The Appalachian Trail crosses ME 15 3.5 miles from Monson Maine. Monson is the first town southbounders come to, and the last for northbounders. Suffice to say many of my friends and hiking partners are feeling bittersweet about where we are and what this means for their journey and their life. I have the luxury of about 2 more months until my lifestyle must change; it cannot be ignored however that despite the fact I'll still be on the trail after Katahdin my life will be different. I am 114.5 miles from Katahdin's summit. I spent the morning watching the Early show, eating Ben and Jerry's, journaling on a dock, drinking Long Trail Harvest Ale, playing Burass (my new WV friend) in checkers. The snackpackers are off into the wilderness, our fellowship dispersed slightly. Monson is an extremely friendly town. I decided to take an unexpected zero when I found out there was a friday night inpromtu bluegrass jam session outside the general store. There are many other reasons I dug around for to justify a day of rest around town, but honestly, pickin around in the fall was about all it took. God bless bluegrass =)
Big thank you to the Reeds, Amtowers, Vangilders, Mom, and Outdoor Trails crew for sending mail to Monson. I was surprised when I went to retrieve shoes to leave with about 5 pieces of mail. All of your thoughts, prayers and encouragement are very touching. I don't say it enough, but thank you and I love you.
I plan to hike out of town tommorow morning; entering "the one hundred mile wilderness". That will lead me right to the foot of Katahdin I suppose. My tenative plan is to climb the mountain Saturday September 27. Plans after that get a little more complicated and open, but somehow I'll make my way south (not on foot) to either and Virginia, NOLA, Georgia. If any of you would be interested in taking me from Daleville VA to Springer mountain in GA the first weekish of October let me know.
The trail has mellowed out drastically from the rocky steep craggy mountains of New Hampshire and southern Maine. The past week has been rolling through pond sides, pine forests, and snowmobile trails with an occasional welcomed mountain in between. I hear, I hope, the wilderness is similar to that, with Special K rising about 4,000 in elevation at the end.
I am excited to have come so far. I am excited to spend time with such amazing people. I am SO excited to head back down south =) where perhaps more of my heart is than I realized.
Carrie is working on loading a small MP3 player with music to carry me through the lonely chillly southern part of my journey. Feelin good about that, feelin good about what's to come. As always, I'll keep you guys posted ;)
Now go enjoy the fall!
If the chill, sun, color, etc are anything where you are like they are here the only place to be is outside marinating in the awe some season =D