I have a confession- no trail pictures today. I stopped to take the first one, and my battery was dead, and I didn't really want to stop to dig out the extra right then. It wasn't really an inspiring photo anyway - more of something to help me remember the trail than anything else.
We slept better than usual last night because the temp dipped into the 40's and that's about when these bags become comfortable.
We got up, began hiking, and followed a roaring Piscatquis River (say that five times fast) for miles. I could hike along a river all day. This one was roaring because of the recent heavy rain.
The trail was pretty gradual but really mucky and muddy, and we had one detour due to an industrious beaver who had flooded the trail completely.
We only had 9 miles to get into Monson, and hoped to get there for lunch. We would be staying overnight at Shaw's Lodging, a well known hostel on the trail.
Along the way, Keith and Swamprat thought they spooked a bear but never saw it. We got to one section of the river and had to ford it, about 75 yards across. It got up to thigh deep, but the current was not too bad. At the other side we found a cooler with iced down Cokes and a note from Strider, an '03 thru-hiker. We sat and enjoyed those, and knew it was a precursor of the good things to be consumed in town!
We hiked on through lots of mud, and soon crossed a really black shale, which Monson is famous for (Monson shale). It's super black, and is actually what was used for the marker at Kennedy's Memorial in Arlington. Once we reached town we saw yards where the shale was stacked up, being sold.
We made it down to Highway 15, passing several other thru-hikers and some section hikers along the way. Everyone is excited about almost being done.
We reached the road and called Shaw's and they came and picked us up. The hostel is a very old large home with a separate bunkhouse for hikers with dogs, and we and Swamprat had private rooms in the main house. There were also some large bedrooms with six beds in them.
There is an all you can eat breakfast included in the morning, and we hear it's delicious!
We walked up to Main and found some BBQ, and then later ended up at the Lakeshore Pub and ate out by the lake. We were treated to a beautiful sunset.
Sean had shipped us our last resupply, and it was waiting for us, so we did not have to go shopping. That was a real treat!
- Steady and F100