Day 66

Baldpate Shelter, ME Travel Blog

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I said that I was going to attack, and attack I did. I was the 4th one out of camp, but the first one through the notch. Man, was it a great feeling. It made me feel like if I put my mind into something - anything - then I can be successful. It's a feeling that I never had before, I always kind of doubted myself and wound up surprised when I would reach a goal. It took me 53 minutes to get through the boulder scramble, and even though so many people complain and badmouth the notch, I had a lot of fun going through it. It's hard to describe the feeling of descending into this ravine between two mountains and feeling the temperature plummet. You look into the cracks between some boulders and see ice. Ice! In the middle of July. If there is one thing about the mountains, it's that they are unpredictable.

Just after I cleared the notch, I smelled a fire. Not exactly what I was expecting at 8:30 in the morning, nowhere near any recorded campsites, so I was caught a little off guard. I looked into the bushes and saw a boy scout troop cooking breakfast and starting to pack up. I gave a good morning and struck up a conversation. Next thing I know, I'm eating pancakes and bacon. Lots of bacon. Thanks Troop 84 for the nourishment. And the salami for the road. Apparently they each had a pound of salami with them for their two day trip, so they were happy to be lightened of the burden.

After my nice refueling break, I headed up the Mahoosuc Arm, which I though was much harder than the notch. It was a 1500 foot elevation gain in just under a mile. Pretty much like walking up 150 flights of stairs, only steeper. And instead of steps, just slick rock face. But the hardest things are the most rewarding and I got to swim in Old Spec Pond for almost an hour after busting my butt to get up the hill. This pond was like something from a story book or a post card. Surrounded on all 4 sides by mountains, with the sun shining and lillypads floating all about. I swam and then laid on a rock in the sun to dry off and relax. It was one of the most content moments that I have had on the trail.

Time to get moving again. I ate lunch at the shelter just yards from the pong and got the scoop on the trail from the caretaker and a couple of other AMC employees who knew the area well. Then I headed off. There was certainly nothing outrageous about the afternoon hike, save that I noticed an entry of my brother's in the register from the same time three days ago. So those guys have 3 days on me (not surprising, since I took 3 days off).

I got to the lean-to and met a whole big group of young southbounders who seemed a little uprorious, so I decided to pitch my tent. Wane No, Huff, Tank and I roasted salami that I had acquired from the generous scouts and we headed on to bed. The plan for tomorrow is to do eight easy miles into Andover, split a rom with Wane No and resupply. Sounds good to me. Pine Ellis B&B, here we come.

OLD: Set a goal, make a plan, execute
NEW: Set a goal, make a plan, ATTACK!

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Baldpate Shelter, ME