THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN MAINE

Monday, September 19, 1994 (Carlo Col Shelter) BirdShooter Celebrates At The NH/ME State LineHarry and I grabbed breakfast at the local McDonalds, made a stop at the Gorham Post Office, then had an early lunch at a nearby Subway. By noon, we had our thumbs out and had successfully hitched a ride out of town with a guy from the Appalachian Mountain Club. He knew the local trails and took us to the Austin Brook Trail for a short hike to the Gentian Pond Campsite. Puck and Wolverine were hanging out at the lean-to when we arrived, and we caught up with them and snapped some photos of the area. I picked up the log book and noticed that Slowly & Surely signed it a few hours earlier and was excited since I hadn’t seen them since Pearisburg, Virginia. By 6:30pm, Harry and I had hiked five miles to the next shelter and found Slowly & Surely tenting at a site near the lean-to. There were a number of southbounders in the Carlo Col Shelter tonight, so we pitched our tents with Russ and Terry and celebrated the crossing of the NH/ME border today. There was a spectacular sunset at the shelter this evening which made the reunion even better.

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(I returned with the Camel on November 8, 2008 to hike the Appalachian Trail from U.S. 2 to Gentian Pond Shelter that I missed in 1994 via the Austin Brook Trail short-cut to Gentian Pond. The Camel and I also used the Austin Brook Trail on the return trip and it was fun to retrace my 1994 steps. This time we hiked the A.T. southbound from Gentian Pond Shelter to U.S. 2 to make up those missed miles.)

 

Working Our Way Through Mahoosuc NotchTuesday, September 20, 1994 (Mahoosuc Notch Campsite) – Harry and I hit the trail by 9:30am this morning and we caught up with Slowly & Surely by noon and in time for a lunch break at Full Goose Shelter. We had to power up before traversing the “hardest mile on the Appalachian Trail” which is located in Mahoosuc Notch. We soon discovered that the difficulty is caused by a number of SUV size boulders that tumbled into a valley surrounded by two rocky mountains. It took us nearly two hours to hike the dreaded mile, but we treated it like an elementary school jungle gym and actually had a really good time in it. By late afternoon, we made it to the eastern side of Mahoosuc Notch and pitched camp right next to a stream where there was a really nice tent site. It was warm this evening, so we started a fire with some wood that was damp from the recent rains. After considerable effort, we finally got the fire going and rested up for the ascent out of the Notch in the morning.

 

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Wednesday, September 21, 1994 (Grafton Notch Lean-To) – The weather was Sharing A Campfire With Two Guys From Augusta, MEperfect for hiking today and I spent most of it with Harry and Slowly & Surely. Speck Pond was beautiful, and we also had some great views from the ridges as we made our way to Grafton Notch at 4:30pm. We tried to hitch into Bethel late this afternoon but we had four people and a dog and were unable to score a ride. So we hiked on to the Grafton Notch Lean-To to set-up camp and cook dinner. As we enjoyed our meal, two guys from Augusta, ME showed up carrying a cooler. They drove a jeep up a 4×4 road and it parked it close to the shelter. After we spoke briefly, the Augusta guys offered us a ride into Bethel – something we were eager to accept – and we bought a case of beer and more grub in town. The guys helped us carry it in to our campsite and we had a great time hanging out and swapping stories around the campfire this evening.

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Thursday, September 22, 1994 (Pine Ellis B&B – Andover, ME) – The ten mile hike into Andover, Maine turned into an eight miler this Harry & Jade In The Back Bunkroom At Pine Ellis B&B, Lacey Sleeps Belowmorning thanks to a blue-blaze along a brook near the A.T. At the road, Harry and I tried for 90 minutes to hitch into town but there was hardly any traffic until the owner of the Pine Ellis Bed And Breakfast drove up and took us to his place. Andover is a small town but the people are really nice – especially at the B&B. Harry and I had dinner, then watched TV in the living room where they had VCR tapes of three different Appalachian Trail videos: North To Katahdin, Trail Magic, and Sticking With It. All were inspiring with the latter being the best of the three. After the movies, Harry and I retired to the back bunkroom for the night.

