Oh Maine!

Pine Ellis Hostel, Andover, ME, 13.5 mile slack pack, Saturday July 5, 2014 — Maine may be the final exam state but it’s raw beauty is something to behold. In that sense, it’s worth every bit of the time and effort.

When a hurricane named Arthur dumped its final load of rain on the backwoods, the result was unsurprising. It was soggy, wet, soaked, sopping, muddy, drowning, flooded, and any other descriptor of under water you can conger.

The good news, the mosquitoes and black flies were grounded by the brisk wind. Yes!!!

Still, the trail was fantastic. For the first time in weeks, the rock slab demons were on strike. Normal trail was the word of the day with an average speed in excess of 2 mph. Of course the five pound pack helped. Best of all, my knees were thankful.

Mind you that a few short months ago I would have hated these trail conditions. Since then my perspective has changed.

Today’s hike was backward, north to south, from Rangely toward Andover, ending at Rt. 17 for those who care. Tomorrow’s hike is northward from Grafton Notch over Bald Pate Mountain and the rock demons will be back. Day three should fill in the gap.

The pics show the general trail conditions, the Sabbath Pond shelter and beach. Trust me, it was fun.

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That’s a moose skeleton.

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