(Note: this is part five of a multi-part series on the summer 2017 attempt at the 100 Mile Wilderness by dad, 40, and daughter, 11)
The 4th of July, 2017 was our 5th day on the 100 Mile Wilderness, and we logged 7.2 miles. We started tired, as we had ended late, the tent site was not level for sleeping, and the people around us got up very early and loudly. Daughter had some stomach distress today, and we mentally went through what we had both eaten, as well as the water filtration system, but could not figure out the cause. Either way, daughter said she was done with both oatmeal and pepperoni, two of our breakfast/lunch staples thus far.
We waited in the morning to have our coffee/hot chocolate, and brewed it when we got to the top of Gulf Hagas Mountain, which was a morale boost. We refilled our water at a cold, clear spring by the Sidney Tappan Campsite, and enjoyed the cold drink.
A steady rain kicked in as we hiked West Mountain, Hay Mountain, and White Cap Mountain, and daughter hiked in her poncho (dad’s was useless- more on that later).
To mix things up, we made a hot lunch by substituting our dinner meals for the pepperoni/cheese roll-ups we had been eating. We cooked the pouches during a break on Hay Mountain, and ate them at the top of White Cap. We were both disappointed at being clouded in at White Cap, as we had been looking forward to the 4th of July views from the summit, which the MATC guide listed as “some of the best in the state.”
We didn’t see Katahdin, or anything else, due to the wet rain and clouds, but daughter flexed her muscles for a summit photo and we headed down the mountain to the Logan Brook Lean-To, arriving in the early afternoon. The rain was intensifying, and we searched fruitlessly for a good, level campsite. This was complicated by the massive amounts of moose droppings littering the area.
It began pouring, and daughter sat in the lean-to with some other hikers while dad set up the tent in the best spot he could find (still not very good). Daughter got into the tent and immediately fell asleep, and I tried to set up our gear to dry out and pumped some filtered water into our hydration systems. While daughter napped, dad wrote down our gear reviews thus far:
– We both love our Osprey backpacks- just wish daughter’s had an external pouch for the hydration system like dad’s does. Would also love a waterproof map case on one of the straps, for easy access. Our pack rain covers are great for keeping everything dry.
– Our ponchos are awful. Dad’s literally ripped (hood almost off) the first day, at the first campsite, and we would definitely spend more money on good raingear.
– We both love the JetBoil stove, which doesn’t use much fuel, and heats water almost instantly.
– Our Outdoor Research Stuff Sacks are awesome- we keep food and clothing in them, and the food bags can be suspended as bear bags- even in the rain, they keep everything dry.
– Our beach towel-size PackTowls are perfect- lightweight and quick-drying, and we can wrap them around clothing at night to make makeshift pillows.
– Our Kelty tent is extremely easy to set up, and has kept us dry in the rainy weather, even the crazy thunderstorms.
The White Cap range was the last of the real mountains in our path, and we were excited to make some mileage on the flatter ground, with our packs lighter from food being eaten, and hoping for a break in the weather. Dad’s handwritten notes for the day ended with “Wet weather has been a major factor so far.”
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Hi UH, great posts! Don’t keep me hanging…what happens next?! Also, what coffee did you take/ how did you make it? This would make or break me… Also, did you eat directly out of the bags of dehydrated food? About the last thing I need is another hobby, but somehow you are managing to make this sound VERY appealing…perhaps the Long Trail someday?
Thanks for the comments. You’ll have to wait for Day 6 and so on… Dad used Starbucks Via packets (usually 2) in water heated using our JetBoil, and daughter used Swiss Miss hot chocolate packets. We usually ate right out of our bags, using our matching titanium sporks. If we were sharing a meal, we’d split it into collapsible bowls we got from Sea to Summit. Long Trail sounds great. I think our next long hike may be the Bigelows.
You mentioned July 4th, 2017 as being the 5th day on the 100 Mile Wilderness trip. That’s the same day I started the Presidential Range from AMC Highlands. We ran into fierce, biting knats up there too!