August 9th, 2019 : Otter Pond Trail - a junction to ME 15, 15.5 miles
I awoke at 6 am to organize my day pack gear for slack packing. Lazarus and I will get a ride north from Gary, a driver who works for the hostel, to the parking lot for the Otter Pond Trail. Then Lazarus and I will hike south, back to Monson. I ate breakfast at the hostel before departing to keep me going until noon. After Gary dropped us off, Lazarus and I walked 0.8 mile to the AT then turned south.
In a mile, we came to a stream swollen with yesterday’s rain. Lazarus fell in the creek attempting to rock-hop across. Seeing that, I waded across without incident. Yesterday’s rain created poor hiking conditions with wet roots and rocks. I walked with extra care to avoid falling. Aside from the wet conditions, hiking wasn’t exhausting, with no extended climbs and descents. I waded two more streams safely and rock-hopped one. The AT passed by several ponds and ran several times along bedrock ridges with blueberries begging to be picked. I ate part of my pizza in the mid-morning and polished off the rest at lunch by a waterfall.
A fellow with his wife and daughter took my picture (see photo). By lunch the morning blue skies gave way to overcast. At about 2 pm, sprinkles began- followed by one thunder clap. However, the rain didn’t amount to anything. At 3pm, I could hear vehicles on ME 15. A half hour later, I reached the highway and immediately scored a ride into Monson with a guy in his red truck. I bought a half-gallon of chocolate milk then walked to Shaw’s hostel. After a shower, I felt great. After a huge dinner of pot roast, I felt full. More slack packing tomorrow.