Day 146: The Hurricane Birthday Zero

Do We Know How to Party?

I spent the day in Rangeley, Maine, sitting out the non-hurricane, nursing a cold and celebrating my birthday. And by celebrating, I mean sitting in a motel room doing nothing except my laundry and writing a blog post.

My cold worsened to include a sore throat, a constantly runny nose, a low-grade fever, and no energy. Northstar went out and brought back a nice hot chai latte and some stunning photography of the hurricane damage. One of the plastic lawn chairs outside the motel had been blown a few inches out of alignment, she’d had to briefly turn on the windshield wipers during her coffee run, and she captured it all on film.

Hurricane Lee was a dud, though I heard later from one of the few hikers that kept going that the wind on the peaks was impressive.

PBJ Crew

PBJ’s crew planned to take a zero today at a hostel near Stratton (The Maine Roadhouse), and then slackpack the next five days from there. When I asked how they planned to slackpack the 32.2 miles from ME 4 to ME 27, PBJ told me they’d backpack and stay at a shelter one night in that section.

My revised itinerary had me backpacking for two nights over that distance, which would put me a day behind them. Oh well, I might be able to catch them eventually, but if not, I’d had back luck with hiking companions for the entire AT and had gotten used to potential friends disappearing.

Party Time

By evening, both Northstar and I had a little cabin fever, so we drove into Rangeley for a birthday hamburger. But after we sat down, I decided I wasn’t up to it, so we took our order to go, and went back to the motel room.

Lesson Learned, I Hope

On the way back, I saw a sign for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), a 700-mile canoe route that runs from Old Forge, New York to some place in northern Maine. I’d done a piece of it with a friend when we were pre-teens, and doing the whole thing had been on my list of someday adventures for a long time. I’d had no idea that it went through Rangeley.

But I learned something new about the NFCT. The thing I learned is this: even mentioning another months-long outdoor solo adventure to your wife when you’re five months into the current one is a tactical error. Do not try this at home.

Daily Stats:

  • Start: ME 17 (Mile 1964.7)
  • End: ME 17 (Mile 1964.7)
  • Weather: Hurricane Lite –
  • Earworm: None
  • Meditation: Jn 10
  • Plant of the Day: Me
  • Best Thing: Hot Chai Latte
  • Worst Thing: I’ve got a cold

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Comments 3

  • jen l : Sep 25th

    I’d say the best is that you have a wife to take care of you while you’re sick, and a soft bed. But hot Chai tea is pretty good too.

    • Jon : Sep 29th

      Indeed. And all hard to come by on the trail. I’m lucky.

  • Jeff Greene : Oct 21st

    Love that final safety tip! Nice that your wife wants you around… 😉


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