July 30th, 2019 - South Arm Road to ME 4: 14.2 miles
It was great sleeping weather last night. I got up at 5:45 am and was on the trail before 6:30 am. After a short level stretch, I headed uphill to ME 17. After crossing the highway, I continued uphill but not too steeply. After a half mile, the steepness moderated, followed by a series of small to moderate ups and downs for the rest of the day. A moose crashed through the small, dense conifer trees as I approached her. How she managed to avoid getting her eyes or her nostrils poked with the many small branches escaped me. Not long after, I walked past a rotten standing dead tree that was riddled with rectangular holes characteristic of the pileated woodpecker.
A pond with a sandy beach proved to be the high point of the day. Five of us hikers enjoyed a dip in the cool water! The trail continued to meander up and down to the Little River Pond campsite, where I ate lunch and got water. After lunch I passed by South Pond (see photo). The afternoon heat caused me to sweat profusely- such that water ran down my face almost constantly. Hiking wasn’t especially difficult but was still tiring. Happily, the descent to ME 4 wasn’t too steep. At the highway, I walked 0.3 miles west to the Hiker Hut. The owner, Steve, welcomed me with a cold drink and chips and salsa. I took an outdoor shower, then organized my stuff for the shuttle trip to Rangeley at 4 pm. In town, I called Betsy, wrote my blog post, and ate a veggie pizza. Then I was off to the food store and back to Hiker Hut in the shuttle. Today was less difficult than the previous three. Tomorrow, however, will be more challenging.