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Friday, September 23, 1994 (Pine Ellis B&B – Andover, ME) Taking A Break By An Alpine Lake Near Andover, MaineDespite the rain, Harry and I decided to slackpack ten miles today from East B Hill Road to South Arm. We walked southbound from 8:30am to 1:30pm and were glad to see Paul from the Pine Ellis B&B at the end of the hike since both Harry and I were very wet and cold. When we got back in Andover, we had lunch at Addies and met up with a large group of thru-hikers that hiked into town today: Slowly & Surely, Spooner, One Bear, Wolverine, Puck, Billy Goat, Laid Back Sue, and Big John Oregon. After a very hot shower, we watched movies and TV (including Beavis & Butthead) with the group, then had a fun evening hanging around the house. Billy Goat and his dog Lacey joined Harry and I in the bunkhouse this evening since the main house was full of thru-hikers.

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Saturday, September 24, 1994 (Bemis Mountain Lean-To) – I went to Addies this morning with Harry, Laid Back Sue, and Big John Oregon, then Paul gave us a ride to the trailhead at noon. We all decided to hike today despite the weather which was really lousy. As a Harry And Jade On The A.T. Near Andover, Maineresult, the hiking was wet, swampy, boggy, rooty and extremely muddy. Harry and I still managed to knock out nine miles by 5:30pm although I got behind him and spent the last few miles hiking solo. This turned out to be a blessing since I rounded a corner and discovered a HUGE bull moose about ten yards off the trail grazing in a stand of fir trees. The rack on the moose was enormous and bigger than on the moose that we commonly photograph at the cabin in Beaverstone Bay. I scrambled for my camera but was not able to get a shot off before the moose ambled off into the woods. The animal sighting made the weather much more tolerable and I hiked the last few miles in high spirits this evening. When I got to the shelter, Harry had set-up camp inside with a section hiker. Man, it was great to be under cover tonight as the rain continued throughout the evening. There was a large group of Outward Bound backpackers here as well. They were camping nearby (which was really cool since the weather sucked and they didn’t overtake the shelter.) By dusk, there were still no signs of Laid Back Sue and Big John Oregon so they probably stealth camped in tents tonight.

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Sunday, September 25, 1994 (Sabbath Day Pond Lean-To) – Harry and I hiked just over eight miles today, so it was a short hike to Sabbath Day Pond Lean-To. The rain/drizzle continued and we had cloudy skies for the majority of the day. There were two section hikers from New Jersey at our camp tonight but everyone else was pushing on into Rangeley, Maine. Big John Oregon and Laid Back Sue hiked ahead while Pigpen, Flapper, Billy Goat, and Gophermane were yellow-blazing into town from ME 17. We crashed out early at the lean-to around 7:30pm. The sun is setting at 6:30pm these days and it is completely dark by 7pm. So there’s not much else to do but sleep when the sun sets.

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Hiking Logging Roads Toward ME 4Monday, September 26, 1994 (Saddleback Inn – Rangeley, ME) – Harry and I left Sabbath Day Pond Lean-To this morning and followed the Houghton Fire Road to ME 4. The roads were confusing at times which explained why Big John Oregon and Laid Back Sue got lost the previous night and had to camp in the area. We ran into them on the hike to ME 4 and eventually found our way out. Harry and I scored a ride into Rangeley from a young guy and girl in a Toyota. I spent the rest of the day doing town chores and catching up with various people on the phone including Mom and Dad, Slawdog, Roessler, and McSwain (regarding a room when I get off the trail.) Slawdog planned to join me for some hiking in Maine, but it looks like this plan is going south. We had a lot of fun blue-blazing today and enjoyed some beautiful autumn colors in the Maine forest. The leaves have turned quickly in the last few days – particularly in the lower elevations.

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(I returned to this area on September 18. 2009 and hiked 13.1 miles from ME 17 to ME 4 to make up for about ten miles that I missed in 1994 when we cut off on the Houghton Fire Road. This time it looked extremely wet and muddy and I was quite happy to be on the A.T.)

 

Fall Colors On The A.T. Near Stratton, MaineTuesday, September 27, 1994 (Orbeton Stream Campground) – We had breakfast this morning at 7:30AM, then I worked on my walking stick to epoxy a new rubber tip that Traxx sent to the Rangeley post office. The owner of the Saddleback Inn took Harry and I to the trailhead by 9:10am and we geared up for over 4000 feet of climbing today (over twelve miles and past two shelters). The last lean-to was full of partying thru-hikers when we arrived late in the afternoon, so Harry and I moved on to the river and camped with the two section hikers from New Jersey that we met on Sunday. They were pretty cool, and I believe one was a trail maintainer in his home state. We chatted with them briefly before it turned pitch black around 7pm.

