AT – Days 9 & 10 – Sunshine on Saddleback

DATE:  October 25-2620121026-234658.jpg

START:  Poplar Ridge Lean-To

FINISH:  Pine Ellis Lodge, Andover

DISTANCE:  47.2 miles (75.9 km)

DAILY AVERAGE:  23.6 miles (37.95 km)

TOTAL DISTANCE:  256.6 miles (412.9 km)

Chief Sherpa: Believe it or not I ran into another southbound hiker during this section. Chief Sherpa, a recently retired Navy diver, began his AT odyssey from Mt. Katahdin in late September and hopes to reach Springer mountain by March or April. Apart from the weather his primary obstacle may be the size of his backpack. I kid you not, it was huge; his base weight (total pack weight not counting food and water) must have been around 50 lbs! At Beamis Mountain Lean-to, we spent the best part of a couple of hours sifting through his gear, working out potential weight savings areas and possible replacement alternatives. We came up with a plan which would reduce his base weight by some 20 to 25 lbs! Best of luck, Chief, and please keep me posted as to your progress both on trail and on the “pack lightening” front.

Sunshine on Saddleback: In a word……idyllic. In more than a word…….sunny, warm, gorgeous vistas and only the hint of a breeze. With Hurricane Sandy headed this way, I better make the most of it while it lasts!

Andover, ME: I stayed the night at the cozy and welcoming Pine Ellis Lodge. A big thanks to Ilene Trainor, who has been hosting AT hikers for 23 years, for her wonderful hospitality. My other stop whilst in Andover was the Little Red Hen Diner & Bakery. Great food and big servings. A thru hiker must.

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