Day 9 – Good Trail but Pain in the Foot

I lay in bed last night thinking about what lay in store on the AT. At 6 am, a load of hikers piled in Chris’ vehicle and drove on ME 27 to the AT. The three Alaskans and two section hikers got out for their walk through the Bigelows. Chris dropped me off at East Flagstaff Road like he did yesterday, but today I headed north (instead of south) on the AT. The guidebook’s elevation trace suggested a fairly routine day with only two modest climbs and lots of flat trail. In fact, hiking was often easy on the good trail (see photo).

I passed by four ponds during the day, hearing a loon calling from two of them. During the morning, my left foot began to hurt for no apparent reason. When this has happened in the past, all I needed to do was to loosen my shoe laces. This didn’t work today. The pain intensified as the day wore on. At 10 miles on the day, I ate lunch on the shore of East Carry Pond. About an hour later, I met a family on the way to the pond for a picnic. One of the moms gave me a snack. Thanks!

I reached the day’s destination, Pierce Pond Lean-to, about 50 feet from the pond. At 3:30 pm I set up shop. Through hiker Lazarus arrived and commented on the physical misfortunes he’d experienced. He vowed to complete the hike no matter what. I cooked dinner and chatted with Lazarus about strategies for hiking the 100-mile wilderness, including food drops and slack packing. I took an Advil and hoped that my foot felt better in the morning.

August 4th, 2019 : East Flagstaff Road to Pierce Pond Lean-to, 17.3 miles

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