Lunar Eclipse:Night hike to a view

09-27-2015

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Mama K^0927151143-000927151831-010927151853-000927152043-00

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My mom took this picture^ We were both out watching the eclipse that night ^_^

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Mr. Bill’s knife and Mama K

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I said goodbye to Flask and walked off to complete the last bit of trail. As soon as we parted I saw a moose! I spent the day walking at a good pace. In the evening I stopped at a campsite on a lake so I could watch the eclipse.

After awhile the campsite got overrun with other hikers. It was a small site, and I wasn’t feeling social, so I packed my gear and left right after sunset. I watched the big yellow moon rise over the lake as the eclipse started. I got to the base of Nesuntabunt Mountain and found an empty shelter. I could see the eclipse through the thick pine forest throughout the night. Gradually the light was dimming and the moon was glowing red.

The climb up the mountain was difficult to follow in the dark. It went up through large cascades of boulders and I kept losing track of the white blazes. Every so often I would stop, feeling lost, and frantically look around for trail markers. The forest grew darker and darker as the night went on and my headlamp kept going out because it was broken. I kept seeing the forest flash in and out of existence. Every so often a white blaze would flash by.

I found my headlamp in a hiker box. The battery cover was broken and I had tied it together with a headband for the past few months. My hiker trash headlamp made the journey up the mountain a terrifying experience. When the light went out, I would stop and calmly look at the moon. After a few moments of darkness I retied the headband and continued my trek.

When I got to the top of the mountain I found two tents set up in the middle of trail. I was profoundly annoyed because I wanted to keep walking, but the signage was right between the tents. I picked a direction and apologized for disturbing the hikers then continued onward. I didn’t get far when I realized that I had chosen the incorrect direction.

The trail steeply fell away, and I found myself standing at the edge of a rocky cliff. I felt fear on trail a number of times, but this was true terror.  I sat down and looked out to Katahdin and above me was the full-lunar eclipse, a giant blood red moon. I searched nearby the viewpoint for a flat spot to camp because I didn’t know where the trail continued. I found a nice stealth site…OFF-TRAIL o.o and pitched my tent for the night.

In the morning I woke to watch the sunrise in the distance. I sat at the viewpoint and ate my oatmeal. I was thinking about Mr. Bill, so I took a picture of his knife with the mountain in the distance. This was the most breathtaking night I experienced on trail, certainly a grand finale.

Ha ha ha- A little side note: I looked up the meaning of Nesuntabunt Mountain…”Three humps”—the mountain has three summits and is surrounded by granite cliffs.

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