Wild ponies

Day 31

Hiked today: 22.4
Hiked total: 491.0
To katahdin: 1687.3

We were escorted for the last half mile to our campsite by wild ponies. We are now sleeping in a field of them. More on that later.

We woke up this morning and decided to go to the shelter just over 22 miles away. At first we weren't sure because there were two big uphills, but we decided to go for it. It drizzled a little so we got in our rain gear to be safe before we started on the hike.

We hiked the first 10 miles to a shelter for lunch in partial rain. We got there to find 3 kids just leaving. Its spring break so we have seen a lot of college students out on the trail. Just as they left, a group of older people came in - they were maintainers. They came to chop a tree up and id say the median age was 70. They were pretty much all retired. We would have helped, but we had over 12 miles to do, so we ate lunch and left.

The rest of the hike was pretty standard. The rain subsided for the most part and we passed a syrup farm (network of tapped trees) but the hike was good and the ascents weren't too terrible.

About a mile from our destination we started seeing hoove prints which is odd because no horses are allowed on the trail, and these were tiny. We shrugged it off because we have seen many tracks on the trail before, and never saw any animals. So we continue to walk and all of a sudden we hear a loud, very close, nay. We continued on. About a minute later Andy stops dead in his tracks and was staring down a male wild pony. He quickly gets off the trail to the side of a tree as I do, and pulls out the camera. He nays. We are dumbfounded as what to do in that situation. As we think of something, I turn around to see a female about 10 feet behind me on the trail. She walks right passed us, and they both continue on. We are in awe. We have yet to see much wildlife, and now we are trailing two wild ponies! We take a bunch of pictures while not getting too close and keep following along the trail. We then see about 5 more ahead. Some were really pretty, and they all just stood there and ate. We walked passed them, still following our escorts, and continue on. They then stop about 100 yards later and eat. They each go a couple feet on either side of the trail, and we walk right between them. It was a little frightening getting in between the two. We continue to our shelter, and start to hear people. We get there to find 10 people and 2 dogs. The shelter is full. We choose between hiking another 5 miles, or camping wherever we can. So we walk a little passed the shelter, out of a gate, and find a spot. We set up camp and went to fill our waters. This is the last time we will camp or summit anything over 5,000 feet until we get to the whites in new Hampshire, and we are happy. Its cold and windy up here.

So we go to get our water, we climb over a boulder which allows us to see about 15 wild ponies just eating infront of us. We realize these guys couldn't care less about us, so we walk right through them all. We fill up and get back to our tent. We then realize that if they moved over about 100 feet, they would be seen from our tent with nothing in between us.

We eat and get into the tent to warm up. After that we go to hang our food and I shine my light out to see a bunch of glowing eyes. They are 50 feet from our tent. With nothing in between. It'll be an interesting night. I think we will be ok though because we were within 5 feet of them and they didn't care.

We didn't forget about you Aunt Deb. This is the food review section!

We didn't eat any breakfasts yet because we had some bread left over. But this is what we've had and what we think:

Latte bars - these were awesome. They had great texture and taste. The pecans were a nice change from all the peanuts we have been eating. We ate them in the morning with our sandwich and coffee and it gave us a good boost and enough calories until lunch. No suggestions to improve.

Coconut bars - these were our favorite thus far. They tasted great, unlike any other bars we have had. It tops any store bought with ease. It was moist, creamy, and delicious. We liked that there were two in each bag as well. Our only suggestion might be to add a little more coconut.

Peanut balls - we liked these because they were very filling. They were drier than the bars which made for a nice mix. Not sure if its possible, but if there cold be honey in it, or maybe in the middle, they would be perfect.

Gorp - much different than what we have been having. Its much more diverse and we love the strawberries in it. No suggestions for that.

Jerky - personally I've never had better. I loved it! I liked that they were big pieces. You were right about the spiciness. It was just enough to give it good flavor, but didn't make us too thirsty. No suggestions.

Cheesy bacon spuds - we liked this, especially with the bacon bits. One bag is good for one person. However we should be able to make that on the trail which would be easier then having you send it.

Chili - we enjoyed having something very different for dinner. The meal was fully hydrated and very good. We would love this again but would like some extra tomato sauce as it was a little dry.

Thanksgiving feast - this is typically what we eat with a twist. We think it would be easy for us to adapt our recipe to yours on the trail.

We will try the breakfast out tomorrow as well as the other bar and meals. So far we think that if you were to send us your wonderful food again, we will just ask for the bars, pb balls, jerky, and rice/beef dinners. We found each bag of anything is a good portion for one. We will comment on the breakfasts tomorrow.

Thanks again! We will dream about the coconut bars and all your other tasty treats.

Time to sleep hearing the nays in hopes they don't get closer.

via BB