Today I embarked from KSC and noticed the Sobros were an hour ahead of me. I decided to try to catch up to them by Abol Bridge, about 10 miles away. Today was a cakewalk compared to Katahdin, which we have actually stopped referring to by name out of spite. A few miles in, I found a stream to ford. It was looking rough but I had to try. I got about halfway across and had water up to my waist with nowhere to go, so I decided to try another spot. I told another sobo about my difficulties and we decided to try again. He went first and got swept about 20 feet down the river. Valuing our packs, we followed the blue-blazed high water bypass, avoiding 2 fords and shortening our trip by around 0.1 miles. The purist in me frowned, but I rationalized by saying I want to get to Georgia.
Big Niagara Falls, swollen with snowmelt.
Determined after the side trip, I cruised and caught up with the Sobros, who had been slowed down by taking off their boots for high water. Sam was giving Rob a piggie back to avoid the hassle of removing them. We walked quickly to Abol Bridge, the beginning of the 100-mile wilderness, a stretch of around 100 miles with no paved road crossings. The Sobros resupplied while I enjoyed a Pepsi and petted a cat. We booked off again, and soon I couldn't keep up, dropping back for the remaining 3 miles to the shelter. Lesson learned: don't push yourself too hard.
Looking back at Katahdin from Grassy Pond
After dinner, we chatted with other sobos in the lean-to and I met Hannah, Mulligan, and Flip. Flip can do a back flip and Mulligan reached the peak of Katahdin on his third attempt. The guys convinced me not to sleep with my food, and they helped me hang it from a branch out of reach of black bears. Feeling good now that I've gotten to relax after a hard day.