|Fall foliage starting in Rangeley Maine|
This was a re-supply trip and my last chance to camp out in the woods with Spoon and friends. I arrived at the trailhead at 2pm on Sunday to find Spoon a bit muddy, waiting with friends. We passed out some home made cookies and loaded up for the trip into Rangeley. The original plan was to do a grocery shop to augment the supplies I brought up and then head out to the shelter, but Timothy was ready for a night off, so we found a motel in Rangeley for the night. As it turned out one of his hiking friends, Zamboni, was also staying in the same place having taken a couple of days off to recover from a bout of the flu. Then we drove back out to the trailhead and picked up his 2 other friends, Joker and Watermelon, who we took to a hostel. I did a lot of shuffling on this trip, moving 4 guys around with gear, from our motel, their hostel, which was outside of town, and the town of Rangeley.
|Bridge on Trail|
|Spoon under Piazza Rock|
|Venado and Tecolote logging their stay|
The Piazza Rock shelter had a caretaker who was paid by the Maine Appalachian Mountain Club. He worked 40 hours per week, 10 days on 4 days off and was responsible for the trail from RT 17 to the top of Saddleback. He recorded visitors to the shelter, did trail maintenance, gave us information on the local wildlife, ( he expected a moose and her 2 calves to show up), made sure the privy was clean, walked the trail daily and slept in a large tent up in the woods. His term of stay was coming to a close. Caretakers are not in residence in the winter.
|Exactly as listed in the Guide Book|
We got up around 7 am after a cold night in the woods, ( the temperature dropped into the low thirties), and discovered that the Barbarian Utopia had already been up, had breakfast and left. They walk slow, they leave early, I was told. After breakfast and packing up, I was off for home and they for 17 miles to the next shelter on the other side of Saddleback Mountain. They are having a hard time coming to the realization that this adventure is going to be over in 2 weeks. We wish them the best of luck and that the weather improves for them for the rest of their journey. Too much rain, mud, cold, slippery rocks so far in Maine. Looks like we will be heading to Katahdin in early October for the final climb.
|Watermelon, Joker, Spoon, Zamboni|