8-29-09 day 88
start: Hurd Brook Lean-To, ME
end: The Birches in Baxter State Park, ME
daily mileage: 13.4
total mileage: 1160.5
It was a rainy, nasty morning when we woke up (and COLD), but we had the end of the 100 mile wilderness and the famous Abol General Store to look forward to! We hit the trail and made really good time to the General Store, where we hung out for a while and bought snacks and food for the rest of the day and tomorrow morning. Sea Monster, Whisp and I talked over the remaining 9 or 10 miles of uninteresting flatness, and whether we should just take the 5 mile side trail to the shelter instead. The nasty rain (the worst we'd get from "Hurricane Danny") made our decision for us, and after just 5 miles of easy hiking we were in Baxter State Park, at the base of Mount Katahdin. We found a beer each in the shelter with congratulations from another hiker on making it there, and enjoyed them with our traditional Raman lunch. After checking in with the park ranger and paying for the shelter, we found ourselves with an entire afternoon and evening ahead of us with cold, rainy weather outside: perfect for getting into the sleeping bag to read and snack. I actually ate just about all the snacks I'd intended for Katahdin the next day (ah well). There was definitely a sense of excitement, almost foreboding, about Katahdin the next day. The mountain has by now developed an almost mystical status in our minds...