Friday, March 4, 2016

Day 152: Looping around Monson

August 6: I ate a hearty breakfast at Shaws. It's impossible not to have a hearty breakfast if you eat breakfast at Shaws since it included blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon and OJ. Oh, and unlimited blueberry pancakes. Love the blueberry pancakes. =)

I ate with a couple of reporters from England who were writing a travel piece about the Appalachian Trail since the movie A Walk In the Woods would be coming out soon. Bill Bryson, if you didn't know, is a pretty big deal in England. So these two were spending two weeks "driving the trail" from Springer Mountain to Katahdin, hitting some of the highlights finding interesting places that British folks on a two-week "holiday" might do along the Appalachian Trail.

The giant pile of blueberry pancakes.... Take all you want! =) That's one of the English reporters in the background, although I'm not sure why she has that disgusted-looking expression on her face. The pancakes were delicious! (Maybe it was the sheer volume that disturbed her?)

It was kind of strange talking to them. They'd been standing on Springer Mountain just a week or two earlier. It seemed like a lifetime ago to me, though. Or, more precisely, 151 days ago as the case may be. =)

I didn't intend to do any real hiking today--I had a lot of emails and blog posts I needed to write before leaving Monson. However.... I was at a pretty good location to do a "nero" (near-zero) day. I had walked two miles off the trail into Monson along a mostly dirt road that didn't get much use, but if I had walked another 3.3 miles, I'd have reached Highway 15 and could have hitched a short ride back into town. Walking into town on the road.... I wouldn't do that. It's not especially far (3.6 miles), but it's a busy road with fast-moving traffic on a paved road. It wouldn't be safe or pleasant to walk on.

But since I like to stretch my legs anyhow, I figured I may as well stretch them another 3.3 miles of the Appalachian Trail, so that's exactly what I did. I walked the two miles back to the trail, then 3.3 miles of the trail, finally arriving at the trailhead on Highway 15. The walk wasn't particularly noteworthy one way or another. I took a slight off-trail detour to Doughty Ponds just for fun but that trail wasn't particularly well-maintained.

Back at Highway 15, I stood on the side of the road for several minutes trying to hitch a ride as car after car whipped passed without stopping. When a couple of guys came out of the woods from the north and started getting into their car, I walked over and asked if they were heading towards Monson because if they were, I'd sure like a ride.

And presto! I got a ride! =)

They were out scouting the area, wanting to come back later to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness (which starts immediately past this trailhead) and I told them about my hike. We didn't talk long, however, since it doesn't take very long to drive 3.6 miles down a highway.

They dropped me off in town and that was my day of hiking.

The rest of the day I mostly spent hunched over my laptop working on blog posts. For lunch, I walked back to Pete's Place, this time with a couple of southbound hikers staying at the hostel named Inchworm and Box Turtle. Inchworm and I were going to get an entire pie to split between the two of us, but she wanted blueberry and the only blueberry pie left at the store already had a slice taken out of it. We were bummed about that, but drowned our sorrows in two slices of blueberry pie each, along with the "glorified grill cheese" sandwich. Box Turtle got one slice of the pie and the glorified grill cheese. Perhaps she was on a diet? =)

I went back to work on my blog and later in the evening, Vulture was wandering around looking for her group. She was planning to go out with some friends for dinner, but they had somehow left her behind and she didn't know where they went.

"Ah, don't feel too bad," I told her. "I'll take you out for dinner!" =)

So we headed to a pub where we found the rest of her friends and joined them. I ordered "The Bomb," a large hamburger that was, true to its name, the bomb. *nodding*

And eventually, we all headed back to Shaws again. I got a lot work done on my laptop, ate a lot of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and still managed to complete another 3.3 miles of the Appalachian Trail. All-in-all, a pretty good day! =)

Doughty Pond has this canoe along its shore, but it didn't look very usable at the moment.... I'm not sure if it just filled up from rain or if there's a hole in the boat, and I didn't bother trying to figure it out. =)

Lots of mud still around!


Karolina said...

What are home friends? What is OJ?

Grumpy Grinch said...

They don't have home friends in Poland? (Auto-correct changed home fries to home friends. Home fri s are cubed, fried potatoes).

OJ murdered his ex-wife and her boyfriend and got off (actually, it is orange juice).

Mary said...

I think the expression on the reporter's face is reflecting her thoughts of "My mouth is full of pancakes and I'm trying to smile and this guy is taking my picture NOW???" My husband manages to capture many similar photos of me in similar poses due to rapid photo taking without leaving time for one to pose.

Ryan said...

Suppose to say home fries, not home friends! Fixed that typo. But it is nice to friends at home too. =) I don't think I can really blame auto-correct on that, though. I used my desktop computer to type it. I blame poor editing! But what Grumpy Grinch said.... they're cubed, fried potatoes.

OJ is short for orange juice, not OJ Simpson! =) I definitely pretty not to have him for breakfast!

Mary, I think you nailed the reporter's thoughts exactly!

-- Ryan