There are roads left in both of our shoes

This is what about 200 miles of Maine terrain will do to a pair of vibram 5 fingers (RIP). I hobbled the 30 plus miles to the next trail town, Caratunk, wearing these (because what else can you do?) My feet were throbbing by the time I arrived but not to worry; the way I see it is now my feet are toughened up for the next leg of my trip. I came off the trail and checked my phone (imagine that, still no service!) Then walked .3 to the free phone the town offers and called the Sterling Inn (the oldest hostel on the trail wouldn’t you know!) to come pick me up. The mile drive was short and silent. I met my bunk mate, a girl my age also heading south! We were given the Katahdin bunk room, fitting! She reminds me of my high school BFF Moni; a smiling girl who excitedly tells me all about the features she loves about the inn. I start my hostel routine of finding shower and am pleased to find a claw foot bathtub! 

I’m in love with the history and charm the inn offers. After my bath I run my laundry and rummage through the town clothes picking a plain white v-neck shirt and dark blue swimming trunks as my fashion ensemble. I’m invited to three Rivers with the other hikers for dinner where I devour a veggie burger with fries and guzzle the IPA on tap. After dinner, I check to see if my mail drop has arrived and am pleased to see it has. I shuffle through the food I anticipated and instead of the spare shoes I had laying around at home I find a brand new pair of Salomon boots my mom bought me as a birthday gift! 

I’m excited to get back on trail and break them in! I go through all of my belongings trying to find what is heavy and what I may not need, trying to lessen my load after hearing how ridiculously heavy my pack is from anyone who happens to lift it. My shoulders ache by the end of a day of hiking but I just tell myself I’m building my back strength! Trail life is overall good. Before starting the trail I wondered if bears or other large animals would stalk me. Rather, I’ve seen chipmunks, mice, some birds, small snakes, and lots of frogs and toads. My favorite are these teeny tiny toads. 

The smallest one I’ve seen was from head to bottom the size of my pinky nail. I’m usually alone on the trail and I’ll often greet the critters with a giggle and a hello Mr.(toad,snake,ect.) As for the avocado squad I ended up seeing them one last time in Monson. We reunited for a drink and they let me know that due to the wear and tear on their bodies they would not be continuing.

I was also reconnected with Carl (our trail dad) over Facebook. He was able to complete 239 miles in 13 days!!! What a beast! He expects to finish his completed hike in two more years (two weeks a year.) Part of me wishes we could all thru hike the whole trail together but I’m glad I was able to share the time with them all that I did!

I know that I’ll meet more and more amazing hikers as my trip continues and that the time spent alone will make me stronger with a greater sense of self. I’m living my dream and loving every minute of it. Oh! By the way I have adopted a trail name given to me by thru hiker Future Dad. May I introduce Flicker! The first time I went swimming on trail (Rainbow Pond) I came out with leeches! They weren’t quite attached yet and having never encountered leeches before I screamed and started flicking them. They went flying and thus Flicker was born! Until next time ❤✌

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