Trail Notes – September 10 (Whitecap Range – Gulf Hagas Mt., West Peak, Hay Mt., Whitecap Mt.)

A very unusual section of trail for Maine! I had originally planned for a 10.7 mile day, but the first 6 miles were so easy, they only took 3 hours! I was flying! 

As I was breaking camp In the morning, MittenMan and his daughter Socko from Michigan walked by and stopped to talk. I was delighted to see them – I’d last seen them a few states ago, iirc. We had a nice catching up before they moved on.

The next order of business was fording the west branch of the Pleasant River. I was very nervous about this, for some reason, but it had to be done. As I tied my boots together and hung them around my neck, I felt like one of those nice from “Who Moved My Cheese?”. But I took a pole in each hand and carefully worked my way across. Sigh of relief. Then I realized I had crossed downstream from the actual AT ford and the trail was nowhere in sight. There was no way I was going back over the river! Using the Guthook app and my own sense of direction, I climbed the piney cliff, walked upriver, and descended back to the trail – it helped that I heard voices below as I got close, and they helped guide me in. So that ended well.

Then it was a lovely, gradual, pine needley ascent to the top of Gulf Hagas Mt.  There was a campsite, Sidney Tappan, just on the other side of the mountain, where I stopped for a pit stop. I also planned to get water there, but the spring was just a muddy puddle. I kinda suspected that would happen though, so I was prepared for it – I carried and was careful with enough water. 

West Peak was a steep ascent and harder as a result; Hay Mt. was easier, but not as steep. I was slowing down though, at this point.

And then came Whitecap, the tallest mountain in this range. I was very eager on climbing this mountain, because on the north side lay the first sighting of Katahdin! It was extremely windy up top the open summit of White Cap, and there were a lot of gorgeous views, while the other mountains had all been treed in. It was pure delight to have trekking poles again! They made so much difference!

I stopped for the night at Logan Brook Shelter, 13 miles in, and decided to shelter up instead of tenting – a wise decision, as there was a spot of rain and more on the way. Luckily all campchores were done already, lying in my sleeping bag. Pretty windy out there! 12 miler planned tomorrow. Maybe some swimming if weather cooperates!

I indulged in hot cocoa with coconut rum tonight, mmmm. Still had one tiny bottle of peppermint schnapps left… The day will come! 

I hike on!

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