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[at-l] Hundred Mile Wilderness, Day 5
- Subject: [at-l] Hundred Mile Wilderness, Day 5
- From: ARTCLOUTMN@aol.com
- Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 20:51:14 EDT
8/6/99 East Branch Lean-To
Well it rained most of the night. My clothing is soaked. The tent is
splashed with mud. And our tentsite is a quagmire. Kafka got up about 45
minutes after John and I. She moved her stove near where we were preparing
Breakfast. She worked very effciently cooked and ate some oatmeal, cleaned
up, changed into her hiking clothes and was on the trail in less than 1/2
The hike up Gulf Hagas Mountain was tough but we did the 750 vertical
feet in a little less than 1 hour. On the way up we saw some Spruce Grouse.
First we spotted a chick, then the mother paralleled us as we walked the
trail. Then we heard the peeps of the rest of the brood.
We descended Gulf Hagas Mt. then had to climb 500 to the summit of West
Peak followed by a descent and climb 500 more feet to the top of Hay
Mountain. This was not technically difficult but it was steep and tedius.
Another descent then a climb to the summit of White Cap Mountain. We were
finally rewarded with our first good view on this entire hike. The Barren -
Chairback range could be seen to the south west and around the corner we
could finally see Mt Katahdin. It was topped with clouds but still
impresive. We met 2 north bound thru hikers, 2 south bound thru hikers and
two young ladies day hiking from one of the logging roads - (so much for
wilderness.) We spent about 1/2 hour enjoying the view. The boy scouts that
had commondeered the lean-to last night passed us. From the camp to the
summit of White Cap was 5 miles. We made the hike by 12:00 noon. We needed
to complete 11 miles today and the next 6 miles were all down hill.
We hiked down rock stairways and soft pine needle trails, occasional
roots and finally to Logan Brook Lean-To for a lunch break. Several
T-hikers (friends of Kafka) were at the lean-to taking a break. We
encouraged them to pass the boy scouts so they would not take over the next
lean-to. While we ate a snow shoe hair hopped about the campsite not at all
bothered by our presents.
After lunch we set a fast pace to complete the few remaining miles to
East Branch Lean-To. The trail was mostly flat or down hill. We made very
good time arriving in camp before 5:30 PM. The camp was full of hiker. The
4 boy scouts had set up 3 tents in the best tentsites available. They had
used the camp shovel to dig trenches around their tents for rain run-off.
(This was a common practice before tents came with waterproof bottoms but it
is counter to LNT practices.) There were 8 hikers in the lean-to. Four
north bound thru hikers we had met earlier. Two south bound flip-floppers
had hitched a ride from Pa to avoid the draught conditions in the mid
atlantic states. And the two boys we met on our second day hiking were well
established in the lean-to.
I set up a couple of lines to dry our clothes and the tent. We hung
everything we owned out to dry. John went for water while I set the stove up
to begin cooking dinner. Now it started to rain. Oh no!!! The third night
in a row we were going to be wet. I hussled to retrieve the dryest of our
wet clothing and headed for the cover of the Lean-to. The Thru hikers
invited us to put our sleeping bags in the porcupine pit. It would be dry
but not the nicest place to spend the evening. We accepted the offer after
cooking dinner in the pouring rain. We left the tent hanging from the line
hoping that the mud would was off. Most of it did. We hoped in to our
s/bags by 8:00 PM.
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