8-26-12

AT miles hiked today: 6.6
Total AT mikes hiked: 1154.9

We are tenting near Holly Brook tonight. We hiked out late and in a hurry this morning because there was a miscalculation of the miles to the ferry and we had planned our departure time on the wrong mileage. So we slept in on purpose and then had to rush. We still stopped and looked at some of the waterfalls, though, and I took pictures of some of the leaves changing color. I wish we could be here for the autumn leaves, but since we won't be, I am greedy about seeing every leaf that has turned colors.

The ferry process was pretty fun and unique after we got there in time and the deadline stress ended. The Kennebec River is the only place on the AT where the trail IS the ferry. It's because there are multiple dams releasing into the river and the water rises too fast for a hiker to get across once the water rises. A hiker drowned fording the river a few years ago so now there is the ferry for hikers. Some hikers still want to ford the river, but not I. I am happy to have the stress of at least this river crossing removed by getting in a canoe. The canoe even has a white blaze painted on the bottom of it for those purists.

After crossing the beautiful Kennebec we went into Caratunk, found the Post Office and called Eric of the Sterling Inn for a ride to his place for resupply. Unfortunately, nobody picked up the phone, but as we waited to call again, and checked the hiker box, the postmaster drove by and offered us a ride. She was awesome!

Once we were at the Sterling Inn I met Eric and his two polydactal cats, split a DiGiorno pizza with Eagle Eye, drank a cold Coke and then a cold Dr Pepper, and had a few bites of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Plus, I resupplied there, and he had a little bit of pretty much everything a hiker needs to do a full resupply with. He even had tortillas and electrolytes! Eric had much better hiker options than the general store in Andover and he shuttles for free, even if you just want to resupply and then leave. Thanks, Eric! It was great meeting you, and I hope other hikers find out about your place.

He dropped us off at the trail and the heat caused us to sit in the shade and whine for a while before we started hiking, but we finally got motivated. My motivation didn't last long, though, and when we saw a nice site by the stream we decided to camp and wash our clothes. The sun was mostly gone by then, though, and I doubt they will dry by morning. At least I got a sponge bath. I should have just paid for the shower at the Sterling Inn.