View Full Version : '06 MEGA Starts 101

TJ aka Teej
02-14-2006, 17:19
MEGA = Maine to Georgia (aka ME to GA) A sobo is a MEGA hiker!
BSP = Baxter State Park
KSC = Katahdin Stream Campground

BSP opens for overnight camping on May 15th. Snow and ice will probably keep the AT to Baxter Peak closed until Memorial Day weekend or later. In '05 the AT didn't open until the first week of June. The first Trails to open up on Katahdin will be the Abol Slide and the Hunt Trail.

The bus from Bangor gets into Medway at 7:40 PM. That's too late to get to the Gate at BSP before it closes. There are motels within walking distance of the store/bus stop. You can phone Minuteman Taxi to get a $12 ride into Millinocket. The Taxi might be able to drop you off outside BSP to stealth camp, and you can hitch into KSC the next morning. If your plan is to Taxi into the Park, make arrangements the night before.

I strongly suggest MEGAs try to stay two nights in a lean-to at KSC. I urge you to start your climb of Katahdin at first light.

MEGAs can't stay at the Birches LD Hiker's site. Southbound hikers need to make reservations if they wish to stay inside BSP. Reservations are taken via mail four months in advance. On Feb 14th they'll start to process reservations for June 14th. Here's a chart showing when you can mail for what: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/camping/chart.htm Other options for reserving a spot at KSC (or Abol, the next closest campground) would be to telephone no earlier than ten days in advance to inquire about open sites. There are two campgrounds on the AT outside the Park at Abol Bridge, 19.2 miles from Baxter Peak. Don't bet your hike on 'winging it'!

Katahdin Stream Campground is the campground at the base of Katahdin the AT runs through. Its a 10.4 mile round trip to Baxter Peak from the trailhead at the northern end of the campground. The AT from KSC to the summit of Katahdin is called The Hunt Trail. Introduce yourself as an AT hiker to the Ranger at KSC, he will have information about Trail conditions and the hikers ahead of you. Map of KSC showing the Birches and the AT: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/camping/katahdin_stream.html

Bring DEET and a head net. Sleep under bug netting in shelters, or in a tent or hammock.

PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT: BSP has no garbage cans, and no way for you to mail extra gear home. You need to plan accordingly!

Fade Blaze inside BSP: At Daicey Pond the old AT went up the campground road to your left. Follow the blue blazes less than 100 yards into the campground and check out the famous view of Katahdin across the pond from the rocking chairs on library porch or go for a swim off the dock. Return to the AT the same way, or follow the old AT into the woods across form the library and reconnect to the white blazed trail in a few minutes.

ABOL BRIDGE: Last stop before the Wilderness! Linda's Store will have some basic resupply, and subs and microwaveable 'food'. A pretty easy hitch back to Millinocket from here. Two campgrounds here, a State run simple campsite, and the large campground run by the Abol Bridge Store owner.
Photo of the bridge and store:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=7240&catid=member&imageuser=314 (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=7240&catid=member&imageuser=314)

MAILDROPS: There are NO maildrops at BSP, at Abol Bridge, or at Whitehouse Landing in the 100 Mile Wilderness. In Milinocket, only the P.O. and the AT Lodge accept maildrops. Your next maildrop will be Monson. (Do not try to bounce a maildrop between Monson and Caratunk, you will hike to Caratunk before your box will gets there.)

100 Mile Wilderness: A short walk across the bride (photo op!) and up the wide gravel road from the store. The Trail dives into the woods on your left, with the famous warning sign a little ways in. Expect dark woods, open summits, wet trails, high fords, moose, bugs, songbirds and flowers - and enjoy it all!

Kennebec Ferry Hours: May 19th > July 14th, 9AM > 11AM. After July 14th, afternoon hours are added between 2 and 4. Steve the Ferryman's website: www.riversandtrails.com (http://www.riversandtrails.com) phone: 207-663-4441

MONSON: Lakeshore House and Shaw's will both be open under new managment in '06. Lakeshore House is considering opening a tenting area just outside town.

BEARS and MOOSE: You might see a bear, you will see moose. Keep your distance. "Bear-bag" when you camp - not to keep your food safe from bears, but to keep it away from the mice and squirrels!

Links you might find useful:
Baxter State Park: www.baxterstateparkauthority.com (http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com)
BSP's AT Thru-hiker info: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/hiking/thru-hiking.html
Katahdin Web Cam: http://www.katahdincam.com/ (You will see snow until June!)
Lakeshore House: http://www.lakeshore-house.com (http://www.lakeshore-house.com/)
ALDHA: For specifics about services see the on-line Companion www.aldha.com (http://www.aldha.com)
The ATC's official site: For buying Trail guides like the DataBook or the Thru-hikers' Companion, also there's a Companion update page: www.appalachiantrail.org (http://www.appalachiantrail.org)
WhiteBlaze, of course! www.Whiteblaze.net (http://www.Whiteblaze.net)
Wingfoot's website sells his AT guide: www.trailplace.com (http://www.trailplace.com)

Check out the MEGA Journal links!

hammock engineer
02-15-2006, 01:18
Great advice, thanks. I will put it to good use this summer.

02-15-2006, 12:43
Wow, great info Teej. Very helpful and concise, a good collection

johnny quest
02-15-2006, 16:54
im not doing my thruhike till 08 but im so happy someone is giving the sobo this attention! carry on!

TJ aka Teej
02-16-2006, 09:09
Thanks! I'm going to edit in updates to the first post as time goes by.

TJ aka Teej
02-21-2006, 10:50
BSP www.baxterstateparkauthority.com (http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com) is processing reservation requests for the first of July as of this week. MEGAs - if you haven't sent in yet you need to get on the ball!

TJ aka Teej
03-01-2006, 20:17
Bring your rock! Northbounders have traditionaly carried a pebble (or other meaningful token) from Springer to Baxter Peak. There's a huge cairn at the summit that they add their pebble to. MEGAs can add to the cairn too!

hammock engineer
03-01-2006, 21:43
Bring your rock! Northbounders have traditionaly carried a pebble (or other meaningful token) from Springer to Baxter Peak. There's a huge cairn at the summit that they add their pebble to. MEGAs can add to the cairn too!

I was always told to put things back where you got them. I am planning on taking on of their rocks and returning it to it rightful place on Springer.

TJ aka Teej
03-11-2006, 18:10
On Saturday, March 11th a message from the new onwers was posted to Whiteblaze: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=13575shawslodging (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=13575shawslodging)
Shaw's Lodging
Join Date: 02-26-2006
Location: Monson, Maine
Posts: 1

:banana Shaw's WILL BE OPEN for 2006
Hi there - I am writing on behalf of the new owners of Shaw's Lodging in Monson. Their names are Dawn and Sue and they are excited to be entering their fledging year in the hiking hostel business. Dawn grew up two houses up the street from Shaw's, so feels she is pretty qualified although the specifics of running a business will be a new learning experience. Dawn and Sue want to let any hikers know that Shaw's will be open for business beginning in May. Services and prices will remain approximately the same as they begin the new venture - they figure it was working pretty well the was it was so why screw with it? If you are planning your hike and need to contact them, you may call 207.997.3744 (please before 9pm EST) until Pat has moved out of the house and they are able to get a business phone installed. The mail drop will still be available and the info for that is Shaw's Lodging, PO Box 72, Monson, ME 04464. If you have questions you can reach us here. Their website is under development and will be up soon, along with an email address. In the meantime, if you wish to email privately, please address to [email protected] (that's me, Dawn's daughter Daina, who will be helping with reservations and mail drop stuff). We're looking forward to a great Summer '06 and meeting all of you!

TJ aka Teej
03-16-2006, 23:32
daina sent this today:
Shaw's Lodging will be accepting and handling mail drops for those of you
passing through Monson. The mailing info is c/o Shaw's Lodging, PO Box 72,
Monson, ME 04464. Obviously make sure to include your own name! If you do plan to
use us, if you could give an approximate date of arrival that would be
awesome, although we understand things happen along the trail to delay arrivals.
If you plan to stay with us, mail drop service is free; if you don't there is a
small fee. Any inquiries can be addressed to us here or by emailing
privately at [email protected]_ (mailto:[email protected])