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Appalachian Trail

Day 153 – East Branch to Tumbledown Dick Stream

Awoke to another perfect autumn day, sunny but cool. Made quick work of breakfast and packing and hit the trail before 8. There were a few tiny climbs early and one little hill late in the day but most of the day was completely flat trail. A bit rocky at times, a few roots, but the miles flew by. Had planned on doing about 19.5, ended up over 22, shortening up those last two long hikes to the foot of Katahdin.

That gray wisp of Katahdin that we saw yesterday became a well-defined monolith today, towering above the landscape at our first real vantage point. A very lonely mountain indeed, it looked a bit daunting because of its total isolation. No going gradually up a nearby ridge and then making your way to the summit on this one – straight up. It loomed large and it was a bit hard to believe we still had to walk over 40 miles of AT before beginning the ascent. Two long flat days of walking and then one big climb.

Not much else going on the 100-mile wilderness. We are quickly blowing past almost everyone that was near us in Monson or that we meet out here. We’re camping tonight near a stream we have to cross in the morning, I think it’s the first time on the whole trail I’ve tented just in the woods and not where there’s a designated camp site or at least previous camp use. I can’t believe how amazing the weather has been on this last stretch. October in northern Maine and it gets near 70 during the day and stays warm enough at night that I can comfortably start each day in shorts. Bad news is that it looks like it will last one day too few. Planning on Katahdin on Sunday and the forecast is calling for clouds and a 30% chance of rain.

Douglas Labbe