RobinHood and Little John have been thick as thieves since they met crossing a daycare sandbox and neither would give way. They sat there happily throwing sand in each other’s faces and have been mixed up in misadventures together ever since. Little John even skied with us into Baxter State Park this February, climbing up to Chimney Pond on the back side of Katahdin in order to enjoy a three mile sled ride down. So it seemed fitting that he should join us for a stretch in the backcountry.
Little John met us in Rangeley on a rainy day. We headed north up the trail as the rain stopped and the kids enjoyed exploring the caves around Piazza Rock. The respite from the rain was short-lived so we pitched a tarp to enjoy a dry lunch in the trees before heading up the Saddleback ridge. We were sad to miss the iconic view from this ridge line as we trudged through the clouds. Only occasionally did the clouds spit real rain at us, but we were still thankfully to dip back below the trees for a break from the chilly wet wind.
We spent the night camped at the Poplar Ridge leanto and enjoyed reading the pages of trivia left by the Maine Appalachian Trail Club legend Dave Fields. Having held many positions with the MATC and the ATC, Dave has been maintaining this section of trail since the mid 1950s when he was sixteen years old. He’s been collecting the shelter registers since that time and has created an entertaining set of answers to many of the questions posed by hikers thoughout the years.
Little John is getting a trial by fire, joining us for some of Maine’s steep mountains. He’s performing admirably both in his trekking ability and his willingness to endure the barrage of stories and jokes that RobinHood and Cartwheel subject him to as the compete to tell every anecdote they’ve accumulated over four months of hiking.