149 – Moist
The ambient light of day woke me up around 6:30 from sleep. I tried to sleep a bit more and was awake a little after 7:00. I ate a poptart and gummy rings for breakfast because that’s about all I had left. It was slow going packing up our gear and wet tents in a morning drizzle.
It was a little after 8:00 by the time I got on trail. After a quick uphill the terrain flattened out and remained mild the whole rest of the day. It was good too because my shoes were still wet, thus my feet remained wet much of the day as well.
I hiked a fair bit with Straightedge today. He’s been in my bubble for a little less than a week. He is from Georgia and it’s his first thru-hike as well. We talked a lot about sports and fantasy football. Around eight miles in for the day we came to a pond.
It was one of several ponds we passed on the day. On a hotter and drier day, I would have jumped in. As a consolation, there were small canoes on the shoreline. I took one out for a spin. And there was lots of spinning because I was solo and rowing from the back of the boat because there was no center seat.
Paddling from the backseat alone was not great for propulsion. Shortly after getting on the pond, it started to rain again. Lightly at first so I ate a snack out on the boat watching droplets and endless circles form waves around me.
When I got back to shore, the rain had picked up. I threw my things in my bag, threw the rain cover on and set back out on the trail. It was less than four miles to the road. I got there and tried my hand at hitching. Ten minutes went by when Straightedge arrived to help. In five more minutes, Hot Feet was there to help too. We had no luck.
A van pulled up with a shuttle driver who offered to take us to Rangeley, ME for $20. We decided it was worth not waiting longer (Straightedge needed to replace a broken trekking pole before the outfitter closed). At the outfitter we got free ice cream leftover from a function they had last week. I walked down the street to a pub when a wave of nostalgia hit me.
There was a place called ‘Pine Top Frosty.’ It gave me vibes of a spot in Chester, CA (it’s actually on trail for the PCT) called ‘Pineshack Frosty’s.’ I felt compelled to stop. I used to go to Pineshack Frostys back in the day for epic milkshakes. My order was chicken strips and fries and a free ice cream for first responders (it was September 11th). I charged my things while I ate and then headed over to Sarges Pub (it was a very patriotic day).
There I ate a second dinner of a Lobster rolls with curly fries. I would have loved to stay and watch MNF on the TVs at the pub. But bigger miles felt good today, so I decided to add on two more for good measure. After a quick resupply I was back on trail.
It was dark when I arrived, so I put on my headlamp. I immediately took a wrong turn. Well to be fair I continued on straight following a sea of muddy footsteps thinking that’s where the trail went (how could so many footsteps be wrong?) Well, they were because the trail veered off to the left.
I had to backtrack through more deep mud to get back on trail. The night hike to the shelter wasn’t bad and I got there in under 50 minutes despite the detour. I found room in the shelter and hung up my things, hoping and praying things dry out (more wishful thinking). My feet are wrecked after a day of hiking in wet shoes. New hot spots have emerged that weren’t there when things were dry. These new all weather Altras resist water very well. Until they’re wet. Then they resist drying very well.
Tomorrow is supposed to be mostly dry however big rain is expected 2 days from now on Wednesday afternoon. Fingers crossed I can make it 30 hilly miles into Stratton ME before that storm.
Until then, stow away in my pack for day 150 on the Appalachian Trail
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