Some Bubbas Meet a New Friend

It was 20 degrees out, dark and overcast this morning . After eating a breakfast of espresso , scrambled eggs, bacon, and a pumpernickel bagel slathered with Queso’s own strawberry fig preserves, I was fueled up for a hike. The PCT related action for today was meeting my new friend Ryan, (AKA Guthook GA-ME 2007 AT thru hiker) to talk trail strategy and get in a training hike at Camden Hills State Park. We have been e-mailing each other ever since December when we both learned that we were both starting the Pacific Crest Trail this year, that we lived in the same county here in Maine, and that we lived about 15 miles apart.
My dependable snowshoeing fellow Bubbas Craig and Rick joined us at the Stevens Corner parking lot at the edge of the park at 8:30 AM for this one.

Craig, Ryan, Rick

The wind was already tunneling down the open spaces of the Multiuse Trail so we quickly strapped on Stablilicers ( me) and Kahtoola Microspikes (Ryan). We quickly ascended 1.2 miles to the Cameron Mountain Trail, where I was able to stay with the Stabilicers until we hung a left on the Cameron Mtn.Trail where it was snowshoe city for all of us ( CM Trail = 2.5 miles). We ascended steeply along a stream bed until we reached the highest point of the hike at 1,000 feet in elevation. It is super important to avoid the obvious left turn at the Sky Blue Trail, which would add another 3.1 to our destination. Just 0.1 miles further on is the preferred solution, Zeke’s Trail. It was untouched and covered with 2-3 feet of powder snow.  Crag broke trail and the 0.5 miles to the Ski Lodge Trail was all that one can hope for when snowshoeing- a 400 foot drop sliding and skidding away , with Penobscot Bay in the distance. Where else in the eastern USA can you skid your way down from 1,000 feet elevation with the shore of the Atlantic less than a mile away?
It was a quick 0.4 walk on the Ski Lodge trail to the rebuilt Ski Lodge, which we found empty. There was wood already inside, and I soon had a decent start of a fire going in the wood stove. Here is a brief video of the crew in action at the hut.
While we were in the hut, a group came in , and Craig and I recognized them as the same group that we met when we had been by here last year on mountain bikes. It was a friendly time inside, as they were no doubt pleased that we had already started heating up the shelter. They were staying the night.
After we boiled up our drinks and ate our home made energy bars and pemmican, we hightailed it back the 3.0 miles over the Ski Lodge Trail down to the cars. All in all we had covered 8.0 miles, and it sure felt like it. We were beat. At the car I realized that I had left my Leki poles outside of the shelter, but wisely decided that they were safe, in the company of the group that was camping for the night. I was in no shape to do another 6.0 miles to get them back . Rick convinced me I now and an excuse to get back tomorrow morning, perhaps riding my mountain bike up the hill and back again to rescue them ?

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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3 Responses to Some Bubbas Meet a New Friend

  1. Craig "Bubba" says:

    Great time, especially liked the ascent in all the powder where I broke trail, awesome! Feeling quite whipped right now and suspect I shall sleep like a baby tonight!

  2. Tom — sounds like a great trip – thanks for sharing! Hope you retrieve your leki poles ok. Love the videos – always nice to have a “visual” like that!
    sheri

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