After my first night in Gorham I checked out of the motel and ran into a few hikers I’ve seen around. One of them, Tokie, I had met originally back in Hanover and hiked with on multiple occasions.
Both of us still needed to resupply. We decided we would make our way about 5 miles down to a hostel on the trail and stay another night. After a giant meal at McDonalds, we attempted some antics to catch a hitch.
First I used my bandanna to play matador with passing cars, pretending they were bulls rushing by as Tokie managed the thumbing. Next we tried rotating our arms, with thumbs out, in alternating synchronization up and down as I hid behind him. I noticed a lot of laughs as people drove by. A few minutes of this and we had a ride. Making people laugh doing stupid shit takes away the fear of possibly being murdered by homeless looking hikers.
We got to the hostel and were greeted by a sign stating they were closed. Luckily a very well known trail angel named Ms. Janet was there. I last saw her in North Carolina briefly, but I remember the van. She gave us a ride to resupply and dropped us back at the motel where we split a room for cheap.
The next day we hiked out of town and made it a short day. We camped not far beyond a river and had a big fire under a large rock outcropping.
It’s interesting how your brain can stay tuned to potential dangers as you sleep. In the mere seconds it took this birch branch to crack and fall, I woke up alert, curled tight while rolling to the front edge of my tent with my arms over my head and braced myself. It landed and busted apart right behind my tent. I was sound asleep.
I’m filtering all kinds of stuff out through the night I’m sure, but somehow when necessary your brain will wake you quick, with full awareness of what’s happening so you can react. This has happened before in life of course, but it’s at a new level. I got lucky, but I also knew what was happening and had a sense of where immediately.
We hiked on over the next few days. Plenty of good obstacles along the way.
The 1,900 modest mile marker.
I don’t remember the name of this shelter, but I sure remember its view. Tokie, McNasty, The General and I all took up residence as the temps dropped.
Managing contacts along the trail sucks. I’m terrible at it in regular life, out here even worse. My eye is starting to swell up and get sensitive to light. Both precursors to problems I know will develop quick if I don’t give them a rest and manage my eyes better.
This type of slide is fairly regular around these parts. Much of the time they are just wet enough to be down right hazardous, even when they look dry. Many times it’s just easier to toss the poles down, plant a foot under your ass and attempt a controlled slide down them.
Goodbye New Hampshire, I’ve made it to Maine. The fourteenth and final state on the Appalachian Trail. And I’m starting to taste sickness in the back of my throat. Great…