AT Day 116 – Lakes and Mountains


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9th August 

20.8 miles 

Bushcamp (1943.8) to Little Swift River Pond (1964.6)

I woke to sticks and rocks poking into my back. My air mattress had sprung a leak. I’ll need to find a lake or decent sized stream to fix it. Luckily, I had a nice flat campsite and it wasn’t too cold overnight.

I’m a little bit worried about the cut on my foot. It’s not really a cut. I have a hard bit of callous that has developed a crack in the middle. Not just any crack, it’s deep, all the way down into the tender section of my heal. There are loads of nerves in the heal, each of them making my hiking life difficult. Without superglue to stitch the cut together or a razor blade to trim the callous, I’m forced to treat it with broad spectrum antibiotic cream and hike on. When I get to the next town in a couple of days I’ll assess what to do next.

It was a nice climb to the top of Old Blue Mountain. In the far distance I could hear the constant humming of a logging operation in process. So far Maine has been mountains, trees  and lakes as far as I could see. I guess logging must be big business up here. I haven’t seen civilisation yet. Haven’t had any cell phone service in Maine yet. Do they have AT&T in Maine? I don’t think so.

I stopped for an early lunch in Bernis Mountain Lean-To. Three bags of rubbish, an old backpack and more trash was just laying around in the shelter. Thru Hikers on the Appalachian Trail are quick to blame locals for things such as this but I’m not so sure. I’ve seen stuff like this all along the trail. If the trash bags were full of tins or other items I may agree. But the trash was filled with typical thru hiker trash such as noodle packets, tuna packets and dehydrated potatoes packets. Pick up your game thru hikers, its gross. So was the dump and toilet paper right next to the trail on a mountain top. Ok, enough, rant over, I feel better now.

It’s hard to describe just how difficult some sections of the Appalachian trail really are. In comparison to other days, today was a rather easy day. Although my body is very fatigued and in need of a very long rest. Maybe that’s it, I’m just very fatigued and everything seems hard. I think I’ll have a rest when I reach the next town.

Rubbish left inside a shelter
cloudy day
rocky trail
Yes, that’s the trail

I reached Highway 17 mid afternoon to the smell of grilling hot dogs. Snowman and Just Greg had a little trail magic and my weary body indulged in a long rest and several grilled hot dogs with my coke. My body also appreciated the camp chair to sit on.

I think I stayed and chatted for around two hours. This is my first contact with any humans from Maine so I was keen to learn what makes people from Maine tick. Turns out people from Maine aren’t too different from people back in my home state of Northern Territory, Australia. Independent people with a love of nature, fishing and all things outdoors, no matter the weather. In fact, Snowman and Just Greg had just been fly fishing all morning nearby. Thank you kindly for making a tired man a little less tired.

It was getting late as I set off for camp. I passed several lakes on route to a lovely campsite next to a lake. It was getting dark as I arrived and all I could think about was a nice hot meal and rest. I noticed there were a couple of canoes next to the lake. In the morning I’ll use the lake to find the leak in my mattress. Whoops, I forgot to do it earlier in the day. Might even go for a paddle on the lake. I went to sleep to the hoot-hooting of a nearby owl.

lakes and moutains

Next : Day 117 – Sunrise over the Lakes

All the best information on the Appalachian Trail:
Complete Guide to the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail Gear List
Appalachian Trail Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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