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Wednesday, September 28, 1994 (White Wolf Inn – Stratton, ME) – Harry and I left our The Foggy Summit Of Stratton Mountainriver campsite this morning after packing up wet tents from the heavy rains overnight. We decided to hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain although the A.T. was routed away from here in the 70′s due to conflicts with the ski resort. Regardless, the former A.T. (which is now blazed blue) was in excellent shape and we arrived at the summit in fog and thick clouds. It was somewhat eerie on the mountain with the summit house and gondola building barely visible in the distance. Harry and I checked out the buildings then decided to follow the ski trail to the base of the mountain. After dropping about 500 feet, the skies began to clear and we were blown away by the amazing fall colors around us. We eventually reached the base of the resort after enjoying the fall flora and stopped at a bar for a few beers. There were some really cool people inside that had significant knowledge of the A.T., so we chatted with them in length. From the base of the ski area, we scored two easy hitches into Stratton and stayed at a motel that was recently renamed the White Wolf Inn (and was formerly called Cathy’s). Harry and I had a nice dinner nearby then headed back to the room at the motel.

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Harry & Jade Climbing Steps On The Firewarden's Cabin TrailThursday, September 29, 1994 (Avery Lean-To) – Harry joined me for a big breakfast at Cathy’s II, then I spent the morning doing town chores which included visiting the post office, buying groceries and doing laundry. At 3pm, we were hungry again and grabbed a sub for a late lunch, then hitched a ride out of town. Harry and I hiked over seven miles this afternoon via the Firewarden’s Cabin Trail and saw two moose at Stratton Pond. The terrain was beautiful but it was quite challenging even for seasoned thru-hikers. At the Avery Lean-To, I shared a shelter with some students from Bar Harbor College although Harry opted to pitch his tent outside. It was really cold tonight and the skies looked as if snow could fall at any minute.

 

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Snow At Avery Lean-To

Friday, September 30, 1994 (West Carry Pond Lean-To) – There was snow on the ground when we woke this morning and it lasted for a few hours – falling heavy at times. There was very little accumulation on the trees and the forest floor, however, and the precipitation altered between snow, flurries, sleet and rain until we descended from 4000 to 2000 feet. Harry and I reached Little Bigalow Lean-To at 2:30pm and decided to keep going and knock out fourteen miles today. It was too chilly to stop moving. So we made great time to the West Carry Pond Lean-To and finished the last 7.1 miles in three hours at 5:30pm. Slowly & Surely shared the shelter with us tonight and we all decided to pitch our tents inside the lean-to since we had it to ourselves and the temperature was quite chilly this evening.

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Ready For Breakfast At Harrison'sSaturday, October 1, 1994 (Pierce Pond Lean-To) – Despite the beautiful weather, we got a late start out of the shelter this morning and hiked about ten miles today. Harry & Jade, Slowly & Surely and I made it to the Pierce Pond Lean-To around 5pm and had plans to camp another mile or so north on the A.T. to be near Harrison’s for breakfast in the morning. We ended up hiking all the way to Harrison’s, however, and made reservations for tomorrow’s meal, then hiked back to Pierce Pond for the night. It was a beautiful campsite and the temps were cool tonight – in the low 30′s. I spent about 90 minutes cleaning my stove with help from Strider and Harry. There were also two section hikers in the shelter this evening.

 

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Sunday, October 2, 1994 (Trailside Cabins) – Harry, Slowly & Surely and I were up at 6:30am this morning to pack and make it to Harrison’s for a “mega” pancake breakfast, then we hiked to the Kennebec for the storied crossing of the River. Steve “the Ferryman” is contracted by the Appalachian Trail Conference to take hikers across the Kennebec, and he was waiting for us in a red Mad River Preparing To Cross The Kennebec With Steve The "Ferryman"canoe around 10am this morning. I remembered seeing him in Georgia while he was section hiking back in April of this year, and he turned out to be a great guy over the course of the day. The Kennebec River is damn controlled and it can rise 2-4 feet without notice. A hiker died in the last few years while trying to cross the river, and we were happy to have Steve ferrying us across. He took Slowly & Surely first, then shuttled Harry, Jade, and I around 10:30am. Once across, we walked a short distance into Caratuck, Maine and stopped at the general store to load up on groceries and wait out a light rain. We all had plans to walk to the shelter which was about five miles north on the trail, but the rain, clouds and cold weather motivated us to call Steve who got off duty at noon. He owns some cabins near the river at a place called “River and Trails” and he offered to pick us up and let us stay with him for the night. Steve also has a garden near his cabin and he gave us a sack of potatoes and a dozen eggs which we cooked on the electric stove in our cabin this evening. It was a relaxing afternoon and evening and we capped it off with an audio tape of Bill Erwin’s recent A.T. adventure which Steve had recorded. Rivers and Trails turned out to be a great stop this evening and we all really enjoyed the stay in the cabin.

