Miles Today: 13.9
Mile Marker: 1969.6
I woke up just before my alarm (Can't even escape the damn things in the woods!) went off at 6:00 raring to go. The second my alarm went off rain started pouring into my tent and onto my face. I quickly zipped up my vestibule and tried to mentally prepare to hike in the rain. A moment later thunder struck so loudly and so closely I could feel the ground shake. Not getting wet and electrocuted first thing in the morning. Nope! I popped my ear plugs back in and went back to sleep. Or I did until rain started trickling in and I realized all of the seams in my tent are coming untaped. Come on Big Agnes! I draped my rain jacket over the mesh above my face and relegated that to a post-hike James problem. Big Agnes is solid about their warranty from what I've heard.
Finally around 9:30 I got rolling and got on trail at 10:00. At 3:00 when I broke for lunch Mother Nature rolled out round two of her little game today. I quickly made a peanut butter and craisin wrap, put on my rain jacket, and started hiking. Within minutes the trail was a literal creek. In several places the running water hid the trail was a muddy bog. Several times I unexpectedly sunk calf deep.
I made it to town way later than expected. It took half an hour to catch a hitch. The grocery store didn't do me any favors either. The lady working the register had a thousand yard stare of someone who has been dead inside since the Nixon administration. The stare came accompanied by an equally lively willingness to help. I found the one bastion of helpfulness from a stocker who helped me find the headphones dead eyes said they didn't sell and told me the deli had an outlet I could use to charge my phone. The lady at the deli gave me a face as though I had just asked for a half pound of her beloved schnauzer sandwich sliced when I mentioned the plug. One out of three isn't bad I guess. The icing on the cake was the total being $80 for a TWO day resupply. From a REAL grocery store. I didn't get ripped off that badly at the camp store that wouldn't let me shower. I double checked the math. They did double charge me for a whoopie pie (Look em up, 840 calories of awesome. Unroll those eyes Mom), but that was only two dollars. I was about to dispute it when someone offered me a ride back to the trail. Fighting a two dollar charge over a free ride is bad trail math. I took the ride.
Despite all of the bullshit I had a pretty good time today. I had a moment of hysterical laughter when I checked the weather radar and saw where I was. I haven't looked at a map that big in a very long time. Seeing my little blip way up in middle of nowhere Maine kind of blew my mind. I went for a swim in a crystal clear lake and then laid in the sun for half an hour (all the sun for the day as it turned out) drying. I yelled out “Okay Maine! You win!” in the pouring rain today. Again more in laughter than defeat. Once I was completely drenched and my shoes were black with muck I stomped in a massive puddle like a toddler. I really want to be able to fire the engines back up to full blast and put down the miles, but for today I just let go. It wasn't happening and it ultimately doesn't matter. I still want to catch some friends for the summit, but ultimately if I can't it isn't the end of the world. We'll all still have the bond of this ridiculous experience, and we're all heading separate directions once this is done anyway.