Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mile 220 - Days 17 - 19

Greetings from Rangeley, ME! We are in the process of receiving the best trail magic evah! Remember I mentioned we've been hiking and camping on and off with a fellow SOBO Fire Marshall? For the past few days, he has been 1 day ahead of us. His family came up from VA to vacation in Rangeley and he of course wanted to meet them. We talked about maybe catching up to him in Rangeley, but didn't make set plans. Well, today we came off the trail looking and smelling like sewer rats and attempted (unsuccessfully) to hitchhike into Rangeley (no cell service of course). A car pulls up and it's a friend of Fire Marshall's family. She said she'll call him and tell him to come pick us up ... Not only did he pick us up, but he told us his parents insisted we stay at the house with his whole family!!! We tried to say no, but the offer was too good to pass up ... It gets better. We got to the house, showered, did laundry and they invited us for a DELICIOUS smorgasbord, complete with chicken, fish, pasta salad, beans ... Did I mention his family is in the restaurant business? So we are basically on cloud 9. Got to love Southern hospitality!!



Now onto trail updates ...

We are 10% done with the trail!!! Or as Deal would say, we only have 90% left ...

In the past few days, the weather definitely took a turn for the worst. They say the rain in Maine is a pain. Okay, maybe they don't say that, but it seems right. Not to mention we've traversed over 10,000 feet of elevation change, including climbing up Maine's largest ski area Sugarloaf (it was biotch to climb).

On Thursday, we got to a lean-to around 2ish and decided to just hunker down because the rain was so bad. We had a huge mountain range with 3 miles of above-treeline ridge walking (Saddleback Mtn) coming up and the signs warned not to attempt in bad weather ... Well we awoke this morning to the same conditions. We decided to attempt the trek. We are used to being in bad weather on mountains and at least there wasn't any lightning (That only happens when we hike with our friend Bolt).










So we hiked up the range and it was as terrible as we imagined it would be. Pelting hail that has left indentations on the left side of our faces, 70+ MPH wind gusts ... It took everything in me to stay upright. But, we survived. We do have a lot of guardian angels looking out for us!

Another funny story ... On Wednesday night, I was just about asleep, when Deal woke me up because he said there were bunnies outside of the lean-to. I thought it was the Advil PM daze, until I sat up and realized he was in an intense staring contest with a bunny on steroids. No, seriously, the bunny's paws were the size of Connecticut. And his eyes were a deep shade of red popping out of his head. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life. We thought we were in Alice's Wonderland. Side note ... We later found out that these are the immense snowshoe hares of Maine that often feast on thru hikers. Not sure why we were spared ...



More rain for the next couple of days, but at least we are dry for now! Thanks again for all the comments and e-mails ... I hope to actually return some messages one of these days ... Internet time is extremely limited!

PS - we are thinking of you Rec Committee as you prepare for the big 4th of July event!!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

How blessed you are to have Fire Marshall as a friend. Love the bunny story!! Stay safe.
Diane

Katherine said...

Thrilled that you are making friends who are treating you so wonderfully. It is because you and Justin are sooo nice to others. Payback is GOOD.

Mom F said...

For the last week, I've made it a habit to check your blog first thing in the morning before work or anything else. Today I was rewarded with a tale of wonder. Kiss and hug Fire Marshall for me. If the AT went through Chicago, I'd be sure to reciprocate his family's kindness in spades.

What is it with you and bunnies? Remember the night your sisters awoke to bunny rabbits running across their beds? You and your college roommate saved the day (night) by running them up and depositing them outside. You know that things happen in threes. Another strange encounter with bunnies awaits you one day.

Be safe always (this means following the advice of warning signs that ell you not to hike a huge mountain range in bad weather.

Anonymous said...

I remember some bunnies coming into our lives when were young and sleeping in our beds! Better watch out! Congrats on finishing 10%! I am vicariously living through you guys! Be safe.

Anonymous said...

Oh whoops that last anonymous comment was from SILadventure.

SAMSONAR5668 said...

It was so great meeting you both!! You two are absolutely wonderful and it is especially nice to be able to place a face with a name now! I hope you guys continue to make the most out of your exciting adventure and new life to come. Hopefully we will meet again on the trail soon.
: ) Alex

Katie Tewell said...

This is Katie- Fire Marshall's sister! I just found this Blog and am so glad that I can keep up with him through you all! So glad you all found each other and can be each others support system! We cannot wait for your arrival in VA...we are starting to cook now so we can make sure you get enough grub! Take care and stay dry and I am sending vibes for great weather and TONS of trail magic! Good Luck!