Crossing the Border

7/3/16     Full Goose Trail Shelter      15 miles

We crossed into Maine today! We got our asses handed to us today! We having been waiting for this day for over a year but we are so exhausted we can’t really comprehend our accomplishment. I fell victim to the hiker high having officially lived thru the White Mountains; I felt invincible. Maine has reminded both of us both we are wee little insignificant hikers.

We woke to a windy morning but felt like superheroes thanks to  the Batman Cereal we destroyed the night before. (It should be noted that ingesting superhero cereal seriously makes you develop temporary superhero powers. It should also be noted this has absolutely nothing to due with sugar.) I have no idea why I started hitting the wall around mile five today. Darwin was insistant that we only stop at the border for a break/possible early lunch. I was barely able to pick up my feet when the border sign was finally in view; my legs had turned to sandbags.

I slumped onto the sign and hugged it. I cried but only for the fact I was ready for a break and who was I kidding, lunch too. I plopped down in the dirt and started to dig out my food bag saying nothing to Darwin about my decision to lunch early. He asked to take a picture of the sign but I just glared at him practically growling as I shoved a tortilla in my mouth. He took the clue and started digging out his food bag too. Once I gained some sort of humanity, we started talking with a few other hikers that had arrived at the border one of them being a Southie. We listened to his stories of the hardships of Maine when we all looked up and noticed we were being spied on by a perfectly placed moose. Maine had gifted us a moose (yes, she was on the Maine side)! Finally! Darwin tried to take a picture of her but she wasn’t to photogenic and took off.

Our Maine high didn’t last to long after lunch. The first mile into our last state both my boots became acquainted with Maine Mud after I sank down over my ankles. Why did I feel so tired today? I was moving so slow Darwin was stopping and waiting several minutes before I could catch up with him. We had plans to do the Notch today but due to my sluggishness we were not going to make it. This put me in a bad mood thinking about our now longer miled tomorrow. Our climbs today felt steeper, the  mud was every where (were we not supposed to be done with mud in Vermont?), and the trail had turned to slippery wooden boards again. Shouldn’t I be killing it right now? Shouldn’t the trail be giving us a break? Maybe Maine was really as bad as Southies have been telling us. I feet like a total ween. The only thing bothering Darwin was me, I was slowing him down.

We finally arrived at the shelter and were greeted by two happy older men. I felt like I could claw their eyeballs out for being so happy. Darwin and I were sweaty and tired and I was covered in mud. Once I ate a snack and had a pity party for myself I felt a bit better. I grabbed the log book and was surprised to see entries from last year. Darwin and I read a ton of entries some from even from Roub, Apple Cider, Mufassa, and Aussie Legs. Almost all of them were bitching about Maine being super tough, making low miles, exhaustion, mud, rain, and heat. Wow! Maybe I’m not a ween! Maine is already hard! I felt relieved and comforted from my friend’s entries.

After getting cleaned up and starting dinner, I felt less raw and really enjoyed the company of the two older men staying in the shelter. They gave Darwin and I a few extra granola bars and extra cheese which we consumed immediately. Later into the evening a Southie named “Hand Made” arrived and shared his stories of travel with us. It is really all about perspective. A little pep talk from old friends, good conversation, and extra food can go a long way out here. I just hope I remember this tomorrow.


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