Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Maine #10 (Crocker), #11 (South Crocker) and #12 (Redington)

Wedesday, Aug. 30, 2017 - Continuing in the middle group (Maine's Middle Mountains), this year's peaks (Saddleback Mountain, The Horn, Mount Abraham, The Bigelows, Sugarloaf and Spaulding) are X-ed out, and today's peaks - Crocker, South Crocker and Redington - are in the purple circle:

I wound up hiking 10.55 miles (in 6 hours 1 minute):

It was REALLY COLD in the tent last night:

But the hot water in the shower came on IMMEDIATELY, which is better than any of the Super 8s I have stayed in! Showered-shaved-and-shined, and off to breakfast at The Looney Moose Cafe. Then 3.5 miles up a dirt road, to park next to my hiking buddies:

It is cloudy and in the low 60s - bug spray, but no sun block or hat!

Once again, it is kind-of-a-hard-hike here in the Maine woods:

An hour into the hike I got a good view of the Maine Woods:

Thank goodness for the Applachian Trail white blazes!!

Although the trail goes up next to South Crocker, my first summit today was further north at Crocker Mountain:

Looking north from Crocker Mountain:

Then backtrack the trail south

to the summit of South Crocker:

And that is where the "official trail dotted line" stops. Mount Redington is the only Maine 4000 footer with no trail to the summit. Having said that, so many people have hiked it that there is a worn-down path (narrow) down the backside of South Crocker and up to the top of Mount Redington:

There is an unbelievable amount of moss in the forest on the backside of South Carter:

Nice view from this hike includes a shot from South Carter, looking at Sugarloaf on the left and Spaulding on the right:

Hiking on today's trails, I did a large amount of "trail cleaning" - getting branches and loose rocks off the trail (I can't imagine the original trail-builders envisioned that "loose stuff" on the Trail). As a result, 1) AT hikers will have a more pleasant experience in these Maine Woods, and 2) I was able to make GREAT TIME going back down the trail! (selfless? selfish? - you figure it out)

Back to the car around 2:40, back out to the highway by 3, and grilled swordfish dinner at the Manchester Yacht Club a little after 7!! Thank You God for letting me pull off this great adventure!

fyi This only leaves 2 more 4000 footers in Maine - North Brother and Hamlin Peak of Mount Katahdin:

It has been a cold summer, so I don't want to do these unless there is an "Indian Summer".

Music today from my purple nano:

The Doors - Waiting For The Sun, 1968

Lyrics "Summer's Almost Gone":

Summer's almost gone
Summer's almost gone
We had some good times
But they're gone
The winter's comin' on
Summer's almost gone

Ian Murray - Waiting for the Wind, 2005

Kent Henry - Waking, 2006

U2 - War, 1983 (plus 2008 bonus cd)

Patti Smith - Wave, 1979 (only 3 songs: "Frederick", "Dancing Barefoot", "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star")

Unfortunately, except for her phenomenal debut album, I don't think Patti Smith is very good. Having said that, because of her first album (and her rock-and-roll personality), she deserves to be in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame! These are the 3 good songs from Wave.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Maine #8 (Sugarloaf) and #9 (Spaulding)

Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 - Continuing in the middle group (Maine's Middle Mountains), this year's peaks (Saddleback Mountain, The Horn, Mount Abraham and The Bigelows) are X-ed out, and today's peaks - Sugarloaf and Spaulding - are in the purple circle:

I wound up hiking 11.5 miles (in 5 hours 41 minutes):

You know you are WAY UP HERE when the US-Canada Border is only 37 Miles away:

As opposed to my hikes out west, which were "relatively level" (except for Texas Pass and Jackass Pass), these "4000 footers" (especially here in Maine) are HARD

The first half-mile is actually on the "road", before you get to the trail. Then 0.15 miles down to the South Branch Carrabassett River. But then it goes (almost) straight up for then next 3 miles, which took just about 2 hours. There are some spots where it is hand-over-hand climbing up rock! (which also means that you have to be VERY CAREFUL going down!!).

Pretty woods going up:

With a nice break-out view looking south:

Found some berries:

Deede taught me: "Red Is Dead"

Got to the top of Sugarloaf at 4:12:

Nice view from the summit of a lot of Maine:

Back down to the "Trail Intersections":

Continue south along the ridge trail (not much of a "ridge"):

and take the side-trail up to Spaulding Mountain summit:

At this point, it is 5:42 in the late afternoon, and I have 5 miles to go to get back to my car - it will be dark in 2 hours, so I better MOVE IT! Only one picture going down, of a really interesting moss-covered rock:

I made it back down to the river safely, crossed over, and up a little trail in the almost-dark. Then the final 1/2 mile back to my car - I didn't use the headlamp, but I had it just in case! PB&J sandwich for dinner (plus chips and nuts), and the gate at the Cathedral Pines Campground was OPEN when I got there. Nice chat with a lady/owner/employee in a golf cart, found my spot (#72), and set up my tent in the light of the Fit's headlights. Brushed my teeth in their bathroom (hot shower tomorrow morning!), and crawled into bed. Thank You God for letting me pull off this great adventure!

