Maine Appalachian Trail Hike Days 18 & 19: What’s that Smell?

Every now and then I get a whiff of something wretched, and then I realize: it’s me. Speaking of smells, there were a couple of times today when I could have sworn that I caught the aroma of Frito-Lay corn chips. Brad thought he smelled it too. Either we have a heightened sense of smell out here, or we’re ready to re-enter civilization.

And since I’m on the topic of over-sharing needless parts of our day, do you know the scene from the second “Harry Potter” book where Harry and Ron entered the Forbidden Forest and got attacked by giant spiders? Well, I had a re-enactment in an outhouse today. Have I mentioned I don’t like spiders? Earlier in the trip we met a man from West Virginia who told me, “You ain’t gonna catch this Southern white boy in an outhouse” for this very reason. At the time I laughed. Now I agree with the logic.

As for the hiking, we covered 19 miles yesterday and stayed at one of the better tenting sites, Antlers Campsite, along Jo-Mary Lake. There were a bunch of people at the campsite, including a summer camp from New Hampshire that we spent a good amount of time talking to. They were almost as entertaining as watching television. Then again, that’s probably because I haven’t seen television for a long time.

We stayed up well past our bedtimes, and then it rained over night, which was a perfect recipe for a late start this morning. And by late start I mean that we didn’t hit the trail until around eight. Even so, we got in another 19 miles today, including Nesuntabunt Mountain, which at the end of our day was a challenging 1550 feet straight up and down. We’re not ashamed to admit that we got beat up by such a small mountain. It happens.

We’re currently camped at a stealth site along Pollywog Stream. By the way, it’s always comforting to know that our drinking water is coming from a stream named after pollywogs. They might as well call it “Drink this for a Guaranteed Case of the Runs” stream.

It is also raining, again, which makes me glad we hung both our sets of clothes on a line to get washed. Trying to decide which set of clothes is least wet in the morning isn’t exactly my favorite wilderness game.

On the bright side we are ahead of schedule and can now cruise into Baxter State Park with two easy 14-mile days. As fun as this trip has been, we’re both looking forward to crossing the finish line and seeing our families again.

Time for bed now. I think I hear the Predator outside our tent. Should be an interesting night.

Our day began at Logan Brook Lean-To and ended well past the East Branch of the Pleasant. Didn’t take a lot of photos yesterday and none today…so the trail sign shot makes the cut.

This is the only other photo I took yesterday. It’s a pond. Can you tell? I’m not sure which one, we passed several, though I think it is Mountain View Pond. Absent from photo: the mountain. Okay, I’ll just admit it: I don’t have a good joke for here. Swing. Miss.

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