Mile 113 (ME): July 19, Bell Pond

It was another beautiful day-cool and dry. According to the AWOL’s AT Guide there didn’t seem to be too much elevation change today. So I planned to make my way to the very end of the 100 mile wilderness, which was about 13 miles. There is a well loved hiker hostel called Shaw’s in Monson. That was my destination for a day of rest, laundry, and resupply. But it seemed better to just camp on the trail near Monson and get into town early the next day.

It was a quiet day alone on the trail again. I passed a few NOBO’s but not many. I stopped for a few minutes and talked with a local hiker named Bullfrog. When I greeted him and asked how he was he said “old and fat but otherwise okay!” He wasn’t that old but he wasn’t wrong on the other point. This was his second time hiking the 100 miles and seemed super happy to be out again. But when he asked how far I was hiking and I told him, “Georgia,” he just smiled and said “YOU PEOPLE!” and shook his head. I said, “well, you’re out here hiking the 100 miles for the second time. I don’t think we’re that different.” And he just smiled and said, “yeah probably not.”

There was another “wet ford” today. It went fine but at the end one stone I was stepping on rolled and I got wetter than I wanted.

But it was sunny and at the far side there were nice big and flat boulders. I stopped for awhile and dried my things on the rocks.

While there I had my first experience with the Maine “black fly.” These are biting flies that come out in June but tend to die down in July. They pestered me for a few minutes and I almost decided to leave when they stopped. And they didn’t return while I hung out for the next half hour. Reclining on on the sunny rocks was so peaceful and no other hikers came along to break the spell

A little while later after starting again a fat rabbit crossed the trail in front of me. He didn’t seem too concerned and just meandered across the trail. I also saw a lot more toads and frogs today and decided to try and get a picture.

And the trail crossed another survey point, this one marked as an Appalachian Trail marker.

And I stopped for water at the top of a big waterfall. There was a couple day hiking with their dog and we chatted for a while. We took each other’s pictures at the top.

The trail crossed more mountain views then descended along a series of ponds and lakes.

I decided to stop along Bell Pond, about 1 mile from the road to Monson.

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