Ran across this story today. It must be said… if you think that others should be treated differently because they could be a perceived threat, without any due process, you too could be locked up, for over a year, with no known time-line of any thing.
Read and follow up yourself.
Had a wonderful time at Shaw’s…blueberry pancakes..the best! Filled up on those as well as homefries and OJ.
Picked up my last drop box at the post office (thankfully there) and packed up to head out.
Now, now I am at the trailhead for the 100-mile wilderness and doubt that I’ll have any signal..so, seeya in Baxter State Park!
Quick update…right now I am in Monson, ME. This town is the last one before the famous “100-mile wilderness,” right before you climb Katahdin. Truth be told, I wish I could zero here tomorrow but Feedbag, SkunkApe and Daddy Long Legs keep pushing harder and loner miles, jerks.
Don’t wanna jinks myself but for the next 7 days we’re supposed to have really good weather so I’ve decided that moving forward is the best way to celebrate this gift from Mother Nature.
That means, I only have 281 miles left, whoo hoo!!
I’ve gotten numerous messages from a ton of people wanting to know how things are going.. they are going great and I cannot wait to share.. however, for the security of the people I will be writing about, I have chosen to delay the release of the journal.. lucky you, the first entries will be coming in mere days..
Please understand that I don’t ask/tell people that I am or could be writing about them.. and with the power of the internet, people who may not want others to know exactly where they are or will be (some females), I owe it to all to just delay the postings for a bit..
Woods Hole Shelter (entrance) to Neels Gap
Miles hiked: 3.7
Total Miles: 30.7
Woke up periodically throughout the morning, 2:30am seems to be the norm. I had my hang down (hanging my hammock), it was looking good, felt good but just was having a hard time sleeping. At some ungodly hour, I finally broke my MP3 player out and listened to it for awhile, more crazy dreams. This was also the first time in many, many years where I can remember more than one dream. Finally at some early hour, my body said that I needed to go relieve myself. Since such activity is such a ‘chore’ in the outdoor world, I went back to sleep. When I woke up again some time later, I really had to go and figured that if I tried to avoid this once more, life would potentially be embarrassing and unpleasant. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why the need to share? Because this means I am finally getting enough water in my system. After the circumstances yesterday, this was a positive sign. This lesson has definitely been learned.
Crawled outta bed around 8 and packed up..can you believe that the gnats were up and waiting for me this morning, bastards. Bee Chucker came over said that he was heading out and that a water source was about 1/2 mile or so up the trail…excellent. Shortly thereafter, I found myself heading north up the famous Blood Mountain. Was almost finished filtering at the watering hole, and lo-and-behold, Phoenix shows up! She had stopped 2 miles back from Woods Hole at Jarrards Gap spending the night there with Groove after he too had an exhausting day.
The gnats were awful at the creek, after filling up, quickly caught Phoenix Rising on the climb as well as many others. Surprisingly, a lot of people had camped on the south side of the mountain at the Slaughter Creek Campsite. It was another great weather day but this number of people is bordering on ridiculous.
The climb up to Blood Mountain (3895’) was surprisingly easy with numerous switchbacks with a few rocky trail ups so it didn’t take long before I was at the top. Not only were there some nice views greet us, but it was difficult for me to enjoy them as thick swarms of black-flies were also there to eat anything with a pulse. The only reprieve that I had was inside Blood Mountain Shelter, where it was a bit cooler. Since I was in there, I checked out the shelter register. It appears that Missing Person had made it up here last night and promptly lost his food bag. His entry said; “HIKERS BEWARE – Lost my food bag to a bear last night . Hung it from a tree in front of the shelter. Oh well.” That sucks.
Phoenix was finishing her climb up as I was headed down the mountain, south on the AT. She told me I was headed in the wrong direction and that if that wasn’t silly enough, I didn’t have a pack either. I pulled my TP out of my pocket and said I was headed in the right direction with the right gear. 😛
Phoenix Rising and I hung out briefly by the shelter, she chatting with Mike and Vanessa and I trying to avoid flies. Phoenix had met Vanessa from Facebook or some other social networking site right before coming out on the trail. Always a funny thing to watch people try to figure out how they know you and from where.
