike (2023/09/03)
  6. 05 2023-09-04 MO - crisp morning ride all in one sitting (2023/09/04)
  7. 06 Summary of the September 2023 trip (2023/09/05)

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