Day 152 – Reprieve

It was an early to bed, early to rise kinda day. I was up before 6. I ate breakfast inside my tent as there was a small sprinkle of raindrops outside. Overall, things came together quickly, and I was packed and the first one out of camp before 7AM.

Feeling energized after a good night’s sleep and stocked back up on caffeine Mio, I hit the trail with a good pace. I wore 2 pairs of socks again which, although they got wet (they were already wet to be fair), has helped slow down the hot spots from my wet shoes. But looking ahead to a hostel stay is always good for the spirits. Maybe if I’m lucky they’ll have a shoe/boot drier and some leukotape (fingers crossed emoji).

There was really only one climb for the day, and we had completed about 20% of it the day prior. The climb to Mt Spaulding was not bad. If I’m being honest, everything since the whites has been cake in comparison. Looking ahead there’s basically only two mountain ranges between here and Katahdin. Both of those should be covered in the next 2 days. The terrain gets SUPER cruise-y after that. Like 20+ mile days cruise-y.

The downhill to our shuttle pickup location was fairly steep. I had another fall but that was from slipping on a wet root that was at an angle (nothing damaged but my pride). Near the bottom of the hill, the trail was picturesque. Brightly colored red leaves dotted the trail as they mixed in with yellows and browns. Fall continues to unfold around me.

We all arrived at our pickup point around 1 and caught a ride into the ‘Hostel of Maine.’ Masters, Daywalker, Hot Feet and I shared a private room. We rolled Hot Feet’s 20-sided “nerd”dice to see who got the queen, 2-twins, and air mattress. I drew the short straw and will be sleeping on the air mattress (mildly bitter about it).

We immediately raided the hiker fridge for pizza and soda. I was in luck that they had a furnace next to which we could dry our shoes and they had leukotape for my feet (if the picture isn’t indication enough, I went to town on them). It should last me at least 3 days, perhaps 6 if I’m lucky.

We got a ride to a grocery after doing laundry and setting our tents out to dry on the porch. I didn’t need much resupply, but I did pick up some burger patties to grill for dinner and to pack out for tomorrow. We also played a card game with a group for a few hours.

Overall, it was a really productive day. I managed to catch up on blog posts and even recorded my overdue episode for The Trek’s ‘Trail Correspondents Podcast.’ We had concerns Hurricane Lee may impact our ability to ferry across the Kennebec River in a couple days.

But it appears the ferry should still be running even with the additional rain it may bring. I think things are starting to look up. Hostel stays tend to bring out the positives. Hoping to ride this wave of good fortune into Katahdin.

Until then, stow away in my pack for day 153 on the Appalachian Trail

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Comments 6

  • Philip Schramp : Sep 14th

    Hi Derek – I’ve been following you daily from the beginning of your journey, thoroughly enjoying your musings and beautiful photography. I’m excited for you to reach Katahdin, but must admit I will miss our daily ‘visits’! I’m a 66 year old that has dreamed of the AT since I was a teenager and have been reliving those dreams through your journey. I will retire next year, so who knows, maybe that dream will become reality. Enjoy your final days on the trail and stay dry. I’ll be cheering you on until your final post!

  • CB : Sep 14th

    Have you had any birch beer?

  • Kathy : Sep 14th

    I’ve been following along with your amazing journey. The stunning photos are matched only by your honest and thoughtful tales of the trail.

    Maybe a zero or two would help your feet heal, there’s nothing worse than foot pain with all those nerve endings…but you would know better than I.
    Looking forward to each days new adventure!
    Stay safe and enjoy,

  • James Stephen Henderson : Sep 14th

    Hey Derek, been following your hike for a long time, and I wish there was thumbs up button, like YouTube, to indicate that I’m with you. Anyway, there isn’t such a button, but rest assured there are many people reading your posts, though I can only speak for one.

  • Rushmore : Sep 15th

    Been following and enjoying your posts! What do you use for water purification? I didn’t see anything on your gear list. Take care of those wet feet!

  • ELS : Sep 16th

    Yes – There are many of us here following along and cheering you on to the finish but also sad that our journey with you will soon be coming to an end.


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