We took photos away from the masses of flies and continued walking down Blood Mountain. Even though it did not take long to make our way down to Neels Gap (again, passing numerous day hikers going up the mountain) I was glad to be going north instead of south.
Upon arriving at Mountain Crossings (outfitter) at Neels Gap, we found out that the Trail Dames were doing their annual Hiker Feed!! What luck!! Again!!
Met up with BeeChucker, Matt from CT (M2), and many other familiar faces sitting around the rock wall and picnic tables. Hikers were absolutely everywhere, in and out of Mountain Crossings, buying gear, sending gear/weight home, chatting, picking up maildrops…everywhere! One reason was due to the fact that the grill was not working very well. It was a bit breezy and the flame kept being blown out. A couple of the Dames with the help of hikers, moved the grill to the side of the stone building and were able to commence grilling and feeding hungry hikers. Lucky for me, one of the Dames was a vegetarian herself which means that they had Boca Burgers! YAY!
Groove, Phoenix, BeeChucker and myself were sitting on the wall trying to figure out what our plans were. It was mid-afternoon and other hikers appeared to be eating and trying to figure out their plans as well. We decided to split a cabin just down the road (.3 miles) and enjoy the rest of the day. While we hammered out the details the vegetarian Trail Dame came back over to me on the wall and asked if I wanted another burger. Awhh, how cool is that? Of course, without hesitating, I said “absolutely, if you don’t mind” and hopped down to retrieve my prize. She stopped me, saying that she would bring it over to me when it was done. Sah-weet. Even my fellow hikers were slightly envious..free, good, healthy, hot food and service? I was being spoiled.
Since Phoenix Rising had known a few people from her days of being a Trail Angel herself, she was able to secure a ride for the four of us down to the cabins with her friend Ramblin’ Man. So, we all hopped in the back of his blue pickup truck and were whisked down to our home for the night.
It was nice to be in a structure with four walls. Ours was called the Rabbit Cabin and we were ecstatic. A small kitchenette meant that we were not going to be using our stoves and doing cleanup. Also, there was a beautiful creek babbling right behind our cabin and while the threat of rain was looming, it never really did anything.
First task, laundry. Phoenix Rising went to her room (she got the queen bed) and the rest of us just unloaded everything else in the main room. After Bee Chucker took our dirty laundry up to be washed, Groove went to task unloading unnecessary weight. BeeChucker and I had a great time watching him go back and forth from one side of the room where is pack was to a new pile on the other side of the room that was going to be mailed home. Sewing kits, mallet to tap in tent stakes, first aid kit were just a few of the items in the pile.
At one point, everyone seemed to be on their phones as we finally had good/decent service. My first call was to my friends Figgy and Stitch out in LA. They thru-hiked in 2007 and since I had tried to get a hold of them on April 1st on top of Springer Mountain, I thought to try again.
STITCH! Hey, what’s up?…. Ohh, not much…. Guess where I’m at? Nope, Neels Gap. Yeah, Neels Gap, started the trail on April 1st.
It was an awesome conversation, I think I’d blown Stitch’s mind for a bit. He had known the troubles and lengths I’ve gone through to try to be able to hike the AT and here I was finally giving it a go. Figs was not available but he told me he’d fill her in. It was so great to talk to him again.
Phoenix Rising and Bee Chucker were able to pick up dinner provisions at the little general store for the campground and my task was to cook up our spagetti dinner. We had lots of laughs over dinner and enjoyed sitting at a table together… very novel. Groove was gracious enough and insisted on doing cleanup. Who am I to stand in this man’s way?
I slept on the floor (on top of my Thermarest), Bee Chucker slept on the futon, Groove was upstairs and Phoenix got the best sleep in her room. Windows were open, more as a formality.. we were all tired, very full and very very happy.