August 21st 2018
Spaulding Mountain Lean-to – ME route 27 / Stratton (mile 2002.7)
13.5 miles
Total miles: 2028.6

My whole body was throbbing as I was trying to get to sleep, and although I slept well when I woke up my legs were still throbbing. Apparently Peaches got up in the night to wee and Jukebox was up half the night watching movies and I slept through the whole thing. 

We packed up and we were on the trail by about 7:15am. 13.5 miles today. One big mountain. No great rush. There was a bit of a climb up to Spaulding mountain. Peaches had to visit the privy and Jukebox was ahead of me. I was doing my best to get to the top before peaches caught up to me and she was right behind me as I got to the top. We carried on down the other side and we assumed that Jukebox was on a mission to get to town. She would probably be there hours before we would! 


Too cold
Too hot!

We passed the AT completion marker, which means we have only 200 miles of trail left! It started out pretty chilly this morning but as soon as we got on to the other side of the mountain it got hotter and hotter. 


We stopped to fill up on water and who comes up the trail behind us? Jukebox. She had stopped to have a poo and we passed her without knowing. We stick together for the descent down to the Carrabassett river. The way down was steep and rocky! Downhills are even more exhausting than uphill. There were some nice views into the valley. 

The river wasn’t an insignificant one, but thankfully someone had placed a board to walk across which has now been chained in place after being washed away in previous years. The board was a bit wobbly but we all made it across with no dramas. 


Then began the big ascent of the day. The climb up to South Crocker Mountain. The first part was ok, not too steep and through forest which wasn’t too rooty or rocky or boggy, and I was at the back but able to keep up, more or less. Then we had about 700ft in 0.4 of a mile, which is basically vertical. It was a long slog up, climbing over rocks and the sun was hot and the trees were short meaning we were in direct sunlight. I fell behind but I still had them in my sight. We were also listening to some music so as long as I could hear that I knew I wasn’t that far behind. 

Thankfully they stopped for a break about halfway and I was able to catch up, catch my breath and breathe for a moment. I was overheating and sweating so much. Another push got us over the steep bit and we still had about a mile more of climbing to the top, but at least it wasn’t so steep. 

We had a little break at the top to cool down and catch our breath, and eat some snacks. Then it was another mile to the summit of North Crocker mountain, down half a mile and up again half a mile. Neither summits were that impressive, both wooded with no views. 


We then had 5 miles of descent to the road where we would hitch into Stratton. The downhill was brutal as it always seems to be, especially a 5 mile downhill, my knees felt like they were going to break by the end. Thankfully it wasn’t as rocky as it has been and although we slipped and tripped our way down we didn’t have to do any rock climbing. We had a few near misses and Jukebox took quite a tumble, smacking her leg on a rock and nearly tumbling off the side of the mountain! But she was fine and we carried on doing down as quickly as we could – while still trying to stay alive and not break anything. 


We passed the 2000 mile marker and had a little celebration. This older lady passed by and we were all like – yeay congratulations 2000 miles! – and she just nodded and walked by. She was really miserable! 


We eventually made it down and I felt like I couldn’t walk another step, my legs were so tired and my knees were so sore. We crossed the road and started to try to hitch to town. We weren’t having much luck, we had been trying for about 10 minutes which is a long time for us, Sherpa came down the mountain and as soon as he arrived a car pulled over. A car with a huge truck bed. All four of us were able to pile in the back and the nice man gave us a ride to town. I’m assuming this isn’t the first time he has picked up hikers. 


We had already booked a room at the White Wolf Inn, so we had our own room instead of being in a hostel. We went straight to the diner over the road to get food. This is a funny town, most things are closed on a Tuesday and a Wednesday, but at least there was somewhere to eat. I had a root beer and a turkey and avocado sandwich with sweet potato fries which was absolutely delicious. And the best part is that Professor walked in while we were there and he had been trying to catch up with us for the last 3 weeks since he did his crazy 40 mile day. 

It was nice to be reunited and catch up. We then had to resupply at the grocery store and it was a struggle. They didn’t have any Twix!! I got some random stuff which will hopefully get me through the next two days. Garlic knots, tortilla chips, cereal bars…

Next up on the agenda was laundry, the laundromat was down the road so Peaches took the dirty stuff, I went and put it in the dryer and Professor went and collected the dry clean clothes. I walked down town in my sixty dollar trash bag and my puffy even though I was burning up in it. I also went back to the grocery store and picked up a couple of microwaveable pizzas for my dinner, along with a litre of Dr Pepper. We also got some microwave popcorn and I ate a bag of that in bed while we watched Parent Trap. 


There were some terrible adverts on tv and one was for hyperhidrosis which is a term given to excessive sweating. There is a term for excessive sweating. Of course there is!

It was very nice to have some down time. 

Watch the video! For this trip I made a daily video diary which you can watch here: DAY 105