Start: Stratton, ME
Finish: East Flagstaff Lake Campsite
Miles Hiked: 17.9
To Go: 170.3
Overall Miles Hiked: 2018.9
I was out of the hostel early and was hiking by 7:00. The trail out of Stratton is flat for about 2 miles then starts going up. Just before the climb is a sign about a missing hiker, Geraldine “Inchworm” Largay, who disappeared on the Appalachian Trail around this spot on 7/22/13. There has been no sign of her since.
I thought about Inchworm and what might’ve happened to her most of the morning. As soon as I finished my near 3000 foot climb up Bigalow Mountain, my attention turned. My goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail was born over 10 years ago and since then I have only seen Mt. Katahdin in my dreams, until now. There, far off to my Northeast, stood Katahdin, taller than any surrounding mountains. I sat down on a rock and just stared. I was still 180 trail miles away but I would be there soon, and I couldn’t wait.
Just barely visible in the center of the photo lies Katahdin
As I descended I took one more look and said, “see you soon”. In a way, I hated her for making me leave my family and friends, for causing me so much pain, but I hiked on nonetheless. It’s a crazy feeling to hate something so much yet love it at the same time.
After Biglow mountain was another short climb up to Avery peak. Avery peaks summit is at 4090 feet and it would be the last time I would be over 4000 feet until I summit Katahdin. It would also be one of my last big climbs. The trail will begin to get a little flatter and I am looking forward to the change and bigger miles it will bring. The last hurdle of the day was over Little Biglow mountain but it wasn’t as steep as it’s big brother and I made good time. I was intending on staying a little Bigelow lean to do but decided to hike another 2.3 miles to East Flagstaff Lake campsite. I’m currently in my tent overlooking the lake and it’s absolutely beautiful, I wish you were all here with me.
Sites like this will bring me back to Maine above all the other Appalachian Trail states. It is beautiful and I’m sad that I have no one to share it with. I guess I’m a little lonely but knowing I’ll be home soon helps the loneliness pass. I know I won’t have many of these kind of sites left so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible.