Week 21: Southern Maine, You Make Me Cry
Southern Maine is hard. Now I know in my last post I said New Hampshire and the Whites were hard, but Southern Maine is a different kind of hard. The Whites were sheer physical difficulty, scrambling up sides (and subsequently down) mountains, treacherous ridge walks, and rocks, lots of rocks. Southern Maine is exhaustion from the Whites. It’s difficult hiking. It’s hiking 13 hrs to go 13 miles. It’s being so close to the end, yet so far away. It’s the rapidly diminishing number of days you have to hike before your deadline. It’s the stress about the average number of miles you have to hit to Katahdin by said deadline. It’s the stink and perpetual dirt getting to you. Southern Maine is hard.
I’ve cried 3 times in the last 48 hrs. That’s almost more than I’ve cried my entire time on the trail. I would say I’m not a big crier but I took weekly trumpet lessons and cried every single lesson. So I have that mark on my record. However, I am physically and mentally exhausted and on the near verge of tears always. I have a head cold. I trudge down the trail. Every morning I wake up with a little less gas in the tank and the same number of miles to cover. Recently one night after going through Mahoosuc Notch and subsequently the Arm, drained, we decided we didn’t want to pay the $10 for the campsite. So I found myself scrambling up rock face in the dark with high winds, angry. Angry that I was so tired and I had put myself in this situation because I didn’t want to pay for a tent site. Just angry at the trail. I am so close to Katahdin and yet so very far away.
Today finds me at the Farmhouse Inn in Rangely, ME hoping to recharge. After the past several days I needed clean clothes, a clean body, and food that requires more than boiling water. The trail is less than fun. However, clean and fed my journey lends itself a new perspective. I have a little over 2 weeks left on the trail, and while I’m unhappy now I know that I’ll miss this. Do I want to choose to spend my last few weeks miserable?
As a further note, Sweets and Jingle hiked on out of town today and while taking care of myself shouldn’t be such a hard decision, it was. I want to be a team player. Again, in a few weeks we’ll go our separate ways. I don’t want to miss out spending time with them. But I wanted to stay in town, arguably needed to. Hiking your own hike can be a challenge at the best of times. At this stage of the game, it’s even harder.
However, I don’t want to end on melancholia. So as with always, a few pics, or two pics. I’m running short on time.
As always love can be mailed to:
Molly Bybee; C/o Shaws Lodging; 17 Pleasant St; Monson, ME 04464; Please hold for AT hiker; ETA 08/18
Or my final destination
Molly Bybee; General Delivery; Millenocket, ME 04462; Please hold for AT hiker; ETA 08/25
I’m exhausted but I think the challenges make this journey more worthwhile. Hopefully no more tears. Just in case, I have a food sack full of candy. Because when else will that be nominally okay? And candy can cure life’s ailments
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