Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monson, Maine

Maine! I've made it to Maine! Not just that I'm only 115 miles from the end. So far Maine has been pretty rough, a lot of steep ups and downs on slick, mossy rock. Maine has been the worst for Mosquitos and black flies yet, plus rumors of Norovirus from sobos helped me decide to set my tent up over shelters most nights. Shortly after arriving into the finally state I conquered Mahoosic Notch which was indeed the hardest and most fun mile of the trail, but I don't think I would classify it hiking, something more along the lines of rock climbing. In many of the deep crevasses between the boulders there was still ice and snow which definitely felt odd hiking on in mid July. I got a hitch from the first car that passed bye to Rangeley and stayed at The Grey Beast, an unofficial hostel in downtown. Enjoyed walking around town and afterwards kayaking in Rangeley Lake later that evening in the midst of fireworks. Hiked a few more fairly easy but extremely muddy days coming out of town. Over these days my feet especially my left foot have developed extreme pain making it very difficult to get started after any significant break. Picked up a mail drop in Caratunk and some homemade cookies from a hiker box. Easily got a hitch to Northern Outdoors, an outdoor center with a restaurant about 2 miles away. Was able to take a free shower and relax a few hours then moving 6 more miles to a shelter where I tented. I hiked 22 miles the next day half of which was easily graded. Forded a few rivers which was a fun change of pace except for the wet feet. Woke up early and arrived in Monson after an easy 9 miles around 9am. Picked up another mail drop explored the sprawling metropolis that is Monson, and checked in at Shaw's Lodging. Surprisingly we walked into town on their Summer Festival which was only a few small vendors, a open house at the fire station, and a makeshift float race. Currently taking a zero at Shaw's, will be in the 100 mile wilderness tomorrow and hopefully Katahdin the 27th!

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