Day 139 – Tuesday, July 26: Stealth Camp (behind the Red Hen, Andover, ME) to Stealth Camp (Unnamed Gap), 14.5 miles, 1,946.7 total AT miles.

I woke to rain. It was a little chilly – I slowly started packing up. I was still tired. Greyhound was up. We both chugged Mountain Dew and Starbucks Iced Coffees purchased from the market the night before.

We finished packing up, I left my tent to dry in the rising sun, and we walked our packs over to the Red Hen. For a small town, this place was legit. We enjoyed pancakes and sausages, fresh fruit, juice, coffee – I even bought a loaf of bread to go. We reviewed the AT Guide as we ate. We wanted to make it to Rangeley, ME in two days. The mileage would be tough, but we had enough food to get us there.

We also both bought plane tickets leaving Bangor, ME on Aug 11th. We were summiting Katahdin on the 9th, now just over two weeks away.

After breakfast, we walked over to the stop sign hoping to catch a hitch back to the trailhead – and it didn’t take long. A nice mom and her two kids thoroughly enjoyed entertaining us as we made our way back to the AT.

Despite our late start, we hiked as hard as we could. The trail was substantially easier than it had been in a while. We ran across some huge shelf mushrooms as we neared the Hall Mountain Lean-To (shelters are now called lean-to’s in Maine) We were both getting grumpy and decided to have a quick lunch at the shelter – we stopped at 11:00am having hiked six miles on the day.

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After a brutal descent into Sawyer Notch, and an equally difficult ascent back out, we paused at Moody Mountain before heading down to South Arm Road. We finally reached the trailhead at 5:00pm and immediately received trail magic – of sorts. The MATC had recently built a privy a couple hundred yards from the trailhead. Greyhound jumped at the opportunity.

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At 6:00pm, we summited Old Blue Mountain and enjoyed the views.

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We quickly descended down a mossy, rocky trail towards an unnamed gap listed in the AT Guide – we were hoping we could find a stealth spot. The sun was starting to set when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a clearing in the woods to my right. I walked through the trees and found a hidden campsite – it was big enough more multiple tents and came with a pre-existing fire ring. While we didn’t enjoy a campfire, we did cook a nice hot dinner before retiring for the evening.

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We’re both worrying about making it to 22 miles to Rangeley, ME for a resupply tomorrow night.

Author: Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

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