View Full Version : Maine Section Hike Trip Report

Tim Rich
07-30-2004, 21:42

Just back from my annual section hike, this time from Rangeley to Monson, about 103 miles or so. Many thanks to ATTroll for getting us from Portland to the Rangeley trailhead. Weather was very wet for a couple of days, including an overnight storm that had torrential rain. Fords were running about a foot or so above normal, but nothing got to my waist. Black flies were so few they were a curiosity when we saw them. Mosquitoes were heavy at times, but the big things are actually pretty easy to kill compared to the the little ones down South. Horse flies/deer flies were persistent, but not too bad. It was pretty warm at times, but had a couple of nights in the 40s. We took our time through the Saddlebacks, taking three days to Stratton, three more to Caratunk through the Bigelows, and then two days from Caratunk to Monson. Missed out on views from Saddleback, it was socked in pretty good. We stayed at the old summit house on Sugarloaf. If any of you are planning to hike this section, I highly recommend taking the 0.6 mile side trail and staying there. It's huge (could probably hold 75 to 100 people), glass all around with near 360 degree views, has a wood stove in the middle, has electricity, including a light, radio, microwave and toaster - I'm not kidding. The phone there is linked to the Sugarloaf internal phone system. There is no water, but a boxed spring on the side trail to the summit. If you hike in dry weather (do you have that in Maine?) you might not want to rely on it and haul it in from lower down. We stayed at the Widows Walk in Stratton (Mary and Jerry were really nice folks) and also at Shaw's, another legendary place. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw were a treat, and Keith, Jr.'s a nice guy who provided us a shuttle to the Bangor airport. We also stayed at Piazza Rock shelter and was treated to the "Your Move" privy. We tented at Avery Memorial campsite in Bigelow Col, pretty windy. The best water is not at the camp but on the AT in a boxed spring .2 miles north.

The Kennebec crossing was a blast. The amount of water coming down the Kennebec is amazing. Steve Longley was a pleasure to meet and we took our time in crossing. I'm very happy to have made it through there when he had the contract. Had we made it this far last year, it wouldn't have been the same.

We met Chainsaw at a shelter during a break. He is slowly making his way south. We spent the night on Sugarloaf with Stumpknocker, who is on his third thru, this one a flip-flop. We met a number of SOBOs, our first time to see them in any number since VA about 11-12 years ago. It's fun to see them not quite having figured it all out, and to sense their anxiety as they ask about the Mahoosucs and the Whites. Saw a fewer number of NOBOs, including Haiku, Tarzan, Gentle Ben and Mouth.

I took a pile of digital pictures and posted some of them here under my photo gallery. We now have about 117 miles to go to Katahdin. Probably looking at next July to finish the AT.

Take Care,


07-30-2004, 22:45
Tim, sounds as though you, and your partner had a great hike. Maine is the greatest. Next year should be an exciting hike, with Mt. Katahdin, and the 100 mile wilderness. Good luck to you both. I was trying to finish a section hike, SOBO to Harpers Ferry this year, but had an accident South of Hwy 17, and before Bemis Stream. My foot got caught on a root, I tried to pull it loose, and I fell backwards, falling on my butt, with my leg and foot underneath. I tried to walk the pain off, but could not. I crossed Bemis Stream to a dirt road, and luckily caught a ride to Rangeley. Bob, at Gull Pond Lodge took me to the Medical Center. The xray, indicated an ankle fracture. So I have been off the Trail since July 8th. Thats life, but will return next year.

07-31-2004, 12:07

Thanks for the report. How long did you spend on the Trail? I hope to do that section in the next couple of years.


TJ aka Teej
08-01-2004, 23:25
We now have about 117 miles to go to Katahdin. Probably looking at next July to finish the AT.

I hear it's gonna rain. :D
Thanks for the trip report, Tim! And cograts on having just 117 to go!!

Uncle Wayne
08-02-2004, 06:23
Enjoyed your report and congrats on being so close to finishing. Now to check out those pictures.

08-02-2004, 19:49

Jim and I were sorry to hear about your ankle injury. We enjoyed meeting you in Monson at the Shaws. It was also great seeing you on the trail between Rangley and Stratton. Been wondering about where you guys were. I remember the section where you were injured. Steep and rooty as I recall. I know you hate to be off the trail. I'll bet the rest of your group is missing you. Hope the ankle heals soon.


08-02-2004, 20:53
Julie and Jim, Thanks. Great meeting you at Shaws. and later just before Rangeley. I hear from the others, when they reach a supply town. They should be in Manchester Center, Vt. later this week.I really hate being off the trail, but will return next year and head south again. Will you finish Maine next year?

08-04-2004, 20:10
Yes, Jim and I will finish Maine next year. Jim will be finished with the entire trail. I will still be early in my journey. Hope you're back to hiking soon.