(Note: this is part three of a multi-part series on the summer 2017 attempt at the 100 Mile Wilderness by dad, 40, and daughter, 11)
Our third day, July 2, 2017, we got an early start, even though all our clothes and socks were wet, and the area around the tent was a mud pit. The morning light revealed tents around us, almost on top of each other, as people had crowded in the Long Pond Lean-To site to escape the strong thunderstorms overnight. We enjoyed wonderful views on the way up Barren Mountain, as well as birdsongs we had been hearing throughout from a warbler, whose music we would hear throughout the hike whenever we got to higher elevations. We also saw small finch-like birds with dark heads near the summits, but could not figure out if they were the singers.
The light was particularly beautiful in the morning, and dad captured a good shot of daughter walking through the rays of sun during the ascent of Barren. The temperature rose quickly. We broke into our dark chocolate trail mix for the first time at the Barren Mountain Ledges, and found that this was one of the few food items of which we did not get tired.
We had a tough time with some of the map landmarks, and were briefly discouraged until we were suddenly on the peak of Barren Mountain, next to an abandoned fire tower. We met another hiker there with his elderly father, who had hurt his ankle, and they were debating their options. It was a very wet hike, and every hiker coming southbound seemed to make a comment about the wet, boggy conditions.
Fourth Mountain had a bog with insectivorous pitcher plants, something we had not seen, so we took photos of those. Third Mountain had great views, but, seemingly, many consecutive summits, and we were ecstatic when we reached the side trail to West Chairback Pond. We had done 9.2 miles over the Barren-Chairback Range, and another .2 to the beautiful campsite overlooking the pond, which we discovered was, unfortunately, teeming with aggressive leeches.
The shore contained several boats and canoes, and we wondered how (other than via the Appalachian Trail) people got in to use these.
We made a small campfire to boost morale, dry some of our equipment, and keep away the worst of the mosquitoes. Despite (or maybe because of) the large number of fallen trees around, dad had a rough time finding a suitable spot to hang the bear bag. With no other campers around and the strong smell of food, this was a priority. Dad had Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki for dinner, and daughter had Pepper Steak.
Because the tent was still damp from the thunderstorms the night before, we left the rain fly off the tent, and were able to see the stars all night through the mesh above.
Like this post? Go all the way through. Try: