It was a quiet night with no more rain, and the waterfall made some lovely white noise to aid our slumber. I found Thank You Laura enjoying a second cup of coffee in a patch of sun. My kind of girl! Savor the last few days!
It is a refreshing day, the storm cleared out the humidity and bugs and left a cool breeze that would stick around all day, perfect hiking weather.
I entered the green tunnel and emerged a short while later at Crawford Pond where I enjoyed a sandy beach snack break.
Then back up and into the fresh day
The air is so clean after the storm, I feel like I’m purifying as I walk, sweating out the poisons that are bubbling up my skin. The rash seems a smidge better, no bug lotion/spray for me today.
I fall again. That’s twice in two days. 2002 She-ra fell at least once a day too. New rule: no phoning and walking (that was my sin today…there are simply too many obstacles to walk and do anything else without consequences).
I lunch at the next shelter and Bilbo shows up. He met Kool-aid at another road yesterday where they had a resupply drop only to find him sick and throwing up. Bummer! Kool-aid took advantage of a ride supporting a few other hikers and got a hitch into town. That’s one of my Katadhin brothers down (we all climbed Katadhin the same day).
The trail would go up from here, we were getting into the mountainous section of the 100 mile wilderness, and the ups go straight up. More amazing rock works leads us up the climbs, and at the top of the first one I find two Canadians out for a week. We chat and I carry on. I really do love these little interactions. We will never see each other again, but usually we stop and ask about the hike, where we are from, and share any useful tidbits about the respective trails ahead. Not always the nobo thru-hikers though (no-bo means north-bound, as in walking the whole thing from Georgia to Maine). They mean business and are easy to spot. Skinny, tan, small packs, fast pace. The siren call of Katadhin is great…and many rush to the end.
Then the next big climb up White Cap. I huff and puff up to the next shelter, Logan Brooke, a charming lean-to perched in a drainage of the mountain. The water source is a cold pool filled by a small waterfall. The forest is covered in mosses and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a knome or troll pop up in the green. It’s that kind of magical forest.
Then I wait, and she doesn’t take long to appear…Speedstick! She came to hike a few days with me! Speedstick is a dear friend who moved to Maine about 6 years ago from Bend, and I haven’t seen her in all that time. She is a fellow triple crowner and has hiked the AT twice, the last time in winter when she was attempting the calendar triple crown. That’s some insane stuff. Imagine these steeps climbs but covered in snow and ice. No thank you. She now lives outside Bangor and comes up to play in this area quite a bit.
We spend the rest of the afternoon and evening playing catch up and it is so wonderful to have her on part of my journey. I feel all warm and fuzzy (and she brought chocolate!).