Day 124: Bigelow Col to East Carry Pond, 18.8 miles
Day 125: East Carry Pond to Pleasant Pond Lean-to, 15.9 miles
Day 126: Pleasant Pond Lean-to to West Branch of the Piscataquis River, 19 miles
Day 127: West Branch of the Piscataquis River to Monson, 12 miles
Total AT miles hiked: 2075.3
Miles left: 114.3 miles!
Despite the tree cover in the col on Bigelow Mountain, it was still a windy night. That morning it was even windier atop Avery Peak, which was just a short climb from where we camped. It was another beautiful morning, and we appreciated how beautiful Maine is!
Afterwards, what comes up most go down, and we started a long descent down the mountain into Safford Notch. After a quick climb up Little Bigelow, and back down again, we stopped for lunch at Little Bigelow Lean-to which had natural “tubs” in the stream that Garrett took advantage of to clean-up. Afterwards he was Mountain fresh, and we got used to a sudden change in terrain; instead of rolling, or steep up and down, the trail became blissfully FLAT! After 400 miles of gnarly roots, mud, and rocks, we had nothing but soft pine duff under our feet and no hills to climb. We love the mountains, but we appreciate the change for a bit! The trail will remain this way, with a few hills thrown in, until Monson over 50 miles away! We camped by East Carry Pond that night, and narrowly escaped a passing rain shower in our tent.
From the pond we had ten miles to make by 2pm in order to catch the Kennebec River Ferry, a man with a canoe to paddle us safely to the other side. We made it there by 11am, with plenty of time to spare, and waited for about an hour as he ferried people back and forth; he could only take two at a time. Once we made it across, we walked 100 yards to the Caratunk B&B to resupply. They gave us a ride up to a nearby restaurant where we had burgers, then we were back to the trail for another easy 5.7 miles to Pleasant Pond Lean-to to camp for the night.
The next day brought a few climbs, one up Pleasant Mountain, and another up Moxie Bald. The day was cool and clear, and we enjoyed meandering up the trail taking in the views when we could. We ran into Princess Anne, who we met last year on the PCT. She was hiking south, and it was neat to run into a familiar face. We also ran into a couple who live in the town next to ours, and chatted with them for awhile; the world is really a tiny place sometimes!
After Moxie Bald it was downhill to more glorious flat terrain, and we found some nice campsites on the south side of the west branch of the Piscataquis River. In the morning we forced the river not once, but twice, as we crossed the east branch a few miles later. We made it to Monson by lunchtime, where we will resupply for the 100 mile wilderness. Katahdin, here we come!