Sleeping last night went well with the cool air. I awoke at 6 am and organized my stuff for the day’s 10-mile hike. At 7 am, the Little Red Hen opened, and I enjoyed a tasty omelet and home-made whole wheat toast. I got a ride to the trail from one of the owners of the restaurant. Thank you!
The day’s hiking started with a 500-ft climb to Surplus Lake where I met a south-bound hiker. The trail continued uphill for another 1,000 vertical feet to Wyman Mountain. The trail dropped 300 ft. to a tiny stream where I got water (see photo). It may look funky but so what? I quickly passed the empty Hall Mountain lean-to. The rest of the day included one steep climb bracket by two steep descents. All three looked formidable in the AT Guide’s elevation profile. I wasn’t sure I could negotiate them. I took the first descent slowly and deliberately and to my surprise reached the bottom at Sawyer Brook with only mild leg pains. After lunch, I headed up the steep mountainside gaining about 1,300 ft. of elevation.
My going uphill muscles worked well! The second descent turned out to be less steep than the first one. Near the bottom I ran into a crew from the Maine Conservation Corps who were fixing the trail. I reached the bottom with reasonably happy leg muscles. The boogeyman of the steep climbs and descents turned out to be less formidable than I thought. At the South Arm Road, I waited less than a minute and scored a ride to Andover with two local residents. A shower at the Little Red Hen perked me up considerably. I ate a whole medium pizza at Mills Market for dinner, in between rain showers. Tomorrow, with a full pack, I get back on the trail where I left off today for a 2-day hike to Rangeley.