6.7 miles, 2069.7 overall, 114.5 remaining (Lakeshore House, Monson, ME)
I sleep well despite the noises as I fall asleep and in the morning I am up and ready to go. Since it is a town day and I have two bagels left I get to double up on breakfast to give me an extra boost for the last several miles.
The hike into town is very flat again except for a piddly 600 footer. Part of it is along a forest road so I make good time there. I pass a lake and notice a couple guys in a boat fishing. The scene reminds me of Grumpy Old Men.
The 600 foot climb turns out to be a bit tougher than I expect, continuing the recent theme of heavy legs and tired body. Luckily it doesn’t last long and I’m soon heading down the other side and to the road. At the road I give the hostel a call to ask about a shuttle but nobody answers. I figure I’ll try for a hitch and I spend about 20 minutes trying to catch a ride with no luck. I give the hostel another call and this time the owner answers and tells me a shuttle is just about to leave to ring hikers back to the trail so I can catch it on the way back. Perfect!
The shuttle arrives and Stats gets out so I get to see him one more time before the end. The driver of the shuttle is Caveman, a northbound hiker who has been doing work-for-stay for the last few days. He tells me he got to Vermont last year a little late and wasn’t going to make it to Katahdin in time so he got a job as a snowmaker at a ski resort for the winter. Now he is back on the trail to complete his hike.
At the Lakeshore House hostel Caveman helps me get settled and soon after I meet the owner Rebekah who is also very helpful. Pretty soon I have showered and I’m doing laundry in the laundromat downstairs. I run into the APE team and Philly Steve who made it to town yesterday and are zeroing today. The Noodleheads are also in town staying at Shaw’s hostel. When my laundry is done I head down the street to the gas station, apparently the only option in town for food today. A cheeseburger and fries make for a good lunch and I pick up some beer (Shipyard Pumpkinhead, it was ok). I also grab a few extra snacks for my resupply.
Back at the hostel someone has started watching Batman. I eat my food and then watch some of it but I start to nap towards the end. I move to my room to take care of my resupply, packing up the stuff from my maildrop and picking up whatever else I need from the resupply closet in the hostel. Pretty soon I’m all set for the 100 mile wilderness.
I spend the rest of the night taking care of dinner (personal size pizza from the gas station with an order of fried mushrooms), drinking my beers, and watching Pulp Fiction until at 8:00 I am ready to go to sleep. I’m sure I’m the first hiker to lay down but that’s ok, many of the people here are sobo’s and, only just over 100 miles into their hike, haven’t yet adopted the hiker bedtime schedule. As they watch the rest of Pulp Fiction I fall asleep so I can be ready to enter the 100 mile wilderness tomorrow on the Appalachian Trail.