Day 156 – The Famous Shaws Hiker Hostel
We all woke up between 6 and 7 and conversed while we ate breakfast. Wiki, Orphan, Feral Goat, Purple Pioneer, Hays, and I all seem to hike a similar pace, have similar senses of humor, and apparently all wake-up around the same time as well. It’s a bummer it’s taken me until the final week on trail to meet any of them.
Packed up and on trail around 8AM, we hiked single file in a group of 5, sans Purple Pioneer who left a bit before us. We hiked and rock hopped and had a number of water crossings that needed fording today. As the first one, Orphan had his shoes in one hand, trek poles in another as he crossed. He lost his balance, and in an effort to not fall in, put his shoe hands down to save himself, effectively dunking his shoes fully into the river before remaining upright. We all died laughing at the sight.
The rest of us crossed managing to keep our hiking shoes dry. We had 2 more water crossings on the day that were a success for everyone this time. We had conversations discussing which types of dinosaurs were our favorite and what type of dragons we would choose to be; Asian vs European (I’m still not sure I know the difference).
Shortly after our last water crossing, shoes dry for the day, it started to rain. Slowly at first but then at a steady pace for the final 5 miles of the day. The trail quickly turned a soupy and muddy mess. I avoided a couple falls narrowly and made it to the road at ME15 around 5PM with Wiki and Purple Pioneer (shoes now wet).
The parking lot at the road crossing had a truck with a cooler offering trail magic. The lady, Ms. Linda, is the mother of another thru-hiker who she dropped off here earlier today. The next shuttle to Shaws hostel was not until 6PM and waiting an hour in the cold rain sounded miserable. Linda offered us a ride which we gladly accepted.
Shaws is a great hostel with wonderful resupply options. I ran into ‘Learning Curve’ who I met way back at the 100 mile mark and again at trail days. He was also former Army and we had a great talk for close to an hour. He’s a sweetheart of an individual and is planning a hike along the American Discovery Trail which traverses the US horizontally (East to West for his particular upcoming hike). I got a lot of information from him about logistically how to return home from Katahdin once I’m done, which was tremendously helpful.
Purple Pioneer and I got pizza from a local gas station and a few more resupply items (monster energy drinks for me). We discussed logistics for the final week of hiking and for getting home respectively. Rain is expected through much of the morning so there’s plenty of time for the breakfast at 7AM. Also time to finish the other half of my leftover pizza.
The 100 mile wilderness starts tomorrow!
Until then, Stow away in my pack for day 157 on the Appalachian Trail
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Great, excellent photos, class of 2003