Friday, June 21, 2013

Sugarloaf, Spaulding, Abraham Maine 06/21/13

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I hiked these three Maine 4000 footers (ME4k) on 6/21/13. This makes 10 of the 14 ME4K. This was a long and fairly hard hike for me. Other than Owl's Head this was my longest one day hike. 17 miles, 0530 - 2000 14.5 hrs. I started where the Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses the Caribou Valley Road (CVR) - just across the road from where I started the Crockers hike. There is a river crossing (Caribessette River ) right near the beginning of the trail that is often difficult but the water was low enough that it wasn't a problem. The black flies and other biting flying bugs were out in full force but keeping covered with bug spray (Ben's DEET) kept them at bay until the late afternoon when I think the DEET resistant bugs come out.  Almost a week later I was still covered with bug bite bumps. - One of many reasons why  I prefer winter hiking.

Pictures: Didn't post these until 8/07 so excuse my lack of details.

Carrabessett River crossing. I Started the hike from Carabou Valley Rd CVR at ~ 0515 after sleeping in my truck  on the CVR for ~ for 4 hours after driving up from RI

Appalacian Trail (AT) well marked with blazes and arrows here, but I still managed to wander off trail for 15 minutes while day dreaming. But it was easy to pick it back up without using my GPS 

Lady Slippers

View of slides between Sugarloaf and Spaulding

Trail Spur off the AT to peak of Sugarloaf

Spur trail up to Surgarloaf.

AT trail marker, not sure why this is not actually on the AT

Cairn on top of Sugarloaf. First time I wore this hat and lost it in the wind later that day.

Views from Sugarloaf (SL)

Back on the AT looking back at SL

Easy Ridge trail over to Spaulding

One of the Maine's infamous black flies. They kept their distance until late in the day.

Mt Spaulding is another short (fairly steep) spur off the AT. No views on the peak but there is a short trail to a view North of the peak, (next few pics)

Blurry black spot is a black fly


Zoomed in view of Sugarloaf from view point north of Spaulding
Spaulding Lean-to. This is where the unidentified woman hiker said that she had met the missing Tenn. AT hiker ("inchworm")  a month later. I had a quick bite to eat here and dropped my main pack (bad decision) and went onto Abraham with my bug-out pack.

Spur trail off the AT to Mt Abraham. (1:10 minutes after leaving Spaulding Lean-to)

Trail was flat through marshland with much moose skat then came across a kiorsk in the middle of nowhere, with pencil and forms to fill out for the Maine AMC , I guess to track trail usage. 



Trail breaks out of the woods into talus fields looks like Abraham may be just over that ridge.



Or 30 minutes and 2 false peaks later - Just over that ridge.

Or this one! Actually it is this one, you can just make out the tower.

On top of a windy Mt Abraham.
Stone wind shelter at base of tower.
There is actually a very small stone shelter with a roof nearby, but I didnt get a picture.

An hour later I'm back at the juction with the AT. I didnt realize it when planning this trip but there is a wide heardpath/logging trail that goes almost straight down to the CVR from here (below). If I hadn't dropped pack at the lean-to I would have gone down here andsaved time and grief.


After picking up my pack and going several hundred yards down the AT I reached the spot were I had decided to Bushwack down to some waypoints of an old overgrown logging road that I had gotten off a site. At first this looked like a start of a easy bushwack marked with red ribbons on trees (see above) on the direct azimuth I needed to get to my first waypoint. However it eventually got thicker and thicker through thick sharp dead spruce and the ribbons disapeared and eventuially I was on the bushwack from hell climbing over piles of dead trees tso deep hat I couldnt even see the forest floor.  Got scratched big time from the brush and eaten alive by the DEET resistant bugs.

 I finally wacked my way to my first waypoint and the rest of the way down was an easy wack through overgrown logging roads and moose paths and finally I broke out into the open.

Back onto the CVR with a 1 hr road hike back to my truck after a tough 1 hour bushwack.
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