Day 170 – 17.4 miles to stealth camp at 2049.9 (139.2 miles to go)

Crossing the Kennebec by canoe.


The Kennebec River is one of Maine’s biggest rivers and usually provides white water rafting but the drought this year apparently has stopped that whole industry. Anyway, even this year it represents an obstacle considered to be dangerous to cross on foot due to the unpredictable releases of water from the dam up river which can cause water levels to rise by a foot in a minute. So the ATC provides a “ferry” service, namely a man called Greg and his canoe.
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Reaching the crossing point just after 9am when he starts his 5 hour shift, I still had to wait in line behind 5 others. While waiting I signed a waiver that said it wouldn’t be his responsibility if there was an accident. But surely it would be? Two passengers can cross at a time with one paddling along with Greg. I elected to paddle so at least I would still be self-powered. The crossing only takes a minute or two and then it’s back to walking. The river is about 500′ wide at this point and the crossing is diagonal so you paddle maybe 600′ in total.
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The day was mostly spent in the woods battling a very rooty trail but there was one big climb, 1100′ up to Pleasant Pond Mountain (2477′) and then across exposed granite to Middle Mountain (2279′) during which there was some views.
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At this point it was cloudy and humid and it drizzled for 15 minutes. But otherwise the day was dry, and the cloud was patchy. It did stay humid all day and into the evening though, a small and sweaty and reminder of the last summer.

The sun sets now just after 7pm but it’s dark in the woods before that. This makes the post-hike “evening” quite short unless you stop before 5pm. Tonight I had to collect water by hopping rocks as darkness fell.

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