Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 171- If It Were Easy, It Would Be Boring; And Not Worth Doing

Last night I got plenty of sleep which was nice, I heard a few things scurrying around and this morning I now know they were red squirrels. I was awoken by things dropping to the ground, and then one hit Ravioli's tent. I peered out and realized it had to be the squirrels dropping pinecones or nuts or something. I heard them chirping and scurrying around in the trees. It was chilly this morning but I got up and moving to keep warm. I left camp at quarter to 8:00 which was nice, and knew I would have to ford a rather deep river today. Wasn't looking forward to that since it is late September in Maine, luckily it hadn't rained recently. The morning hike was peaceful, the sun shone through the trees onto the trail. I wore my hat, gloves and long sleeve until I warmed up a bit. The trail was actually a nice hike with minimal rocks and roots which was pleasant. Fall is taking full effect up here and it is gorgeous. Before I left, many friends made the assumption I'd be "gone for the summer" and "missing summer." It is actually the opposite in-fact. I witnessed the spring and all of the flowers coming to bloom, I got to see first hand all of the wildlife and sunny days of summer, and now every day I get to walk amongst the fall foliage and all of those once green, now russet colored plants. I did not miss out on summer, I lived; and embraced it. I came up to the river crossing and there it was, a line of rope strung across the way for fording. It would be knee deep; luckily there were some rocks and branches placed that would barely get you across. I crossed with dry toes! There were many small stream and river crossings and the trail was very similar to what I remember Georgia being; narrow, dirt, rounding the edge of the mountain, with the occasional up and down for no reason. We forded another river crossing of the same river, and here I balanced on some sketchy rocks, went to step on a tree and in went my right foot; damn. I finished crossing and sloshed my way along. We got to the road and the first thumb up and car passing scored a ride! Thank you so much Pam! We got dropped right at the Lakeshore House and when I walked in I found Earl and Baltimore Jack sitting at the bar! It was such a nice surprise! I sat beside Earl and ordered a Blueberry Sea Dog. For lunch I got the special which was corn tortillas with chicken, avocado, tomato, sour cream, and salsa; they were great. I chatted with them for awhile and caught up since I last saw them, it really is great to see people on the trail you've met before, hikers or not. After they left we went up to settle our stuff into the room and when Ravioli shut the door, it wouldn't open. I twisted and pulled but nothing, I turned the lock and still nothing. What the hell was going on, and why was I locked in a two story room with someone right now? I got out my credit card and knife to try and open it; the knob would turn but it wouldn't activate the piece that went into the frame. I knocked on the door while Ravioli yelled for the hikers in the other room watching a movie. Finally the owner came up and she tried to help, which turned to she was going to hip check the door in. We advised this was not a good idea and asked if she had a Phillips head. She came back with a flathead which wouldn't do the job, but; I played with the  piece with the screwdriver and I was able to push it back and open the door. From here the piece was stuck in so Rebecca went to get some duct tape to put over it so it didn't happen again. It's never a full moment on the trail; or off the trail. From here I went out back to the dock and enjoyed the beautiful lake. The cell service is really spotty here, if any; but there is wifi so I am all set! Next was another set of familiar faces; Stacey and Shane from the Farmhouse Inn walked over. Seems like they took the day off with two of the kids to come have lunch and check the place out. I sat on the dock by myself for awhile and just enjoyed the tranquility of it all, after awhile City Slicka and I got to talking quite a bit. After a bunch of others joined the dock before heading back out to the trail. I moved to the back deck when I heard Rebecca telling Chip about some bucket contraption. I heard $25, road, 50 miles, food drop; these were all great key words. I walked up to see what this was all about and got some great news. Basically, for $25 you get a bucket (which two people can split) you put in half of your food, and carry the other half. Around the halfway point of the 100 mile wilderness your bucket is dropped at the road crossing and you put your trash in the bucket, and take the other half of your food, I'm in! Chip and I decided to split the bucket and he put his half in. He, like me; always gets more food sent to him than needed. I ate my first Honey Bun of the trail courtesy of his re-supply. We all sat for awhile and talked with some locals, and then once the sun set it got pretty chilly. Chip hiked out and I went in to get some dinner. I sat at the bar and talked with Kerosene, a section hiker who has been at it for over 40 years. He will finally finish this year, how exciting. After settling up with dinner I went upstairs to get my laundry in and shower. After my squeaky clean shower I sat on the couch with Flea, Skiff, and Giggles to watch Meet the Parents and then Flea put on J Lo and Ja Rule Pandora and then a bunch of other throwback tunes which we are jamming on and now we wanna know what your fantasy? Solitude and Chicklet showed up and then later Sloth and Southbound and we put in Wallace & Gromit. The movie selection went from Fighter which did not play, to The Little Mermaid which was not rewound, to finally Almost Famous. I had never seen it before but I love Kate Hudson and I am really glad we watched it. A great movie for sure. It's now 1:00am and although I won't be hiking out until later in the afternoon, it is still way past my bedtime! Goodnight all, the 100 mile wilderness awaits, I will update you all once I summit Katahdin; see you on the other side!

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