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Monday, October 3, 1994 (Moxie Bald Lean-To) Harry Negotiates The Piscataquia RiverSteve gave us a ride to the A.T. near Pleasant Pond Lean-To after we cooked up a big breakfast with the leftovers from last night. We hiked 13 miles today with two good climbs. Harry and I made it to the shelter at 4pm and were later joined by Slowly & Surely at 6pm. The lean-to was in a beautiful area and was similar in size to the Cable Gap shelter in North Carolina. We had it to ourselves this evening and the stars were out in force after sunset (once the clouds cleared out). The thru-hiker pack has thinned out significantly and we haven’t seen very many other long distance hikers in a while.

 

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(I returned to hike the section from Caratuck to Pleasant Pond Lean-To on July 6, 1996 and once again stayed at the Trailside Cabins)

 

Tuesday, October 4, 1Dinner At The Shaw's Boarding House994 (Shaw’s Boarding House) – We hiked 16+ miles into Monson today and I spent most of it with Harry since Slowly & Surely dropped back after the first hour on the trail. There were two fords in this section which required Tevas since the water was knee deep and very cold. By 4:30pm, Harry and I blue-blazed into Shaw’s and stopped at the Post Office before they closed. We had time to shower before the Shaw’s served up a huge family style AYCE dinner. It was AWESOME, and Billy Goat, Strider, Slowly & Surely, Harry and two section hikers (Sloth and Bill) shared in the feast. We also watched Five Million Steps on video in the den, so now I have seen all of the VHS tapes on the A.T. that are commercially available as of October 1994.

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Wednesday, October 5, 1994 (Shaw’s Boarding House) – Mr. Shaw cooked up a huge AYCE breakfast this morning, then drove five of us into Dover, Maine for some grocery shopping. We spent the rest of the afternoon repackaging food for the 100 Wilderness and playing horseshoes with Mr. Shaw – what a great guy. It has been snowing heavily in Baxter State Park the last few days, and Mt. Katahdin has been closed for four days. Polar Bear called his parents who live in-State, and decided to catch a ride with them to Katahdin and flip flop (hiking southbound back to Monson through the 100 Mile Wilderness.) He asked us to join him and after consulting with Mr. Shaw, Harry, Strider, and I decided to take him up on it. Mr. Shaw said that winter comes early on occasion and that we should climb while we had the chance. He also offered to care for Jade (Harry’s dog) while he was gone since no dogs are permitted in Baxter State Park.

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Thursday, October 6, 1994 (Katahdin Springs Campground) Our Campsite At Rainbow Springs CampgroundWe had a big breakfast at Shaw’s again this morning then stopped at the local grocery store to buy a few last minute supplies. Polar Bear’s dad showed up at 11am and drove Harry, Strider, Polar Bear and I to the Katahdin Stream Campground after a stop in Millinocket for more supplies, McDonalds, and to check at the Baxter State Park headquarters for a trail update. We confirmed that Mt. Katahdin has been closed the last four days, and discussed doing some stealth climbing if necessary. When we arrived at Rainbow Springs Campground, however, we found another group of thru-hikers that assured us it was unnecessary: Suess, Otter, Mariner, Bad DNA, Bumbling B’s, Frenchy, Phishstick, and Pieps & Perma Grin (who I hadn’t seen since Connecticut). They all camped across the dirt road from us and planned an early start in the morning. We had a roaring fire at the campsite tonight and it was welcome since the temps hovered in the 30′s. The stars were out in mass this evening, and the sky was beautiful.

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(With Katahdin closed for four days due to snow, I jumped ahead 110 miles on the Appalachian Trail with some other thru-hikers to camp at the base of the mountain and wait for it to re-open. We came too far to miss a climb of Katahdin this year. On October 7, Baxter State Park re-opened the mountain and we reached the summit around noon. During the next week, we hiked southbound on the A.T. back to Monson, Maine to finish the hike through the 100 Mile Wilderness.)

