Upper Goose Pond Cabin to Kay Wood Shelter
Miles Hiked: 17.6
AT Milage: 1568.1
This morning I woke up in Upper Goose Pond Cabin at 6am. I had a great night if sleep on the comfortable mattress in the bunk room with no mosquitos bothering me. Around 6:30am I got out of bed and walked downstairs to get breakfast. The volunteer caretakers were making pancakes for everyone which was very nice. I drank some tea and sat in a rocking chair while I waited for my name to be called to get my pancakes. When they were ready I sat down at the table and enjoyed. Flamingo and I were the last two of 9 others to get our breakfast because we were up so late at 6:30am.When we were finished we were able to take one of the canoes out on the pond. It was a great morning to relax and do some fun things before hiking a shorter milage day on trail. The pond was so pretty because the surface of the water was so flat that it looked like glass. There was a tiny island in the middle of the lake and on one side of it there was a group of Carins built just off the shore. I thought they looked pretty neat but Flamingo and I were laughing at them because just yesterday we had a conversation about Carins and why Flamingo likes to knock them all down. I’ve started knocking them down too recently. You can do some more research on it yourself but Carins are a controversial object in the back country. Their purpose is to mark mountain summits, trails, and give directions but often times people build them for fun because they can look cool. When someone builds a Carin for fun and not a functional purpose it goes against wilderness ethics and leave no trace principles. Not only could a random Carin be misleading and dangerous to a person trying to navigate, but they also disrupt the natural environment reminding others that another person was here first changing the forrest from its natural state. This might seem pretentious to some, but you can read a lot more about it along with wilderness ethics and decide for yourself.While we were canoeing it started to rain some so we headed back to the shore. At the cabin we packed up our bags and got ready for the trail. Neither of us felt like hiking today. My legs are feeling particularly sore and have been begging me for a rest. If I didn’t already have a planned Nero and zero this week I would have taken a zero at the cabin today like the caretakers encouraged me to. My stubborn self hiked on. At least I planned a shorter day!We had to walk a half mile back to the trail before the AT miles started counting and we were getting closer to Katahdin. The terrain was really nice today. It wasn’t rocky or super steep. It was gentle and the hills or smaller mountains seemed to be rolling by under my feet. Speaking of my feet, they have been hurting a lot more than usual lately so I have decided it’s time to stop my 20 mile average and slow things down. I’ve been taking my breaks every 4 miles to stretch and massage my feet. They suck because I just want to lay down, but I have to be doing things for the whole time. The highlight of the day that flamingo and I were looking forward to the most, was visiting the cookie lady. The cookie lady is a person listed in the guide book as someone who lives right off the trail and gives out free cookies from her house. When we arrived at her house it was a blueberry farm and no one was home. Flamingo and I sat down on some benches and shortly after that it started to downpour. We stood on the porch of the house out of the rain. While we were waiting for the rain to pass, a car pulled up. The cookie lady and a local Trail angel name Tom got out of the car. Tom came over to talk to me and flamingo. He told us that the cookie lady has had a rough year. Her husband died she fell three times, got in a car wreck, and all her chickens died. Tom was super nice and told us to hang out on the porch until the rain stopped. The cookie lady went Inside and Flamingo and I didn’t want to bother her unless she came outside so we didn’t. Eventually another hiker came along and knocked on her door to see if he could buy some of the things she was selling off the sign she had posted. Since he bothered her to come outside I ended up buying a Gatorade and Klondike bar from her and she gave me some cookies for free. The downpour eventually stopped so we headed back out to the trail. It didn’t rain for the rest of the day and we were really lucky that we avoided getting wet.
We hiked about 8 more miles to a shelter called Kay Wood shelter where there were a ton of people setting up camp. There was one empty tent pad available so Flamingo and I had to set up our tents right next to each other to fit. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a packed campsite. There was a large group of section hikers out for a few days, quite a few SOBOs and four NOBOs including me. The shelter was named after a local trail angel who ended up hiking the whole AT when she was 70 years old.