Sunday–August 29, 2021
Location–ME-4, Near Rangeley- then to The Cabin, East Andover, Margery Honey Towne, Proprietor
This morning the rain has relented, but everything I have is soaking wet, the tree canopy still raining down huge droplets.
The food I have left, to get me on through to ME-4 today, weighs very little now. But my wet, soggy gear puts the pounds on and weighs me down. I have a new tent fly, but the old tent body has seen better days. Abrasions over the years have created leaks all around its base. So, the rain has worked its way in. My quilt is one heavy ball of mush. Quit whining old man; get your pack up–let’s go.
The entire mountain is in the shroud, a couple-hundred yards visibility, that’s it. The climb from the col, up to The Horn begins, for real, almost immediately. Very slow going as I grope for roots, a boulder crack, anything to help boost me up the three- and four-foot drop-off ledges. Everything is sliding board slick. Patience old man, patience!
Visibility is virtually zero. On the crown of The Horn, down and across to Saddleback, the treeless section there–it’s very cold, the harsh wind whipping across. I get photos of the summit signs, the fog, clouds, and mist. I hasten to get back down, into the trees and out of the cold wind. Amazing, the end of August, still solid summer, and temperatures up here are down in the 40s.
The descent from Saddleback, sheer treachery. Working my way down the long, slick, sliding board ledges is next to impossible without going down. And before I reach the mountain base, I go down–12 times. Pack slappers, all. No headers. Thank you, Lord! Both knees all skinned up again. Wrenched hips and shoulders; very fortunate.
Evening, at ME-4 parking, a kind lady offers me a ride to Rangeley, Sarge’s Sports Pub & Grub. Hopper, who is helping Honey out at The Cabin, drives the hour+ distance to fetch me.
On the way back, we stop at Height of Land parking where I get to see Warren Doyle. Later in the evening he stops by The Cabin for a few minutes.
An amazing, action-packed day; I’m glad the Saddlebacks are behind me now.
Life shrinks or expands
in proportion to one’s courage.