AT 2022 – Day 22: 12.4 miles (252.2 miles total)

I love sleeping with the sound of a river in the backgound…those are the best sleeps.

I wake before the others, and even with my long morning writing routine, am packed and ready to go before Gormet and Matt (Late Start??) stir.

I fill up on water because the water report is dim for the day, but people’s definitions of poor water is really skewed out here…or mine is after relying on desert sources for so long. I find tons of water, but I have so much on my back that I dont need it. Doh!

The climb is sweaty…they all are…and up top I turn on the phone and check weather. Ohhhh nooo. Heavy storms coming in tonight and tomorrow….high winds, heavy rains, lightening. I look at my options again. I could have hiked tomorrow and gone into the next resupply stop, Andover, or I could go in today. Looking at my options again, I decided to go into town today and stay the night at The Cabin, a well loved and long running hostel. When Gormet and Late Start come hiking up I share my intel, and they decide to go into town too. Who needs to hike in heavy rain and winds??…that can be down right treacherous with this hiking that is really class 3 scrambling.

I call the hostel and there is only room for two. You see the nobo bubble is approaching. The number of nobo hikers we pass has been increasing with every day, and the word on the street is things are going to get busy, especially at the hostels and hotels when the bulk of the nobo hikers hit the area.

Late Start makes other arrangements and we carry on. We now have 10 miles to hike to get our ride. Fortunately we are at the top of the biggest climb of the day…but these little climbs and descents can really do a number on your legs too. Maine is by far the hardest hiking I have ever done in my life, soon to be surpassed by New Hampshire hiking (I don’t remember specifics about the terrain from the 2002 hike, but these miles will be seared into my brain…probably cause I’m 20 years older now).

We book it, as much as we can. Breaks are short and the growing cloud cover reminds us of our mission.

We run into more sobos, Flower, Chaos, and Chef. They are fast.

From the top of Old Blue Mountain we call The Cabin again to arrange our shuttle (oh the things phones can do!) and go down about as steep a trail as we’ve encountered yet. Geez!

Sometimes there are steps when the rocks are too steep to walk.

At the road with minutes to spare we moan and groan about the state of our bodies. Have I told you Maine hiking is hard?

Don, Honey’s son (Honey and Bear own The Cabin…Bear passed away a while ago and Honey runs it now with help…she is 90 years old!!!!!) picks us up and we make a quick resupply run before getting to the hostel.

We have just enough time for showers before dinner…you can add on dinner and breakfast to your bill here…tonight is lasagana!! How did I get so lucky?????

The spread is fabulous and the hostel is packed. Hikers are busting out of every corner, but there is enough food for all, even for second helpings of the lasagna and garlic bread…and dessert of course! Brownies and Moose Tracks ice cream…how appropriate 🤗

I mention to Honey that the hiker Rambling Rose who I met in the 100 miles wilderness told me I couldn’t miss her hostel, and she said that he had called and offered to pay for my stay should I show up! Wowowowow, thanks Rambling Rose! What a treat, such thoughtful trail magic. I love this community ❤️.

Skywalker, a nobo hiker, puts Attack of the Clones on the TV after dinner. This looks familiar and I ask what year it came out. 2002. I went to see this movie in a theater somewhere on the trail 20 years ago. What are the chances? The magic of the trail finds me everywhere.

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