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Gutsy's Journals from August 9 - August 21
Just got Gutsy's journals from Dan.
>Subj: Gutsy's Journals from August 9 - August 21
>Date: 96-08-23 22:36:56 EDT
>The end is in sight, literally! Gutsy finally saw a bear, and several moose,
>in the wilderness of Maine. The next I hear from her should be after she
>reaches Mt. Katahdin.
>Friday, August 9
>Geo and I took Dan to Hanover, NH. It was supposed to be a day off, but the
>trip to town (nearly 300 miles) took all day, so I guess at least it was rest
>for our feet.
>I want to say here how much I appreciated Dans visit. Anything that could
>go wrong did--I was sick and a grump (he spent time waiting for me at the
>hospital), his car died (may it rest in peace), and we didnt get the miles
>done that we needed. He cooked and cleaned and set up the tent and carried
>most of the weight and also got in shape by hiking in the Whites. I owe
>him, anyway, for letting me be on the trail.
>Saturday, August 10
>Hiked 10 miles up over Baldpate Mountain. Geo got us some trail magic at an
>older couples home. We had a wonderful supper and tented in their yard.
> Then we had pancakes for breakfast with freshly picked raspberries in them!
>Sunday, August 11
>10 miles. Hiked over Moody Mountain. That was some trail up. Wingnuts
>book says its an improved reroute. That has to be a joke. At first I
>waited at the wrong trailhead for Geo and then checked the map and saw my
>mistake (it didnt look like the correct trailhead). Geo waited 20 minutes
>for me. Oh, I saw a moose feeding in a pond near where I came out.
>Monday, August 12
>Went over Old Blue Mt. first thing in the morning. I ate lunch on Bemis Mt.
> The sky was cloudy but with my sun sensitivity I managed to get burned
>(despite sunscreen and being mostly under the trees). I have two more days
>of medication. Ill be glad when Im back to normal (although my family and
>friends will say I never was).
>It was cold last night (38 degrees), and I got cold in the night. I left my
>jacket in the truck, and if I put my sweater on I wouldnt have a pillow. I
>usually put my jacket on a keep my sweater for my pillow. Anyway, I lost my
>sweater off my fanny pack (on Bemis) which was depressing--that was my only
>insulating layer. I couldnt go back and look for it because Geo was waiting
>at the other trailhead (where I started), an hours drive away. That shuttle
>was long on a badly graded dirt road (lots of rocks). To complete our day we
>had a flat tire.
>I am feeling much stronger and I can hike faster now. But still, the thought
>of a day over 15 miles causes me to panic.
>Tuesday, August 13
>Easy hiking today. Went by Moxie and Sabbath Day ponds. Lots of roots but
>few ups and downs. Met a couple, Dos Dilberts, finishing up last years thru
>hike. They gave me a tube of 50 SPF sunscreen. My 30 wasnt doing much.
> Micros MSR stove needs a new pump so were in Rangely looking for that,
>plus getting Geos tire fixed.
>Wednesday, August 14
>Something funny happened this morning. I heard Geo unzipper his tent and I
>assumed he was going to the bathroom. He stomped around in back of my tent
>and then he went stomping through the creek (I thought he was in rare form
>this morning!). He snorted like he usually does in the morning (his sinuses
>bother him here in Maine). Then he said, Did you hear that? It was a
>I went over Saddleback Mtn. and Saddleback Junior today. I saw a bear just
>past Eddy Pond. It was coming up to the trail. It stopped at the trail and
>then it saw me and ran back down. I had wondered if I would be scared if I
>saw a bear but I wasnt--I was fascinated.
>I camped at the Spaulding Mtn. Lean-to. I didnt arrive until 8 p.m. What a
>day. Most of it was slowed down by the Saddlebacks. The wind was so strong
>I was nearly upset with each step.
>Thursday, August 15
>The hike wasnt as long or as difficult as the day before. I needed to get to
>Rangely before 5 p.m. to get Geos tire that he had ordered (the other had
>gotten a huge tear which couldnt be repaired), so I left before 6 a.m.
