August 3, 2011

While the boys are hikin'

While the boys have been hikin' their butts off, I've gotten to really enjoy Maine [for the most part]. I've done some exploring, shopping, walkin' around, and even a little hiking. Let me just tell you - we are in the back woods of Maine. These little towns, if you can even call them that, aren't much of anything. There has been the rare gem in the mix - like Rangeley & Greenville...but other than that, it ain't much. I am so thankful for these last two weeks of this journey. They've definitely made me remember the joys of the trek & already I'm smiling on this adventure. We recently passed through Caratunk, Monson, & Greenville...and now I sit in Millinocket, ME once again taking advantage of the public library.

Let me take you through our last week on the trail, starting in Caratunk. First, I'm not sure how Caratunk even makes the map. This "town" makes Fountain Inn look like a booming metropolis. [I'm not hating, trust me..I love Ft. Inn, but I know it's not big!] There were maybe 12 houses & a P.O. that operated out of an old house, therefore it makes the map as a town. There wasn't even anywhere to re-supply! We called around looking for a place to stay, "on account of rain," of course & ended up at the Sterling Inn, a quaint B & B. We headed up the road for dinner at Northern Outdoors Resort - a one stop shop for everything you could want to do & more in the area. After dinner, we headed back to the inn for dessert with the gang: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Ice Cream [dessert after every meal would be OK if I were hiking...I'm doomed when I come home!]. The boys & Kiddo got on the trail the next morning for a really big day...thirty-ish miles to be exact - to make it from Caratunk to Monson. Kathy [Kiddo's mom] & I  explored Monson [what there was to explore] and decided we'd check out Greenville because it was a much bigger town. However, we spent two hours trying to come up with lodging for the 6 of us & ended up back in Monson at the Lakeshore House. This was actually  a treat & we got a great deal for it because they had to make room for us! It was also a great spot for our last zero day. It was right on the lake - everyone but me & Mike enjoyed the water [he had food poisoning from the night before, so we watched movies & he slept for most of the day]. A zero was a must before entering the "100 miles of wilderness" - where they're having to hike high 20's - 30 miles a day to make the road crossings where I'm waiting. (:

After dropping the boys off at the 112 mile mark between Monson & Greenville, I headed to Greenville to enjoy one more afternoon of civilization before entering the "100 miles of wilderness" myself. Greenville really was a cute little town, right on Moosehead Lake. There were shops of every sort, with furniture, jellies & jams, t-shirts, and even moose antlers for sale. If these bad boys weren't so dang expensive I'd be bringin' some back with me for sure. Don't judge. After stopping by the local pharmacy for some Swedish Fish for Mike, I hopped in the car & headed to my first pick up point in the wilderness: Katahdin Iron Works road. Too bad there aren't any hostels in the wilderness. It rained for most of the evening, meaning we had to set up camp in the rain & that our hikers were wet when they made it in ... past dark. I remember all too well the unpleasantness of hiking wet & in the dark, so I was feeling really bad for them [and you should too -- it gets really cold here when it rains!]. We ate a late dinner of tortillas with rice, beans, & corn and went right to bed. Kiddo got out early the next AM - but the boys decided they'd rather get a little extra sleep since they got in so late - so I dropped them off at the trail around 9:30. My next stop wasn't but about 20 miles up the road, so I stopped for a cup of coffee before heading that way [again, in a "how does this town make the map" town]. When I got to the gate, it was closed down - typically you have to pay to drive down these logging roads, but I took advantage of no one being there & let myself in (: That meant that I spent most of the day in the car at the AT crossing, but I was able to get the tents to dry a little, got camp set up, & had a spaghetti dinner waiting for the boys when they finally tramped out of the woods. AND after dinner, two flip-floppers made a fire, so we enjoyed our S'MORES treats from Mere & DP (: [thanks guys!].

Now, I'm in the "in between nothing & barely a town" town of Millinocket - they did have a McDonalds, so that counts for something! I'll be on the road once again here shortly--at the end of the day the boys & Kiddo will have 32.5 miles go to to reach Katahdin .. and ONE MORE DAY OF HIKING!! Katahdin on Friday is "just for fun" (: Bring it on!!

wild flowers. you know i had to.
wild flowers - you know I had to

"cool as a moose"
"cool as a moose"
I thought this may be my only siting of a moose..but I saw a real one two nights ago!! 

We found OTT & Battlecat!!
we found OTT & Battlecat - our friends from VA! (: good stuff!

Yes, this is a goat. No, it is not considered a "pack animal" ...
Yes this is a goat. Our first experience with a goat on the trail -- technically you aren't allowed to have "pack-animals" but these guys don't count because they're too small [even though he weighed almost 200lbs!]

Mike demonstrating how he was walkin' up the mountain
Mike demonstrating how he walked up the mountain. Old man style 

the Sterling Inn, where we stayed near Caratunk, ME
the Sterling Inn

for you dad -- an old hardware store scale that was once part of the Sterling Inn
dad, this is for you--it's an old hardware scale that was used when at some point the inn was a hardware store!

an old church in Monson, ME
a beautiful old church in Monson

a gorgeous old building in Greenville, ME
an old, old building in Greenville

The Lakeshore Hostel where we stayed in Monson
the Lakeshore House where we stayed

beautiful! -- the view from the Lakeshore Hostel

more reflections
more reflections

Loop, Upstate, & Tiger w/ 112 MILES TO GO!
Loop, Upstate, & Tiger with 112 miles to go!

Greenville, ME. Almost as good as Greenville, SC...but not quite.
welcome to Greenville, ME! it's almost as good as Greenville, SC ...but not quite. 

a storms-a-movin-in

still comin' [yes, I know...I should be setting up camp instead of taking pictures..oh well]
hmmmmmm gettin' close 

i know..i should be setting up camp while it's not raining, but i couldn't help myself! 

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