 

Friday, October 7, 1994 (Daicey Pond) – I left for Mt. Katahdin at 8:30am this morning with Harry, Strider, and Polar Bear, but we had to Harry And Strider At Daicy Pond Lean-Tomake an illegal climb above treeline since the trails were closed due to the snow. Thirty other thru-hikers did the same, and in addition to those hikers at the campground last night, we saw Port & Starboard, Walking Stick & Laughing Bird, Squeeze Box, and Jango (who I haven’t seen since Hot Springs, N.C.). Our group took numerous photos on the summit which we reached at roughly 11:30am. We were socked in with clouds when we arrived, but they scattered as the afternoon progressed and we had decent weather for the most part. After two hours on the summit, I headed back to the campground with Harry, Strider, and Polar Bear. We decided to hike an additional two miles to Daicey Pond Lean-To for the night and stayed in two small and cozy shelters. When we arrived at 6:15pm, we were the only ones there and ended up having the place to ourselves for the night. Once again, there was a clear and beautiful sky with tons of stars tonight.

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Saturday, October 8, 1994 (Abol Bridge AMC Campsite) – An Indian Summer The General Store At Abol Bridgehit today with unusually warm temperatures and sunshine. As a result, the bugs came out and the gnats are biting but it’s a nice change of pace. We left Daicey Pond by 9am this morning and hiked 7-8 miles to the small store at Abol Bridge. On the way, we hiked along a beautiful river and the leaves and sunshine made for some great picturers. The Motor City Ramblers, Wisconsin Brothers, Wicked Ale, and Medicare Charlie passed us in this area heading northbound. It was great to see them one last time. At Abol Bridge, Harry, Strider, Polar Bear and I bought some more groceries and were told about an AMC campsite nearby along the river. We decided to make it a short day and bought some beer and took it to the AMC site. Squeeze Box, Walking Stick & Laughing Bird, Tupelo, Squirrel, and Dr. Doolittle walked up to the store as we packed up and decided to join us. Our group ended up having a great evening at the AMC site sharing two cases of beer, a nice campfire, and some card games (including the store game)at the picnic benches along the river – what a great way to kick off a southbound hike through the 100 Mile Wilderness.

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Sunday, October 9, 1994 (Rainbow Lake Camp Beach) – We got a late start from the AMC campsite this morning after stoking up a warm fire, sharing a group breakfast, and making one last stop at the Abol Bridge supply store. At noon we ran into Nomad, Thru-Hikers Celebrate At Abol Bridge With Mt. Katahdin In The BackgroundOskie, Flare, Bohemian, Stuffsack, Babbles, and Tired Dogs heading northbound at the bridge, and we stopped for a group photo before starting the 100 Mile Wilderness. The first few miles passed quickly, and Harry and I made the decision to push on to Rainbow Lake for the night when we reached Hurd Brook Lean-To. There were limited campsites at Rainbow Lake but we found (actually stumbled onto) Fish Camp which had a picnic table and a nice sandy beach. Harry and I were the first to arrive, but Squeeze Box, Walking Stick, and Laughing Bird found our note on the trail and joined us in time for dinner. We cooked some pasta, played three hands of Euchre, and watched a spectacular sunset. The pleasant evening was cut short, however, when a major storm hit the area around 10:30pm. The wind was so strong that it literally blew Walking Stick, Laughing Bird and I off the beach. In the darkness, I drug my wet and gear-laden tent a few hundred yards into the woods for refuge. Somehow, Harry and Squeeze Box were able to ride out the storm and their tent stakes held in the sand.

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Harry Enjoys Some Hot Chocolate At Nahmakanta Lake Monday, October 10, 1994 (Nahmakanta Lake Beach) – Harry, Squeeze Box, Walking Stick, Laughing Bird and I packed up our wet tents this morning and hiked about 12 miles to Nahmakanta Lake. After a lunch break at Rainbow Stream Lean-To, we ran into Laid Back Sue, Fes, and Big John Oregon who were walking northbound on the A.T. Harry and I also saw a black bear on the trail just before Nesunntabunt Mountain. The bear did a 180 when it saw us, and ran off so there was no photo from the encounter. I decided to camp on the south end of the lake with Harry tonight since the beach site was beautiful. I think the others camped in the nearby shelter, but I’m not sure since we haven’t seen them since lunch. Some clouds rolled through the area this evening, but the sky cleared after dark and there were tons of stars out this evening. It cooled off considerably tonight and we had a campfire on the beach.

