Everything was wet. Our clothes. Boots. Sleeping bags. Sleeping pads. Towels. Everything. The tent’s rain fly had done an admirable job keeping out the waterfall we’d slept under the night before, especially considering we’d put it on upside-down in our haste to get out of the storm. The problem was that it had rained so hard that the rain drops had bounced off the ground back up under the rain fly, thus accumulating puddles in the tent. With neither of us excited to get out of our sleeping bags and into wet clothes, we got off to a much later start the morning of day six then we would have liked. Needless to say, morale was at an all-trip low.
Once we got going Mother Nature seemed to be toying with us. The sky cleared up and the sun came out, giving us hopes of drying out. Ten minutes later it was cloudy and raining again. As soon as we got our rain gear on, the sun was back out. Then it rained again. Repeat cycle.
Eventually the sun came out for good and we were able to put in a good day of hiking, covering 13.1 miles over Spaulding Mountain, elevation 3988. The final half mile of which was a mini boulder field with an elevation loss of about a thousand feet.
We ended up camping at a stealth, unofficial campsite along the South Branch of the Carrabassett River. At about eight o’clock that night a man that looked a little and sounded a lot like Matthew McConaughey circa “Dazed and Confused” came through. It had taken him 90 days to get to that point from Georgia, a ridiculous pace, especially when he said that he had taken 17 zero days due to injury. When he told us that he planned on doing the remaining 8.4 miles over Crocker Mountain to Route 27 that night, even though he might not get there until midnight, it wasn’t hard to see how he kept getting injured.
We waited until daylight on day seven to do the remaining 8.4 miles to Route 27, where we had planned to meet up with our parents and stay with them at a local campground for the night. With pizza, hamburgers, french fries, frosty cold beverages, flushable toilets and, perhaps most importantly of all, showers, we pushed it over Crocker and out to Route 27 by 12:30 pm.
Even so, it seemed the longest 8.4 miles ever. One thing on this hike has become apparently clear, which is that there’s a discrepancy between actual physical miles and mental miles. In other words, we are always further from our destination than we think we are.
We were also having a problem with getting trail names. When we first started out, our youngest brother was with us, and a couple we met started calling us Darrell, Darrell, and my other brother Darrell. Without him with us for the remaining duration of the hike that name didn’t seem appropriate any more. Brad and I also agreed that we didn’t want to name each other, because that would turn into a contest, the results of which wouldn’t be flattering for each of us. So we’ve settled on Captain Kirk for Brad and Scottie for me despite my lack of a Scottish accent and red hair (or even hair for that matter). We came to this because Brad keeps telling me to push it and I keep responding that I’m giving it all I’ve got.
With almost a 100 miles under our boots, we’ve got 187.8 left until Katahdin. I’m also currently losing the slip and slide battle, 7-6.