we were heading northeast the next morning, up Middle Fowler Trail to Lower Fowler Pond, and it started with a pretty good climb. so not much to see until we got a little ways in, then it was a good day to be hiking
what goes up, must come down
Middle Fowler Pond. Now we go up Five Ponds Trail to Trout Brook Farm CG
we spent a long time here just locating the trail and crossing streams
a family of 3 raccoons. the baby didn't make it far up the tree at all
We picked up the car and our next campsite was Abol. But on the way there we drove by the best place to see moose in the entire park, "always see 'um up there."
We then drove out of the park and over to Millinocket to pickup beer and burgers to mix with the dehydrated food that most of us still had in our stomachs. Those were fantastic burgers though, and the beer was just the way I like it, cold.
Next Day - Abol Trail
we started early on this trail, and it was a trek!
so it starts out looking pretty well worn with a little incline to it
gets a little steeper and rockier
now we see what is really going on
now we're breathing heavy and thinking that this may get interesting
that is where we are headed. so I'm trying to find where the switchbacks start or if the trail goes off one side of the mountain
look no more, that gray area right in front is the 'trail' and it goes straight up this side
having fun yet?
here's Bruce laughing, because crying wouldn't have been manly
and Paul is right above him the photo - also notice the trail markers on the rocks
then a little more walking before joining another trail
at Thoreau Spring, take a right here and you go to Baxter Peak, terminus of the AT
now we get to walk the last mile or so of the AT
that is the Knife Edge Trail - 2 feet wide and windy. we could get off the peak that way but end up miles from our car
Katahdin - Baxter Peak - we sat down and had a little snack
Bruce trying to stay in front of the storm, the clouds came in fast and then you couldn't see much at all. It was right here that we passed a Maine local that asked us why we were going back down the Abol Trail, "no one goes back down this way."
I got lost on the way down and tumbled through the Twilight Zone obviously. yes, that is a family of Mormons climbing up the trail. I hope they made it, they did not look good at all.
a little of the trail from the top and the clouds rolling in. it had gotten really windy fast
quick movie from atop Abol
so less than 8 miles roundtrip, 7 hours, and I could barely walk by the time I got off the trail. Both of my Achilles tendons were swollen for over a week. that's probably not a good thing
Final critter count:
Squirrels: infinite Raccoons: 3 Grouse: 1 Snakes: 3
MOOSE: 0 (and yes I'm bitter)
then it was back to the car and we had decided to try to get a little of the drive to NC out of the way today. So we hit the road with a goal of making it to Portland. And the deal I made was that I would pay for the hotel and they'd pay for the beer.
So once in Portland, we found a hotel room and did the shower thing. Then it was off to the waterfront for lobster and crab dinners. We were also looking for a place to get a couple of live lobsters to take home. The waterfront area was pretty nice, everything from big, expensive restaurants to picnic table dining, plus several small pubs & even a few gift shops. Did a little eating & a little drinking too.
We were back on the road the next morning by 7:30, after picking up a few small lobsters. And the traffic was not terrible until we reached the area that I'll call Jersey-Hell. The republican national convention was coming to NY in a couple of days, so every tunnel and several bridges were shutdown. Therefore everyone in NJ decided to park on the interstate & turnpike. So we came to a stop before we left CT, and then it went downhill from there. The trip through NY alone, though less than 30 miles, took almost 3 hours. And everything oversize was being searched, RVs, panel trucks, everything. 15 hours of driving today, 19 or 20 hours total from Baxter & we made it home a little after midnight.