Tenting to Piazza Rock Lean-to – 27.6 miles
I am out by 5:10 AM. I have a one track mind: food. I need food. No-bake cookies, specifically. I requested some last night when I talked to Lindsay. I don’t know why they came to mind (maybe the fact that my love’s are amazing), but she said she’d make some for my next and final mail drop.
It is the same old Maine today: mud, rocks, roots, balds, and steep, wet rocks. I don’t know what people rave about…yet. I arrive at the shelter at 6:30 PM. The mosquitos at this shelter are terrible. It’s no problem to simply sleep with my head net though.
A southbound thru-hiker arrives at the shelter shortly after me. He’s from California, just out of high school, and his younger brother is hiking with him too. They pitch their tent in the shelter (slight pet peeve) to avoid the mosquitos. I am amused as older brother quickly and dramatically strips his muddy clothes and dives into their tent to prevent the mosquitos from getting inside and then instructs his brother to do the same. I’m also amazed they share a two-serving Mountain House meal. I’ve been eating 2- to 3-serving dinners from day one.
I ask them how the terrain ahead looks. They mention that the next few climbs, Saddleback Mountain and Bigelows are pretty tough. As I’ve learned on this hike, I take this information with a grain of salt because each person’s idea is different and they are SoBos, but I do like getting an idea.
Tomorrow has to be a huge day and it looks like it’s going to be long and hard. They also offer me an important piece of information which I did not know about (nor see in my data book). The upcoming Kennebec River crossing requires using the ferry which only runs from 9-11 AM. This is a critical piece of information that I am sure glad I know now, a couple days in advance. It looks like the best plan is to reach the shelter just before the river and then get the ferry at 9 AM Saturday. I need to make the Post Office on Saturday morning.