Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 169- Crossing Of The Kennebeck; Havoc

I slept like a rock after my shot of Kalhua, my tired worn out body, and my comfy new sleeping bag. Normally after sleeping in a bed for so long, my tent that first night is tossing and turning; not last night. I woke up to a light rain and thought, just a half hour longer. I finally decided to get up and get moving, against my own will. I was practically packed up and breakfast was ready, I walked over to the shelter and found Chip, Chicklet, Solitude, and Ravioli; no Lynn. Apparently her and Marathon left to get breakfast at the cabin...I went back to my tent, ate breakfast, and met Ravioli at 8:10 for the trail. We headed out and crossed a dicey dam crossing full of loose slippery rocks and wood. We had 3.7 miles until the ferry crossing and it was a rocky, rooty, travel. We hiked along the river for most of the morning, witnessed some gorgeous greenery, a nice on trail waterfall, and a super tricky slippery "bridge." Finally the river opened up and the canoe was in sight. I walked over to Hog Driver, Chicklet, and Ravioli. Chip and Astroguy were in the process of going across. We signed our wavers and waited our turn, two by two. Ravioli and I went last and it was a fun experience. I even was a paddler so Ravioli got a free ride. We crossed and sat with Chicklet waiting for Solitude, Lynn, and Marathon. We watched J Rex and the Maine Sisters cross, then Solitude, but not Lynn. We waited until 11:00 when the last ferry ran but nothing. We walked to the road and waited for a hitch. Cars passed, nothing passed, I dried out my rainfly, and then a Jeep stopped for us! He didn't have a backseat, and was packed with rafting gear, but we piled in. I sat backwards behind the driver seat with my feet in the air, luckily it was only a 5 minute drive. We got to the brewery and I ordered a blueberry beer, and a red pepper and black bean burger with various vegetables and then at the last minute added bacon, she was confused at first. Then I reassured her I wasn't a vegetarian. It was delicious paired with sweet potato fries. We all hung out for awhile; Twirls, Bud, Giggles, Solitude, Ravioli, and I then we got in the hot tub. 3.7 miles is not enough for today, it was supposed to be 9.7. A lot of them are talking about spending the night, the next ferry starts up at 2:00 so hopefully around 2:30 Lynn and Marathon will walk in and we can figure out our gameplan (yes, I am writing this as it happens, if you couldn't tell.) I took a catnap on the couch and overheard Ravioli talking to some people, I opened my eyes and got a wave from Southbound. I waved back and then closed my eyes again. Not too much longer did I hear, "you guys waited? I thought you would have gone on." Nope. We waited. The rest of the evening was filled with non-communication and chaos. It is hard to guess what one person is thinking or wanting to do, when they won't just tell you. I knew what I wanted to do and I voiced my opinion. I didn't want to spend the night here, we had just spent over a week in a bed every night. It was getting late and the goal was 6 more miles to a shelter for the day, that would bring us to 7-7:30...sunset is at 6:45 now. Ravioli voted walking for 2 hours and setting up camp. We stood by the road waiting to get a hitch, it was a somber roadside assistance. No one stopped. We watched a guy in the parking lot fiddling with his socks and legs (sitting in a vehicle) and then go to the drivers side. I threw my thumb up in the air and he waved us over. His car too was filled with rafting equipment, Ramen, beer, and a wig. Interesting. He took us to the trailhead and then brought Lynn somewhere to resuply. Ravioli and I hiked into the woods, it was an uphill out of civilization, then it leveled out along the brook. It was full of roots, rocks, and mud of course; but not bad after my recharge. I thought over the situation over and over and replaid conversations and scenarios in my head. I really wanted to make it to the planned shelter tonight, and I was even willing to night hike for a half hour as long as I was with someone else.  Before we knew it we got to the gravel road, meaning we had 1.7 miles to go and it was just before 6:00! We were making great time so we walked on, the woods were getting dark in some sections and hard to tell what was mud and rock. Ravioli waited for me and we were closer hiking the last .5 miles when we crossed the logging road. We saw the shelter sign and walked down to it. There was a fire going and a couple sitting in the shelter, no thru hikers?! We asked about camping and they said there was nothing great but their tent was over on a grassy old trail. I asked if they minded sharing the spot and they said not at all. We walked over, set up, and got dinner to being back over to the shelter. Seems they weren't section or weekenders but Southbounders! We chatted over dinner and her name is Fireball and his B+. They met a month ago, she wanted to hike the trail and he wanted to be with her; here they are. We talked about what they have coming up, and what we have left. I couldn't believe when I turned in and it was only quarter to 8:00. It is a lot colder tonight than last night and I am excited to crawl into my new sleeping bag (even if it isn't even close to 30 degrees out.)

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