Nearing the border of Maine finally!
Allow me to take you from Stratton, ME to Andover, ME! At the Stratton Motel I met a man named Sundowner. He just turned 64 years old and is from Charlotte, NC. Fantastic company! Foot-Z, Sundowner and I hiked from Stratton to Rangeley together. Just to show you how irrational my thoughts have been... on (6/23) we hiked 13.4 miles to Spaulding Mtn Lean-to. It was rainy, and windy most of the day. I got tired of wearing a cold wet t-shirt (that constantly kept me wet even when there was no rain) that I ended up taking it off and walking shirtless up the mountains. Personally it felt fine to me, but the 8 Penn State Med students that we met at the shelter thought I was crazy when I came walking up in the foggy nastiness as they shivered in jackets inside the shelter. Fun times! They gave me hot chocolate and fed me a pancake in the morning! Thank you if you are reading this! They even gave Sundowner a hit of whiskey! (Surprising that the college students had whiskey...)
The day we were coming into Rangeley, I found a bird on the side of Saddleback Jr. Mtn. It appeared to be bathing in a puddle on the trail, but as I approached, it didn't go anywhere. I ended up picking it up (apparently saving it from drowning) and carried it for a little while. It was drowsy and didn't appear to have much strength (it couldn't stand). So after a little while, I decided I would put it in a dry place (so that if it were to pass, at least it wouldn't drown!) It was very interesting to say the least.
When we got to Rangeley, we spent the night at the Rangelely Inn. An expensive, but nice place. The next morning I got to go to church! WOO HOO! I attended the Rangeley Free Baptist Church for Sunday school at 9:00 and the service at 10:00. I met the pastor Scott Wilson, Sue Damm (who offered her home for a weary hiker), Josh and Adrian (sp) Heatley, and Randy and Marianne (sp) Goodwin. In Sunday school we discussed angels, demons and Satan. I enjoyed the many scripture passages that supported our discussion. Pastor Scott's sermon focused on "Restoration." He read from John 21 and explained how Jesus revealed himself while some of the apostles were fishing. Jesus says, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!" In the end, the story emphasizes that we should not get caught up or side-tracked by God's will for someone else, but should focus on our relationship to Him and his will for our lives. That definitely does not excuse us from ministering to people and spreading the gospel, but rather from losing focus on Him.
I like how John 21 concludes. In verse 25 it says, "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." Friends, we only have a glimpse at the life and ministry of our Savior! I am thankful for the Bible! I could never read that many books!
After church, I was invited to lunch by Josh Heatley and ate burgers, corn, chips and ice cream at the home of Randy Goodwin and family. After lunch they took me to town and I watched Thor with Foot-Z and Sundowner at the Lakeside Theater.
We ate ate the Red Onion and I had some delicious snapper! After dinner, Randy picked me up and brought me back to the house for a warm shower and a very soft bed! It was AMAZING! Sue Damm was kind enough to take my other 2 hobo/hiker friends in and give them free lodging as well! We all got breakfast the next morning too! It was such a BLESSING! I sincerely thank God for these wonderful christian people who demonstrated Christ's love by caring for us and making us feel welcome. I feel like I have family in Maine now! Let me know when you visit Georgia!
Out of Rangeley Foot-Z and I did a 17.6 mile day to compensate for the zero that we took in Rangelely. The terrain wasn't too bad, but it definitely wore me out! The most exciting thing from the day was that I got attacked by a Ptarmigan! This mid-sized bird went bonkers because her chicks were right beside the trail. I got some pretty good footage of her attacking me and strutting around while they retreated. Very cool experience!
The next day I hiked 12.8 miles over several mountains and got in right before dark. It was a very tiresome day, but feels good to have endured it! I met two biologists on the trail from the Dept. of Conservation who were mapping sub-alpine tundra (if I remember correctly). We spoke for a little while and the man gave me a handful of strawberries and blueberries that were to die for! Delicious!
A note on my gear, I have drastically reduced the weight with my pack, but I am still considered "heavy" by most thru-hikers. I am trying to figure out what I can send home, but it may come with some gear exchange. Some of my gear is getting pretty worn out and I could definitely upgrade to some lighter alternatives. I will be making a couple purchases real soon (new air mattress pad, small tent) so if you would like to help with those purchases, please send a check to my parents at:
268 Rothell Rd.
Toccoa, GA 30577
:-) Thank you for reading this blog despite my not-so-subtle attempts to request support! If you would like to do a bake sale, sell handmade baskets, carve small wooden figurines of me with how you expect my beard to look, anything you would like to do to raise money would be appreciated!
I would rather have a tent on hand than this tarp. Might just be a mental thing...
I will be in NEW HAMPSHIRE by the time I blog next! My next stop will be at the White Mountains Lodge and Hostel in Gorham, NH. Then I will be going through the undisputed, hardest section of the Appalachian Trail. The White Mountains. Please pray that I will have safe travels through this section and that I will not go broke in the extremely expensive huts. I will be trying to do what is called work-for-stay. Essentially, I will be trying to work off the price of sleeping on the floor for the night!
I will be coming into Gorham, NH on 7/2 or 7/3. In two days, I will be doing what they call the "hardest mile on the AT" called Mahoosuc Notch. This mile is essentially a large jumbled pile of boulders. I am sure you will be hearing more about this once I reach the next town!
The format is not great, but hopefully the pictures and video work! Hah. Enjoy the upgrade! I will post again soon! I leave you with one of the daily photos from my impending beard growth montage...
I ate a double cheeseburger, a meat-lovers pizza and a banana split with 3 scoops of ice cream for dinner. Good times in Andover!
Amplexus "Lexus" SOBO '11
Posted 29th June 2011 by Josh Seehorn