Stratton, Maine

First of all, I’d like to excuse my typos and grammatical errors in my posts. We’re just posting from a phone, and I tend to type faster than normal because we want to use the precious time we have in towns as best as possible, so I didn’t edit my blog. Whoops. Forgive me!

We made it to Stratton, Maine today at around noon. This really nice older couple picked us up from the trail head and took us to the “town,” which is like five buildings. We’re staying in a hostel that I can’t remember the name of – it’s okay, but just seems like a hostel to us. Neither of us really have excruciating pain anymore (though there is a little bit).. I/we feel like we’re getting our hiker legs and starting to get the trail under our belt! 180+ miles down, 2000 to go.

Day 11
Horseshoe Canyon Lean-To
7.~ miles
Today we woke up early-ish (around 6:30) and packed up our stuff. We partook in Shaw’s breakfast – which was absolutely delicious and all-you-can-eat – and then got a shuttle into Greenville to hit the grocery store and the outfitter (that oddly share a building). Banner and I both picked up some trekking poles (which have been enormously helpful) and he picked up some Teva sandals, too, which don’t hurt his Achilles. With the new shoes and poles, we set out, did a few super easy miles, and slept in the shelter. A northbound lasher (Long-Ass Section Hiker) named Twiggs showed up late at camp. He was cool, and got his name from the cool looking twigs and sticks that he collects to make art.

Day 12
Bald Mountain Brook Lean-To
13.2 miles
Today we got up late, got started even later, and finally finished hiking around 5:30pm. Pretty regular day, here. Hiking and eating for about 12 hours, repeat. It rained like crazy all night.

Day 13
Campsite/Caratunk, Maine
Rabbi: 15 miles, Banner: 9 miles
Today was.. different. The crazy rain last night flooded everything. Even grassy places were flooded with feet of water, and a lot of the time the trail was more water than trail. Some of the pictures on this day (6/13) hopefully capture just how much water we waded through today. Then, Pleasant Pond Mountain has a million false peaks, so you always think you’re getting to the top but then there’s another peak above you. Additionally, the blow downs (trees and stuff in the trail) were horrible. Imagine scrambling Old Rag style – then imagine that with trees in your way. Very difficult and slow progress. At the top of the mountain, as I was waiting for Banner, I realized that I wouldn’t have enough food to make it to Stratton. So, when he got there, we discussed it and I decided that I would have to hike extra far that day to make it to the highway so I could hitch a ride to a general store. The highway was 7 miles from the top of the peak, and it was 2:00pm. To reasonably expect to get a ride, I’d have to start hitching before 5:00pm. I booked it and ran and ended up making it to the road at about 4:30pm. A nice older fish man gave me a ride to the store (8 miles north) and a younger couple gave me a ride back. Great first experience hitching. I ended up taking the tent from Banner, and slept in the parking lot of the AT trail head (which was really just a grassy open space).

Day 14
West Carry Pond Lean-To
Rabbi: 15 miles, Banner: 21 miles
What a day. To make today work, we had to get to a certain point by 11am to get ferried across the Kennebec river (which is the official and safe way). Our plan was for us to meet at the ferry at 9am. At 8:10am, Banner strolled out of the woods into my campsite/the parking lot, having hiked 6 miles already that morning. After a quick and easy ferry, we hiked an additional 15 miles, skipping one lean-to and staying at the next. The hike started out easy, but became a treacherous boggy rock-hop toward the end. Those swampy areas really slow you down and hurt your knees, ankles, and feet. At one point in the day, we ended up walking over the entirety of a man-made dam – not a cement one, but one made with wood planks and rocks. It didn’t even look like a trail – but halfway across, questioning ourselves, we saw a submerged rock with the white blaze on it. Classic AT. Coyotes were going crazy this night, howling all night long.

Day 15
Horn Pond Lean-To
18.~ miles
What a day. The first five or so miles were easy, but the next thirteen were crazy difficult, up and down some extremely steep slopes (read: rock walls). There’s a short video in the album linked in the sidebar – the video is filmed from about 10 miles into our 18 mile day. It was 4 miles to Avery’s Peak from there, and 4 miles after that to the lean-to. Even walking along the “ridge line” we climbed and descended at least 10,000 feet total all day – probably more. The huge rocks and tall scrambles were the hardest part. I saw 3 young moose in the woods today, too! They are huge – even the smallest, youngest one’s hindquarters were taller than my head. Fun and exhausting, all in all.

Day 16
Hostel – Stratton, Maine
5.1 miles
An easy few downhill miles and quick hitch into town. We got into town around 12:30pm, and promptly stuffed our faces. Banner and I must have eaten at least 2000 calories each (not even exaggerating) just for lunch. We’ve been relaxing for a bit – soon we’ll go and resupply for our next few days, and then we’ll hit the hay. We plan to get up early-ish and hit the hiker’s special breakfast at a nearby cafe called the Loose Moose before heading back to the trail tomorrow. Rangeley, Maine is our next stop!

Our next stop is Rangeley, but we will probably be there in just a few days. After that is Andover, Maine, but we might not stop there for more than an hour. For people wanting to send us packages, it may be best to send them to Gorham, NH, PO 03581. We’ll be there in 8-11 days! Also, shoot me a quick email or text if you send us something so I know to go pick it up!

PO boxes are super variable, because we don’t always know which places we are going to stop and which ones we are going to skip. We’ll try to let you guys know at which ones we’ll be stopping at least 8-10 days in advance!

I uploaded a few new pictures to the album! The link is in the sidebar. It’s easier for me to upload them there then directly to the site. Check it out!

Rabbi

2 thoughts on “Stratton, Maine”

  1. What an adventure! If the hiking, climbing, fording streams/rivers wasn’t enough, you hike down by yourself and hitch in to get supplies. Stories to tell your kids and grandkids!

    SO happy you are having a great time. And glad you have someone you can trust and rely on in Banner. You two guys are something special.

    Love ya!

  2. So excited to see and read about this trip! Are any of the hikers from prior post still near by? If you want anything perishable for the next p.o box, let me know I will make it and send it. Can make it easy to get those make up calories in quick!

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