Tomorrow I’m going to be brave (or stupid) and hike without bug spray. The rash has spread. I think it’s the bug juice because it’s on my neck, hands, and legs…only where I put the lotion or spray (I’ve been using two different kinds which makes it even more confusing to figure out the offending poison). If it was not topical, wouldn’t I have it on my torso and back? Thank goodness I haven’t been spraying my face…
Eight easy miles today felt like a day off. I must be getting stronger, but also am ready to do more miles. But not yet. I have a visitor coming tomorrow…more on that when she gets here!
The morning got started earlier than usual…I wanted to check on Bilbo. He had been so destroyed when we got to camp yesterday that he passed out for the rest of the evening. But, he was up and in much better spirits, ready to give the AT another try. It’s hard to quit a trail when you have to hike to get out…so he’s hiking and hoping to keep going. We got your back Bilbo!
We hiked together through some flat cruisy trail until Jo Mary Road. Bilbo continued on and I sat under my bug dome to wait for Ron. Ron! So this is a fun story: Ron started section hiking the Oregon Desert Trail last year and we’ve exchanged a number of emails. In this spring’s emails I happened to mention that I’d be hiking a section of the AT this summer, and he said if I was up in Maine that he’d be happy to help….well as it turns out… I jumped at his offer, and when I learned he lived near the 100 mile wilderness, we planned to have him meet me not once, but twice in this 100 miles to make the food carries more manageable. With my 10-mile a day average, that would make my first few weeks infinitely easier. And Ron has hiked everything. He is a triple crowner and then some, up to something like 17,000 miles (I may hit 13,000 on this trip?). He reassured me that it was time for him to start giving back after I said meeting me twice was too much (and I’ll be staying with him when I get to Monson)…having received so much trail magic over the years. Ok, thank you Ron!
We had planned for noon, but I was way early, and he was too. Perfect! We chatted for a bit, he’s been the trail maintainer for the next section of trail that I’ll hike, and knows the area really well. We treat some other hikers that show up to some extra goodies Ron brought, and I enjoyed some homemade bread with tuna salad that he brought me for lunch. Trail angel Ron everybody!
I’ll be meeting him in a few days, so my carry isn’t large…I asked for fruit and veg again….why not? And he even made some hummus for my cucumber and red paper lunch bagels. I’m definitely living large.
There is a storm on the way, so I hike out and try to get to the next shelter before the heavy rain, hail and whatever else comes with big Maine storms.
And wow. Cooper Brook Shelter is a shangri-la of goodness. A waterfall and swimming hole sit right in front of the shelter, and I swim away the heat, and hope to cool down some of that rash. I have a small chunk of soap, so I’ve been hauling water to wash off my poisoned appendages on dry ground and before I go swimming. The rash is even rashier if that is possible, but not too bothersome…so I’ll continue to ignore it, and will hike tomorrow without any bug stuff on…I’m almost sure that is the culprit.
I’m at the shelter so early! I read and chat with a few other sobos that arrive, Nick and Hero…and really enjoy meeting Thank You Laura who is days away from finishing her nobo hike. Good peeps! I wanted to hike around good peeps and it’s happening 😁.
I’m in the shelter tonight for the first time, and the storm only dropped some rain before the sun came back out.
Sleep is sweet.