05 Sept 04 – dander of rain pushes into sudden actions at the end of the hike

Summary: the rain was going to start at 11 but never did.  To beat the rain, I did 14.6 miles to get out of the forest before rain. Hitchhike over 45 miles to Kingfield and settle at a hostel.


The night was eventful. Someone arrived in the dark declaring that he forgot or lost his phone, his keys, and his wallet somewhere. The person was so excited that he could not stop talking. After a while, a search party was dispatched, then returned, then departed again.  I could hear the loud conversation even through the ear plugs.  I did not get a chance to learn the beginning or the end of this story.


I climbed out of the hammock only once and noticed a commanding presence of the stars on the sky, visible even from the tree canopy.  It was a warm night.


05:16 the earliest wake on the trip.  It is still dark outside, so I needed a headlamp to navigate.

06:11 early rise in a race against the rain. By this time most of the things are already gathers and packed into the backpack.

06:27 Everybody around me already have gone, and now I start the day’s hike from Piazza rock shelter towards the main road.  It is 11.2 mi to the next shelter

07:05 I am crossing Beech Hill Rd. This is a dirt road parallel to the mail route.

07:23 I am crossing route 4 with a large parking lot where I returned on my bike in an obliterating rain on September 3, 2018, at 9:47 PM.  Now it is sleepy peaceful parking lot and there is a banana from Trail Magic – a perfect gift from the kindness of other people. Here, near the road everybody is still sleeping: Curtis, Grady, and white bearded companions are just waking up.  The elder with a snow-white beard telling me that Curtis and Grady did meet their friend here yesterday and party into the night.  Now the extended company is sleeping nearby.

07:48 the rain is now promised to pop for the first time at about 3 to 4PM this afternoon. I seems I will be at the shelter by that time.

08:13 I climb high enough to have a view into the valley.  I distinctly remember this place from returning to the road 4 years ago on May 28, 2018.

09:19 first entry in the log.  I’ve completed 5.22 mi (33.3 mi total). Very aggressive start.  This section is very nice – almost flat and well-maintained.

10:12 – 11:22 I am at Little Swift River Pond shelter after completing 6.61 mi. Out of all my planned 42 mi there are only 8.7 mi left to the road – route 17 and High of Land. Last time I was here 4 years ago on May 28, 2018, at 13:35.  There is signal here. The weather is preparing for a long rain, but according to a latest forecast, the rain wouldn’t start till 11PM. But when it starts, it will keep going for a long time. It is inconvenient to swim here – too muddy, but everyone notices the kayaks potentially available for hikers?

12:07 – 7.87 mi completed today.  Simply sat down on the path, thinking.  First inkling to go all the way to the road today so that tomorrow I don’t have to deal with the rain. A small local nobin or a small hill is somewhere ahead of me, but that shouldn’t be a big deal. I am at about 2800′ already.

13:41 – 13:53 – There is a weak signal here high on the trail.  The weather forecast shows that rain will not stop any time soon tomorrow. I need a plan. While waking the trail, I am calling some hotels in Rangeley and learning with a surprise the prices per night are about $175 – $195 even with a discount applied.

14:08-14:23 I am at Sabbath Day Pond shelter – the original goal of the day.  Instead, I am taking a plunge in the pond, and I will continue going 3.8 mi to route 17 where I am hoping to catch a ride back to the car. The hike so far war 11 mi today and 39.1 mi total.

16:12 the entry in the log before completing the hike. I am very close to the road – route 17.  After I emerge from the woods, very little will depend on me.  I need a good luck and some good people who can give a me a ride in the right direction.

16:25 I am on route 17 – the Height of Land. There are plenty of tourist here, but can anyone give me a ride?

17:14 I am still waiting on the side of the road.  Total hike today was 14.6 mi and overall total is 42.7 mi. Trying to use a weak cell signal – exploring my option to get an Uber ride.  The cost for 41 miles will be $78, and I agree to pay, but there are no drives available anywhere but 2H from here – only in Portland.


I was standing here for about 45 minutes when a very nice tourist couple from Virginia gave me a ride to Rangeley, ME.  I was ready to collect my bike from the woods and start the ride, but the pickup truck suddenly stopped, and they had a space for me and by backpack. Wow!


17:48 They dropped me at a supermarket lot – Rangeley IGA.  That is 18 miles ride.  At this moment I did not know that we already passed the turn to route 16 and now I am facing South on route 4.


Now I am walking on a sidewalk and very quickly I would get ride.

This time. another very nice local couple gave me a very definitive ride to Kingfield – that is another 36 miles from Rangeley IGA. Now I am only 18 miles away from my car. By a pure luck and coincidence, the couple couldn’t find a place to eat in Rangeley, and they were traveling without a certain destination to the next decent restaurant. Lady was born in Kingfield, and they changed their root on my behalf.  They call a restaurant in Kingfield, ME – Longfellow’s – and made sure that they can accommodate.  Additionally, the lady knew a hostel there that caters to hikers and such.


18:43 I am in front of the Terrapin Hostel, and as instructed, I am calling for service – 207-491-7786.  Yes. They do have a bad for me for $40 per night and I will get ride to the car tomorrow morning.  Now, I have place to sleep, a place to eat and a certainty of getting back to my car and avoiding the rain.  What a chain of lucky coincidences in a span of few hours. I do not have my credit card in my backpack, but I do have cash.  The cash is king.

18:55 I am walking onto Kingfield restaurant Longfellow’s, and I need to wait a little to accommodate holiday visitors.  Here they know what is vegan – some menu options are marked as vegan.  Amazing! As if the universe was waiting for me at every corner and opening up new realities after turning every hypothetical corner.


19:08 I am ordering vegan beet salad, stuffed peppers soup, pan seared tuna, wild mushrooms ravioli scampi, OJ and soda water.  What a feast suddenly! Let’s celebrate my safe return to civilization before the rain.  The couple that gave me a ride is also here.  We exchange to friendly hand waves.  Thank you, people, for being so nice! The whole restaurant bill with a tip – $42 cash.


20:04 last picture of the day – I am done with my dinner and walking back to my hostel.


21:19 – 22:11 after a shower and tea. Hostel has entire kitchen with mugs, kettle, tea, coffee, cereal, and a refrigerator. I am preparing for the night. I am listening to Maxim Kats on YouTube about Willy Brandt – former Chancellor of Germany.  My phone is charging from the battery, as I do not have a cube to plug it into the wall. I am the only one in a giant room on the third floor.  My neighbors are a French couple.  The only windows that open is in my room and there is a fan to blow fresh air.

At this point, forecast shows the rain will start at 5AM, but still will go all day even into Tuesday.

[22:11] last entry of the day – Escape from Freedom though being busy all the time and parallels to what I was thinking on the trail.

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Navigate through the List

  1. 01 September 2022 AT trip - preparations (2023/07/31)
  2. 02 - September 01 - be happy when everything works (2023/08/01)
  3. 03 Sept 02 - catch up to the schedule over non-existent roads (2023/08/02)
  4. 04 Sept 03 - above and beyond one's abilities over three 4000' peaks (2023/08/03)
  5. 05 Sept 04 - dander of rain pushes into sudden actions at the end of the hike (2023/08/04)
  6. 06 Sept 05 Mon - think freedom vs. being busy and write about it (2023/08/05)
  7. 07 Sept 06 TUE - Glorious rain, glorious day with a proper umbrella (2023/08/06)
  8. 08 Sept 2022 lessons and amplifications (2023/08/07)

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