Bald Mountain 

Just got to the top of Bald Mountain and got a cell signal so I can upload photos



This is the last big climb for a while.

Sunset last night:


Nice things from today:

Katahdin looms:



Better weather these last two days. Tomorrow looks nice, too.

LOVING Maine when it doesn’t rain,

Junco

The Kennebec River

Took a day off yesterday in Caratunk ME. Friends from northern VT came to visit and took me on a white water rafting trip

Laura, son Zach and husband Pat are friends from Chinle



Zach is an experienced River guide and piloted our boat down some class 3 ( and maybe a class 4) rapid. 

The weather was fine and the water was warm. 

Then Pat and Laura returned me to the AT


Following in the footsteps of Benedict Arnold:

West Carry Pond


Then this afternoon the AT crossed the Kennebec at a spot that required a canoe ferry, since there is no bridge and the current is strong


A few more from today

White cedar bark

Pierce Pond

A tributary to the Kennebec

Enjoying one of Maine’s finest rivers,
Junco

Another HUGE rescue 

For the past few days I have been really struggling with very difficult terrain and bad weather – constant rain and wind/cool weather. My tent had gotten soaked on Friday night and I was dreading setting it up in the rain. I had just summitted two peaks above tree lines and was cold and wet. When I reached the shelter I was hoping to sleep in, it was full/overflowing with very tired/wet hikers.

I decided to push on, looking for a tent site. As I approached a dirt road, a young man passed me (Jeffrey Lipinski) – I had met him, his sister (Maggie) and her husband (Robby Campbell) the day before. 

Jeff Robby and Maggie


Jeffrey asked me if I wanted to go to “Red Lobster” tonight. I was thinking this guy is nuts!

He further explained that the 3 of them were staying with Tom Dickey in Eustis ME that evening. Tom (and his dog Max) kindly invited me to join them


He served us fresh Maine lobsters and a veritable feast for dinner and breakfast.


Tom is a retired Coast Guard captain, born and raised in Maine. He knows how to prepare and eat a lobster.

Tom and Max with the claw from a 15 pound lobster



The town of Eustis is 25 miles from Canada/Quebec – we are way up north!!!

Here’s where we stayed:


See Tom waving on the porch.

This was one of the most incredible acts of kindness that I have ever experienced.

Blessed once again,

Junco

The Bigelows

This very challenging mountain range is the last major series of climbs before reaching Katahdin. 

Today starts with the steepest climb on the whole AT – it’s 1/2 mile long. I’ll keep track of how long it takes me.

Yesterday  was beautiful in a misty/foggy way


Steep climbs.  Hey wait – how do I get up that?


Had my phone/camera in a waterproof bag most of the day so I didn’t take too many pictures

Former beaver pond


Ready for some flat terrain,

Junco

Working on my rain game

It’s supposed to rain a lot in the next 3 to 4 days. 

It started raining at 8 am and I’ve been hiking in the rain for 6 hours


It’s been quite dry in Maine this summer so the rain is welcome.

I use this app called Dark Skies which has been very helpful in areas where I have a cell signal. The Appalachian  Trail Conservancy also supports a site that gives weather forecasts for each AT shelter.

As I was hiding from the pouring rain under a large balsam fir, a woman hiked by – she looked remarkably familiar


I told her that she bore a striking resemblance to one of my children’s teachers in Chinle. Turns out it was her sister. Mary Reeser – sister of Susan Reeser-Yazzie. Uncanny family resemblance. Mary lives in Maine and I may see her again when I get to Monson.

A few more:

Flagstaff Lake – I knew Flagstaff deserved a lake!

A lobster?


Trying to love the rain,

Junco

The Boreal Forest

Left the alpine zone yesterday afternoon



Dropped into the boreal forest, dominated by balsam fir (on top) and red spruce (bottom)

Some shots in this part of the forest

? Cranberries

Also saw a few eastern white cedars.

Looking for pine martens, boreal chickadees, moose, and spruce grouse – not to mention  migrating  warblers. 

Deep into Maine,

J

Alpine Zone

The alpine zone is the area above the tree line . In Maine, it is at about 3500 feet.

Stayed at the farmhouse inn in Rangeley ME last night


Conductor and I cooked a big breakfast today.


Some sights from the past 24 hours.


Maine is really incredible with its alpine zones and boreal zones.

200 miles to Katahdin!

Junco

Two fabulous creatures

Dedicating my blog post today to two amazing creatures I saw yesterday . 

First a caterpillar



Next a Spruce Grouse



I got the spruce grouse to come in close by playing a recording of a “female alarm” call. I’ve got an app on my phone with bird songs!

I wonder if anyone knows what kind of caterpillar that was – it was about 3 inches long. ?luna moth? That tail is crazy!!

Constantly impressed by mother nature,

Junco

Southern Maine

Although southern Maine doesn’t get much publicity, these mountains are very challenging!

Lots of the really steep parts have wooden ladders or rebar steps or railings.


Today was intermittently rainy. 

Caught some nice photos when the sun came out


Bunchberry surrounded by…


Moose turds…reminds me of a joke about moose turd pie..

Is this a lobster mushroom?


The magestic yellow birch. I’m getting to love this tree!!


Blue and red


A few insects


Just cute…


A few more…

Nice bolete


Just waiting for Maine to flatten out,

Junco