July 7, 2018
Destination: Monson (ME15 Road Crossing) Today's Miles: 22
Start Location: Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to Trip Miles: 2076.40
It was chilly when I woke up at first light. I loved it!
It really felt like Maine should (in my opinion). I got on the trail a little before six. I wanted to get an early start so I could get into Monson in the afternoon and have some time to relax there as well as do my usual hiker errands. I started with a brisk pace to warm up a little. The climb of the morning was Moxie Bald, and I had beautiful views on top. I also had it all to myself, which was cool. At the summit, the breeze was chilly, but I was plenty warm from the hike up. I took a few photos and then started down the other side of the mountain, which was pretty boggy.
After Moxie the hiking mellowed. There was a stretch that followed a river through Horseshoe Canyon, which I really liked. The views and sounds of the river were beautiful while I walked. I kept on hiking and chatted with a few folks I passed on the trail, and before I knew it I was at the ME 15 road crossing. I got there just before 2:30pm, and somehow I had a tiny cell signal and was able to call Shaw’s hostel to come get me. I hadn’t originally planned to stay in Monson, but after hearing about Shaw’s it seemed like a nice place, and it was easiest if I stayed the night after resupplying.
Hippy Chick and her husband Poet own and run Shaw’s. They thru-hiked in a past year and seemed very passionate about the trail and Maine. Hippy Chick picked me up at the trailhead and took me to Shaws. It was, indeed, a great place. It was full of SOBOs and a few section hikers. I also caught up with a few NOBOs: Apollo and Skutch, Homebound, and two people I hadn’t seen in a very long time - Redbird and Gumby. We all ended up having dinner together in town and recounting war stories, as well as learning a bit more about each other.
Resupply in town was a little rough in terms of selection. Shaw’s had most things, but only one rice side. I ended up piecing together my resupply between Shaw’s, the gas station, and the expensive general store. To be clear, I had plenty of food. I think since I knew it was my real last real resupply I was just hoping for a few things that I couldn’t get - you know, first world Hiker problems :-). I knew this was almost my last hurrah of eating garbage, which I will probably miss in some ways and not in others. I also stopped by the ATC office in town to get the lowdown on how it works with The Birches shelter at Baxter State Park, etc. I’m glad I did because I did not realize I needed $10 cash for the Birches (because I didn’t pay attention to my AWOL guide!).
I felt pretty sorted and ready to go after Shaw’s. It was interesting seeing all of the southbounders there! One lady was quitting after going through the hundred mile wilderness. Others were just starting to find their grooves. I was grateful to see my NOBO friends at the hostel, grateful for the fact that we’d all made it this far, and also that there was still more of the journey to come. Tomorrow I will enter The Wilderness. Ok, well, re-enter I guess :-).
Thanks for hanging with me as I haven’t posted for a while! If you have AT&T in Maine and don’t live in Portland or Bangor, just throw your phone away! It’s dead weight.... I also have been super tired lately and can’t seem to stay awake, so it has been a struggle to stay caught up. Nevertheless, please bear with me and I should be up to date soon. I will have an entry for every day, all the way to the end! I am uploading more photos as I go along as well.