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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at MaineOutdoors@aol.com.

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Maineiac Outdoors with Carey Kish
Posted: April 23, 2015

Six-Moon Journey: Nightlife in a firetower

Carey Kish is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, a distance of 2,200 miles over a period of 5-6 months. Entries from Carey’s trail journal are presented here (read them all). You can also follow his journey on his Facebook page.

April 18, 2015: Hot Springs to Rich Mountain firetower, 8.3 miles, 12 noon to 4pm.

Not easy leaving a good trail town, and Hot Springs is one of the best. Comfy room last night in the Creekside Cabins or whatever it’s called. Still didn’t sleep all that well. Satellite TV went in and out so that was a pain. At least the WiFi was reliable.

Bluff Mountain Outfitters shipped a box of extras ahead for me to Damascus via UPS. Got coffee there and then visited the library one last time to get some more writing done. Ordered a couple of hot dogs to go at Hillbilly Market, but when I got them back to the room I opened the container and found they were chili dogs. Should I chance them on my system or not? I ate them and hoped for the best.

Crossing the French Broad River on the way out of Hot Springs. Carey Kish photo.

Crossing the French Broad River on the way out of Hot Springs. Carey Kish photo.

Checked out and walked out of downtown and across the bridge over the French Broad River. Love you Hot Springs, gonna miss you. Just a compact, comfy place for a hiker to spend quality time.

Hiked along the river for awhile before the trail veered away and steeply up via switchbacks to Lovers Leap, a rock outcrop high above that offered fine views of Hot Springs, the river, and the surrounding countryside and mountaintops.

Looking down on Hot Springs from Lovers Leap. Carey Kish photo.

Looking down on Hot Springs from Lovers Leap. Carey Kish photo.

Hot sun nagged me for the first hour, then the clouds muted the sun somewhat. Humid sweaty going, but good walking nonetheless. Filled my water bladder at a piped spring and made the final climb to the top of Rich Mtn and its firetower. Thought this would be a nice place to spend the night, and I think it will be.

The cab has no windows, but it about 16×16. Hopefully that’s enough room to allow me to stay dry should it storm tonight, which it looks it might do. No matter, I’m here and I’m staying put. Next shelter is 3 miles north, but I just thought this spot would be cool.

Home for the night, Rich Mtn Firetower. Carey Kish photo.

Home for the night, Rich Mtn Firetower. Carey Kish photo.

Had a couple of wild and funny women section hikers visit earlier. They’re out for a week. We had a few good laughs. Another thru hiker just came up but decided to move on.

So it’s just me and my 360-degree views. Pretty cool. I’ll take it. Forecast for tomorrow is for a crappy rainy day. We’ll see, and see how far I want to go. There’s a shelter 11 miles out, and a hostel 8 miles out. Both good options if it’s really bad.

My firetower view. Carey Kish photo.

My firetower view. Carey Kish photo.

Subtle signs of spring on the AT. Carey Kish photo.

Subtle signs of spring on the AT. Carey Kish photo.

 

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