[at-l] Two Years Ago Today

Allen Freeman allen at allenf.com
Tue Sep 20 06:00:46 CDT 2011

Two years ago today, I left Monson and headed into the Hundred Mile
Wilderness on the last stage of my thru-hike. I do so miss that life!
Sunday, 9/20

AT Miles = 15.1 / 2078.9
Other Miles = 0 / 63.0
Total Miles = 15.1 / 2141.9

Miles to Katahdin = 99.4

Hey folks, look at that! Less than 100 miles to go! I can remember how
thrilled I was when I reached the first 100 miles of this trek, and
now here I am at the last 100 miles. It’s all starting to feel a bit

Today was a great day; just perfect hiking weather. Clear skies, cool
temps, a mild breeze. And instead of laboring under my ridiculously
heavy pack (43 pounds with 7 days of food aboard), I semi-slackpacked
most of today. A former threu-hiker named Paddyo has been in the area
ofering hikers shuttles and providing trail magic. I hadn’t mat Paddyo
before last night, but Rookie, who I’ve been hiking with the last
couple of days, knew him and arranged to have Paddy shuttle us to the
trailhead this morning, then we put a bunch of our heavier gear —
hammock, tarp, sleeping bag, most of my food — in Paddyo’s truck and
hiked with a very light pack. Paddyo met us at a dirt road at mile 14.
When I got there he pulled out the gas grill and fired it up to cook
hamburgers and hotdogs. So after hiking 14 miles I had two
cheeseburgers, two hot dogs, two cans of root beer, some potatoe
chips, and three brownies. Paddyo is a big Johnny Cash fan and he
showed us a DVD he has that includes some footage of a very young and
very nervous Bob Dylan recording with Johnny Cash. It was awesome.

Once I tore myself away from all the food, I repacked my backpack with
all the gear that Paddyo had shuttled for me and hefted my now very
heavy pack to hike the one remaining mile up here to Long Pond Stream

As I am sure I mentioned before, my brother Dana and I hiked this
section southbound years ago. It was great fun reminiscing about that
trip along the way today. I forded Big Wilson Stream today and
remembered that when we forded it on that previous trip, Dana stepped
in a big hole and went in nearly to his waist. And just north of Big
Wilson Stream the trail crosses the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic
Railroad tracks. When Dana and I hiked through here a small work car
with two men aboard came down the tracks, and if I remnember
correctly, Dana had a short, shouted conversation with the two men as
they went by.

I had entertained vague hopes of pushing 4 more miles today to reach
Cloud Pond Lean-to, but that four miles includes a 2000 foot climb,
and there just weren’t enough daylight hours left to make it. I hope
to be able to get through most of the Barren-Chairback Range tomorrow.
It all depends on how my knees hold up to all the climbing and
descending. I would really like to get over White Cap by Tuesday
evening. That’s the last significant climb until Katahdin. From where
I am tonight it is 29 miles to Logan Brook Lean-to, on the north side
of White Cap. The mileage is certainly doable, it’s just the climbing
that has me worried. Also, the forecast calls for a 40% chance of rain
on Tuesday afternoon, and 50% Tuesday night. Rain up on the bald peaks
would make for dicey going on the rocks. Well, we’ll see what happens.

“Home is where I hang my food bag”

Allen Freeman
allen at allenf.com

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