It’s about the journey not about the destination: AT Rangeley (ME) to Stratton (ME)

Skipping 50 miles gave us the possibility for some days of rest and checking how the antibiotics would effect Soda’s immune system. We made it up to Rangeley and stayed two nights at the wonderful ‘Farmhouse Inn’ where they were well informed about Lyme-disease and therefore able to give Soda lots of additional information.

We made it to the trail with the second shuttle at 8 in the morning and had a pretty good first hike since bailing out. 18 miles without being super exhausted, so far so good. It was pretty cold though all day. On top of Saddleback Mountain, the wind blew 40-60 miles per hour and almost blew me off the mountain.

The next morning started slow, it was so cold and furthermore, the hyped-up feeling from the previous day was gone. The antibiotics made Soda feel weak again. Though I was pretty exhausted myself. Slow going we made our way up and down and up and down again 10 miles towards the road leading into Stratton.

Initially, we planned on just taking a quick stop and resupply but the ‘Stratton motel’ just across the street from the store was too hard to pass. A zero was needed, both Soda and I needed sleep and more sleep.

We’ll get to Katahdin! Eventually :).

After that well-needed sleep still sleepy, we got another late start hiking into the Bigelow Mountains. With all the Lyme disease and antibiotics going on though we stopped at the campsites near Avery Col Shelter after maybe 8 rugged miles around 4 pm.

With so much daytime left we set up the tarp over a wooden platform in a really nice way and we had a good warm sleep on the trail on this platform even with our super thin foam sleeping pads. Genius about the setup: We guided the guylines through the gaps between the boards of the platform and put sticks through their loops so kind of like a deadman anchor. At least we thought that’s pretty smart :).

With ‘Princess Bubblegum’ who also got Lyme and ‘Tincup’ we hiked down and up Little Bigelow Mountain and down towards East Flagstaff road. Just a mile or less before the road it started raining so hard, within 5 minutes the trail was flooded and we walked through ankle-deep mud down to the road. Completely soaked we hid in the privy in the parking lot until it stopped raining. We got enough time on the dirt road to dry out our stuff and wait for ‘Princess Bubblegum’ and ‘Tincup’. We all four got a ride back to Stratton where we wanted to figure out what to do for another time. Starting in the sun again we ended up getting hailed on while sitting in the back of the open truck. What a day!

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