Somehow, I lost a day. Either this degreed accountant and former CPA made an arithmetic error, or I was abducted by aliens who wiped out my memory of the abduction and returned me 24-hours later (I’m leaning towards the latter). In any event, I discovered while inventorying my food last night that I will not summit Mount Katahdin until September 11th. I don’t know how this happened. I took a planned zero/nero in Monson and used my contingency day when it took me two days hike across the Barren Mountain Range instead of the one day that I had planned. Yet I’m off by one day on the fourteen-day plan to which I had committed. My wife and my sister have already bought their plane tickets to Bangor, ME, so I sent my wife a text message letting her know that they should plan an outing of their own for September 10th.
Of more immediate concern to me is that I’m one day short of having enough food to finish, so today I decided to hike to a fishing camp called White House Landing to get a couple of meals. It was raining when I woke up this morning, but my weather app indicated that it would start to clear up around 10:00 am. Since White House Landing is only six miles away, I stayed in my tent until the rain stopped. When I finally started hiking, I passed a sign with instructions to register at the privy. The privy was satirically named Fort Relief and it was another two-holer, but I declined to touch the registration journal that was laying between the two seats.
From the campsite, the trail leads all the way around the western end of Jo-Mary Lake before again heading in a northerly direction. While going around the lake, there are several nice beaches with views. About 1.5-miles north of the lake is the Potaywadjo Spring Lean-to where I stopped briefly to get water from a lovely ten-foot diameter artesian spring. This was the first non-pond drinking water that I’ve had in many days and it tasted delicious.
Continuing through the woods, I crossed another logging road before arriving at Twitchell Brook. You would think that after hiking over 2,100-miles that I would have seen every possible bridge design used on the trail, but the bridge crossing Twitchell Brook was unique. From here, the trail continues north until it arrives at the shoreline of Pemadumcook Lake.
There are several opportunities to see Mount Katahdin while hiking through the 100-Mile Wilderness but, because of the rainy weather, I had yet to see my final destination. On the shore of Pemadumcook Lake, there was supposed to be a spectacular view of the mountain, but the clouds hadn’t quite cleared out enough for me to see anything more than the mountain base. The skies were rapidly clearing and had I been able to wait another hour, I’m sure the view would have been grand. Even without an unobstructed view of Mount Katahdin, the lake looked beautiful.
As the trail leads around the western shore of Pemadumcook Lake, it crosses another logging road before arriving at the blue-blazed Mahar Tote Trail. When I called this morning to confirm space available at the White House Landing, the man I spoke to told me to take the Mahar Tote Trail and follow the signs to a dock where I was to call him back to arrange a pick-up. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I soon arrived at the dock (there was also a box located there containing a two-way radio to use in the case of no cell service) and called the lodge. Several minutes later, a motorboat driven by Bill arrived at the dock and soon I was on my way across the lake to the White House Landing.
The White House Landing is a traditional Maine camp that has been around for nearly a hundred years. Bill and Linda Ware have owned the place for nearly twenty years and welcome hikers in the summer and snowmobilers in the winter. The property is completely off the grid with power coming from generator charged batteries and water from propane heated lake water. After getting my orientation tour, I found a bunk in the 24-man bunkhouse, took a shower, changed into dry clothes, and hung my wet clothes on the clothesline to dry.
There were only two other people staying here tonight (a SOBO thru-hiker and a section hiker) and at 5:00 pm we made our way to the dining room for dinner. Linda was cooking, and I ordered a half pound burger that had been “dragged thru the garden” (the works). Unbelievably, they also had a stock of Budweiser, so I enjoyed my first beer in nearly a week (actually, I enjoyed two of them). The burger was heavenly and just what I needed. So, here I am in the “100-Mile Wilderness” at the beautiful and historic White House Landing, sitting in a warm building, wearing dry clothes, eating a fantastic burger, drinking a cold beer (even if it was a Bud), while enjoying the magnificent view across Pemadumcook Lake in northern Maine. It couldn’t get any better than this (unless my wife walked in from the other room).
Date: September 7, 2017
Starting Location: Antlers Campsite
Ending Location: White House Landing
AT Miles Today: 6.1
AT Miles To Date: 2,144.1