Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 167-Last Slack, The Bigelows

We didn't have a full kitchen to cook breakfast, but we did have a store across the street to get breakfast items. I got bagels, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and 2 bananas. Ravioli sat with all of the contents of his pack out on his bed wondering if housekeeping would come. I went out at 7:30 to talk to Sue and she said we would be the next shuttle, she was dropping Puzzle, Drag N Fly, and Freckles off at the nearby trailhead. She didn't get back until around 8:00, and we had 16.7 miles to hike today, off to a great start. Seems some of the guys she had in the truck stopped off for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. We had about a 45 minute drive so some of us packed inside, and the others had to ride in the bed. Lynn made a note to say how our shuttle was supposed to be at 7:30 and she responded with, "well you weren't out there and they needed a ride, do you want to go or not?" I wish we checked into a different hotel for tonight but checkout was at 10:00am and we would already be on the trail. Our fee was by the carload so she didn't really care if we were there or not, she was getting her flat rate fee. We continued on and I kept my mouth shut, but for the record; I was out there at 7:30. Once we got to the dirt road we all hopped out, today was cloudy and overcast; not an ideal day for the Bigelows. I wish we hiked them yesterday and hiked what we did yesterday today, oh well. I can always come back sometime and hike them again. The morning started out partly sunny but as the day went on and the elevation went up, it grew cloudy. The hike up was a little long, but nothing super hard which was nice. Before we knew it we were at the first peak, Little Bigelow. We could see Bigelow off in the near future and it looked like the clouds were covering it. We hiked on and it was quite chilly, I am still getting over my cold so my nose was constantly running. The distance between the mountains was actually rather flat which was nice. A walk in the pine needles. We got wind of many fellow Northbounders and it was said that the wind was 70-80mph up on Avery and the Horns...great. As we got higher up, the wind increased and so did the cloudy mist. Everyone warned us how horrible it was up there, and it reminded me of my day on Baldpate; at least I would be with people this time. We hiked up and it was windy up on Avery, but I still took a "selfie" at the sign, I climbed up on the rocks and hugged the sign. There was an old foundation of some sort up there as well. We hiked on and I felt the wind throw me a few times and then we were back in the trees. It is amazing what a few pine trees will do for wind protection. Next we came up on the super windy section and we grabbed a group selfie when the wind slowed down. Lynn took a video of Ravioli and I leaning into the wind and it holding us up, pretty intense. The rocks were all slick and slippery and it was a nervous walk with every step. We started our way down and had some gorgeous woods scenery, it was majestic in a way. We had a long down and it was killing my knees and feet. The roots kicked in and these are the worst. A few miles before the road we came to the 2000 mile marker, and although by that point we had already hit 2000 miles (since we were slack packing South) it still was great seeing the sign. It was getting late and dark so we continued on and knew we would be hiking out in very dim lighting. The dimness, the roots, and my painful body was wearing on me. I had pulled up my left compression sleeve from my calf to my knee as a support brace. It was at least keeping everything in place where it should be. We crossed a bridge, yes; a bridge in Maine-it does exist! And a mile or so further we hit the same road as the day before. It was dusk and cars were passing us left and right. No service to call, so luckily a pickup truck ended up stopping and backing up for us! We jumped in the bed and road into town back to the motel. Lynn and I went over to the store and Ravioli ordered us a pizza. I got a Kalhua Mudslide, Blueberry beer, and an Oreo ice cream bar-my knees hurt! We went back to the room, showered, and drank our beers with some pizza. It was all so delicious. I was the last one up as I sat in bed icing my knees, drinking the mudslide, and blogging. I should sleep well tonight!

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