>because I didnt know the terrain. I hadnt slept very well the night
>before. I had went to bed without washing and my black fly bites itched
>something fierce. I was in a down mood anyway and after I had met Sue the
>day hiker I sat down on my pack and cried. What helped the most (I had
>skipped breakfast and had only a snack for supper) was finding a stream (in
>the sun) and fixing lunch and pampering myself by bathing and shaving my
>legs. I dont think I make a very good woodswoman. I miss my baths too
>much. I also miss perfumne and regular facials (Ive done nothing but soap
>and water to my face out here), and a choice of clothes. So you can see it
>was a pity party that day.
>Friday, August 16
>Went over the South Horn and west peak of Bigelow. Whoever said it was flat
>after Stratton lied. I had about 8 miles to do so I enjoyed a leisurely
>hike. I stopped at the Horns Pond lean-to and ate lunch and took a 2-hour
>nap (ah...). I ended up at the Avery Col Shelter with an older couple, The
>Mad Hatters. Its quite cool, but fortunately the mail came through and I
>got my sweater so Im set. (I was so sure it wouldnt come.) I heard there
>is a beautiful sunrise here. This shelter is scheduled to be torn down next
>year so I wanted to stay here.
>Saturday, August 17
>I hiked from Avery Col Lean-to to West Carry Pond Lean-to. Just Rook (GA>ME
>95) and Digga were there in the shelter. Guiness came in at 8 p.m. It was
>good to see him. The pond was beautiful. I was able to clean up. So I was
>clean and my stomach full, and I slept like a baby.
>Sunday, August 18
>Finished up a 3-day segment to the Kennebec River. It was so exciting
>crossing that river (the ferry is really a canoe and I paddled in the front).
> Guiness hiked with me all day, so I had someone to talk to (hes
>Irish...need I say more). At a bog we met nearly face to face with a moose.
> I wasnt certain what to do. He was on the trail. We walked slowly toward
>him and he headed north on the trail in front of us--and then disappeared in
>the woods. I was a bit relieved to see him go.
>The ponds here are beautiful. Why arent they called lakes? We couldnt
>figure out how to cross the outlet of Pierce Pond so we followed the blue
>blaze and ended up at Harrisons. Their little girls werent selling lemonade
>but we got some anyway because Digga had paid the day before for the next two
>Monday, August 19
>Slackpacked from Caratunk, ME to Moxie Pond (w/Guiness). The pull over
>Pleasant Pond Mountain was exerting but the views were rewarding. An older
>gentleman pointed out Katahdin but I couldnt recognize it as such, so it
>wasnt very exciting. We picked blueberries on the way up which we gave to
>Geo (two days before he picked a pint and graciously gave them to a group of
>women hikers). Guiness has been enjoying riding in the car to see a
>different side of Maine. He says hes coming back to Maine!
>We stayed at the Pie Ladys in Monson. Monson Express (GA>ME 95) told me to
>stay with his grandparents but they werent there. Camo, Col. Sideshow,
>Letitbe, Two Cents, Jeremiah, Hightower (a.k.a. Crooked Toe), Phoenix, Geo,
>and I are here. Yesterday at Caratunk I met Tony who said he met me at the
>beginning. He seemed nice.
>Tuesday, August 20
>Hiked south from Blanchard Road to Moxie Pond. Met Moss for the first time.
> A small area after Moxie Bald Mt. was
>flooded by beavers so Guiness and I bushwhacked around. Oh, we saw a moose
>with huge antlers! The views from Moxie Bald were beautiful. We ate lunch
>by Pleasant Pond and basked in the beauty of it.
>Tomorrow I head into the wilderness for the final leg of my journey. I am
>excited. (Need I say more?)
>Dan called Dartmouth and the tests did confirm I had Lyme Disease. Im
>finished with my medication now and Im feeling completely well.
>Wednesday, August 21 (Day 148)
>Hiked six miles (3 beyond Monson). Taking the remainder of the day off to
>mail things home and shop, etc., for the wilderness. My pack will be quite
>full for the 7 days Im planning through the wilderness. I could do like
>Winnie-the-Pooh and eat all my provisions so we shant have to carry them.