Long Pond Lean-To to East Chairback Pond
Miles Hiked: 13.2
AT Milage: 2105.8
Doc and I slept in this morning and took our good old time getting ready for the day. As per usual lately, it was really cold and it makes it difficult to get moving in the morning. Today we had a lot of mountains to climb. On top of the first set of ledges we enjoyed fine views of Maine. We could see nothing but mountains blanked in beautiful fall colors for miles and miles. The past few days have been pretty emotional and we’ve discussed in detail our feelings about ending the trail and plans ,or lack of, for our lives after. We entertained the idea of walking past Katahdin to the Canadian border an extra 140 miles on the SIA AT. One of my trail friends, Fancy Feast, ended up hiking to Quebec this year. Had I been standing with her on top of Katahdin, I probably would have joined her. Anyways, we don’t know if it will happen yet but the idea is out there. ( Fancy Feast ended up highly recommending that we don’t walk past Katahdin to Canada because the trail is really boring).
I decided that I would sign every log book in the 100 mile wilderness and stop at every shelter. These are two of my favorite things about the AT and I know that I will miss them so much. Doc and I have decided to have a lot of fun by writing both funny and profound notes in the log books.
After we finished climbing all the mountains in the Chairback range, we decided to stop early at East Chairback Pond. We had an amazing campsite for the night in a pine Forest on the edge of the beautiful pond. I ate a ton of food for dinner and was concerned about my dwindling supply. I packed as much as I could out of Monson but I didn’t calculate my daily calories nor did I anticipate burning so many extra just by shivering. This is the first time on the whole trail I’ve felt so concerned about my food supply. You would think I might be an expert by now, HA! At the end of the day I know I can always keep pushing big miles if I really needed to to get to town. Although maybe a little reckless, this is one of the comforts of hiking 2100 miles. You know you can be a hiking machine if you need to so you don’t have to plan out every last detail of your trail life. I often find that we thru hikers who make it this far often flying by the seat of our pants, realize that plans are useless on a trip like this. Things are constantly changing by the hour, and you have to be ready to adapt. Although this may sound stressful to some, it is one of the biggest freedoms that the trail provides. I love it! To finish the night, we watched our second movie on the trail. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. It was great to just relax and have a fun night. I’ve been thankful for my new trail friendship that came in good timing for the best part of the trail.