Monday, August 23, 2010

Map of Yesterday's Hike...

Hello from Stratton, Maine! Yesterday Koopa, Big Ooh and I hiked from Safford Notch Campsite to Maine Highway 27. It was "only" ten miles but it was a challenging ten miles nonetheless. The picture above is of the elevation profile for that section of trail.

Our first two miles went straight up the side of Bigelow Mountain, a 2,000 foot climb to Avery Peak.

We then descended to Bigelow Col. Thank goodness for that, since it provided a brief rest from the bone chilling cold. That said, it was our first real "down" and with the previous night's rain everything was slippery. Oy vey! Slow going...

Next was West Peak, more steep, slippery rock and high winds. Good times. After a few more quick photos on top we descended down West Peak, about 650 feet, to a rocky, rooty ridge walk.

The weather remained somewhat cold but it only threatened rain. My internal mantra of "sunny skies, dry trail" seemed to be unrealized but at least the clouds held the water fast and off of us. We climbed the South Horn and descended to Horns Pond, where we met the summer caretaker who was doing a bit of trail maintenance.

After that we climbed up and over another bump of mountain to start our 2,200 foot descent to Maine Highway 27. The going was slow during the first two miles down. The afore mentioned wet rocks, mixed with mud, slick roots and rock scrambling (actual climbing) put us somewhere around one mile per hour, a painfully slow pace.

Fast forwarding to our eventual arrival at the highway I stuck out my thumb and was surprised to get a hitch from the very first truck that drove by. Koopa, Big Ooh and I hopped in the back sweaty, tired and chilled but grateful for the ride. Dennis, our driver, opened the split window and, from the cab, offered us ice cold beers which were in a cooler in the bed of the truck. Since riding in the open bed of a pickup is questionable already, we decided to pass on the offer and save ourselves from a visit to the town jail. Then we smelled it ... hummmmm is that pot? We all looked at each other and then into the cab of the truck, where we saw Dennis drinking a beer and smoking a bowl. At the excessive speed of 75 miles per hour we made it into town in no time. Dropped safely at our destination Dennis wouldn't take no for an answer and drove away with each of us holding an ice cold Geary Maine brew. I almost kissed the ground.

Another day done. Another ten miles accomplished ... good food, hot showers and dry beds called.

Rollin in,

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone


  1. Umm,so glad you made it and I think you all deserved the beer after that ride into town!

  2. OMG! Soooo proud of you scaling those twin peaks!
    Can't believe what you are tackling back there! Thank you for taking the time to take a few pics in the hurricane style winds...loved seeing everything! Also - LOVED your Harvard story...just know as a fallback option you could be a visiting professor of their outdoor skills class! YEA! Keep up your positive are doing fantastic! Those boots were made for walkin'


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