8-14-09 day 73
start: Bemis Mountain Lean-To, ME
end: Little Swift River Pond Campsite, ME
daily mileage: 12.9
total mileage: 940.9
We found got a map of the area from a southbounder at our shelter, and started the day off right with a great climb up to ME 17 (the beginning of the map). There was a bench right there by the side of the road, which had a fantastic view south for several miles. It was really awesome! We met Paul Man and his wife (?) there enjoying the overlook, and hung out there for a while while they moved on- only to meet them coming back to the road 15 minutes later. Paul Man, who had been having some serious knee problems, had decided that they were bad enough that he had to get back off the trail permanently. He had hit his knee really bad hiking, and had already taken a week off the trail, but it apparently wasn't enough. We felt really bad for the guy- hiked 2,000 miles to have to quit in Maine- but that's the way it goes sometimes, I guess. Hopefully he'll heal up quick and still finish this season.
We went past a nice sandy beach to the shelter, where we ate lunch. It was here that I made my fateful discovery- that my Kindle was no more. It had been acting up for a while - the screen wasn't working right sometimes, and the screensavers didn't look right - and finally, all at once, it stopped turning on at all. I was really sad. But, we then went back to the beach, and enjoyed a lovely swim at a beautiful little beach. The water in these Maine ponds is super clear, but we found a big old leech floating around the water.
We got to our destination, Little Swift River Pond, where Sea Monster found a new pack cover! He's been frugally not buying one for a long time, despite the fact that his old one is too big and not actually waterproof- so this was a great find. We proceeded to cook dinner, set up our best tarp-shelter ever, and discover a canoe beached right at the edge of the beautiful lake the campsite is adjacent to. Sea Monster wasn't up for canoeing, but I went out and stayed out until well after dark, enjoying the crystal clear starlit night over the lake. The sky over Maine is the clearest, starriest sky I've ever seen out east, and it was awesome.