Thursday, August 9, 2018

Baldpate Mountain, Grafton Notch and Bethel, Maine

We got an earlier start this morning and hit the Trail at about 8:15, with a 2-mile climb to the first peak before us. The first mile wasn't bad, but then—as nature and the Trail would have it—we hit the slippery rock slabs that have become so familiar in Maine. Forest climbed like a champ, as always, with me close behind depending on my trekking poles for balance and footing.

For those of you who have been wondering how Forest would handle the rough stairs we encounter on the Trail, the answer is he runs up them! I swear, this dog is part tank. Black lab...hound...tank.

We climbed the rocks into the foggy clouds for about a mile to the East peak of Baldpate Mountain, and then down into the saddle for another mile to the West peak. We didn't linger long because we were in the middle of a very wet cloud, my glasses were wet, and my right eye isn't worth the space it takes up in my head (because of a cataract). 😜  It was too bad because we knew there were great views out there. Every once in a while we'd get a peak at blue skies below us.

We continued down the Trail to the Baldpate Lean-to, where we took a quick break for water and for Forest to rest and cool down. He's learned to sleep wherever we stop; I wish it was that easy for me. I don't know if you can see in this photo, but his feet still look great!

After our break, we headed 3 miles downhill to the Grafton Notch trailhead (Mile Marker 267.2). This section took a little longer than I had expected, so I was going to run out of food before my next resupply stop. From the Grafton Notch parking lot, we hitched to the very small town of Bethel, Maine, to pick up supplies, take a shower and get some sleep at a motel. We will head back up to the Trail in the morning. The good news is that the weather is supposed to be near perfect for the next 3 days!

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How It All Began

In August 2017 Canines for Service Inc. in Wilmington, NC, provided Service Dog Forest to me (U.S. Army Veteran "Fisher"). It was ...