Section 2 (AT in a Day)

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ME-15/Monson to ME-4/Rangeley - 105.5 miles

Section Chiefs: Peter Moreau '74 & Dave Brown '73

ME-15/Monson to Moxie Pond - 24.8 miles

Hiker: Dan Nelson '75

I hiked a section in Maine from the south end of Joe's Pond to Monson (Route 6/15). I spent Friday night at a my camp on Lower Wilson Pond (near Greenville) and drove to the start of my section early Saturday morning (in the pouring rain!), ready to start hiking at dawn, when the rain stopped. The trip started with a ford of Baker Stream -- one of four pretty significant stream/river crossings in the section. Because of rain Friday, the water was high, but only one crossing required pants removal.... Moxie Bald Mountain was socked in, windy and wet -- but I know the view WOULD have been spectacular in different weather. There's a three-mile section of trail north of Moxie Bald Mtn. that might be as easy to paddle as it is to hike, since it is more of a stream than a trail, at least in wet weather. But the trail soon dried out, the sun appeared, and the hike along the Piscataquis River and through Horseshoe Canyon was beautiful. Along the way I met a Dartmouth alum through-hiker who was at Dartmouth in the late 1960s/early 1970s. He never graduated, and he didn't know anything about the Centennial or the AT-in-day event, but he was active in the Outing Club when he was a student, is clearly still having outdoor adventures, and he was very impressed that the club was pulling off this event. Along the way and throughout my day, I had ample opportunity to reflect on the creative energy and hard work of students who did the planning and organizing. That kind of imagination and entrepreneurial spirit has been one of the DOC's greatest legacies since its founding. Fred Harris would be very proud of the club today! Once I was off the trail, a very kind passer-by picked me up, took the enclosed picture, and was interested enough in the whole endeavor to hear my story and get me reconnected with my car. Thanks for the opportunity to connect my footsteps on Saturday with with so many other alumni, students and friends of the DOC, all the way from Maine to Georgia. It was a day well spent for all of us!

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Moxie Pond to US-201/Caratunk - 11.9 miles

Hiker: Katherine Jacobs '13


US-201/Caratunk to Logging Road - 8.2 miles

Hiker: Meredeth Winter '89

media:WintersATinaDay.jpg I was lucky enough to have my 7 year-old son, Will, accompany me on my section of the hike. Turns out that the secret to hiking with Will is to bring plenty of granola bars, fruit leathers and chocolate chip cookies! We completed our 8+ miles of gentle terrain in somewhere around 5 or 6 hours and turned to extensive word games when we started to run out of steam. The one time that we found ourselves flummoxed by the location of the next blaze turned out to coincide with the one time we saw another hiker. Among the three of us, we quickly picked up the trail again. Although we were hoping for a moose sighting, we managed to content ourselves with a few frogs and one partridge. A highlight of our section came right at the beginning when we crossed the Kennebec by ferry - a ferry that turned out to be a volunteer piloting a red canoe.

Despite the somewhat inclement weather, it was a wonderful day and has inspired me and Will to set a goal of completing the AT in Maine by the time he graduates from high school.


Logging Road to East Flagstaff Road - 11.7 miles

Hiker: Peter Moreau '74

I hiked my section with friends Stephen Slattery and Afshin Jaber and another friend, Byron Kinniburgh, dropped us off to begin the hike and picked us up at the end. The day was mostly cloudy with a little rain and it was quite windy at times. Autumn colors were just about at peak and although the trail was a bit soggy in places, it was in excellent condition, obviously very well-maintained. I found it particularly interesting to hike part of the Arnold Trail, the route of Benedict Arnold's march to Québec in 1775.

I have enjoyed hiking in the Appalachians since my first hike when I was a student at Dartmouth. After actively hiking for over 30 years, I really missed it when I developed arthritis in my hip. However, after surgery a couple of years ago, I have been able to get back into it. It is one of my favorite activities.


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East Flagstaff Road to ME-27/Stratton - 16.7 miles

Hiker: Lance Tapley '66

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ME-27/Stratton to Caribou Valley Road - 8.3 miles

Hiker: Stephen Lunt '68

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Caribou Valley Road to ME-4/Rangeley - 23.9 miles

Hiker: Mark Lena '78

Saturday, the 10th of October was a 5AM morning rise in Rangeley, after staying Friday evening at Gull Pond Lodge, a hiker hostel run for the past twenty years by Robert O'Brien. I had parked my vehicle on the Caribou Road the evening before with the help of a friend who then dropped me in Rangeley. Having stayed with Bob two years earlier on a thru-hike with my son, I knew he could give me a ride to the trail-head at the early hour of 6AM, giving me 12 hours of daylight to complete the 24 miles.

The night had been an extremely wet one; any precipitation snow or rain is magnified by the Saddleback Range, squeezing out every drop. The day started and continued to be overcast, cold, and windy. I had hoped by the time we traversed the open peaks, that the clouds would pass to reveal the brilliant colors below. Unfortunately this was not realized until after 4PM on the final descent off Sugarloaf. None the less, the trail, although very wet, was good and fast, and further precipitation was limited to a couple of passing snow squalls on Spaulding Mountain and Sugarloaf. I was on familiar ground and felt very much at home after my two year hiatus from longer hikes.

We met a few hikers along the way including two men who had spoken to my AT-in-a-day counterpart hiking the Crocker to Route 27 portion of the trail.

All in all, the experience was solitary and unspoiled.

Along the Spaulding/Sugarloaf ridge, we passed the plaque commemorating the place where the AT was first completed by the Maine CCC in 1932.

My car was a welcome sight at 5:45PM, and I had completed the distance of 24 miles in 11 and a half hours.

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