12 , 1983 Monday (118.4 mtg) From
Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal
all the rest of the crew decided to hold up for a day in Monson,
I chose to pull out. The draw of Katahdin was intense. I felt the
need for completion. As if 118 miles was "a long way,"
I loaded up all of my food bag, and my extra food bag, and hid my
Rootbeer at the bottom of my pack. I said my good-byes, and headed
out. It proved to be the last time I would see the hikers I had
just left, a group I had come to consider friends. Although I had
shared only days with some of them, their spirit and my memory of
them will remain forever.
Although the trail went out of Monson following a road, the road
dwindled off into an unused road in about two miles. Along those
two miles, I had the privilage of passing, once again, the sandal
shod stranger who spoke no words. I passed him and said good morning,
but got very little response so I continued on. I followed a set
of powerlines for a while. About a mile after the road became mostly
unused, the map showed the trail going off to the right toward Bell
pond. This was a new relocation that was not in place yet. I continued
on the old AT straight ahead past the site of the Old Stage Road
Lean-to. From there the trail made a sweeping turn to the right
and made its way toward Little Wilson Falls. The falls were nice,
but I could not find a good vantage point for a photo. I found Tim
Sheehy, of the Tim and Maynard team at the falls. He was now
traveling with a Canadian and hiking south.
Unfortunately, Maynard had developed giardia back in Connecticut,
and was forced to quit. Tim continued on solo, but decided to flip-flop,
and hike the remainder of his journey southbound. I ate lunch with
Tim and the Canadian, and then moved on. Since the trail relocation
was not in effect yet, the trail made its way back to the road near
a crossing of the Big Wilson Stream, crossed the stream over the
bridge and proceeded to intersect the Canadian Pacific Rail Road
one half of a mile farther on. I stopped at the tracks and placed
my ear on the rail to listen for the next train. I had heard that
this train goes all the way across Canada to the Pacific. I dreamed
that sometime I would ride from one end to the other and see the
wilderness of Canada as it went by. At this point I stopped for
a snack and took out a bag of cookies Mom had sent me. On the package
the name stated "Almost Home" cookies made by Nabisco.
I had not removed the packaging while in town, but once opened and
tasted, I thought that Mom had baked these cookies and just put
them in the package because of the name "Almost Home".
They were surprisingly soft and chewy like homemade, and tasted
very good. I thought they were made by Mom, but found out later
that they were a new type of store-bought cookie made by Nabisco
and just happened to have the name of "Almost Home". A
cute surprise that made me smile and remember how far I had traveled.
the vintage package.
From this point, to the next shelter, the trail followed the road
through what was known as the infamous Bodfish Intervale, where
the Bodfish farm was located. The trail was being relocated around
this area in part because there had been reports of the inhabitants
coaxing hikers to the home, inviting them in, and then while they
were not looking, rummaging through their packs and stealing valuables.
Other than cash and food, I don't know what that would be, but I
kept an eye out as I went past the area. I did not encounter any
suspicious characters - or any characters at all, for that matter.
The main road eventually decayed to just a gravel logging road and
turned left to follow Long Pond Stream through the lowlands. The
gravel road began a gradual ascent and eventually went off to the
left while the trail left the road and proceeded into the woods
to Long Pond Stream. The ford of the stream was another rock hop.
Then to get to the Long Pond Stream Shelter, the stream had to be
crossed again. I was visited that afternoon by a couple of hikers,
but spent the night by myself. I kept a close watch as I thought
about the possibility of the cretins from the Bodfish intervale
coming up the road and raiding me during the night.
18.7 miles I had come from Monson.
Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983