Day 117: Baldpate to Andover, ME

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
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120
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Trip End Jul 23, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Maine
Friday, July 9, 2010

"Just wrote a long entry about today and my stupid apple phone crashed leaving no trace.
Oh well I guess you are spared reading about the junk I deal with everyday.
Same old same old. Really hating this trail right now and can't wait to finish.
Goodnight"

That was the abbreviated entry entered to describe this day on trail.  What follows is a recount of what the day really held, written two months later.

Woke up to a beautiful morning, but with the immediate climb up Baldpate Mtn, there was precious little time to enjoy.  Due to planning a longer day, I leave Pine Monkey behind early in the day, though I did enjoy his company through this first section of Maine.  The climb up Baldpate is a steep rocky shelf that then opens up to a large flat rock surface.  To keep hikers on trail, there is a walkway lined with loose rocks.  The views were amazing looking down on the cloud cloaked valleys.

I linger on the summit to update my journal and check emails with the available reception.  The climb down is a challenge, although I am thankful it was dry.  Many of the tough spots were aided by ladders and wooden walkways.  At one point I had to throw my trekking poles down the cliff first so they wouldn't be caught up in the rungs of the ladder.  Good thing I have a lifetime warranty on them eh?

After a quick up on Surplus Mtn, its a long gradual descent to East B Hill Road, which leads into Andover, ME.  I had decided to skip this one and headed back into the mtns.  The climb up towards Wyman Mtn. is gradual, which in the oppressive heat really matters a lot.  While the forests are much cooler than fields, we are really feeling the heat wave.  Wishing my "personal heating unit" could also work on AC mode.

Today seemed to be SoBo day.  Passed at least 5 of them, including a couple of really nice young girls and an older guy.  After some brushes with less than friendly SoBos earlier, it was so refreshing to have people that wanted to chat and hear about trail conditions, trail highlights, and general stuff.  Maybe everyone just wants to stop walking in the heat!

Along the way up Wyman Mtn. my stomach feels awful and I have to stop several times, literally doubled over in pain.  Luckily at the top of the mountain is a shelter.  I stop to get fresh water, eat my lunch, take an hour nap, and visit the privy.  This definitely helps.  The descent down 1000 feet is steep and treacherous, and at the bottom several SoBos are hanging out.  I am planning to camp past the next mountain and they "wish [me] luck with the rock slide." 

So in 2 miles I go up and down 1000 ft on Moody Mtn.  On the ascent there was a section completely wiped out by a rock/mudslide.  The trail crews had attempted to reroute us around the worst spots, but the lack of trees in the area allowed the sun to burn down on me.  I was busy scrambling up dirt walls and holding on to tree roots and hoping they wouldn't give way.  It was a huge relief to finally get above this spot.

The walk back down the other side was mostly a dirt trail that wasn't too bad.  The river at the bottom is a lazy stream crossed easily by a rock hop.  This is along the South Arm Rd, which oddly enough also leads in to Andover.  However these rugged backcountry roads don't exactly see a lot of traffic.  I decide that I'll try hitch hiking for 30 minutes and then set up camp.  No cars passed for 15 minutes, and then I see a big pick up truck and I stick out my thumb.  They stop!!!  Three youngins in the cab tell me to hop in the back with the dog and they give me a ride into central Andover.  Ok, Andover is a crossroads, not really a 'center'.

I stay at the Pine Ellis Hostel which is just a block away.  Really nice owner and people hanging out see me walking up and it was like a welcoming party.  Pine Monkey was there and yelled out "hey Donner!" and the two girls I met, Flora and Fauna, wondered how I had managed to pass them and still be here. 

My decision to go in to town was definitely the right one.  Sore, tired, and disillusioned, it did the spirits wonders to get a good meal cooked at the local grocery store, pick up some more supplies, and I also photographed the map profiles for the rest of the trail.

As the sticky night draws near, its time to sleep in a bed and look forward to more climbing in the morning.  I guess I have to enjoy as many trail stops as I can, since I'm nearing the end of the line.

Donner
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Comments

Sarah on

Hey Rob!
Hang in there... that's got to be so annoying to lose your post! I enjoyed reading about the Notch... I remember hiking through there about 10 years ago. Sounds like it hasn't changed!!! Very challenging. My Dad is here for a visit now from Cape Breton and reports beautiful weather and cool breezes up there... so that is on the horizon for you!
XO Sarah

Ma on

Oh you have me worried! How bout I'll get you the iphone4 if you cheer up?! Andrea and I love ours. I am almost finished with the book that Sarah gave to dad " in harms way"...it's an amazing and scary story of survival. As you said several times already "it's as much about the mental as the physical". I'm thinking both are at the limit for you but you are so close ( relatively speaking and from all of us out here enjoying all the creature comforts who rarely walk more than 3 miles per day ).we can't wait to see you and pamper you... Only 11 more days!
Hope you have good reception n can phone tmorro

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