It is hard to do everything in one afternoon! I’m so tired that I almost forgot to update.
I was on the trail at 6:07, and heading like a bat out of hell for Route 15—the road to Monson. It was breezy and sunny, and all Maine: stone and roots and water and mossy mountain hills. The roots have dried out a little, and I slipped a few times but didn’t fall.
I figured the shuttle driver from Shaw’s would be dropping off the breakfast crowd, and I wanted to grab her before she got away. I was too late; but when I stepped out of the woods, guess who was in the parking lot? Not Yet and Billie! (Hi, guys!) We caught up a little bit; they’d gotten ahead around White Cap. And both of them were stung again by bees!
The shuttle driver came right back for me, bless her heart, and she whisked me to Shaw’s while Not Yet and Billie took to the forest. And guess who was zeroing at Shaw’s? Flaco and Floss (see below, lol). It was a great day of lounging and resupplying at a gas station and eating actual food. And huge thanks to Javelin, who went to heroic efforts to maildrop me some AquaMira and enough snacks to keep me on my feet until Stratton. Happy birthday, Javelin! 🙂
Shaw’s is fun—a big white house full of hikers. At the moment the hikers are mostly NOBOs, having a little silly fun and bonding for the last leg of the journey. My favorites are the SOBOs and the flippers, though; they’re still loving the sunrises and looking forward instead of back.
Monson is a tiny collection of clapboarded buildings, many of them run down or for sale. Some of the locals are already packing up and heading out for the long winter. A sleepy town on a pine-fringed lake, but listen! The people here are insanely friendly! Everybody had a smile or a joke, from the window guys installing shutters to the clerk at the post office. The South has nothing on Monson.
Tomorrow: Right back on the trail! I’m already tired. It’s well past hiker midnight and I haven’t even packed my pack. I just finished getting my gear organized and the food managed. There’s supposed to be torrential rain tomorrow… aaaaand, a river ford. Can I possibly tell you how much I’m not looking forward to that?
Anyway, after tonight, I’ll probably be radio silent for the next week or so, depending on phone coverage. Heading to Stratton!
(River ford tomorrow, yuck yuck yuck.)