0908 Thendara
Up Gear Thendara Then_Photos

I went back to Thendara on 08 September to try another loop.  I was prepared to spend the night, but I hiked the loop all in one day and came home the same day.  Here's the map.

Here are some photos I took on this trip.

A week later, Bob and I came back to run this loop - check it out here!!!

I got up at 2:00 and started packing.  I had made a list the day before, based on staying one night, but no cooking.  The list included enough extra packaged food to have for breakfast and a hike out if I didn't stay the night, but no stove, pans, fuel, etc.  So I packed, drank coffee, did my weekend bills, etc. and got in the car at 3:30.

It's about a 2 hour drive to Thendara, and when I parked at the trailhead, it was still pitch dark, except for the bright light from about a half moon.  I hitched up my boots, put on my headlamp, and started out.  Every once in a while I'd turn the light on to see if there were lions, tigers, or, mainly, bears, around.  I had to use the lamp to see to sign in at the register.  It was humid and the mist was rising.

ADK Trail 5-71, the East Pond-Lost Creek Trail

After hiking about a half hour it began to get light and my eyes were adjusted.  At 1.4 miles I hit the junction with trail 71 off to the right, which I had pre-planned was the direction for this trip.  I was reading the trail guide as I walked along (when it got light enough to see it).  I noticed that the wet spots seem to move around over time - the guide would say there would be a bridge (and the remains would be there) where one wasn't needed (now).  Then it would talk about fording a brook, like South Inlet Creek, but there would be a bridge, planks or logs, that are newer than the guide.  But more than that, the wet spots seem to move around with beaver activity.  The climbs and descents, though, are right where the book says they are.  I crossed the plank bridge over the South Inlet Creek and took some photos in either direction.

Then I went by the outlet of Little Simon Pond (more photos).  There is a great beaver dam there that makes me think the lake was created by the beavers.  The trees across the lake are changing colors already.  It was a peaceful sight in a pleasant spot.  Then I turned around, and climbed up the trail 150 through the hardwoods that the guide refers to.

At the junction with the East Pond side trail I took a few pictures, then turned West with the trail to follow the shore of East Pond toward Big Otter Lake.  The trail here is up above the lake, and the walking is dry with a little up and down.  A slight descent brings you near the shore of East Pond, pictured at waypoint 003.  Continuing on, I reached the junction with the Lost Creek side trail, waypoint 004.  The signs here were smashed and laying on the ground.  I hope it was a deadfall that smashed them, but there was no dead tree laying around, so it might have been vandals, or maybe an illiterate bear, frustrated at not knowing which way to go.

In any case, the trail no turns southwest and follow the outline of Big Otter Lake, although you can't see the lake.  This part of the hike was pleasant in spite of my aching right foot that throbbed with every step, in spite of using the orthotics the podiatrist is building for me.  I was really enjoying the hike here, and anticipating the junction with the Big Otter Lake East Trail (69).  I had already decided that I would settle for a day hike, the entire length of the East Pond-Lost Creek Trail 71 (6 miles + 1.4 from the trailhead) and the entire length of the Big Otter Lake East Trail (7.9 miles plus 1.3 from the junction with trail 71, for a total for the day of 16.6 miles with a 29 pound pack.  I was beginning to regret having brought the pack, but it did have my food, and I was glad for that.  I had been having a bite of energy bar and a mouthful of water every 20 minutes since starting, and was working up some hunger.

I arrived at the South Inlet of Big Otter Lake, and at first thought I had to rock hop it.  But when I turned left to take the upstream photo, I saw a big bridge, and found that the trail did follow the bank up to the bridge.  Just across the bridge, I joined the Bid Otter Lake East trail, with its interesting sign (see photo page).

ADK Trail 5-69, the Big Otter Lake East Trail

Well, now I was back on the 69 trail, but at a point I hadn't been before.  When I hiked here before, I hiked the first several miles of it, and the first 1.4 miles today were on this trail, but I wanted to traverse the length of this one also.  So I turned right and headed west to find the terminus.  First along the way was the large boulder mentioned in the guide.  It's probably 15 feet in diameter and when I saw it I had a brainstorm.  Remember how I said the pack was getting heavy?  Well, since I was going "out and back" to the trailhead, I decided to cache my pack near the rock, so I marked it with and "X" waypoint in my GPS, and took my sandwiches, camera, and GPS.  That made the hiking a lot easier.

When I got to the end of the trail I saw a sign posted that said "parking lot 0.1 mile."  I didn't know there was a parking lot here.  So I had to see it.  I found and crossed the double bridge the trial guide mentions (it's closed) and it was a little rickety looking, but sturdy.

The lake is fairly big, but looked shallow.  I took some photos between the bridges, then went across the second bridge and found the parking lot.  There I took some more photos.  There used to be a dam here for the annual log harvesting.

After looking things over and taking pictures it was time to head back, get my pack and head out.   My foot was hurting with every step now, so I was looking forward to the drive home.  Also, I was concerned that without filtering some water I might get a little dehydrated.

I got back to my pack, loaded up and got going.  The trail was very pleasant.  I cam to one spot that the guide says may be wet.  I completed lost track of the trail here, which surprise me since it was really a road.  The water was at least a foot deep, and I started bushwhacking around it.  I started thinking that if I didn't pay attention, I could get myself into trouble.  I was in water that was just below my boot tops, trying to cling to trees.  That kept me out of the deeper water, but scratched up my arms pretty well.  All of a sudden, there was the road again.  I looked behind me and it looked like the road kept going.


Anyway, I started rationing my water and trying to hike faster.  I looked forward to the intersection with the trail to Middle Branch lake, which I had taken on my previous trip up here.  After that, I looked forward to the junction with the trail up to the summit of Moose River Mountain.  After that, it was only about 1.4 miles to the trailhead, less than an hour.

I signed out at the trail register and got back to the car.  On the way home, I stopped and bought (and drank) a quart bottle of Pepsi, and ate a bag of GORP.  I had a good hike and got home the same day!!!

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