Day 5 – A Difficult but Enjoyable Day

After i returned from Rangeley last night, a storm moved in and rained hard. The bunks at the Hiker Hut were all taken, so I stayed in a small cabin with enough room for a double bed and little else. There were no window screens but a mosquito net draped over the bed. I lay in bed listening to the storm and feeling the cool breezes while reading a book.

This morning, I got up early, packed, and ate granola and chocolate milk (left over from the half-gallon I bought in town) for breakfast. I walked along ME 4 for 0.3 miles back to the AT. After crossing Sandy River, I headed uphill, but not too steeply, past the Plaza Rock Lean-to. The path got a bit more steep past Ethyl and Eddy Ponds. The climb steepened considerably toward Saddleback Mountain. Near the top, I left the trees behind and often walked on massive bedrock (see photo). The hike above tree line continued for 4 miles to the Horn.

I saw grand views of miles and miles of Maine forests. A steep descent brought me to the Redington campsite and to water. Forest, a German fellow from the Hiker Hut, passed me. I climbed to Saddleback Junior and called Betsy. An often-steep 1.4 mile descent took me to the Poplar Ridge Lean-to. Ten boys from a camp milled about deciding where to set up their tents. I walked 200 feet north and set up my tent at 3 pm. I felt funny stopping so early but the next place to camp lay 8 miles away. In any event, I don’t want to overtax my going down leg muscles that seem to be getting stronger. I’m confident that I can handle the next two days of 13.1 and 8.4 miles to Stratton.

Day 5, ME4 -Poplar Ridge Lean-to: 10.7 miles

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