The trail started out pretty mellow -- I'd been waiting for Maine to lighten up! We had a gradual, steady climb up to Horn's Pond Lean-To where we stopped for a food break. We were passed by the Professor, Peaches, Wilson, and Mother Teresa, who were doing a slack pack. We waved them along and then continued up South Horn and then the Bigelow Mountains. Overall, it was a pretty nice, easy day. We saw lots of day and weekend hikers out for the holiday weekend. Nice, panoramic views from the tops, nice conversations with the section hikers.
Then we started the descent.
2000 feet in 2 miles. Long, steep, giant steps. Ridiculous tree roots. Loose rocks. I had to turn around and go down backwards in many places. Then, I had a gigantic step down (done backwards) when I slipped and ended up kneeing myself in the chin (told you it was a gigantic step!) I bit my tongue, saw stars, and thought I was going to pass out. That was it! I called out to Subaru that I needed to stop. We had originally planned on stopping at Safford Notch Campsite for a rest, but I wasn't going to make it there. I needed to stop and I needed to take off my boots, and I needed to eat. I once again hated Maine. Maine had tricked me and I fell for the bait and switch. Just when I let my guard down, Maine tried to kill me once again.
After our little break, we debated stopping at the campsite, or pushing on to the next shelter. It would entail another descent (that wasn't quite as steep or nearly as long) and would put us there around 7pm. I wanted to go for it.
We crossed over Little Bigelow Mountain (more nice views) and down the descent (much easier) to get to Little Bigelow Lean-To. Fifteen mile day! Had just enough time to make dinner and eat before it got dark. Got some water in the dark and slept l