Frogs +37! OK, more on that later.
That crappy little stealth spot turned out to be Aces, as the cool kids used to say. It rained steadily, but not torrentially, for half the night, and this morning my tent and footprint were pretty much dry. The fly was soaked, of course, but… yeah.
I hit the trail at 5:15 AM and managed 12.5 miles or so in 11.5 hours. The Trail helped me today! Thank you, Trail! There were no miserable miles-long scrambles—just short bursts. There was plenty of swamp to navigate, though, around several big ponds. No moose, but an insane amount of moose poop. Do fhey, like, congregate together, ass to ass, and let it rip? One place must have been a 6-foot square area of poop, several dumps deep. I almost took a picture, but I restrained myself. 😁
Water’s a problem. You’d think Maine would have pristine springs and beautiful clear creeks. Not on the AT, it doesn’t. I ran out of water entirely by lunchtime, after rejecting a couple of slimy trickles, and had to go to an official campsite near a pond. The water source was the pond. The edges were black silt topped by algae with a side of floating insect carcasses. I tried to dip my bag in, and dozens of frogs scattered! These looked like actual frogs, as opposed to the usual toads (which got a real +1 today). Frog water! Instead, I spent a half-hour letting 2 liters trickle from a nearby boxed spring, but with the filtering it wasted an hour of my hiking day. Not good. And now I’m down to 1 liter again.
Not much to add. I’m camped near the road to Rangeley, but I’m skipping that town. All my food numbers are screwed up because I can generally only get 8 miles right now. I think I’m OK to Caratunk; if not, there are some other town spots before then. Blah. Met another second-timer and a guy who did the PCT last year, which reminded me I could be hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, finishing up the PCT like I was supposed to this year. Idiot. 😉
Tomorrow: The fun’s over. Saddleback and the Horn, which I remember were pretty gnarly mountains. And no camping above treeline, so I’m not sure where I’ll end up. Trying for 14.5, but that hasn’t exactly been working out lately. We’ll see.