Mile 19 (ME): July 12, Hurd Brook Lean-To

Pigweed, Troop Leader, That Guy, and I had our breakfast. That Guy decided to return with Ole Man to the AT Lodge to rethink his equipment. Goldie slept in. There are no trash cans in Baxter State Park but they allow SOBO hikers to drop trash before departure. I took our trash to the ranger station and said goodbye to Ole Man and That Guy. We departed around 7:45am. Shortly after departing the campground the trail traversed a very long wooden footbridge built over a bog.

Then we got a good view of Katahdin from the edge of Grassy Pond. We hoped to catch sight of a moose near one of the ponds but never did.

Around lunchtime we took a short side trail and stopped at Little Niagara Falls for pictures and a snack.

We also took the side trail to check out Big Niagara Falls, which looked impressive but was not as easy to see. After about 10 miles on trail we reached the park boundary—out of Baxter and toward the 100 Mile Wilderness!

But before entering the Wilderness we stopped at Abol Bridge Restaurant for a late lunch. I ordered a tuna melt panini with fries. It was a bit pricey at $15 but, as the last place to eat for 100+ miles we went for it.

Road across Abol Bridge

Just across the bridge the trail entered the woods and a short way in we found the classic
Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) warning sign prior to entering the 100 Mile Wilderness.

The Hurd Brook lean-to was 3 miles further down the trail. There was a large group of hikers already camped when we arrived. There must have been 15 tents and all the tent sites near the shelter were taken. We looked around and settled on a nice site a short ways away near a pond. There was a creepy animal skull at the entrance of the site and we called the site deer skull camp.

At this point I was feeling quite exhausted and still a bit sore from the previous day’s climb. After setting up camp I had a snack for dinner, hung up my food, and went right to sleep.

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