2019-08-07 at 13:54 #7478Udar GromovKeymaster
05:45 Day started in a comfort of a hammock gently touching the mossy ground. This was the best setup. I slept very soundly. Not a single stir during the night. And everything is dry. Practically no morning dew. It is good as dry implements are lighter to carry.
06:35 Depart, start hiking towards Third Mountain.
06:46 first pictures of the early sun projecting on Forth Mountain that I tracked yesterday.
07:08 Indian Pond trail crosses AT. A brief stop here. It is 1.4 miles left for real gushing water brook. I am doing everything with pleasure, because “Now is Forever”.
Plenty of up and down climbs between 1,800 and 2,200 feet.
07:54 I am on top of Third Mountain ~ 2,061. I am beginning to start hearing loud and at this point usual shrieks from a family of four daughters that camped about 250 yards away from my camp and started later than me.
08:16 – moving water at least. It is a real brook, but I just take a picture and move on. I do not need water right this moment. Map shows that next shelter well be in 1.5 miles from here.
Somewhere here, on a sharp down move a wooden stick finally gave in, and I do not even bother to replace it. It lasted entire yesterday and it was a good bendy companion.
09:11 – Chairback Gar Lean -to. There are 2 more hikers here. One is a new South-bound smoker and the other is a familiar face – a shorter companion of a Scottish-looking guy with a skirt. Map shows 3.9 remain till Katahdin Iron Works road (KIWR), and sign shows 4.6 to the West Branch Pleasant river which is 0.5 further.
09:37 -09:43 I am taking my first break. I just climbed on the other side of the gorge (practically no water – only dirty puddles). I am taking all the clothes off. Only t-shirt and trunks. Four miles of hiking complete. Four more to go. I could be by the road before noon. And then 8 more daytime hours to complete 28.3 miles back to the car in Monson, ME.
Trail here goes on an open terrain and I must apply sunscreen generously.
Next two hours I just go non-stop. I monitor my shadow to understand the direction of travel, and it seems to me I am going too much to the North-West and not enough to the North-East. I am so focused on going, that I missed the side trail to East Chairback Pond, missed Steep Talus slopes (marked on the map). What is Talus? – In this case, talus is unstable rock fragments at a cliff slope.
Trail goes mostly down from 2,200 to about 800 feet.
11:42 I am at the road! Time to swim and refill water. Here is a large all-girls group is preparing to start their assault on Mount Katahdin.
12:08 – let’s go! I have 6.2 miles to go to get to my bike. Most likely someone will pick me up – it is a major although private road.
13:22 – second car (Jeep) did pick me up right at the turn of the road to Greenville. I hiked 3.8 miles with an average speed of 3.2 MPH.
13:30 – I am reunited with my bike. It is standing leaning to the Checkpoint building exactly where I left it. From here there are another 22 miles to ride.
13:43 – backpack is strapped the back of my bike and I am ready to ride
13:52 – gravel road is OK. It is well maintained. Now, I need a good shady spot to reapply sunscreen, pump more air into tires and continue going towards Greenville. I can break the remaining miles into 2 sections – 12 miles to Greenville and 10 more miles to Monson AT parking lot.
14:37-15:09 I took a small side road and discovered an exit to another Indian Pond – beauty and calm here. There are five or six upside down fishing boats here. Signs to preserve nature and fish responsibly. At this point, I’ve completed 4.3 miles with an average speed of 6 MPH. Only 8 miles to Greenville where there is food and services.
As soon as I start riding, I see a sing – Greenville – 7!
15:26 – short break by the pile of wood near KIW road and Morkill road. There is signal here. Text to Lira with images in my cowboy hat.
15:47 Lower Wilson Pond – good progress
16:06 I am back on a paved road. It is Greenville Municipal Airport.
16:33 After completing 12.5 miles – I am in Greenville, ME. I am ordering one savory (Veg Delight) and one sweet (Cinnamon Bun) creeps and Allen Palmer drink (half team and half lemonade) for $13.75 cash. I do not have credit cards with me. Only car keys and $45 cash.
16:57 – start riding again towards Monson
Another 10.75 up and down miles on a highway.
18:15 – This is it! – I am back to my car at AT parking in Monson.
18:43 – driving home. GPS shows ETA 22:43
21:42 – gas station in Portsmouth, NH
22:48 – Hannaford in Waltham, MA
Around 23:00 – arrive home with 575.4 miles on trip odometer. This is (575.4 – 315.3 = )260 miles in 4 hours.
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