Thru hikers are like that jar of random nuts and bolt in your garage. Solid, strong and stubborn, they come in all sizes and are found everywhere, involved in the makeup of everything. Along the way I’ve had in depth conversations from things like music to even quantum mechanics. I’ve met diverse people from a dozen countries. Hikers with military and intelligence backgrounds, and hikers with “intelligence backgrounds,” teachers, engineers, mechanics, farmers, and plenty of gap years seniors exploring interests.
I landed in Monson, Maine, the final town before the 100 Mile Wilderness and Mount Katahdin. It was my third or fourth iteration of hiding out sick, getting just well enough to trudge on, only to edge towards getting sick again.
I spent a few days at hostels in Monson, primarily at Shaw’s. Below is a pic from the other hostel in town, Lakeshore Landing. There’s a tavern and restaurant attached to it.
The area is having a great warm front right now and you couldn’t ask for a better spot to relax.
I met some locals along the way that offered their services to do food drops once inside the next fabled stretch of barren wilderness.
I feel confident I can carry what I need and save the money. Food drops get fairly pricey. I do the math, make my plans and acquire my rations while enjoying a quintessential small Maine hiker town. A good number of people I’ve met since Hanover, NH and through the White Mountains appear over my stay.
My favorite random run in, before I made it to town, was with my buddy Jams. He carries multiple bluetooth speakers and is part of the “Trash People,” a collective hiker family. I last hung with him in the middle of the Whites somewhere. Being the last to leave a shelter area one morning, I exited a long privy sitting, and standing off patiently waiting for his turn was my favorite former marine that I’ve met out here. I’ve never been so heartedly embraced by anyone while freshly exiting a privy…