Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
5Trip End Nov 25, 2012
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Like I said in the previous entry, our original goal was to make it out of the 100 mile wilderness and into Monson for the 4th of July. It was no easy task, even after we hiked two 17 mile days over rugged mountainous terrain. We underestimated the trail difficulty, and both nights ended up hiking into darkness and rain, using our headlamps to guide us. On the day of the 4th, we had a 15 mile hike into town, but were too worn out to make it at a reasonable hour.
Once we arrived in Monson, we could tell that we had not missed too much the night before. The town was tiny, and the main drag had very little to offer. It was home to two hiker hostels, abandoned buildings, a recently closed general store, and a rumored population of 666. Green Thumb and I hitchhiked into town while Toosh waited for Hopper to finish the trail. A local gave us a ride, and informed us that no restaurant in town was open during weekday lunch hours. We happily settled for the town's gas station, grabbed all the hot food we could, and began walking to the hostel to meet up with Toosh and Hopper.
Once we arrived at Lakeshore House Hostel, we met the owner, a woman named Rebekah, who had given Toosh and Hopper a ride. Rebekah lived at the hostel with her husband and children, and had built up a trail-wide reputation for her great hospitality. The beautiful building was located on a large lake, and was extremely well maintained by previous hikers participating in the work for stay program. The hostel featured a full-service pub, laundromat, and a plethora of other amenities. Guests could use the hostel's kayaks, canoes, laptops, VHS tapes, and cleaning tools free of charge. The four of us had our own bunk room, and after a partial day of R&R we decided to also stay the following day in order to let our bodies rejuvenate.
We stayed with a large group of northbound thru hikers who were gathering in Monson to complete the 100 mile wilderness and summit Katahdin together. Northbounders can be easily identified by their long unkept beards, holes in their clothes, and constant smile for being near the finish line. Most were very kind to us rookie southbounders, and took the time to give us advice, intel, and funny stories from their journeys.