Wow. Today was a blast. We finally hit one of the flat and cruiser sections of the Trail and we chewed up the miles quickly. Nasty Noodle, Scoobie and Boogie and I got up early and hit the Trail around 6:00. We stopped by the first pond we saw in the morning and went for a swim and sat and talked with another hiker names Eeyore. The ponds here are so warm and shallow and it feels so good to really stretch out in the water.
Eeyore stuck with us and we hiked another ten miles or so until we stopped for lunch along another pond and did some more swimming and then lingered on the shore for a good while drinking coffee and watching the loons swim around. They were pretty active this afternoon and we even saw a momma loon with her brood out on a swim lesson. We had just another seven miles until our 18 mile goal at the Pierce Pond Fish Camp.
We got to Pierce Pond and everything looked open but we couldn’t find anyone around. The door was unlocked and a generator was running but all we found was a note that said they had gone to the lake. What we were really after was the pancake breakfast the next morning that was advertised on Guthook but we decided again to press on another three miles to the Kennebec River and see if we could get across.
The Kennebec is the only part of the Trail that you have to aqua blaze and it is too dangerous to ford. The dam is eleven miles up stream and when they release water the current becomes deadly. There is a free ferry that the ATC operates but it is only in the morning right now so we had to find another option. There was a note in Guthook that said you could stand on the shore and yell “Cheryl” across the River and if she was outside then she could hear and she would come and get you in her small boat. Luckily, we also had a bar of cell service down there so we we called Cheryl on the phone and she popped right over and ferried us across the River for $40. We asked her if the yelling thing was for real and she said “Absolutely, my dogs will hear hikers yelling and start barking so I know to come get you. Just don’t be trying to yell over here past ten o’clock.” We love Cheryl.
Cheryl also tipped us off to this amazing Inn to stay at down the street on the other side of the river. They came and picked us up and we had the thru hiker holy trinity – shower, laundry and pizza. A bat flew into the living room while we were eating pizza and I mostly ran around in circles yelling. Boogie calmly found a towel and get the little guy safely out of the window. Today was so fun because so much of it was unplanned. The company was fun and we solved some problems on the spot. It also ended with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s! Nailed it.
We are going to push a pretty big day today so we will be closer to Monson and can Nero in there on Tuesday. It’s mind blowing but Monson is my last town stop and resupply before we enter the 100 mile wilderness that ends right outside of Baxter State Park. Put on brakes – I’m having too much fun.