Oh, but I am tired tonight, and I am not sure why exactly. I only covered 8.something miles today.
I really wanted to sleep in, both because the rain kept up off and on and kept waking me up, and because I did not want to get up and deal with a wet tent. Eventually, I had to take care of business, so I had no choice; seems that my body will not let me rest past 6 am.
During the night and the rain, the very dry streambed became a nice, active streambed, much handier for water bottle refill than the river. Breakfast was a Clif bar and two protein granola bars; I was on my way by 7:15, and immediately began climbing.
South Crocker was a bit of a challenge; at two points, the trail went up some old rockslides, so some scrambling was required, a 82nd I left some skin on the rocks, but nothing serious. I thought it would be above treeline at 4040 feet, but it was not.
A brief dip down into a col between the two peaks was wet and very slippery; I did slide a couple times, but otherwise unremarkable. The climb up to the summit of North Crocker was likewise on rock-studded dirt path, and not technically difficult at all. Relief there.
The climb down from North Crocker to the tiny town of Stratton was a long, tedious, boring 5.1 mile trek down typical Maine RRWM… It was not steep, the decline being so gradual, but due to the rain, it was wet and slippery.
So I decided to liven things up by falling three times. The first time, backwards somehow, landing on my pack; no harm done. The second time, my foot slipped on a rock, and my knee made contact with another one… Everyone say it with me, “OW!” Still, no serious harm that I can tell. The third time, I found myself unexpectedly sitting on my butt on the trail. At which point, I decided if I was going to be sitting anyway, I might as well take a water and snack break. Someone came along a few minutes later, asked if I was okay, and we had a good laugh over the circumstances before I got back up and continued on.
Made it to the road, ME 27, about 2:30, and got a shuttle into the hostel. My eagerly awaited package with the cold weather sleeping bag was not there! But they hadn’t picked up the mail from the post office yet, so I moseyed off to the post office, and sure enough, package!
Other town chores included SHOWER, hanging the wet tent and sleeping bag out to dry; recharging the phone; laundry at the laundromat, where the change machine would not take my wet money; and a bit of resupply. I only really needed to buy two days worth of breakfasts, the next town, Caratunk, is only 3 days away.
And also eating. And a beer.
Tomorrow will be either a 9 or 11 mile day; I have to wait for the post office to open at 8:30 so I can ship the summer sleeping bag to my sister in Maryland. I’d like to sleep in until 7:30, if my body lets me (doubt it). Tomorrow I tackle the Horn and Bigelow Mountains.- 4 total, it looks like. A lot of up and down. At least I will have a dry tent!
I must sleep. I am very very tired!
I hike on!