September 28: mile 2127: Crawford Pond Beach

Boy, it stormed like hell most of the night.  I woke up with the last vestiges of light rain diminishing rapidly.  Everything that I had was wet.  And it was cold.  The temperature was in the low forties— a full fifty degrees lower.  The past three days were the hottest and most humid three day period on the entire trail.  Late September in northern Maine were hotter than Pennsylvania in July — unbelievable.  The forty degree temp was like mana from the gods as far as I was concerned.  With the rain clearing I was ready to make some miles. 

West Peak was a 700 foot ascent to 3000 feet in just under a mile.  I knocked that out in just under an hour and stood at the top at 9:00 am.  The cool air lifted my spirits and made it possible, if not unlikely, to stay on the six day plan.  

Hay Mountain was just a 400 foot descent followed by a 600 foot climb.  I knocked that out in an hour and stood at its 3200 foot peak.  The Whitecaps were proving to be somewhat of a piece of cake.  Another 400 foot descent followed by an 800 foot climb got me to the top of Whitecap mountain— the last of the Whitecaps at 3800 feet.  All before lunch.  

After lunch I descended fairly gradually the 2000 feet down from the Whitecaps.  On a fairly routine jump down from a rock my right ankle rolled horribly.  I felt something pop and ended up on my back down slope.  Wishing that I wasn’t hiking alone,  I disentangled myself and tried to get up.  I was sure that my hike was over as I finally tested the ankle with some weight.  It hurt like hell but seemed to be taking the weight and didn’t seem to be broken.  Rolled ankles can’t be rested or they stiffen up so I chowed another four Ibuprofens and started limping on. After about twenty minutes the pain got a little better and concluded that I could hike on.

After a few miles of mild rolling up and downs, I climbed the last mountain before the flats of the 100 mile.  Little Boardman Mountain was a 600 foot climb to 2000 feet and was pretty low key.  I descended two miles as the sun was setting and came a lake.  I found a little beach and camped next to it.  I cooked my dinner on the beach of the pretty good sized lake.  There was not a soul around as I gazed around the completely undeveloped lake as the sun went down.  It was a little eerie having not seen another person all day and eating my Mac and cheese on a lake with no one around for miles.  All around though, it was kind of cool— not scary, just peaceful.  Happy Trails.

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