Thursday–August 5, 2021
Location–Sidney Tappan Campsite (just past Gulf Hagas Mountain)
Last night was our last night’s stay at Shaw’s Hiker Hostel. This time of year, northbounders are coming through in droves. Consequently, Shaw’s has been full to capacity for each of the three nights we’ve been here. But Poet & Hippie Chick, friendly and gracious hosts that they are found room for us (a comfy bunk for me, a flat parking spot for Nathan & Kimm’s camper)–they took time each evening to make sure we were comfortable, our needs met. A memorable time we’ve had here at Shaw’s Hiker Hostel. Thanks, Poet & Hippy Chick, for your kindness–thanks, especially, for your friendship!
I was hoping to see Reverend Witmer again before leaving Monson, he had invited me to stop by. And we were able to spend a bit of time together again.
We’ve an hour-and-a-half drive up the rough and rutty Katahdin Ironworks Road. So, we’re out an on our way from Monson right at six. It’s slow going. The road Into the wilderness is private, across timber company lands , and it’s a toll road, so we must stop at the (sort of) toll booth. A rope with survey ribbons on it blocks the road. One end is tied to a post. The other end goes through a hole if the gatekeep shack and can be raised and lowered from inside the shack. Low budget operation. Not low toll though!
Seven-thirty we’re back on trail. First out and right away we’re faced with fording the West Branch of Pleasant River; not rapid or deep, but wide. We both easily cross barefooted. Then we’ve a long, steady 1700-foot climb up and over Gulf Hagas Mountain.
Our destination for today is a primitive campsite in the gap between Gulf Hagas and West Peak. Nice spot. Slow trickle spring. We’re able to build an evening fire with birchbark. Rain has been threatening most of the afternoon and finally begins just as Nathan has supper prepared. We hasten to finish, then quickly retreat to our tents. Rain stays steady the remainder of the afternoon and into the night…
[Entering] requires a $16/person cash payment fee to pass.
“KI Road” is a graded dirt road used by heavy logging trucks.
Note that these trucks have the right of way,
and be sure to avoid rocks in the road that are painted orange.