Tuesday, October 3, 2017 (Day 154)
At 9am a group of hikers, including myself, shuffled down to meet the ferry. We followed pink ribbons through the mud to where the little boat would pull ashore. Everyone had to sign wavers. I can not tell you what the waiver said, as I just blindly signed my name, but surely it was something about bodily harm.
I was in the second group of two to glide across. I was positioned in the front of the boat, and was given an oar and instructions to assist with the paddling to the other side. I was delighted! At first I thought, I most certainly could have forded this. But as I watched the depth of the waters grow, I understood that it would have been a challenge.
Safely on the north side of the river, we were greeted by a shuttle parked alongside US Route 201. The shuttle was for the Sterling Inn. One of the hikers, who intended on staying as a guest, had phoned for the ride. The Inn was said to have a small resupply shop on site.
I debated. I did not really need to buy more food, though I was out of anything that did not require cooking; charging my things would be nice.
To help me in my state of indecision I strolled up to the driver and posed some questions. The driver was in fact the owner, and from him I learned that I could charge my things, shower, and do laundry…all free of charge. He would even give me a ride back to the trail when I was ready.
Oh, wow! I was sold.
The Inn was nice. I purchased some snacks, showered, gathered and presented my things for washing (they did the laundry for you) and sat in the dining area charging my things and sipping coffee.
Sometime after 2pm I was dropped off at the trail. It felt wonderful to be showered and in clean garb.
I watched the sun set and the moon rise, on the summit of Pleasant Pond Mountain.
I continued on under the light of the moon.
After descending and following Moxie Road for a short while, the trail crosses Baker Stream. In the dark of the night, I could not see clearly to the other side, but I was determined to make it across. The water was low, with many exposed stones, so a fording was not necessary. I carefully hopped across, safely making it to the other side. All that greeted me there was brush and trees, however. So, I turned back to where I began. This time I followed a more direct route of rocks, and found my way to the trail. I dropped my pack and carried my empty water bottles back out to the middle of the stream, collected water where the flow was most strong, and continued on down the trail.
I did not travel much further before my body grew weary and my motivation waned. I spotted a flat, leaf covered space just to the right of the trail.
This will do. I extended my ground tarp, sleeping mat, slid in to my sleeping bag, and fell in to sleep.