Thursday–August 19, 2021
Location–East Carry Pond Primitive Campsite
595 Miles Remaining
My two nights stay at Sterling Inn was such a great benefit. You’ve read about how I love these old places. This one–a gem. I dearly needed the rest, and the rain, watching the gentle spell of it was the perfect mood setter. Thanks Eric and Zack.
This morning, Zack shuttles me the short distance up to where the trail crosses ME-201, and I’m headed toward the Kennebec River a little before nine. The Kennebec is a formidable river, wide and deep, a dangerous ford. AT hikers need to cross it. So, years ago, back in the eighties I believe, the Appalachian Trail Conference set up and funded a canoe ferry service on the Kennebec for hikers. Steve Ferryman Longely piloted the canoe for years. After my first crossing in 1998, then seeing him again in 2000, we became friends. Greg Caruso now runs the ferry service, has for the past six years. When I mention to Greg that Steve was a friend, he tells me about the memorial for Ferryman, placed in a remote spot nearby. “Few people know about it. Would you like to see it?” Greg asks. So, after the nine o’clock rush is over, Greg takes me off-trail and over to the boulder so I can see the memorial. Thanks for your thoughtful kindness, Greg, much appreciated!
After the river crossing I’ve a hard, steady climb up to Pierce Pond, and Harrison’s Pierce Pond Camps. There’s a side trail over to the cabins. I don’t usually do side trails. However, I don’t want to miss this one. My hopes are that Tim Harrison is still here and I’ll get to see him again. And luck is with me! During the time spent with Tim, he brings out his old faded and soiled AT hiker register for 1998. So many familiar names from the past. Faded memories; old friends. And what a great friend you’ve been to hikers these many years–thanks Tim!
After much root skipping and boulder hopping I finally pull up for the evening to camp for the night at East Carry Pond.
Lord when all my work is done
bless my life and grant me one / old friend
at least one old friend.