Music today from my purple nano:

Afro Celt Sound System - Volume 3: Further in Time, 2001

Wikipedia lists their genre as: "Worldbeat, Celtic fusion, ethnic electronica", and it is a pretty cool album. Guest vocalists include Peter Gabriel and Robert Plant.

Joe Jackson - Volume 4, 2003 (plus a bonus CD of live material from the 2002 UK tour.)

Lyrics "Love at First Light":

And if we untangle the webs that we weave
Then maybe there's room for more laughter

Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers, 1969

Do you want to keep the "hippie dream" alive?
Just listen to some Jefferson Airplane albums - LOUD.

- the youthful revolutionary/"Get Together" sentiment of "We Can Be Together"
- the longing for the Biblical "Good Shepard":
Oh good shepherd
Feed my sheep

- let's go live on a commune - lyrics to "The Farm"
Bought myself a farm way out in the country
Took to growin lettuce, milkin cows and honey

- of course, the entire song "Wooden Ships" - people on the shoreline: Leave Us Be
- please take extra effort to hold on to the Dream, and not get dragged down by/into the Revolution.

RaynCo. - Wait, 5 songs

Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus, 1978 live double album

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Maine #6 (Bigelow Mtn - Avery Peak) and #7 (Bigelow Mtn - West Peak)

Continuing in the middle group (Maine's Middle Mountains), this year's peaks (Saddleback Mountain, The Horn and Mount Abraham) are X-ed out, and today's peaks (Thursday, June 22, 2017) - Bigelow Range: Avery Peak, West Peak and The Horns - are in the purple circle:

I wound up hiking 14.83 miles (in 7 hours 41 minutes) around the Bigelow Range:

It was a BLAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL morning when I poked my head out of my tent at 5:14 AM:

Took my time, and took some pretty pictures on the way to breakfast:

Tons of people were at The Looney Moose Cafe, and a good time was had by all - it was an hour-and-a-half before I got out of there! (EXCELLENT breakfast!) Started the hike just before 9 AM. I did a great job planning this trip, and only forgot one thing - my hiking poles! But (Thank You God) I quickly found two perfect branches to use!

Unfortunately, branches break. But I'm in the woods - there's lots of branches out here!

The first mile is an old logging road:

which passes BEAUTIFUL Stratton Brook Pond:

Up goes the trail, to the left of the blue blaze:

A nice framed shot over to Sugarloaf:

At the top of Fire Warden's Trail (4.2 miles) you hit the Appalachian Trail, with Avery Peak 0.4 miles to the east, and West Peak to the west:

Breaking out of the forest:

and you get the view north to Flagstaff Lake:

A quick scramble up to the summit of Avery Peak:

REALLY NICE view back to West Peak:

View south across Carrabassett Valley at Sugarloaf, with Crocker Mountain on the right:

0.7 miles back west to West Peak:

A look back east at Avery Peak:

Of course I could have backtracked and returned down Fire Warden's Trail, but (1) continuing through The Horns and going down Horns Pond Trail "looks prettier on a map", and (2) at 3831 feet, South Horn is on the AMC's "The New England Hundred Highest List" (sorry North Horn, but at 3820 feet, you don't make the list). So I hiked the AT west, which runs on the north-side of the ridgeline:

to South Horn:

Looking north to North Horn:

then nice hike up to the summit:

and a nice view back to West Peak:

and looking down/west at my next stop - Horns Pond:

I made my way down to the Horns Pond area:

and took the "Blue Blazed Pond Loop Trail".

Um, Horns Pond is BEAUTIFUL:

but it is just not hot enough for a swim.

Then back down to the intersection with Horns Pond Trail:

I LOVE Horns Pond Trail! It is well-groomed, and relatively-direct 2.4 miles down the mountain:

Back to the car at 4:40 PM

Back to the campground for some reading and a swim, then dinner again at The Rack, then bedtime. Thank You God for a GREAT DAY!

I woke up around midnight and got to see TONS OF STARS! But it was raining when morning came,

so after another excellent breakfast at The Looney Moose Cafe, I headed back home. What a great adventure!

Music Thursday - only 2 Beatles albums:

Rubber Soul, 1965

I think Deede had "In My Life" as her Class Song when she graduated from Manchester-Essex High School in 2006.

Help!, 1965

Music driving back home on Friday (finishing The Eagles):

The Eagles - Hell Freezes Over, 1994

The Eagles - Long Road Out of Eden, 2007 (2 cds)

Don Henley - The Very Best of Don Henley, 2009

and then I have some Don Henley songs scattered throughout my iPod:
"Yes It Is" from The Bridge School Concerts, Vol. 1, 1997

"Searching For a Heart" - Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon, 2004

"The End of the Innocence" and "The Boys of Summer" - From the Vaults 100.7 WZLX, 2000