AT 2022 – Day 21: 16.4 (239.8 miles total)

Call me Sheet Rock.

I was introducing myself to Steve, the caretaker at the Hiker Hut outside Rangely this morning, and instead of She-ra, he heard Sheet Rock. It was so funny, and I kept laughing about it during the day that it might have to be my trail name alternate for the rest of my AT hike. Sheet Rock!! 🤣🤣🤣

The Hiker Hut made resupply super easy this morning. The shelter we camped at was less than two miles from the next highway, and a 0.3 mile walk on the road. The hostel is off-grid, so no wifi or charging electronics is available, but that makes it all the more serene, and Steve will make hikers and egg and cheese sandwich and stocks a good amount of resupply food, so we didn’t have to go into town. Thanks Steve! That saves us hikers both time and money. Granted these small resupplies at hostels are usually more expensive than a grocery market, but we are paying for the convenience, and that works for me. What we are missing is the extra meal or two we would have in town, but I don’t need it yet, the hiker hunger hasn’t reared its ugly head yet.

Our crew that left the Roadhouse together is down to Gormet, Matt (Goldfish?), and myself. We have similar paces which helps, and if we don’t hike together, we see each other frequently at breaks.

I had no set agenda for the day, but I was determined to mosey and take my time.

The walking was mellow, until it wasn’t, but most of it was easy breezy walking. At a water break we were looking ahead and saw Long Lake had a sandy beach and looked good for swimming. Fabulous! It was supposed to be 90 degrees today, but the sweat wasn’t dripping any more than usual, so I’m not sure it actually was. But I do have a favorite new audio clip…I was listening to an episode of Backpacker Radio (check out this segment they recorded with me a few years ago) and they kept opening cans of beer. The “sssss” of the can opening sent me into fits of day dreaming. I tried to manifest a cooler full of cold sodas. Where are the coolers??? The AT northbound had a cooler at every road crossing! Here I was almost 250 miles in and I had encountered one cooler. Come on Maine peeps, it’s 90 degrees out!

I arrived to Long Lake just after Gormet and Matt, stripped down to my underwater and walked in. Warmish! But lovely. It was super shallow but had a sandy bottom so I just sat down in it. The others joined in and we laughed as the waves tossed us around. Later back on the trail we all realized the waves had filled our drawers with sand. Ahhhh, that wouldn’t work well with any chaffing. Maybe Matt’s trail name should be Sandy Pants?

Then I came down out of the woods onto a highway.. what the? It hadn’t been on my radar, and when I saw a scenic pull out close by with people, I made a beeline over, intent on yogi’ing a cold soda. I walked up to the first group of people a said, “I’ll trade you a hiking story for a cold drink!” The woman said, “Of course,” and proceeded to fish two bottles of cold water out of her cooler. Ok, not bad. I took the water with many thanks, but they didn’t seem interested in the story. I turn to see Goldfish (Sandy Pants?) walking up and I gave him one of the water bottles. The cold water was so delicious, but I still had visions of the “sssss” from a cold can of rootbeer, but no matter, I was satiated for now. I chatted with a girl that looks hikerish. Waypoint had hiked a few months on the AT this spring and was now meeting up with some trail friends who had kept going while she had to get off. Waypoint gave us some sugar cookies, wow, thanks!!!

I also had a few raspberries today!

The hike down to the next river was steep…our intended camping spot for the night, and nobo after nobo passed me on the climb. I’m glad we are done climbing for the day…however we will have a humdinger of an up in the morning when we climb Bevis Mountain….but that’s a climb for another day.

I splashed off in the cold river and we made camp, eating dinner together like a little trail family.

One more story: I was somewhere in the day when a nobo approached. I usually like to say hello and ask how the hike is going…when this gentleman walked away I said, “Enjoy the rest of your hike.” He said, “oh, I haven’t been enjoying it for months!”

I’m glad I can say I’m enjoying it.

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