We left the shelter this morning and went over Spaulding Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain, although surprisingly not over the summits. Usually the AT doesn’t miss a chance to make you climb higher. Then it was a very steep and rocky descent to the South Branch of the Carrabassett River. This was listed as another ford in my guide, but thanks to someone placing a board across the widest jump, it was also rock hoppable. The board was a bit sketchy but it held.
Right after the river, we hit a gravel road where we were supposed to meet Whisper and get rid of our packs to slack the rest of the day. It turned out the road had been gated before the trail crossing so she couldn’t get there but she’d very helpfully left a note saying where she was and how far (an eight minute walk) if we still wanted to slack. Of course we did! I went down and had lunch and switched to my day pack.
The next stretch of trail went over the summits of South Crocker and North Crocker Mountains, which were fairly easy despite the elevation gains. I got down to the road to Stratton by 5:00. Whisper was waiting there, as was Papa Bear, Little Bear’s dad who has come up to slack us the rest of the way. We left him to wait for Little Bear and Stretch and the rest of us headed to town.
I got a bunk at the Stratton Motel and proceeded to do all of my town chores. I’m resupplied for almost the rest of the trip now since we have a vehicle to keep things in. We eventually all grabbed dinner late, which took forever. 13.5 miles today.