I finally rose to a very large spider click-click-clacking its spindly legs along the sleek fabric of my puffy, and then my ground tarp.
Alright! I’m up, I’m up!
For me a thru-hike is mental, entirely mental. I just needed to find my rhythm again.
Is my slowing progress a matter of wanting to be in the moment and take in the beauty– of not wanting this incredible journey to end…or is that just an excuse for lack of motivation and follow through? I did not know. Lets just say its the former.
I stopped by a beautifully clear stream. I drank. I sat for a long while.
I came to Long Arm Road. There were two hikers about to climb in to a vehicle. Without too much consideration I walked over and asked if they were heading in to Andover. One turned to the other “Can we taker her in to Andover?” “Sure” they said. I hopped in the back and they fed me pretzel rods and small talk.
Then, there I was again, in the tiny town of Andover. I bought a coffee and a few snacks and sat at the familiar benches.
Oh, my. Why in tarnation had I come back again? I certainly would not be finding my rhythm amongst the aisles of goods.
I walked to the curb and stuck out my thumb for a ride back to the trail. It was not long before a sweet elderly man, who happened to live on Long Arm Road, stopped to give me a lift.
He was very kind. We spoke of Maine water, and the weather and the fall colors. We spoke of animals, most especially moose. “Have you seen one!?”
“No. But I hope to!” I replied.
“Well. They like it when it’s cool. Your chances will increase as you continue up north. In fact. I just saw a family of them recently, just near here. I’ll show you a picture.”
He pulled in to the driveway of his bright white home. A wooden pallet, painted like the American flag, stood propped against the house just beyond the front lawn. He pointed at it, beaming “My daughter made that for me!”
Then he disappeared inside. When he returned he handed me a photograph of three moose in the woods. “You can keep that if you’d like…just in case you don’t see one.” I smiled and thanked him, tucking the photograph in to my pocket.
Back at the trail, I was determined to make good progress.
I crossed a stream and sat beside it, just before the climb up Old Blue Mt. Maybe I will just take a nap, I thought. I laid out my ground tarp and sleeping mat, pulled out my sleeping bag, and fell asleep beneath the stars.