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Tuesday, October 11, 1994 (Antler’s Campsite) – Harry and I hiked about 14 miles today on fairly easy terrain to Antler’s Campsite which Left to Right: BirdShooter, El Toro, Boyz In The Woodis a spectacular area with the “nicest privy on the trail” according to Wingfoot’s book. We hiked into the area around 4pm and had a roaring fire again since it was quite cool in the evening. Regardless, we have been very fortunate with the weather with many sunny days, warm temps and very little rain. Squeeze Box joined Harry and I at Antler’s Campsite just before dark but there is no sign of Walking Stick and Laughing Bird as of sunset. We did pass numerous northbound hikers though, including Slowly & Surely, Boyz In The Wood, El Toro, Manieac, Pigpen, Flapper, and Gophermane.

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Wolverine, Puck, And Squeeze Box At Mountain View PondWednesday, October 12, 1994 (Mountain View Pond) – Squeeze Box, Harry and I left Antler’s Campsite and hiked 15 miles today with a lunch break at Cooper Brook Falls which was a really nice site. We made it to Mountain View Pond by 4pm and were joined by Strider who caught up with us in time for dinner. Puck and Wolverine (who are northbound) also stayed with us, and we continued our tradition of having campfires in the 100 Mile Wilderness since it was cool again tonight. I’ve sat around more campfires in the last few days than I did the entire spring and summer of this thru-hike. With the falling temperatures, the leaves are past their peak now – particularly the Birch and Maple trees.

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Thursday, October 13, 1994 (Hermitage Campsite #4) A Cow Moose Crosses Our Path In The 100 Mile Wilderness- Harry and I hiked from Mountain View Pond to White Cap Mountain by 1pm this afternoon after a brief lunch at Logan Brook Lean-To. We decided to blue-blaze the White Brook Trail down to the Hermitage area which was about eight additional miles. I snapped a great photo of Harry with a cow moose crossing the trail in front of him. Since it is the rut season right now, I am glad we saw a cow and not a bull moose today. At the Hermitage, we found a number of campsites along the river but decided to camp 0.2 miles from the A.T. at site #4. We left a note on our plans to blue-blaze, and Squeeze Box showed up at our campsite this evening. Strider had plans to join us but he followed the white blazes and did not make it to the site at the time of my journal writing this evening.

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Morning Ford Near The HermitageFriday, October 14, 1994 (Little Wilson Lean-To) – We forded the river first thing this morning, and by 9am had embarked on a most wicked blue-blaze that probably saved us half a day. We ran into Earplug, The Fugitives, Maineac, Stickman, and Wayward Traveler who were all headed northbound when we saw them taking a break on a rock outcropping. They tipped us off on the blue-blaze and mapped it out or us. The route required a brief bushwack between two logging roads near Long Pond, and from 9am to 1:30pm we followed the improvised trail and covered 12-15 miles to Little Wilson Lean-To. Here Squeeze Box, Harry and I spent our last evening on the A.T. and we celebrated with another roaring fire and watched the temperature drop to 33 degrees by 7:30am.

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Saturday, October 15, 1994 (Shaw’s Boarding House, Monson) – I was up at 7:30am this morning for the final day of the hike. We have Shaw's Boarding House In Monson, Mainebeen fortunate to have incredible weather for our walk through the 100 Mile Wilderness. Squeeze Box kicked up another roaring fire to prep us for the crossing of Wilson Creek this morning which was up to the rim of my shorts in depth and quite chilly as a result. I crossed the creek and walked the final ten miles into Monson hiking solo today, and it was a fitting way to reflect on the last few miles of the hike. At the trailhead, a partridge hunter picked me up and ran me to the Monson General Store which I worked over for snacks and sodas. It was nice to have junk food again after eight days on the trail. Harry, Squeeze Box, and Strider joined me at Shaw’s tonight, and we shared a room and watched HBO and Saturday Night Live until the early morning hours. No other thru-hikers were here this evening which was a big change from our last visit here.

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Sunday, October 16, 1994 (Kara’s House, Philadelphia) – The Shaw’s cooked up another monster breakfast this morning, then Mr. Shaw drove Squeeze Box, Strider, Harry (and the recently reunited Jade) into Bangor for $14 each. He dropped Harry/Jade and I off at the airport where I was lucky and scored a direct flight to Philly on a U.S. Air frequent traveler ticket. Harry picked up a rental car and we had a late lunch and some beers at a nearby restaurant before my 3pm flight. He was headed to Boston to visit a friend this evening, and gave me a ride to the airport before he left Bangor. In Philly, Kara picked me up at the airport by 4:30pm then we went downtown for some pizza at an Italian place. By 9pm, we were back at Kara’s apartment and I lost a shootout that forced me to shave my beard. Thus marks the official end of my 1994 adventures on the Appalachian Trail. What a great journey it has been.

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