100 Miles of Wild
Tuning in from the infamous Shaw’s Hiker Hostel, in Monson, Maine, you’re finding me full of whimsy. My smiles are bent with tears. My giddiness interrupted by pensive pause. My strength, crippled by my worn body, is nourished by my resolute mind. Yesterday, as I descended from Buck Hill and onto ME Route 15, I hiked into “town” for the last time. I purchased my last canister of fuel. Picked out my last set of ridiculously mismatched loaner clothes while my laundry spun in the foyer of a bunkhouse. Bumped elbows over an electrical outlet for the last time. Salivated over a handful of mail dropped quart-sized Ziplock baggies. Was offered a charitable cold hot dog. Introduced myself as “Dips”.
For the last time.
There are only 114.5 more miles that lay before me.
I’m completely jazzed.
This morning, as I washed my camp dishes in the communal steel sink that calls the center of the living area home, I had a vivid flashback. A flashback to a memory of watching my very first Appalachian Trail documentary from my loveseat on Gross Street in 2019. Hikers were washing their dishes at an outdoor trough while their washboarded laundry dried on clotheslines. They grabbed clean sheets on their way in and proceeded to make their own bunks. There were 20+ to a bathroom. “I just could never DO that.”, I declared to Katie as I was very softly entertaining the idea of a thru hike in the years to come.
Now here I stood. Cast in the leading role.