Last night I arrived to the day's final destination after having being on the move for over 12 hours from Bozeman, Montana. The day's travels ended in Millinocket, Maine, a very small town with a friendly local community where everyone seems to know everyone.
I was unable to finish my previous post I started to write while I was in Bozeman, but it seemed be summed up quite well by my dad in the next post. I do want to personally thank David and Susan for their generosity and hospitality, as they invited yours truly, a complete stranger, wet and smelly, into their wonderful home overlooking Lake Washington and the downtown Seattle area. David, you are a courageous human being to be, and continue to strive for more accomplishments! Truly inspiring! Susan, you keep up your fantastic artwork, including baking those amazing blackberry pies. Delicious!
I also would like to thank Shea for treating me to a wonderful trail's end and birthday celebration at Chico Hot Springs, and for everything you have helped me with while transitioning from the PCT to the AT. The visit I had in Yellowstone couldn't have gone much better. I was able to see and catch up most of my friends I have made over the past seven years in the park while visiting the Old Faithful Inn and Lake Lodge. Unfortunately, I did miss one of my best friends, Julie. I only mention it, because I know she will be reading this soon. Sorry, Jules. Will call you soon!
A small propeller aircraft carried me and only about seven other passengers from Bozeman, Montana to Denver, Colorado. I only had about 5 minutes to run across the Denver airport to catch my next jumbo jet to LaGuardia airport in New York City. Flying into New York was exciting. I was able to catch airiel views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and all the massive skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building. It was quite the change in scenery from having a bird's eye view of timber lined lakes and snow capped mountains. After a couple hours in New York, I was off in my smallest plane yet to Bangor, Maine. Before touching down there, I was able to enjoy an amazing sunset above the clouds from my seat. Once in Bangor, I had just enough time to buy a bus ticket for Medway, Maine and grab a chicken sandwich and jr. bacon cheeseburger from Wendys, my first meal of the day! Darkness had fully set in by the time I arrived in Medway and the owner of the Appalachian Trail Lodge was there to pick me up and drive me another 12 miles to Millenocket, Maine, the closest town to the AT's northern terminus. Surprisingly, I met my first two thru hikers that also had arranged for Paul to pick them up. Two of a Kind, a couple from Jacksonville Florida, were flipping forward from southern Maine to start the end of their northbound hike. They had started their trek from the AT's southern terminus in north Georgia, March 12th. The three of us grabbed a bite to eat at Paul's Appalachian Trail Lodge Cafe before finally settling down at the Lodge itself after a long day's worth of travels. At the lodge, other AT thru hikers that had just finished their trek from Georgia were celebrating. Trinket and Toothpick were among a couple of the hiker's present.
Today, I will take a day off! I woke up slow and late and enjoyed a giant breakfast at the local cafe. Hopefully after getting a few chores done, like getting food supplies, researching my next junt across Maine, and post office duties, I will relax, get some ice on my ankle, and wait for a decsion to come to whether or not I should stay another night in town before firing up the hiking engines again from Mount Katahdin. Until them, I will continue to discover the differences from being out west along the PCT and the older, more historic, sites along the Appalachian Trail. Without even looking around, it's easy to tell I am in a new world, New England, by listening to the chatter of voices amongst the local town people. Accents have changed dramatically! Buildings are smaller and older. Streets are narrower. More hardwood trees with leaves are begining to change into exploding organge, yellow and red blasts. I can hardly wait for my trekking adventure to continue southbond across this beautiful country I have already, and will continue to admire and love in slow motion. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. Happy trails!