I rose to the sound of a passing southbounder. “Nice spot” They said. I smiled. I sat and sipped coffee and had a breakfast of noodles.
I set off.
The day began with beautiful views near the summit of Moxie Bald Mountain.
After descending, I sat beside Bald Mountain Pond for lunch. The weather was splendid! The sun burned brightly, the wind blew cool and strong accross the shimmering water.
Oh, how I don’t want this journey to end!
I felt sleepy. Why, oh why was I so sleepy? Was it the late night last night? In truth, it did not matter. I lifted myself and continued.
The trail undulated up and back down in seeming endless motion. There were many stream and river crossings. I managed to stay dry on each one, utilizing branches, logs, and stones to make my way accross.
At around 7 pm I reached a very small stream. My eyes were so heavy. There was a small, person-sized clearing beside the trail. There, I settled in for a nap. Just until 8pm, I thought. Okay, maybe 9…9:20pm.
Another hiker, the one I hiked to Kennebec River with, walked by in the dark. We chatted. They commented on the warmth of the night, and wondered if it was a sign of coming rain. Rain!?
They planned to camp somewhere near the upcoming lean-to. I assured them that I was just taking a break.
After their departure, I looked to the moon. It was nearly full. I asked it for strength to carry on. I fell asleep.
Just after midnight, I woke to gentle wisps of moisture tickling my cheek. It was raining! I packed up my things in a rush, donned my raincoat, and set off. The rain did not grow heavy, if anything it lightened, then dissipated completely. I smiled. I felt it was a gentle nudge from nature, from the moon, to carry on.
I was still very tired, but I was determined to get closer to the town of Monson.
I passed the lean-to. I rolled my ankle. I moaned. I stopped, trying not to wallow, and continued.
I crossed the East Branch of the Piscataquis River on a little dam of collected logs and branches.
On the north side of the crossing there was a pine needle covered road bed of sorts. I followed it down stream for a bit. There, I called it a night.