Pierce Pond

Images from
this date

What You

Progress Map

Other Images

Contact Gonzo!


Sept 8 , 1983 Thursday (169.6 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Today, the hike proved very relaxing and pleasant. Only one real mountain, Roundtop, presented any level of difficulty, and it was right at the beginning of the day, immediately beyond the shelter. The remainder of the walk was amongst the Carry Ponds, very picturesque ponds with rocks and dri-ki (driftwood) along the shore. East Carry Pond also had a nice sandy beach that looked inviting, but the guide's description warning to "watch for big mother leeches" kind of made it less inviting. I did not stop for a swim. The air was rather cool as the fall season was knocking at the door. I saw what I thought was a loon on one of the ponds, but turned out to be a duck of unknown species. The trail passed through a forest made up of birch trees with an understory of ferns. Much different than the typical mountain vegetation that we had been receiving. A low spot in Bates Ridge allowed passage over the ridge without much change in elevation and soon I found myself at Pierce Pond Lean-to where I had to make a major decision. I was three and a half miles from the Kennebec River Crossing, and had to decide if I would spend the night at the shelter and hike there in the morning, or continue on and camp at the river for a crossing early in the morning. Rumor has it that you should cross before 9:00 a.m. since at that time the flood gates up stream are released for hydroelectric power, and the river rises quickly downstream. As I contemplated the decision, Roger Brichner and Mike Patch showed up heading south after having crossed the Kenebec. Their clothes and packs were totally soaked, and they said that they had crossed in water over their wastes at 10 am this morning.

I decided to stay at the shelter since it was such a nice place. Situated on the shore of Pierce Pond with a commanding view over the water, this quintessential wilderness retreat was a must stay kind of place where I hoped to hear loons this evening to top off the wilderness feel. I browsed through some of the magazines that were left at the shelter, and then decided to do a little exploring. I followed the blue-blazed side trail to the Carry Place where hikers can have a nice pancake breakfast before heading to the river. I met the owner, who asked if I knew Ron and Cathy. I told him that they would probably be at Pierce Pond tonight. He asked me to tell them to come to the Carry Place for a surprise. Someone had paid for them both to have a free breakfast.

When everyone finally showed up we went about the business of making supper, and I shared some of the puffballs that I had found while exploring. Nick made a new trail delight from virtually all the remaining food that he had and dubbed it "Schmitts' Shit." Apparently tomorrow was mail drop time in Carratunk, just across the river, and he expected to be resupplied. Max broke out a portable fishing pole and proceeded to try to catch some trout, but was unsuccessful.

The day was beautiful, and we all sat on the rocks while gazing out over the lake for hours. We all decided that we would go for the pancake breakfast tomorrow morning and then cross the river. Trouble was that the proprietor did not serve until 7:30 am. That would not give us much time to reach the river by 9:00 am.

A nice purple and orange glow formed in the sky as we watched the sun set behind the low-lying hills beyond the pond. The loons and coyotes serenaded us to sleep as I had hoped.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

Next From the Beginning