Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Bigelows

The trail out of Monson had a relatively flat profile, and in a few miles it actually turned into a pleasant foot path, relatively devoid of rocks and roots! I made good time, passed over Moxie Bald, and then into Caratunk for a meal, shower and laundry at Northern Outdoors.

The next morning I made it to the northern bank of the Kennebec River just as the ferry was returning from the other shore. The ferry is a canoe  piloted by Hillbilly Dave. The ATC contracts for this service every year because hydro-electric plants upstream release water without notice, causing the river to rise as much as four feet in a matter of minutes.

Two days later I was climbing Little Bigelow Mountain, the first of three peaks in the Bigelow range.

I camped in the notch between Little Bigelow and Avery Peak, and was up and out early the next morning. It was cold and windy as I climbed above the treeline to summit Avery Peak, and it was shrouded by clouds. By the time I traversed the short notch to West Peak, the clouds had dissipated and I was treated to a 360 degree view.


Below was Flagstaff Lake, and I marveled at the beauty of the miles of unspoiled wilderness that lated before me. A few nights later, I would read the story about how that lake had been created as a storage basin by the power company, and how on a low water day one could see the remains of the three communities that had been taken through eminent domain ...


A long descent and a short, tough climb to the North Horn, and I had completed the Bigelows.

Another four miles brought me to a gravel road a mile from the highway to Stratton, and another opportunity for showers, hot meals, a warm bed and ice. It was late, I was beat, and I  was not looking forward to that last long mile. As I reentered the forest, I found a bottle of 12 year old scotch propped up against a tree. Left there by a pair of Irish hikers as trail magic. A nip of that put a different perspective on the evening, and that Kat mile wasn't so bad after all.

The trail provides...

7 comments:

  1. Knew that things seemed to be going along ok for you as Mouse mentioned that she met up with you somewhere between Stratton and Little Bigelow on July 24. Please take it easy, don't push too hard, while you continue putting one foot in front of the other heading south. :)

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    1. Thanks Trillium. Meeting Mouse in the Bigalows was a treat. She was the first northbounder I crossed paths with whom I had met down south. I just posted a picture and a quick story about her.

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  2. Hello LDog! This is Mindy & Elaine, your camp neighbors at Katahdin Stream. Glad to see you're doing well and making your way southbound! Let us know if you need anything when you reach Jersey - we live about a 40 minute drive from the Water Gap. Best of luck on your journey!

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    1. Hi Mindy. It was sure nice meeting you both in Baxter. Thanks for your offer. As you might have seen, I'm off the trail taking care of a medical issue. Hopefully, I'll be at DWG next spring!

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  3. You still on the trail Dog?

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    1. I made it through Maine, the Whites and the Green Mountains, but a hernia took me off the trail. I'll be back on in the spring...

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