Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 165- What Is It Like To Sleep In The Woods?

I wish I had gotten more sleep last night, Miss Janet would be picking us up for our shuttle ride this morning. I was the last one up again and after I gathered my things together a little, I headed downstairs for breakfast. Nuke had already been cooking up some hashbrowns and sausages so I hung out until everything was done. He even made us eggs and served us, thanks Nuke! Breaktime came in the kitchen but wasn't too talkative (normal.) Senator came in the kitchen, not very talkative (not so normal.) Tumbles came in the kitchen, was on his phone most of the time, said goodmorning and not much else (not normal.) Yeti didn't come in, what a weird morning. We packed up our big bags, so Miss Janet could drop them off at the Stratton Motel for the following night for us. She showed up at the hostel around 8:30 and we were told to take our time. It started to drizzle and we were all confused since it wasn't supposed to rain today. We piled into her van and left around 9:00. We had an hour drive to the same drop off point as the day before. The ride was a lot bumpier in the van. By mid-drive the rain had stopped and there were blue skies and white clouds. When we got there, Puzzle slacked but would be picking his pack up from her after the 10 miles. We walked a fairly easy day, not much elevation change and good terrain. We stopped at a small woods peak for a snack, then again at the shelter for Ramen, and lastly at the GA-ME plaque where I ate my grinder. Freckles and Drag N Fly were there as well. We called the Stratton Motel to make a reservation for a room with two beds since it would be cheaper than each getting a bunk. We climbed up another little mountain with no view and then down to the start of Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf was not a bad climb since we didn't go the .6 to the summit which is not on the Appalachian Trail. The whole day was an easy walk, until the last 2 miles. It was a partly sunny day, a little windy, and a little cold. A few times I sure missed my gloves but I knew we would finish much earlier today than yesterday. The hike down to the gravel road was a long, steep, and knee killer. The rocks reminded me of PA/NJ/NY. I felt like the end would never come, we were on the side of the mountain and the sun shone and the wind was blocked, it was actually warm! The sound of the river got closer and closer until finally our knees cheered with bliss; we had made it. I saw Ravioli crossing a wood plank and Shane (Stacey's husband) standing on a rock. Luckily the water was low enough we didn't have to ford and get wet. We walked .5 miles on a dirt road until we got to the truck and Miss Janet's van. We talked with her and Puzzle for a minute but hit the road to get to the store before 5:00. This was not like any outfitter I am used to, this was more of a gift/small gear supply store. They didn't have any big hiking brands and I chose a liner/fleece glove combination. I also picked up Jennifer Pharr Davis's "Called Again." After the store we got dropped at IGA to get stuff for dinner. On trail we talked about what we would make and the decision was chicken Marsala, and then we changed it to steak and mushrooms. We bought a big steak, fresh green beans, frozen peas, bow tie pasta, pesto, Gnarly Head red wine, and moose track ice cream for dessert. When we got back to the hostel Ravioli and I started prep right away, Lynn went up to take a bath. I chopped the mushrooms, Ravioli snapped the green beans. It was a great colaboration of teamwork and the dinner turned out fantastic. It was the best $15 I have ever spent! I went over and grabbed my two packages, it's like Christmas! I got a new 0 degree bag since it is supposed to be 28 degrees tonight, my new old knife since I left mine in some guy's car, and my zip off pants, and long sleeve shirt. After dinner I went upstairs to take a shower, I finished off my wine and got a bowl of ice cream. While I was down there I FaceTimed with Mom, Hunter, and Felix. To my surprise Ireland and Roanan were now staying at the hostel! It's always nice to stay in one place more than once to get to see who is ahead and behind you. I sat and chatted with them for awhile, went upstairs to organize my new belongings, and jumped in bed to blog. Tomorrow we have only a 8 mile slack into Stratton so we decided to leave at 9:00 putting us on trail at 10:00. This will allow us not to rush in the morning only to freeze our butt off, and still get into Stratton with plenty of time to spare!

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