Saturday, October 6, 2018
Elevation: 4485′ gain, 4392′ descent
Start/End: Marston trailhead
Last night, I slept at Katahdin Stream campground.
My walk-in site (#3) has a picnic table, fire ring, and a 4-person lean-to, which as it turns out, does not fit my 2-person REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent. Since it was forecast to be clear and get down to the mid 30s last night, I decided to set up my tent in front of the shelter. I had dinner and a fire, but headed into my tent by 8pm because I was too cold.
I found myself falling asleep while reading at 8:30pm, so I went to bed. I slept well and got up at 5:30am, though I started getting cold around 4am or so. I was back at my car by 5:45am, got to the trailhead by 6:15am, and started hiking right at sunrise at 6:30am. Unsurprisingly, I was the only car in the parking lot.
I headed up the Marston Trail for 1.3 miles, until the Coe trail split off to the right. I followed the Coe trail up to the peak of Coe Mountain (#90). The views coming up the rocky slide of Coe trail were spectacular.
From the peak of Coe, I headed onward to the turn-off for the 0.3mi spur trail to South Brother (#91). South Brother had beautiful views of Katahdin and Hamlin and Baxter peaks, and the basin.
From there, I went back down the spur trail and then continued on Coe Trail until it intersected with Marston trail once again. I followed Marston trail to the right, to summit North Brother (#66/#92).
Once I was at the peak, I relaxed in the warm sun and took in the beautiful views. I hadn’t seen anyone at all this morning until just as I was finishing my break. A young guy working on the New England 67 showed up and headed towards Fort. I gave him a 10 minute head start and then followed. The herdpath was easy to follow, for a herdpath. There were some dense areas with very tightly woven evergreens, but as a whole, it was an easy summit. I’d say it was maybe 0.5mi between North Brother and Fort (#93).
Then I headed back up to North Brother and then back down to the Coe-Marston intersection. On the way down, I passed two people; one of them turned out to be one of the two guys I chatted with when I was climbing Redington. He finishes his 67 tomorrow on either Baxter or Hamlin peak. Near the intersection, a group of 3 men from New Brunswick, Canada passed me, and one of them asked to do this cute little video interview. From there, I descended along Marston trail for 3.7 miles to return to the parking lot.
My moving time was just under 7 hours, at 35 minutes per mile. Between an hour break on the top of North Brother, refilling my water bottle twice, and chatting with a handful of hikers, I ended up spending an hour and 45 minutes of my 8 hour, 40 minute hike time not moving.
I got back to my car around 3:15pm, switched out of my boots and drove back to the campground. I stopped by the ranger station to buy two more bundles of firewood and tell them that a young guy I spoke with on the trail said he didn’t have a campground reservation and was planning to just camp at the trailhead (which is very not-allowed). They also let me know that I can’t have a tent at lean-to sites.
As it turns out, I’d been planning to pull down my tent tonight anyway, as it’s supposed to be 10 degrees warmer tonight and possibly rain. So when I got back to my site, I took the tent down and rigged up my laundry line and tent fly across the shelter’s front just inside. After that, I had dinner, hot cocoa, dessert, and a nice roaring fire.
Around 7pm, the sky started intermittently dripping; but it wasn’t enough to send me inside my cozy lair. Around 8pm, I took the last of my food and all extraneous items back to my car. As I headed back to my site, the sky opened for a quick 15 second downpour. From then on, it would mist rain for a few minutes, followed by a quick 15 second rain. At that point, I headed into my cozy shelter to blog and read until I get sleepy. I’ll be up early tomorrow (5am) to pack up, get to my car, and drive the hour to the Roaring Brook parking area; I’m hoping to be hiking by 6:30am.