Part Two of the backpack Cameron and I did to finish the NE67 or “A Lot of Miles, but No New Peaks Bagged”:
Day 6 Thurs. July 31 Andover, ME to Hall Mtn. Shelter
Today was an easy day, with only six miles to hike. We got out of town later than we wanted because we had to take care of mailing some supplies ahead and the post office didn’t open until 8:00a. The additional challenge of beating a thunderstorm to the shelter helped us to hurry along. Since the terrain was relatively easy, we made it to the shelter, with a little time to spare before some rain came through. It was nice to get some extra rest by getting to the shelter early!
Day 7 Fri. Aug. 1 Hall Mtn. Shelter to Bemis Shelter
This was our longest day on the trail at 12.8 miles, plus a lot ups and downs which added up to a lot of elevation gain! That really isn’t a lot of miles, but with two larger ascents and a lot of little bumps after that, we knew it might be more difficult than it appeared. We got up early and were on our way, knowing that once we were over Old Blue, the second of two long climbs, it would be easier hiking. We made it to the shelter and were pretty glad we only planned 8.3 miles for the next day!
Day 8 Sat. Aug. 2 Bemis Shelter to Sabbaday Pond Shelter
It was nice to have short day and know that we’d be getting a zero day soon! We took our time getting out of camp, leaving a little before 8:00. The trail wasn’t so bad, but it was hot and humid. We only had one bigger climb for the day, which wasn’t too bad and then we were at Rt. 17. There was a nice scenic overlook where we ate lunch and gazed at Lake Mooselookmeguntic. Somewhere in there, we lost one of our maps. Not good, especially since it was the one for the next section. There wasn’t much we could do, but pray that we’d find a map or be able to get one in town. All we had to do was keep following the white blazed trail, so it wasn’t a total loss. Off we went for one small climb and the the trail became pretty easy with only a few short climbs. We got to the shelter early and surprisingly, when unpacking, our map showed up! Not sure where exactly it was, but it dropped out of some piece of gear. That was great! Now my Maine map set wouldn’t be missing a map and we’d have a little bit more guidance for the trail ahead. We hung around the shelter and then members of a large south bound group started to show up, about 9 in all. They were a super nice group and we had a great evening talking and laughing. One of them happened to be one of the guys we have s’mores to on their first day of the trail at Katahdin Stream Campground in Baxter State Park. I am hoping we get to see them again in the Whites when we get home. Maybe we can plan some trail magic. Tomorrow should be easy, only 9.4 miles to town.
Day 9 Sun. Aug. 3 Sabbaday Pond Shelter to Rangeley, ME
We didn’t have to get a super early start with 9.4 supposedly easy miles to hike. We left around 7:30 or so and by 1:00p we were at the road! We moved right along even though there were a lot of boggy areas. I also think the mosquitos were motivating our pace. We then found our first trail magic, snacks and sodas at the trail head. Our shuttle was supposed to pick us up at 4:00p, and we didn’t have enough cell signal to call the hostel, so we prayed something would work out. Another hiker came out of the woods right after us and he was going to the same hostel with a 1:15p pick up. Perfect! Now for a zero day in Rangeley!
Day 10 Mon. Aug. 4 Zero Day in Rangeley, ME
The bunkroom awoke to the sounds of thunder and rain. Those who were going to slack pack decided to take a zero, so we all sat around talking and eating until mid-morning. The storm passed, so we got a ride into town, walked around, checking out the touristy shops, eating lunch at a Thai restaurant and getting ice cream. We called for a ride back, but no answer, so we walked to the grocery store and found the hostel owner doing some shopping there and got a ride back. Again, perfect timing! There was a big hiker dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and apple pie and then it was time for bed. Overall, we had a really nice zero day at the Rangeley Farmhouse, a new hostel just opened this year in Rangeley. We had a chance to slack pack 15 miles the next day so we decided to take it. A day with light packs sounded good and with more riders on the shuttle, the cost for each of us would be cheaper.
Not a lot of pictures for this post, not sure why, but we just didn’t take as many. There will be plenty for the next post!