Appalachian Trail, Week 22, 9.1-9.15

This week has been filled with a lot of “firsts” and “lasts”.  The end of the trail is near and the miles remaining are getter fewer and fewer.  After passing the 2100 mile mark, our group realized that was the last milestone mark.  The trail is 2189.2 miles this year; there is no 2200 milestone.

One thing that happened that was a first and only was the canoe trip over the Kennebec River.  Many of the rivers are forded, but due to the width, depth and unpredictability of upstream dam water releases, the official route is by canoe.  It is the only human powered ferry still in use in the United States.  The ferry operator was friendly, quick and gave us a nice ride across the river.

This week, I arrived at the last trail town, Monson, ME, and took the last zero day there.   While there, our group arranged for our last resupply, a 5 gallon bucket that we filled with our food for the second half of the 100 Mile Wilderness and the remainder of the trail.  It was an unusual feeling getting back on the trail and realizing there were no more town stops.

One of the most exciting firsts this week was seeing Katahdin.  During the last 100 or so miles of trail there are several opporunities to view the mountain that is the northern terminus of the trail.  Every time we see it, it gets closer!

The trail is almost done, this next week will be the last one.  It is bittersweet.  I am excited to be done, but yet will miss the trail.

 

The Kennebec River.

 

The white blaze in the bottom of the canoe over the Kennebec River.

 

Early morning sun over a lake near Moxie Bald.

 

Sometimes the trail is muddy.

 

Mama moose that we saw one morning. Baby moose was nearby. We gave them plenty of space!

 

Resupply and a few treats! For a fee, a bucket can be placed at a secure location in the Hundred Mile Wilderness so that that 6-10 days of food don’t have to be carried all at once. Three of us shared the bucket, definitely worth it!

 

Katahdin from a distance on a hazy day.

 

Getting closer!

 

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