Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Decision

Gordon and I sat at the Rainbow Stream Lean-to and had a snack, looking at the profile we could see a 3000 ft mountain on down the trail and groaned.

As we sat for a break Gordon asked, ‘Did you get any Blueberries on the last MT peak yesterday?’ No, I was too busy trying to get a clear shot of Katahdin.

‘They were delicious’, he said. I was sorry I had missed them, but it did answer a question that had been bugging me the last two days. I had been seeing “PURPLE POOP’! I kept asking myself, what animal droppings are purple?  Ah ha! the ones that eat Blueberries!!! mystery solved.

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Gordon walked ahead as I stopped several places to get a shot of a beautiful flume.

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A granite trough that loggers used to float logs down after damming it up.

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We passed  Crescent Pond and climbed a very steep 1500’ Nesuntabunt Mt. I was too tired to shoot much but did take a close up of this ‘Antler Moss?’

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We came to an improved logging road and could not find a suitable camp site, but settled on a spot beside the road. After eating supper and boiling a liter of water, Gordon said,”There is a mountain up ahead that doesn’t have my name on it, and I don’t want to put it there, if we can get your wife on the phone, I will head out.”

Then I said, “We will go to the right and walk until we get a signal, we will both cease the trail hike.” A SUV came up the road and I waved it down and asked where the road went. She said, ‘I am headed to a campsite at the roads dead end, the other goes to Monson.’

I told Gordon I thought she was wrong, but she is from around here. Gordon being a nice guy looked at our maps, and said, ‘She is probably right jack, we better go left.’ They were right, I would have added about 3 miles to our plight. In keeping with my name, ‘Wrong way Jack!’

So the next morning we started the long walk out, but at least it was a road walk. There was a funny meeting with a ranger in a p/u truck. Who couldn’t figure which direction we should take at the next junction, L or R. She finally told us wrong, she said right, when we got there the sign said to the Left.

We ran out of water, but did find a spring hidden behind some heavy undergrowth. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 miles and still no signal and still 4-5 miles away from the point the ranger said we would get a signal.

BLESSING! A trail shuttle passed us and backed up. “Do you need a ride?” This is the Chariot that stopped and picked us up!

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Some sweet words. He went on his way to pick up an injured hiker and got us on the way back.

This is what relief looks like from the back seat. However the kid that sat beside me had to leave the trail and his feet looked terrible. He had to quit less than 50 miles from his goal, he had hiked 2,120miles.

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To his Hostel, shown below, where we had a shower, change of clothes, then off  for a sit down dinner while waiting for Sherry and Jack Jr. to pick us up!

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We passed this interesting café sign. a Logging truck. To a Café the Hostel had suggested.

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Thirty minutes after eating Sherry and JJ arrived.

We headed back to Bangor, discussing how we would try to find Mark and let him know we were off the trail.  We also had to check on Gordon’s Plane ticket back to Cleveland, Tennessee.

We did find Mark, And Got Gordon off. More on that tomorrow.

Nite Shipslog

PS: (Borrowed from MA;s blog)

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.

Spanish Proverb

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1956 Chevy spotted today on the way to Bar Harbor.

12 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sorry your hike had to end like that but I'm sure a good choice was made. If your friend knew it was time to quit he had good reasons I'm sure The sights of your trip on the AT are just beautiful but challenging for sure. Will be interested to see how far ahead Mark got. It's a beautiful day here but rain and cooler weather moving in tomorrow. Hope your Thursday is a great one!

Rose said...

You continue to amaze me. That was quite a hiking trail.

Glad you re enjoying Maine!

Hugs, Rose

Lucy said...

Great pictures. I am glad you mentioned Mark. I thought for sure you had lost him. You are all crazy, and I am speaking to particularly old coot's. Is this your "prove to myself, I can still do the trail?" It had to be exhausting but rewarding at the same time.

~mel said...

Next time you want to traverse that kind of terrain ~ come see me:) We have acres upon acres you can roam and at the end of the day I'll give you a hot meal followed by a bed with breakfast the next day. Then I'll send you out another direction and we can do it all over again:) AND if you're really up to the challenge ~ I can even point you in the direction where there's no cell phone service, because we have a LOT of areas like that around us too. Oh what a wonderful and beautiful world we live in. So... I have to ask ~ was the blue poo a big pile or a little one? LOL Most likely black bear.

Y said...

Glad ya'll are safe.

Louis la Vache said...

That's one nice looking '56 Chevy Bel-Air!

Cher' Shots said...

Heck Jack, your next trek could start at Mel's in mid Wisconsin and then head straight east and end up at my door in Upper Michigan. I will also feed you and tuck you in for the night. Sherry is welcome to join you if you kids can keep things quiet. lol
With much love and admiration,
'love & hugs from afar'

Robert Geiss said...

What an adventure ! Glad you had all a good outcome. Thank you for the great pictures. Please have you all a good Friday.

Chatty Crone said...

Glad you found Mark! And I know Fred had to feel awful. That camping is not for wimps. I sure did learn a lot. Beautiful pictures and very interesting how they find you and then take you out. Give you showers and a meal. Can;t wait for the next installment.

shirl72 said...

I think you better take Mel's advise and hike close their house.

Glad everybody got some hiking
out of their system. Now you
can keep your feet on flat ground.

I bet when Fred and Gordan hear
lets go hiking they will always
remember the Appalachian Trail.

Shirl

Dar said...

I'll bet that back seat view even felt good to you, even tho I'm sure you wished you were still keeping up with Mark. We have a few acres you can hike...and it comes fully loaded with the same you saw on the trail, but not just the poo. We have more black bear, wolves, cougar, coyote, meeses(mice), elk, badger, coon, wolverine, etc, etc, etc, than you can shake a stick at. I no longer will walk the woods alone. For real, the wolves and the cougar scare the begeebers outa me. Anyway, like my 2 sisters, you know you are welcome here anytime. If you want to rough it, you can stay at the log cabin and use the outhouse with Sears Catalog or real toilet paper is my preference.
All kidding aside, Jack, I am so happy you are home safe in Sherry's arms again. Maybe someday, if you really must, you and Sherry can finish the trail with Mark and Jack Jr. or just the two of you.
BlessYourAwesomeHearts

FrankandMary said...

Sometimes you guys scare me a little...just a little. You have a great life. ~Mary