Home Forums Outside Places TH 05-23 Boston – drive 232 mi to AT on 4/27, Maine – bike 29.5 mi – hike 0.7 mi

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    Udar Gromov
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    Today – TH 05-23 04:46 Boston – drive 232 mi to AT on 4/27, Maine – bike 29.5 mi – hike 0.7 mi

     

    04:46 woke up without an alarm. Usual last-minute preparations include loading the ice and printing weather forecast for Caratunk, ME.  Looks like it will be rainy and cold. 15-21°C days and 6-10°C at night.

    05:30 depart from Boston without work laptop. They would have to wait till I return on Tuesday.

    06:40 – 70 miles away in Kittery, ME. Rest stop did not have a gas station.  +13°C.  Speed limit on 95 is 70 mph.

    07:13 -75 miles – At a gas station in York, ME.

    08:23 – 150 miles – SHAWS in Auburn, ME.  I bought 4 green apples to take on the trail, and a large plate of fruit salad for now.

    09:58 – 190 miles – last hurray at Subway in Farmington, ME.  Let the credit card to rest for the next 5 days.

    10:53 -232 miles – arrived at Appalachian Trail (AT) on route 4/27 in Maine.  Parking lot is  in Wayman Township, ME. My car is the only car on the lot, but some 3 casual walkers and lunch takers come and go.

    Time to have lunch (Subway sandwich) and securely attach backpack to the end of the bike.  I use this time to do a critical review of all that I packed and eliminate extra weight.  No, I will not take boots and sandals – only sandals.  I will take only one charging battery for iPhone. Only one extra t-shirt.  No metal stand for the camera. Good, I am probably back to a comfortable 30-32 pounds as this backpack is designed for.

    12:30 departing by bike to the other side of the trail. 29 miles to ride.

    13:06 I am on Narrow-Gauge bike path.  It is a very flat relaxing portion of my travel today. Weather is good and cooperating.  Cloudy.  No rain.

    14:19 Covered 9.9 miles in 1H 19 min.  As soon as fantastic Narrow-Gauge Bike Path ended, the road turned sharply up.

    Right now, I am at 1,191′ at gravel extension of Carriage Rd.  It looks like road should go down after that spot.  I am planning to bike and hike in Keen Newport sandals that offer hiking level support, but very open for feet to breathe.  I already took off the pant parts of Columbia convertible pants.

    There are some SUV(s)  on the road.  That is a good sign for me – it means this road goes somewhere on the other end and not just die from exhaustion.

    15:48 a maze of roads and connectors all around me.   Some blocked by gates.  Some even marked on Google.

    16:34 Small stop somewhere on Cyr Road. I am putting clothes back on.  There are 7.5 miles left to go.   There is no rain. The road so fat is OK.  In one place the road was in a bad shape, but all bridges are OK.  It will be important for me in 5 days, when I drive these roads on the car.

    17:15 last important turn of the road from Carrying Place to Otter Pond Rd.  I am switching to walk my bike again.  The incline up is too steep.  I am getting closer but going is getting harder.

     

    18:00 arrived at the junction of AT and Otter Pond Rd.  Everything is quiet.  Almost no cars.  It took me about 30 minutes to hide the bike and get ready for hiking.

    18:28 – start my march towards near goal – Pierce Pond Shelter.  First steps completed and I am equipped with new shoes and new walking stick.  Unexpectedly, I walked into a very treacherous portion of the trail.  Trail goes on the very edge of the pond, and water rushes over the trail, propped by stones and sticks.  Trail serves as a dam for the pond, and there are large gaps between places where you can safely step. Several times I slipped from the stone on plank deep into the water, but I kept my balance. Of course, before crossing I took my new shoes off to keep them dry.  That was a big mistake.  My shoes remained dry, by I hit my feet hard, but water kept my feet cool.

    19:00 I ‘ve reached the shelter.  All is the very fine.  I am completely alone immediately on the banks of the Pierce Pond.  All is quiet and fantastic.

    I’ve got a meal from a new brand – Patagonia Provisions.  They require to place the content of the package in the pot, and that messes up my routine.  It is a drawback comparing to more expensive adding boiled water directly into the packet.  Immediate lesson learned – my desaturated alcohol bottle is too small.  It will not last 5 nights.  On most nights I would have to use campfire to cook my food.

    In the camp, when I started to change my closes and socks, I’ve noticed that I got 2 big cuts on the soles of both of my feet.  It was painful while crossing, but cold water hid the fact that I cut my feet.

    20:14 the rain commences.  I manage to finish all my daily affairs just in time.  Let’s make sure that roof is not leaking somewhere.  No – roof looks ok.  My meal is lentil soup.  I am listening to a serenade of frogs and rain tapping on the roof.

    The night is here.  Unforgettable.  I am in a dry enclosure having a meal.  LARA bar with tea.  All goes as scheduled.  Flashlight is on. Rain is on.  My feet are dry, but will they survive 5 days on hiking now with fresh cuts?

     

    Day-by-Day Reference:
    TH 05-23 04:46 Boston – drive 232 mi to AT on 4/27, Maine – bike 29.5 mi – hike 0.7 mi
    FR 05-24 Pierce Pond Lean-to 1,167′ – hike 11 mi
    SA 05-25 West Carry Pond Lean-to 1,311′ – hike 8.5 mi
    SU 05-26 Little Bigelow Lean-to 1,801′ – hike w/o backpack 5.4 x 2 mi – first snow
    MO 05-27 Little Bigelow Lean-to – hike 11 mi through two 4,000′ peaks with heavy snow
    TU 05-28 Horns Pond Lean-to 3,151′ – hike 5.6 mi, drive 29.4 to bike, drive 251.5 mi

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