Welp, here we are in Monson, Maine- the last trail town of our thru hike. We each ate our final pints of Ben & Jerry's, drank our final quarts of chocolate milk, and resupplied for our last week on the trail.
Before I get all tender, let's recap the hike since Stratton. It's been raining on and off for several days. Everything is slightly damp- clothes, tent, cooking gear, the inside of my food bag, EVERYTHING. It's not so much of rainwater getting in as it is the air is to humid to let anything dry. To add to this, Maine is known for it's muddy terrain, so while I am usually excellent at keeping my feet dry, I've had more than one step in water. We've also been falling a lot. Before Maine, I think I had fallen maybe once or twice. Here, I have fallen at least once per day. Beau falls most days, too. The trail is so slippery with rocks and roots and mud!
There are a few stream or river crossings that we have to cross, some of which require some fording. Here's one where the trail club has added a rope to aid hikers across.
At the Kennebec River, there is a ferry service for hikers. It's actually just a guy in a canoe, but it's still kind of fun. The canoe even has a white blaze in it!
We've been able to stick to our aforementioned "slightly agressive plan" and arrived in Monson on time last night. This town is at the entrance of the 100 Mile Wilderness. It's kind of a silly title, because it's just 100 miles of regular trail that happens to not have any roads or towns go through it. I believe there are some gravel or logging roads, but nothing that can get you to a real town. The 100 miles ends at a road which you can take to get to Millinocket, but since Katahdin is only 15 miles beyond that, we are opting to go straight through. My dad is meeting us at the base of Katahdin and will summit with us on the 20th.
Of course, we've talked a lot about things we are anxious to get back to, most notably an income and regular bathing. In fact, here is a little list of the first things that come to mind.
Things we will NOT miss about thru hiking:
- Our clothes and bodies smelling bad. All. The. Time.
- Doing my hair in pigtails every day because it's the only thing that keeps my hair up
- The ever present lower back rash from our backpacks
- Spending money! And not making any!
- Being hungry constantly. In towns this isn't so bad, but on the trail, I get so SICK of eating
I started to write things that we will miss about thru hiking, but I think I'll wait on that one till we've been home for a little bit. A cheesy country song by Trace Adkins keeps popping in my head when I think about stuff like this: "You're going to miss this, you're going to want this back. You're going to wish these days hadn't gone by so fast."
I am anxious to finish and wanting the days to go by fast so we can get to Katahdin... but as for now I will enjoy this last week being in beautiful Maine.