Three years ago this week, I made it to Mount Katahdin….sort of. I’d planned to walk all the way there from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian Trail. I only made it 1,405 miles to a road crossing (and convenience store with decent pizza) in New York. My feet had been in pain for more than a month. Every step hurt. I couldn’t make my daily mileage and I certainly had stopped having any fun. Sitting there, eating my pizza, I knew I had to get off the trail. A friend who lived in the area took me to her house and got me to a doctor. Prognosis: The bones in my feet were breaking down. My hike was over, unless I wanted to suffer permanent damage.
I’m still here in Millinocket, Maine…..
It’s a busy place here at the Appalachian Trail Lodge in Millinocket, Maine. I get one day off a week. If I’m lucky. There are a lot of 12+ hour days. I work in the gear shop, scrub toilets, drive shuttles, clean & sweep, answer the same 6 questions on the phone and do a pile of laundry each day the size of Mt Katahdin.
Here are a few fleeting observations:
Hikers have forgotten how to flush. Seriously. And I can’t decided if they need to eat more fiber or less, but the toilet need plunging once or twice a week.
Hikers have a very distinctive smell. It’s part body funk with ground in dirt, a heaping helping of sweaty socks, and a a hint of rotten egg. Delicious! We ask them to leave their backpacks on the porch and wash themselves and their clothes as soon as reasonable.
…..or at least that’s what they tell me! It’s the state slogan. I can say for sure the place is beautiful. Here are photos I’ve snapped the last few days.