Friday, August 26, 2016 8:20 pm
Location: South Arm Rd / Pine Ellis Lodging (1942.3 miles)

I had scheduled my shuttle to the trailhead this morning for 9 am because, according to the weather forecast, the rain would be done by then. That turned out not to be the case, and there was a light drizzle on the way out to the trailhead, though fortunately, it stopped raining shortly after I got to the trailhead.

Today, I went south, from South Arm Rd to East B Hill, since anecdotally (and also from the elevation profile), south looks easier. Today’s section going north would have a long, gradual uphill followed by a steep downhill, a steep uphill, and another steep downhill. Going south reverses that, giving a steep downhill between two steep uphills, and a long, gradual downhill. Since steep downhills suck, south is the better direction for today.

Like yesterday, the road was painted with AT logos, though there were four of them forming a box of sorts. It’d be really hard to miss this trailhead while driving.

A Well-Marked Road
A Well-Marked RoadSouth Arm Rd

After crossing a stream at South Arm Rd, the day started with a climb up Moody Mountain, followed by a steep decent into and steep ascent out of Sawyer notch, before arriving at the Hall Mountain Lean-to. The descent into the notch was assisted by rebar drilled into the rock; it would have been rather difficult without.

Black Brook
Black Brook

Southern Maine continues to be hard; it took three hours to go the 4.1 miles from the road to the shelter. Fortunately, the six miles from the shelter to East B Hill Rd was considerably easier, and I managed a near 2 mph pace for the rest of the day.

View from Wyman Mountain
View from Wyman Mountain
Surplus Pond
Surplus Pond

I also observed a new style of AT diamond logo, that I've not seen before on the trail.

Maine AT Logo
Maine AT LogoA new AT logo, not seen previously on the trail.

Back at Pine Ellis, I ran into Rainbow, who had just arrived, a bit beat up after a tumble the other day in the Mahoosuc Notch that left him (temporarily) upside down with some scrapes, bruises, and a hole in his bandana where his head hit a rock.

Given the cost of shuttles, I was on the fence about whether I’d continue to slackpack tomorrow. However, since there’s two other people (including Papa Monkey) who are interested in slackpacking the sections tomorrow and the day after, it makes it worth doing. So yay, at least two more days of slackpacking before it looks like I'll have to give it up.