Last night was the coolest I’ve experienced in months. I even zipped up my sleeping bag. At 6:15 am, I headed uphill on a 2-mile, 1,900-foot climb to South Crocker Mountain. It was slow going but okay. After a not-so-steep descent, I headed uphill to North Crocker Mountain- so far, so good. The ensuing 5-mile descent to ME 27 initially tested my leg muscles for 2 miles, then it leveled out.
About 2 miles from the highway, the trail steepened and soon my leg muscles complained. My motto: slow and easy. A mile from the highway, I sat on a rock and stretched my quadriceps and pounded them with my fists to wake up sleeping muscle fibers. It worked. I could walk confidently and slowly. When I heard traffic, I knew I would reach the highway. At noon I arrived at ME 27. After fruitless hitching, I called the Stratton Motel for a ride. Splash (an injured hiker) picked up me and Wood Stove- who had also arrived.
In Stratton, I got a room with two bunks, plus I arranged for tomorrow’s slack pack. After buying a half-gallon of chocolate milk at the grocery store, I ate food bag leftovers for lunch. Then I had a shower and did laundry (see photo of me in stylish loaner duds). Glacier and her two pals arrived and we shared the bunk room. After lounging, talking with hikers, and buying food, Space Rocket and I stuffed ourselves at the AYCE fish fry at the White Wolf Inn. Wonderful!
August 2nd, 2019 : South Branch Carrabassett River to ME 27, 8.0 miles