I left the lean-to this morning before Gino and Kyle had finished their breakfast. Gino snored loudly and I didn’t sleep well. The loons on the pond woke me up this morning. The loons sound like howling dogs, and they talk back and forth at first light.
I thought the day might be rainy, however as soon as I left the shelter the sun peeked from behind gray clouds and I knew the day would be nice.
I crossed two mountains today. The first I climbed easily, but the second involved the 4½ mile climb that Sourball had warned me about. The climb was gradual and not terribly technical, but there were at least 50 blow-downs on the trail. Many of the downed trees had sharp broken branches that could impale a person. Many could not be climbed over, but I had to push through the brush on either side of the trail. Frustration mounted as my pack frequently snagged branches. When I’d bend to get under a fallen tree, I’d reach a point that my knees could no longer support my weight and I ended up crawling through the mud to pass the obstacle.
I had one bad fall today. I had built up a good pace on a granite trail. I approached a log footbridge over a muddy ditch and kept the same pace as I stepped onto it. My feet slipped and I landed almost entirely on my elbow in the rocky ditch. There was a significant amount of blood, enough that I dug the first aid kit out of my pack and cleaned and dressed the wound.
I finished the 13 miles, making today my second longest day on the trail. The downs still hurt, but my knees are starting to feel better with the help of Ibuprofen. I rest less on the ups. My asthma bothers me little because of the exertion.
Tomorrow I’ll get up early and head to Caratunk, ME, a smaller town than Monson. I won’t make it in time for the ferry, so I’ll spend the night at Northern Outdoors and transcribe my journals. I’ve heard that the river camp has a microbrewery, a pool, and a hot tub!