Wednesday–August 4, 2021
Location–Katahdin Ironworks Road, then to Shaw’s Hiker Hostel, Monson, Maine, Jarrod Poet & Kimberly Hippie Chick Hester, Proprietors
We set camp last night right near West Chairback Pond Stream. A nice fairly level primitive campsite with room for two tents. However, sleep proved fretful for me even though I was completely wore out from hiking the rugged trail.
Today will be a very short-mile day, but knowing what’s ahead, time-wise will likely take a while. First off, a steep climb up the ridge then over Columbus Mountain, followed by another climb up and over Chairback Mountain. The end of what little ridge there is on Chairback ends abruptly, to pitch the trail directly down and off the north side through an incredible stacked up jumble of huge boulders. It looks straight down and pretty much is. I don’t want to look down, but I’ve got to look down as I grapple my way. This scares me as much as I’ve been scared in a long time–and yes–a very, very slow go of it today.
More roots, more rocks and off-camber boulder scrambling and we’re finally down and off the mountain at Katahdin Ironworks Road.
The fine (unexpected) reward for this day–at the road, L. L. Bean employees have set up a table with all kinds of food and refreshments. They’re as happy a bunch of trail angels as I’ve seen. Amazing trail magic. Thanks folks!
Great news friends–lab (blood) tests for Lyme disease came back negative. I’ve discontinued the meds, which were really giving me a hard time…
Old age is not a disease –
it is strength and survivorship,
triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments,
trials and illnesses.