19 Sept- 29 Sept: Monson to Caratunk, Maine
So we finally got Mom well, got back on trail and headed south. But Murphy struck one more time and put a hole in my sleeping pad, therefore it would not stay inflated and insulate me from the cold ground. This is not good, especially when it is colder at night. We weren't too far from Monson, so we got back into town, ordered a replacement one to be picked up 3 days on down the trail, temporarily fixed the hole in my old one and headed on our way again.
Wednesday 24 September, Each year there are always some thru-hiker trail "celebrities". This year two of those such celebrities were Engineer and Color Bandit. Engineer is an aerospace engineer and amazing artist, Color Bandit is one of the nicest guys around who hiked with a set of crayons. Engineer would draw amazing pictures in the shelter log books and Color Bandit would follow behind and color in Engineer's pictures. We met Color Bandit back in Tennessee but Engineer was far too fast and ahead of us, for us to meet him while we were still headed north. Well, when we flip-flopped and began heading south, we started to pass a lot of people we had started hiking with down south. On Wed 24 Sept, we were lucky enough to cross paths with Engineer. Whoohoo!!!! Thanks so much to Engineer and his awesome pictures, which he says he is going to compile into a book. Getting to the next shelter to see his next great picture was often our daily motivation!!
Hendo, Engineer and Hendo's Mom
Wednesday 24 Sept, Hendo got a nother booboo. Fording the West Branch of the Piscataquis River, my foot slipped on a rock and another rock was nice enough to leave its mark on my shin. Guys dig scars, right?!?!?
Hendo's Latest Booboo
Thursday 25 September, Getting sick sucks, getting sick out in the woods on the trail sucks more. After fording the Piscataquis and cutting my leg, I started feeling sick later in the afternoon. I don't think it was related, just circumstance. Anyway, spent all day Thursday 25 Sept, sick with diarrhea, running to and from the tent and a slit trench latrine I dug for myself, catholes weren't cutting it. Thankfully it only lasted a day a Friday we were able to continue trudging south.
Beautiful fall colors in Maine.
Hendo, Lately and dog Early.
We were rewarded Friday night, 26 Sept, with a great camping spot along Bald Mountain Pond at the Moxie Bald Mountain Lean-to. It was absolutely gorgeous!! A mother moose and two calves joined us for dinner. They sloshed down into the pond approximately 200 meters away, and hung out for 1.5 hours eating water plants along the shore. We sat on the granite slab seen below and enjoyed our dinner as well.
Hendo reading the shelter log book at Moxie Bald Mountain Lean-to
A Mama moose with two calves following behind, enjoying their dinner with us.
A "dinosaur" footprint on our way up Moxie.
Hendo's Mom on top of Moxie Bald Mountain, gorgeous view.
Time got away from us today, ie. we visited too long with people along the trail, and ended up still on the trail after dark. We never purposely night hike, but a few times we have been caught still on the trail after dark. Mom is not a fan because she cannot see well, so Saturday night we got caught on the trail after dark and eventually came across a wide flat area, so we stopped and set up our tent. At the time we didn't realize we were, on the trail still. Oh well, there was plenty of room for people to hike on by if needed. So goes life on the trail.