8-26-09 day 85
start: Carl A Newhall Lean-To, ME
end: Cooper Brook Falls Lean-To, ME
daily mileage: 18.9
total mileage: 1106.0
WE REACHED HALFWAY THIS MORNING! What a good feeling, to be over halfway done. Awesome.
Up early in the morning, and climbed up our last real hills before Katahdin- the Whitecaps. The little range has 4 hills on it, and at the tallest and northernmost one (White Cap itself), we could see our first view of Katahdin! It's a thrilling sight after so many miles.
We made great time off the mountain and through the rest of the day owing to the flatness of the terrain after White Cap. It's great being able to make such good time (and the scenery remains gorgeous, with conifers and ponds and lakes everywhere) but we are finding the "wilderness" to be kind of a joke- it is wild and natural seeming, but so is the whole trail! We've even crossed several logging roads and such already. We've pretty much decided that the only difference is that it's a slightly greater distance between resupplies here than elsewhere.
Bad news, though- my boot exploded. I was hiking a few minutes behind Sea Monster towards the afternoon when I started noticing that my right foot was getting very loose in my boot. I retied it, but it didn't help. Within minutes it was getting much worse, and I isolated the problem. The soles of my boots were ripping clean off the rest of the boot! A small hole had been there for days, but within half a mile of my noticing it getting worse today, the entire sole had effectively detached from my boot. My foot literally feel out of my boot! It's a hole you could easily pass an orange through. It was immediately unwearable. So, I switched into my imitation Crocs for the remaining few miles and made it to the shelter.
The good news is that the shelter was awesome! A sweet waterfall with the best swimming hole at the bottom I've ever seen. Sea Monster had already gone for a swim (my boot adventure put me quite a ways behind) and was changed into his awesome new cut-off pajama shorts. I jumped in and changed into my new cotton camp shorts I'd recently picked up, and we settled in for the night. I'm a bit worried about hiking in just crocs tomorrow, but with my insoles and socks on it might not be so bad.