Once again I awoke in the cold, my legs stiff from working so hard and from being cold. Each step coming out of the morning had to be planned until my body and legs synced back up. I left before the others as usual, I liked being on fire. The steep climb going almost straight up at times tried to slow my pace, the cold air wouldn’t allow it. I had to move fast to stay warm, my fingers freezing finally came back to life halfway up the mountain. This was the last mountain before the epic moment of our hike, the moment before I would pass the two thousand mile marker.
I was so lost in thought when I reached the top that I blew by the trail and went the wrong direction. I wouldn’t get back the right way until my partners caught me and turned me around. The early sun and high smog allowed no pictures at the views. The hazy air and atmosphere dulled any and all colors. Running down to the saddle I began to see signs of life, moose tracks. As I came to the top of the second peak I knew how it had gotten there. It was in reality a large pile of moose scat, so aptly named Moose Shit Mountain by us. The entire summit was covered in droppings and prints. I hoped to see one but wouldn’t have any luck. For now the marker called to me on the long gradual climb down.
Over the next few miles I only listened to music and was free from thought. When I came to the marker in the trail I stopped and admired my accomplishment. Looking at it, I noticed how disheveled it had become and started to clean it up. Removing the needles and leaves, straightening the sticks, even adding yellow foliage to brighten the sign. With the fall colors in place and everything about perfect, my companions came down the trail. Stopping only for a few minutes for pictures and family cam we headed the last mile to town.
Getting a hitch in Maine had been hard and proved equally hard that day two. After about a half an hour a lovely local couple gave us a ride into the local bar for food. Eating our burgers and resupplying, laundry would be next. Laundry day in the laundromat is always full of adventures. Sitting there in just our rain jackets, I took to writing while the others goofed off. When all of our chores were done we took to getting a ride out. No luck again, being in a town of five hundred or so people, there just wasn’t enough vehicles. By the time we got a ride out we could only go to the campsite two miles away.
Never a dull moment on the trail, when we arrived at the campsite we arrived at a forest fire. Someone had started a fire and let it burn out of control, the small fire became a large pit of coals and was so hot that you could cook over it. Once again i would have to call the rangers. Our trowel and bottles of water could only do so much to combat the underground burn. Eating dinner, making our homes, I waited for the rangers. When they arrived I walked them along the trail to the fire and helped them put it out with shovels and water sprayers. Saying good night and wishing them well I finally got to go to bed. I was so tired, so tired to the point of exhaustion, I finally slept well.