In spite of planning to walk less than 10 miles today, and the fact that the Kennebec Ferry didn’t start operating until 9 am, I still hit the trail at 6:15 am. The elevation trace showed a gradual descent of 4 miles to the river. The trail mostly followed the outlet stream of Pierce Pond. Several waterfalls enlivened the walk. After 3.9 miles, I reached the Kennebec River at 8 am, where I found NoBo hiker Moccasin lounging. He’d been there much of the night. Today turned out to be his 100th day on the trail, covering 2037.5 miles- an astoundingly fast pace.
Lazarus soon arrived and joined the wait. At 9 am, the ferry guy appeared on the opposite bank, hauled a canoe to the water and stowed life jackets and paddles over to us. Moccasin and Lazarus hopped in the canoe (see photo). In 10 minutes the canoe returned and deposited me on the far bank. I walked a half mile to US 201, then walked 300 yards to the Caratunk House: a hiker hostel. I joined Lazarus who was sitting in a chair on the shaded lawn for a chocolate malt. Yum! I bought food to get me to Monson the day after tomorrow and polished off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Other hikers arrived to eat and resupply.
Well fed, I walked back to the AT and started uphill for a 6-mile hike to the Peaceful Pond Lean-to. My left foot now has a dull ache, and I had no trouble walking to the lean-to. I found a camp site, set up my tent, and walked a quarter mile to a small beach where I took a dip in the pond. Back at camp, Lazarus set up his tent, while I lied in my bug-free tent and read. The short day gave my foot and Lazarus’ knee time to heal. I hope that my foot is up for tomorrow’s 10-mile hike with 1,100 and 1,700-foot climbs.
8/5/19 Pierce Pond Lean-to to Pleasant Pond Lean-to, 9.7 miles