July 30, 1998

7/30/98 Hall Mountain Lean-to

13.8 miles (1897.3 total)

Woke up way too early! Was packed and on the trail by 7am. Tortoise and Hare were still asleep when I left. Ended up passing Michigan Plowboy going up Baldpate. He’d missed the turn for the shelter and camped near the summit.

Baldpate Mountain was beautiful on this foggy morning. The sun tried to poke through occasionally. The summit climb was up large slabs of inclined rock. I was very happy it wasn’t wet. But I think the climb down was slower for me. Once off the top, I did manage to fall-slide down one slick slab. Landed on my elbow but the pack took most of the impact.

Baldpate Mountain in the early morning fog

Once off the mountain, the trail, terrain and vegetation reminded me more of Virginia. Now we were hiking on dirt, duff and roots, instead of rocks. Made it to the next shelter by 9am.

Pretty slow, but the profile for the next section looked easier. Which turned out to be the case. I made excellent time to Dunn Notch Falls, almost 2 mph. I just wish I could have enjoyed the falls more. They were beautiful.

Made East B Hill Road by 11am which was great considering it was a hard hitch into Andover. It took over an hour and a half before someone stopped. In that time, only 4 cars passed me. Earl is a school teacher, who moonlights in summer helping a friend with a canoe business. Born and married in Maine, he teaches physics and math at a technical college. He dropped me off in "downtown" Andover.

Picked up my mail and sent home my winter gear (hope I don’t need it!). Stopped by the All Seasons Cafe for cheeseburgers and fries while talking to some southbounders. Met the guy who runs the Andover Guest House. Very pushy, thought I’d change my mind about moving on once I had a chance to look his place over. The "long-term" grocery store had very limited supplies but I did get some Ben and Jerry’s.

Headed down the road a few blocks to the Pine Ellis Bed & Breakfast. Paul, who runs it with his wife, Ilene, gave me fuel for free and agreed to take me back to the trail. Very nice guy. Paul was able to give Hoofer a ride back into town after dropping me off.

Wonderful people at the Pine Ellis B&B

Word was Ghandi and Tortoise and Hare had just passed through. So I put on the afterburners. When I passed Surplus Pond, I thought Ghandi would have stopped for a swim. About 5pm, I passed Yamazella. He told me Ghandi and Billy Goat were slacking a 21 mile day. That means I won’t see them! Met Tortoise and Hare at the water source for the shelter. There are 4 northbounders, 2 southbounders and 2 more section hikers here.

Although the sun came out on occasion, enough to cast shadows, and it is raining tonight while I write. Tomorrow we might get to see Katahdin.