Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crossing the Kennebec River

Yesterday we learned of a camp that was very close to our campsite that served a hot breakfast to thru-hikers that consisted of eggs, sausage, and a dozen pancakes. We decided to start our day at that camp. We packed up and followed a blue blaze just .4 of a mile through the woods until we reached Harrison Camp at Pierce Pond. This camp, which consists of nine cabins, has been here since the 1930's. We met Tim, who was cooking in the kitchen when we arrived. He owns it and has been the owner for 27 years. He serves thru-hikers at 7:00, and then the rest of the camp's guests at 8.

There were three other hikers who hiked over with us. Everyone really enjoyed the hot breakfast. His pancakes had blueberries and raspberries in them!

We left there and began hiking for the day. We passed the dam at the edge of Pierce Pond, and saw an otter! He was really cute, and kept stopping and looking back at us before he finally swam away.

We followed a large stream coming out of Pierce Pond for many miles. Along that stream were numerous waterfalls and pools. It eventually emptied into the Kennebec River.

We needed to cross the river, and there is a man whose job it is to ferry hikers across in a canoe. He even has a white blaze painted on the bottom of the canoe to show that his canoe is actually on the Appalachian Trail. His name was Hillbilly Dave, and he ferries 1500 to 1700 hikers a year. We signed some affidavits stating that we would not sue if we drowned, donned a life jacket, and a few minutes later arrived at the other side of the Kennebec. He only takes two hikers at a time, so we sat on the other side and waited for Swamprat to come across.

After we left the river, we just hiked a few minutes and walked into the town of Caratunk, where I needed to check on a resupply box that Sean had sent us. After taking care of that, we headed back into the woods, and took a lunch break along a stream. The mosquitoes were after us, so we had to put on bug spray for the first time since entering New Hampshire. That state sure was good for getting rid of the heat and the bugs.

We hiked on, mostly in the woods today, and had one major climb, up and over Pleasant Pond Mountain. It wasn't until we reached the top that we got a view of the pond, and it sure looked pleasant enough!

It clouded up, threatening to rain, so we made the descent pretty quickly, hoping to reach a place to set up the tent before it began raining. We finally found a campsite in the woods near a pond. It's not the most level site, but it will work nicely. There is another hiker here tonight, named Raven. He's been section-hiking the AT since 2005, and is about to complete it next week. He's as excited as we are about reaching Katahdin. In his other life, he's a community organizer in Minnesota. He plans on section-hiking the PCT next year. I am looking forward to listening to rain on the tent tonight!

- Steady and F100

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