I have been wanting to put this trip report up here for some time now, and as I was posting on another thread about the most ridiculous things I have seen people carry on the trail, it reminded me of this trip and I had to post this up.
It was late August and we headed to Katahdin Iron Works, Gulf Hagas, just outside Brownsville, Maine. What a beautiful place. My buddy ficus (his dog), his girlfriend Mumbles, and I arrived at the trail early morning to meet our two friends, scatter brain (SB, and his dog) and Kamalai'i (K). SB and K had arrived two nights earlier but were staying in the car camping section, so we pulled up to there campsite first and we formed a caravan to the trail head for our two night excursion. We set up and set off to the trail.
The hike starts out class Maine forest. Much of what is "early succession", Fir mixed with Birch and Maple. Meanders through for about a 1/2 mile or so and you get to the first river crossing. This is where the trip gets interesting and sets the tone for the rest of the time there
My buddy SB and I were crossing behind the rest of the group and we were doing fine. In the middle of the wading I see SB struggling and have a worried look in his face. All of a sudden from the bottom of the river comes a very nice Birkenstock sandal floating to the top and getting swept away by the current. Very fast. Very very fast. No chance of catching it or anything. So there my buddy is in the middle of the river with one sandal on and one off, by the way he just bought these and was very proud to have found them on sale at a popular discount store in Maine, Mardens! (shoulda bought it, when I saw it, at MAAAHRDENS!). So we all die laughing on the shore line and this is such typical SB, things happen to him and we all laugh at his expense - he takes it well . He turned around and headed back for the car to grab his other hiking shoes, luckily we were only about 3/4 mile from the car.
Notice in that picture he is missing a sandal! LOL. So we continue on through the rim trail with perfect weather. A bit of rock scuttling to do, which was a lot of fun for the Lab, but not so much for the Beagle (poor lil guy). So SB helped him along and picked him up on the rocks. All of a sudden I hear glass breaking and knew immediately it was SB's French Press which was strapped to the outside of his back pack. HAHAH!! I kept the innards because they fit perfectly in my Snow Peak 900ml! His girlfriend, K, was getting more and more upset with him as the trip, and things, went along and stuff kept happening.
But it was perfect weather, classic Maine August weather. A tad cooler in the shade, but nice in the sun. Aside from SB and K's frustrations with each other, the rest of us were having a blast!
We were treated to amazing views as we trekked along the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail, which follows a ravine, which sometimes gets VERY steep and has a bunch of water falls along the way.
We did some swimming and hanging out in the pools and on the rocks along the pools.
And the ravine climbs in altitude as you get farther along the trail, turning in to a trail along a steep cliff with spectacular views - just don't slip!
Around this point in the trail it gets very tough, especially for small little fat beagles. So SB and K were taking there time and helping the little doggy through the rocks. We went ahead with plans to meet up at the campsite. We passed a few thru hikers as this part of the trail connects with the AT and you can continue on the AT or stay on Gulf Hagas. Saw someone with a very nice cuben fiber backpack! I was jealous.
We stopped for lunch along the rocks over looking the ravine (pic above). I couldn't think of a better kitchen table.
After lunch we continued along and it started to drizzle a little bit, but that was welcomed. We got to where the trail loops around and you could head a mile or so to the cars (wading the river), or another mile to the campsites. We were to continue along to get to the campsites but we decided to wait up for SB and K with their little doggie so they wouldn't make a mistake and head back to the car.
An hour goes by, two hours go by. We see people passing and we start asking, "Hey, have you seen a couple with a dog?" "No, we haven't." We started to get worried. The sun started going down and it was getting dark in them woods as I munched on a mango and hoped to God they would show up soon. Finally, a group we had seen earlier said, YES, we did see them with a little tiny beagle on the AT headed back towards the Rim Trail. THANK God they realized there mistake and we were reunited. Of course we made jokes about SB and feeling bad for K who has to deal with him, lol.
We arrived at the campsites and it started to down pour. I had my WL Big Daddy Tarp and quickly set that puppy up and hung out underneath as I watched the ground dwellers set there tents up in the rain. MUAHAHAH! (I gotta say, they have since switched over to hanging and I think this was a big selling point for them.) There was in fact a park bench there and I had my tarp over the bench, all 5 of us were covered by the tarp and sitting on the bench, drinking and having an amazing time. SB, who packed everything including the kitchen sink, had a ton of food on him. Talking cans of chili and all sorts of stuff. I ate some
We set up our bear bag and settled in for the night listening to the river 10 feet from my hammock rush against the rocky shore line. I slept like a baby.
Woke up in the morning and saw everyone starting to pack up. Which is usually how it goes, I am usually the last one up. I asked SB to make me some coffee as a joke, because his French Press is now gone.
We continued along the other portion of the trail which had a few streams to wade. The first stream we waded was not far from the campsite. Once again SB pulled through with his classing SB ways...crossing the stream he decided to take out a cigarette and in doing so, he dropped them in the river which were quickly swept away and went careening down a waterfall. LOLOLOL I laughed so hard and at this point his girlfriend K was very upset with him and lost it. "EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH GETS RUINED!!!" (this became our anthem for SB, in the future, and still to this day, whenever something happens to SB we always say, everything you touch! I am dying laughing as I type this because the two of them are still together and the reaction from them is hilarious.
K and SB made the executive decision for both of them to hike back to the car and run and grab cigarettes. We waited for them and meandered around the trail. Now the nearest place to buy cigarettes was very far away, this is a remote trail in remote Maine. Brownsville is the closets place and it felt like an eternity for them to return.
They did and we were just still laughing about the "everything you touch".
We stuck close to the campsite that day being the circumstances that happened to SB and K. So that day went without a hitch.
The next day we hiked on out. Left nothing, took a TON of funny funny memories. I will never forget that trip, and we will make sure that SB and K never forget it either! EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH!!!