Day 82

I awake at 6 and walk upstairs to ask Honey for a ride into town to the Little Red Hen to pick up my Crocs. She agreed and off we went in her mini van into Andover. 15 minutes later I had my precious Crocs and we were off again back to the Cabin for breakfast at 7. I ate quickly and paid my tab since Tigger, Chuck, and Taramonkey were waiting on me. We were on the road by 7:45. On the way I realized I had forgotten my toothbrush and mouthguard so I called Honey and she generously agreed to mail it to the 4 days ahead to the next hostel. Tigger, Taramonkey, and I were hiking north to Rangeley by 9am.

We walked together for a while passed several ponds and over boggy forest land before we took a break for lunch. Taramonkey had hiked the Camino De Santiago with a hiking group last year. After lunch I hiked ahead since I was significantly faster. The terrain was also relatively flat compared to what I had been hiking over in the last 3 weeks. The day went quickly with nothing too exciting to report.

Just before the end of the hike I walked into a view point where I could see the top of Saddleback Mountain. It looked big and rocky. Lucy would be joining be for that section and I hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult. It looked like it would be kind of difficult. When I reached the trailhead parking lot I saw Chuck Norris’s truck. Chuck popped out and greeted me warmly. He had been shuttling hikers into town all day and keeping track of hikers that knew me. At least 6 out of about 15. Chuck drove me to the Hiker Hut, the next hostel I would be staying at which was .3 from the trail. It was going to rain tonight, so I had decided that I would spend another night inside. The Hiker Hut is completely off the grid. Steve, the owner uses solar powered lanterns to light the cabins and bunk room at night. There’s an outdoor kitchen and shower down by the creek using a propane water heater.

I was greeted by Steve and Tomb Raider who gave me a bowl of chips and salsa upon arrival. I was surprised and happy to see Shepard there. He had taken a zero there for a work for stay. A familiar hiker named Hot Knife was there along with new folks I hadn’t met named Tequila, Snap, Forest, and Biggie. Doc was there too. Tequila had just received a travel size Settlers of Catan Game so we all sat down to play after dinner. It was exactly the kind of fun I was hoping for. At sunset, everyone settled into their respective quarters just before the rain came down. I ended up talking to Biggie for a while before bed. Biggie is from Israel and in his mid 20s. He was hiking southbound without an end point in mind. He said he would go as far as his legs could take him. A lot of time has passed since our conversation so I can’t remember a lot about it but I do remember talking to him about his service in the army which every young person must do in Israel. He said it wasn’t a dangerous job which I was surprised to hear.

After the chat I was thoroughly exhausted in went inside the bunkhouse to fall into my bunk. I drifted off the sleep to the sound of pouring rain on the tin roof.

Miles: 1958.4 – 1971.6 (13.2)

Total: 856.6