Day 119: Sabbath Day Pond to Poplar Ridge

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Sunday, July 11, 2010

Today was a kind of "Jackyl and Hyde" day. Such is the way of the trail. Sleeping in a shelter with some snoring sectioners that gave me food. Ya can't have it all!  Woke up to more stomach woes this morning... I think I'll just start refering to my digestive system as "mr stom-ache the gaseous" probably should be packing peptobismol but that's extra weight.

Morning hike down to route 4 was the easiest it's been so far in ME. Awesome! Walked through muddy trails, around bogs and ponds and thick smells of balsam fir in the air, more along the lines of what I was thinking Maine would be like.

Hitched into Rangeley, ME to get enough supplies for a little further. It's been so easy to hitch here!!  Nightcrawler and I saw each other at the store and sat out front eating food and organizing things. Ended up being a 3 hr lunch!  On the way back out the lovely day (70s, partly cloudy) turns into thunderstorm... We were in the trailhead parking lot watching the bolts hit in the woods and we did the lightning crouch...very hard position to hold for aching hikers, then the rain massacred us. It was one of those rain walls that you can see approaching. Nothing to do but scramble for the packcovers and seek the relative shelter of the woods.

Fortunately the storm doesn't last too long because the next step is climbing up Saddleback Mtn which is above treeline. I would prefer to not be above treeline during a thunderstorm...
The climb up isn't bad, perhaps partly because of the beers we drank before! Beer is great at alieving joint pain and settling your stomache (the gaseous).

Great views from up top at the lakes of central south Maine... Really is a pretty wild place. Also not 100% sure but on the horizon there was a certain very important and special mountain. There's something magical about seeing the finish line ahead. I yearn to finish with everything I've got. I hope I have enough in the tank to arrive injury free and on schedule.

The ridgeline walk isn't bad but quite up and down. What's really killing me now are the descents, taxing the knees and scaring me with the spots where it seems falls, slides, and injury are inevitable.  I miss the downhills in the south that you could shuffle along. And I used to complain about that!

Arrived to shelter around 7:30 after a 20 miler, my first in Maine. Wasn't so bad. The shelter is a baseball bat style floor, meaning it's made of all these small trees. Therefore, it is not flat but bumpy. Hopefully I'll sleep well before my air mattress deflates.

On the way down from Saddleback I almost amputated my own toe. Instead of getting my trekking pole out in front like I should, it caught on a branch and that brought it right onto my toe which is protected only by a thin mesh on top. Ohhh the pain! At least it's still there and works...

So my shoes were dry for a total of about 1 hr today. I've forgotten most of it, but I composed "wet shoes blues" on my way down the trail. Passes the time!  So another day done! Not too many left and then the countdown will begin. what's new out there? I hope that all is well and that the heatwave is over and summer is good.

Sleep well on your factory made cushiony mattresses and beds that don't deflate overnight!
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greg on

Hey Roberto,
Why not "stinkin" or "achin" "wet shoe blues" (more grit) or would that throw off your 12 bar creation? I've told a lot of people about your journey but I didn't know the small percentage of finishers, till you mentioned it. Maybe in your future you are now programmed to associate spectacular scenery with pain. That may serve you well. Keep on truckin.

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