Friday, May 30, 2014

The Land of Rocks and Roots

A great Memorial Weekend filled with family and friends in the North Maine Woods and lots of time on my favorite trail, the Hundred Mile Wilderness of the Appalachian Trail.  On Saturday morning, Dad dropped Kristel and I off in Monson as we took the scenic route to Camp Pine (the family retreat).  Getting rained on most of the day did not dampen the fun one bit, even if it did make the rocks and roots even more challenging than they already are.  A solid push through the 30 miles from Highway 15 to the KI road still took us almost 12 hours.  We probably would have been even slower if we hadn't met up with Whisper at Chairback Gap.  The way she was moving proved that my big sister is more than ready for the San Juan Solstice 50 next month and we only kept up with her because we knew she had food in her car at the KI road crossing.

On Sunday, Kristel and I headed out for another 16 miles under some wonderful sunshine.  We continued up the AT for an out and back to the Carl Newhall lean-to and then added a loop around the incredible Gulf Hagas.  We met the first SOBO (South-bound thru-hiker) of the year.  A young guy from Texas starting his journey to Georgia.  Inspiring stuff!

Day 1:

Our starting line, the southern end of the HMW.

North Pond outlet.

Little Wilson Falls.

Big Wilson Stream.

Wilson Valley lean-to.

Long Pond Stream.

Barren Mountain


Some typical terrain in the Chairback-Barren Range.

A little sunshine on Fourth Mountain.
Third Mountain.
Chairback Mountain.

Day 2:

West Branch of the Pleasant River.

Gulf Hagas.

Screw Auger Falls.