The Andover General Store opens at some ungodly hour (around 5:00 am, I think) so after packing up, I headed over there for breakfast. On the walk to the store, everything was wet from the intermittent overnight showers and, from the look of the skies, it wasn’t going to be much better today. The lady at the store’s fast food counter served me a ham and cheese omelet with hash browns and a side of pancakes, and it was just what the doctor ordered to get me started this morning.
Back at the Pine Ellis Hostel, I was hanging out waiting for the 7:00 am shuttle when I discovered that I didn’t have my hat. Thinking back to the last time that I saw it, I believed I had possibly left it at the Little Red Hen following that awful buffet last night. I asked the shuttle driver if she wouldn’t mind stopping at the Little Red Hen on the way taking us to the trailhead and she said it would not be a problem. There were four other hikers in the van when the driver pulled up to the restaurant, I jumped out, and ran inside to see if anyone had saved my hat. When I opened the door, my hat was lying on a shelf just inside so I grabbed it and returned to the van. As I began climbing into the van, the other guys started moaning because they thought I was going inside the restaurant for breakfast biscuits! When I explained to them how many miles that hat had been with me, they understood.
From the trailhead at East B Hill Road, the trail climbs 1,400-feet to the top of Wyman Mountain, but it was not a bad climb because it was stretched out for 4.7-miles. Everything was wet, but the diffused light coming through the overcast skies made it much easier to take nice pictures of the trail. On the way up, I passed Surplus Pond and watched the forest become more coniferous as my altitude increased.
When I reached the summit of Wyman Mountain, there was enough of an opening to see the weather around me, and it didn’t look good. In fact, the rain closed in and, faced with the increasing difficulty of getting my phone to unlock, I put my camera away and didn’t take another picture for four and a half hours. During that time, I descended 1,900 feet to Sawyer Notch and then, in the space of three miles, climbed 1,400-feet up Moody Mountain and came back down 1,000-feet towards South Arm Road. But if I didn’t get pictures of it, maybe it didn’t really happen?
I had a great time rock hopping across the Black Brook on wet boulders, but I managed to get to the opposite bank without incident. Since this was the first time that I had cracked the 10-miles a day barrier in many days, I was feeling good about it except for being soaked from the rain. I was about 15-minutes early for my shuttle arrival, but soon Frank arrived and took me back to Andover, ME. Frank’s mother owns the hostel and he has been helping her and running a nearby campground for 14 years. He has a lot of great stories and kept me laughing all the way back to the town.
After cleaning and drying my clothes (again), I collected my resupply package from the hostel mail stack and went to the common area living room to sort, open, and repackage the contents of the box. The “specialty” at the Little Red Hen this evening is Prime Rib, but following my Mexican experience yesterday, I’m afraid the risk it. Especially at an increased price! So, when I completed my food resupply chores, I headed over to the Andover General Store, again, where I enjoyed a delicious spaghetti and meatballs entrée with a side salad and French fries. I also picked up some additional snacks and a pint of Ben & Jerrys for later.
There is a full house at the hostel this evening and I have a new set of roommates. This time my roomies are young and rowdy, and right now they are outside having a really good time. Not a problem here, though. I have a top bunk, I’ve just polished of a pint of Cherry Garcia, and I will not have any difficulty falling asleep.
Date: August 18, 2017
Starting Location: East B Hill Road
Ending Location: South Arm Road
AT Miles Today: 10.1
AT Miles To Date: 1,943.0