July 27, 2011

Monkey Tribe ReUnited

First, I must say that I've been accused of "hi-jacking" the blog [from the other members of the Monkey Tribe]. I reminded them that it was my blog and that I can blog about whatever I want..be it cake tasting, friend visiting, or wedding hair - or trail things, it's mine to blog however I want. (: I realize how silly it was and apologize. [Can you tell Upstate & I are battling right now over this?!...can't give him the computer for one minute!]

Well, I made it to Maine after close to 21 hours of driving...not straight through of course. I left out Friday morning after breakfast at Chick-Fil-A with Carson. One last time since Chick-Fil-As are far & few between above the Mason-Dixon line. My first stop [not including bathroom & food breaks] was Doug & Karena's house in Libertytown, MD. You'll remember them from Memorial Day weekend ... and Brock breaking Doug's nose. Marlene was even there -- it was a mini reunion with these guys! We enjoyed dinner, catching up & home-made peach cobbler (: YUM! Saturday AM I made it out around 9AM after a delicious meal of breakfast casserole & biscuits made from scratch [thanks Karena!]. I headed east out of Libertytown to hook up with I-95. Once I made the connection it was smooth sailin' until the New York area. If you've ever driven the route I took I feel sorry for you! Not only did I have to pay over $30 in tolls, I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for over an hour between NY & CT. AND since I have a micro-bladder that only made things worse. When I finally made it out of CT I hit the highway in MA and coasted on to Maine. Vermont was out of this world beautiful. I told Mike I would move there just for the beauty and the greenness! I hope we really get to enjoy driving through there on our way home...it's really hard impossible to get any pictures of the landscape when you're the driver and the photographer. Mike'll have to drive realllllllly slow on the way home (: Back to my current drive. As I was getting closer to Maine I had to pass through Gorham, NH. This is a really cute little town [from what I could see during my drive by in the dark] with lots of little shops & restaurants. About 1/2 a mile before town actually started I saw something large & black cross the road in front of me. I flipped on the brights & behold! IT WAS A BEAR!!! I'm not gonna lie - that was pretty cool! I spazzed out & called my dad [who upon answering the phone wanted to know "are you there yet!?"] since he hunts them & could appreciate the coolness of it. After the bear sighting Mike called to tell me that he, Loop, & Face Jacket were at a gas station...could I pick them up on my way into town? I quickly found the gas station where they had parked themselves on a curb [as it was the only thing around].  They were in the process of passing-around a gallon jug of whole milk and a bag-full ("bag-full" as in a quantity of more than thirty) of Dunkin Donuts that had been handed to them out of a back door, wrapped in a black trash bag at closing time!  I swung right in and rescued them from their street-ratery! How sweet it is to see your best friend in the world after 5.5 long weeks of separation. If you only knew! And of course it was good to reunite the Monkey Tribe [with our newest member..Face Jacket Monkey] We headed back to the Briar Lea B&B where we were staying for the evening. They sure brought me back in style! This was a neat little gem in Bethel, ME - if you're ever in the area, I'd highly recommend it!

Sunday brought us to our first day of slackin' the boys. We headed to Grafton Notch State Park where they'd ended the night before - I dropped them off with big grins & tiny packs. They only planned on hiking 10 miles because we'd spent the morning planning out the next two weeks. After dropping them off, I decided I'd head on to our "end point" for the night which happened to only take me 20 minutes to get to. So--I spent the afternoon sweating it out in the car...reading & napping. This is where I met Kiddo's mom, Kiddo, & Tide [the boys already knew them, but they're new friends]. When the boys made it to the parking lot, we hiked down the trail a little to an awesome swimming hole / camp site & set up our tents, sat around the fire, and decompressed. We cooked dinner at the car [thanks Mrs. Pam for the taco soup-it was perfect for this Maine weather!]. Everyone agreed that it's much nicer to have a car to camp out of and to leave all of your gear in! We got up & out on Monday morning...the boys once again leaving with their "day packs" & me heading off to the next road. However, this time the quaint town of Andover was in between me and the boys. I had coffee and an egg at the local diner & met up with Kiddo's mom. She was actually having car trouble, so I offered her a ride to the road crossing where our hikers would cross for lunch. She gladly accepted [we'd learned that the Andover Public Library was only open one day a week...so it was either go with me or sit at the diner until her car was fixed]. We met the boys for lunch as planned and surprised Kiddo when she got there! We ended up waiting for Tide who came along a little after it'd started raining and decided [wisely] to call it a day, so we brought her back to town with us. By that time Cathy's [Kiddo's mom] car was fixed so I dropped her off at Martin's garage [go figure]. We'd planned to pick up our hikers that night at the same road & since Cathy heard from locals that the weather was supposed to be nasty I called the Town & Lake Motel & Lakeside Cottages in Rangeley to see if they had anything to accommodate the 7 of us [asking for a hiker rate of course]. Surprisingly, they offered us a cabin for $100 + tax a night for the 7 of us! I scooped up the boys [after waiting in a lady construction worker's truck because it was FRIGID out & you couldn't see Edmund from where I had to park bc of the road construction] & proudly told them of the deal I'd gotten. Off we went! Cathy, Kiddo, & Tide weren't far behind & suggested dinner together in town. We took 'em up & headed the 0.3 miles down the road to the diner, which was closed. However, not far down the road, The Red Onion was open so we headed there. Full and tired we drove back to the cabin for warm showers, fire, reading, the Braves game, and bed. This morning we made the executive decision to stay another night in the cabin - all 7 of us - since the next road crossing is only about 10 miles from here. So...here I sit in the lobby [after a day of exploring the town] waiting for the boys to finish their hike. I have high hopes of canoeing on the lake & possibly visiting the library once they're back (:

Oh yea! For all you folks sweating it out in the 100+ degree weather at home...I'm sitting comfortably in my faithful sweatpants and long sleeve tee. It's in the 60's, and of course I'm freezing, but I'm sure y'all would love it. (: haha

Special and sincere Thank You to everyone who contributed to our food stores and sent notes from home!  You guys know who you are, and your generosity is humbling.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

packin' up!
packin' up 

NY .. sitting in traffic
NY - sitting in traffic. 

God is GOOD. Sunset over Vermont Mt.s [don't worry, i pulled over at a pull off for this pic]
God is GOOD! This picture doesn't do the sunset over the mountains in Vermont justice. I was blown away .

Mikey scrubbing off the bugs from Edmunds windshield.
Mikey scrubbing the bugs of the windshield. He was happy to have Edmund up here--even if he is pretty dirty from the drive up! 

The Briar Lea Inn where we stayed our first night with me back
The Briar Lea Inn where we stayed my first night back

car camping
Car Camping = glorious (: 

my hang-out spot in Andover
my hang out in Andover - the local diner! 

Cabin #26 in Rangeley
our cabin in Rangeley - we stayed here 2 nights because of the weather & the amazing deal they gave us 

Loop, Upstate, Me, Kiddo, Face Jacket, Tide & Cathy
Loop, Upstae, Me, Kiddo, Face Jacket, Tide & Cathy at the Red Onion 

Rangeley Library
where I am right now...the Rangeley Publi Library 

1 comment:

  1. Matt said that y'all are scheduled to be done next FRIDAY!?! That is so soon. We are living vicariously through you here in Athens and wishing we were hanging out up there in cooler weather. Where are you now, exactly? Happy trails! See you so soon!

    Amanda, Matt, David, and Baby Tingle