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Day 181

Day 181

Last Call Aug 22nd, 2022
Last Call's 2022 AT Thru-Hike

I might be one of the few hikers with a free-standing tent to say this but, I like wooden tent pads! As long as they have a small gap between the boards. I can see why campers who have a tent like mine wouldn’t like them as you’d have to use heavy rocks to hold your guy lines and then hope they hold while you tighten the lines that literally hold your tent up but as long as there are gaps between the boards, the anchors I use are amazing! Also, your tent is pitched nice and flat, water won’t pool under you if it rains and your tent rolls up cleaner. I just wish some of them were larger. Okay, on to today.

I thought today would be a standard “move the peg forward” type day but it actually started with some really nice views from the top of Little Bigelow Mountain. It was an easier mountain to climb than it’s 4,000+ big brother. This one was just over 3,000 ft. After that, the trail was a lot better with just standard ups and downs and the worst part about it really is just all the rocks and roots everywhere that seem to be perfectly placed to constantly trip you up and make you feel like you’re in a constant state of stumbling. I hiked by Flagstaff Lake, West Carry Pond and East Carry Pond where I found a stealth site to set up my tent near the northern end of the pond. The water is nice and clean and after filtering it, it’s not bad. Only issue is that it’s not as cold as spring water but that’s okay. It’s fine once you cook with it or put flavored electrolytes in it. Only issue with my campsite is a very active squirrel that’s chattering like crazy and dropping pine cones from the trees. I keep hearing them drop and hit the ground. It better not hit my tent with one! I have to capture their chatter and squeaks. I’ve never heard such talkative squirrels before. Well, it was a good day and felt good to hit the 17 mile mark in a day. I’m just shy of 10 miles from the Kennebec River where I will need to take the canoe ferry across. There’s a dam that controls water flow for the river. One year, a hiker tried to ford the river and the dam opened up releasing a lot of water at once and washed him away. Since then, there has been a canoe ferry to take hikers across. During the hiker season, this ferry is free for hikers as it’s paid for by the ATC, ALDHA and the dam operators. I have until 2pm to get to the Kennebec so I can catch the canoe ferry and get across. Then I’ll have 5.8 miles to go to get to the Pleasant Pond Parking Lot where I’ll meet family and friends and go spend a zero with them in an AirBnB. Sparkle is joining us. We had both ordered new sleeping pads since both of ours have been going flat every night and we also got our last pairs of shoes. I was hoping the pair I have now (5th pair of the hike) would have been my last but New Hampshire and now Maine have torn them up! The padding isn’t anything like it was either so my feet have been taking a pounding and are pretty sore. I’m looking forward to fresh tread on my feet and they’re going to make finishing this hike that much more comfortable. I am finishing today at mile 2,033.3 so starting tomorrow, I have only 161 official AT miles ahead of me. So close!

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