Week 23 – Mt. Washington to Baxter State Park, Maine

Day 155 – Mt. Washington

Sunday was a big day, as we took on probably the toughest hike we’ve ever done, climbing Mount Washington in New Hampshire. We had to pack up the van drive about ten miles to the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead.  We were greeted in the parking lot with a positive sign, another Westy (complete with “WESTY” license plates just like our old ones)!

The climb was tough and steep, with an elevation gain of 3,800 feet over about five miles (although most of that was over the last three miles of the trail). There were large sections of steep, exposed rock and tons of smaller rocks in the final mile or so. But there was also a beautiful stream along the first half of the hike, with a couple of nice waterfalls, and then incredible views for the second half. Finally, we reached the summit and enjoyed a bowl of hot soup for lunch, thanks to the large visitor center and restaurant built to serve all the people who drive or ride the cog railway to the top, as well as day hikers like us and Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.

We were lucky to be able to make the hike a loop by taking the Jewell trail back down a different ridge to our van. It was almost as tough as the climb up, but didn’t have as many exposed rock sections.

After the hike we were unbelievably exhausted, so headed back to the campsite for dinner and early bedtime.

Day 156 – Mt. Washington to Farmington

After a quick breakfast in the campground, we packed up the van early and left camp to find cell service for so Michael could work and do his weekly calls.  We drove into Maine and stopped at a little park in Wilton, then continued on into Farmington for lunch and a few shopping stops before checking into hotel. We were early so no one was even at the front desk yet, so Michael worked while Tracey scrubbed 27 states worth of bugs off of the van!

Day 157 – Farmington to Waterville

A morning of work at the hotel, then back on the road to move a little further into Maine (and into a larger town). We ate lunch in a park, then had time for hair cuts for both of us before checking in to Fireside Inn for an afternoon of work and rest.

Day 158 – Waterville

Wednesday was a work day from the hotel, then we took an afternoon walk for a few miles to explore downtown Waterville, where we also ate dinner at the Proper Pig.

Day 159 – Waterville to Monson

Worked from the hotel all morning, then a couple of hours drive to Balsam Woods Campground in central Maine. The campground was nice and quiet, so we had a relaxing evening after finishing up work for the day.

Day 160 – Monson

Friday was a full work day from the campground.

Day 161 – Monson to Millinocket

Saturday started off with a lazy morning, then packed up the van to head to our next destination, the Big Moose Cabins and Campground just outside the entrance to Maine’s largest wilderness area, Baxter State Park.

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