After I hit the sack last night, light rain fell at least until I fell asleep. I got up early and started hiking at about 6:15 am with a 2.7-mile downhill. I slipped and fell several times on the rain-slickened bedrock, bruising my right hip in the process. At Orbeton Stream, I headed uphill to Lone Mountain, after which the trail bounced up and down for several miles. Much of the hike ran through small, dense spruce rather like a green tunnel (see photo). It wasn’t very scenic. I ate lunch at the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to. Due to my morning falls, I considered ending my day here- 8 miles on the day. I was wary, as two descents ahead- especially the second one- looked tough.
However, I persevered, as I wanted to hike 5 more miles so I could reach Stratton, with only an 8-mile hike tomorrow. The climb up Spaulding Mountain was routine, as was the short but steep descent. When I reached the second descent, it was moderate at first, but then devolved into rock scrambling and jumping from rock to rock. My legs held up until just before the bottom when they failed. I fell to the trail, fortunately on my backpack. Curiously, the fall rejuvenated my legs, and I managed to reach the bottom.
I crossed the river on a plank between two boulders and immediately found a great campsite. After setting up my tent, eating peanut butter, drinking my protein powder, and rinsing off in the creek, I revived a bit. South bounder Roy, and later Space Rocket- whom I met yesterday- arrived. We chatted over dinner, talking about the trail. Tomorrow I walk 8 miles over the Crocker Mountains, then down to ME 27 and a hitch into Stratton.
August 1st, 2019 : Poplar Ridge Lean-to to South Branch Carabassett River- 13.1 miles