[at-l] quick question

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Sat Dec 12 08:02:25 CST 2009

I know Maine is confusing, esp. if you've only been there once, or in Felix's case you were traveling backwards <g>. (I know, I know, I've also done it southbound!).

For those NoBo here are some landmarks to help you: 
Piazza Rock Lean-to is S of S'back ("Your Move" privy) and the next shelter is Poplar Ridge Lean-to, one of those with baseball bat floor. 
The main peak is encountered first then The Horn (both at 4000') and then Saddleback Jr at 3600'. The sections above tree line must be 3 miles or more, with some short descents into woods along the way. 
The Road crossing before Piazza Rock is Maine 4, the next road is for Stratton, Maine 27, about 25 miles from Saddleback with Spaulding Mtn., Sugarloaf and Crocker Mtn. still to climb.

For me it was a drama day, scary at the time but what is left now is a sense of awe & beauty. I still remember the sense of isolation and how my jacket pockets were both torn out by the wind! The foliage had all turned just a week or so earlier & now the snow was covering everything above the valleys making a great contrast once the sun came out. Here's my journal entry:
October 2, 1997 - Poplar Ridge Lean-to (Day 192 ~ milepoint 1950.2)

The wind was blowing a steady 50 mph with gusts up to 60. The temperature was mild though, around 35, so the wind chill was only around -15 degrees F. Snow had plastered all the rocks so the white blazes were all hidden from view, so I had to find the cairns that mark the trail and follow them. As I made my way over Saddleback today, the 3 miles of above-treeline hiking, I remembered that if I stop or lose the trail I really could die under these conditions.

But it all went smoothly. I took my time to make certain I stayed on the trail, ducked down behind rocks a couple of times to rest and have a snack, and when I couldn't find the trail made methodical circles until I came across it. Met no one else up there today.

The wind tore open both pockets on my jacket and I lost my handkerchief. Otherwise I was fine, but a bit drained, from the experience. As I descended the Horn of Saddleback the cloud cover broke open and gave a dazzling display of bright, white ice contrasted against the garish Fall red, yellow and orange hillsides. Spectacular Day!

Met Charlie Brown, a south bounder, here at the shelter. Nice guy - I wished he was heading north.
Arthur Gaudet (RockDancer)
Rockdancer97 at comcast.net
"The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."

----- "Felix J" <AThiker at smithville.net> wrote:

> Felix J wrote:
> WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!!!????!!!!! This should read
> Yeah, CHAIRBACK!!!!! is one of the first real hard (hand over hand)
> climbs
> heading south. Saddleback isn't in the 100 Miles.  It's south of
> there...big , open rock with some type of old foundation on top. I've
> got a great pic of Patch on the summit:
> http://felixhikes.tripod.com/AT/triumph.jpg and...
> http://felixhikes.tripod.com/AT/patch.jpg and, to the north
> http://felixhikes.tripod.com/AT/sdlbk2.jpg and, to the east
> http://felixhikes.tripod.com/AT/sdlbk.jpg

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