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Trip 30 Mount Cabot 4170’

The Bulge 3950’ and The Horn 3905’

11.2 miles 2250’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

OK, only 4 more mountains and I have my 48 and I’m not going to let a little thing like knee surgery slow me down. It’s a long way from the heart. So, probably a little too soon after surgery we started out to do Mount Cabot. It was August and it was hot! I don’t know how hot, I don’t want to know. In August there's still lots of mosquitos and leftover blackflies to make matters worse. We had tried to do Cabot before, going through Jefferson and Lancaster to get to the Mount Cabot Trail only to find it was closed because a part of the trail across private land was in dispute. So this time we took Rte. 16N up into Berlin where we got on Rte. 110W towards West Milan. 5or 6 miles out we turn onto York Pond Rd. and follow it about 4 miles, past York Pond to the trailhead. A short hike along York Pond Trail brings us to Bunnell Notch Trail and we begin the ascent. As we hike through field and forest towards Bunnell Notch the leg is pretty sore all over, not just the knee, because I am compensating for the knee by walking awkwardly, causing my hip and thigh to ache. Of course this wasn’t that bad, I could still walk. The heat and flies were really getting to Jude, but soon we rose up and reached the Kilkenny Ridge Trail where we turn north and head to the summit of Cabot. I was sort of surprised to find a “real” cabin just below the summit. I guess I had seen it marked on the map, but didn’t realize it would be an enclosed structure, not like the huts along the AT, but big enough for 4 or 5 people, and a stove, too as I recall. We didn’t hang out long as we weren’t at the summit, which was about 5 minutes away. The view from the cabin, though limited, is better than the view from the treed summit. There was egg shaped moose droppings all over, and I mean all over. Luckily the egg shaped ones are winter droppings and were long dried out. I’d have to say that the moose must congregate around that summit in the winter. OK although my leg was aching and Jude was beat, I persuaded her to follow the Kilkenny Ridge Trail north across The Bulge and then The Horn, as they were on the 100 highest list, and going this way would only add a mile to the trip back. Plus, I thought, we would hike past Unknown Pond, giving us some different scenery on the way back. So off we go on the descent from Cabot, but we soon found ourselves climbing again, and now without any cover, so the August sun is beating down on us. First up to The Bulge which has very nice 360 degree views, but it was too hot out in the open to stay long, so off we went, and after a short descent, we were soon climbing again, this time up to The Horn. The view is even better from The Horn, but at this point Jude has completely had it and we head down quickly to get back into the trees and out of the punishing sun. It is a quick descent to Unknown Pond from The Horn. I forget exactly where, but somewhere out there I slipped and went down on the bad knee, compressing it as far as it would go, which was way past where I could get it even in therapy. Well, both Jude and I thought that was it, that I’d have to crawl out, but when I managed to get back up I was able to go on. Now it really hurt, and I was thinking,”Oh boy, I’ve done it now.” Turning southeast at Unkown Pond onto the Unknown Pond Trail we eventually got back to the car, where we both basically collapsed. I had to rest my leg for a while before driving back to our campsite at Moosebrook SP. At this point I should have gotten as much ice as I could and packed my knee in it, but of course I didn’t, and it swelled up worse than after the surgery. Two more weeks of ice packs, elevation and exercises and I was ready to try again.
K(45) J(36) E(25)
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Mount Cabot 1/5/08