I arrived in Piseco, NY around noon today. I had a mail drop with some fresh supplies I picked up at the post office which was conveniently located right on the Northville Placid Trail.
I knew after Piseco I would no longer be overlapping the Northville Placid Trail. Things after were a bit of a maze of snow mobile trails, established trails, road walks and avoiding private lands. It would take a bit more planning and a lot more navigation than I had been doing while overlapping the Northville Placid Trail, so I was looking to find a place to stay for the night, get off trail and plan for the route ahead.
I grabbed a delicious lunch at the local deli and only store in town Casey’s Corner where I ran into another hiker. We talked gear and trails while we ate. Afterwards I headed down the road to check the local hotel for availability, they had none but directed me to the Oxbow Inn, a restaurant next door that rented rooms upstairs by the night. I was able to get a room for the night at reasonable rate and they had great food! Time to study and plan for the hiking ahead.
I learned the term “bouncing” from some fellow hikers on the Appalachian Trail. It refers to mailing things to towns ahead of you as you go down the trail. I am “bouncing” some clippers and razors ahead on the trail for a good clean up once in town. I am also bouncing toothpaste, soap, and a few other things. Very helpful!
Too many town days? Most distance hikers tend to avoid spending too much time in town. A quick resupply, laundry and a shower and get out. I understand, as you tend to spend money when you are in town. I like my town days though. The creature comforts get you through when life is dirty, sloppy, tired, hungry and painful on the trail.
I’ve ate, showered, done laundry, slept ate, showered, updated my journal, slept, ate, showered slept and again. Definitely have had my fill of comforts.
Admittedly also I loath rain hiking and we’ve had a good bit of rain the last 2 days so I’m avoiding sloppy trails. Who wouldn’t want to stay here? I’m good and rested though. I’ll head back out tomorrow.
I woke up at first light today (around 5:15). I knew I had 15 miles to cover getting into Long Lake. I had a resupply to pick up at the post office there and I was hoping I still had a hotel reservation despite being a day later than I had originally estimated.
I was looking to make it to town by noon and would need to move fast. When you are anticipating getting into town and all of the things associated with that, a hot shower, good food etc. It can seem to take forever to get in, sometimes made worse by being able to hear traffic with miles to go. I cruised though, making it to Long Lake by just after 11am.
A few scenes from the way in. The light was great!
I managed to get a new pair of boots, Dr. Bonners soap, groceries, and a new pot stand.
I didn’t get a zero day though since I walked 7 miles round trip to Wal-Mart. Yes dad I know Wal-Mart is evil, but I have been having some trail nutrition issues and let me tell you how nice it was to get fresh fruit!!! I even managed some organics.
My trail nutrition through the Presidential’s range should be much improved thanks to Wal-Mart. If there is a section I’ll need good nutrition that’s it. I have no regrets about the walk.
I went out to dinner with Flora, Fauna, Brookie and his friend from this area Chris. Chris is a former thru-Hiker who now works for the Appalachian Mountain Club. He was very cool and even bought all of our drinks!!!
The power went out in all of Gorham around 9:30 Friday night. It wad pretty neat. I took a walk out to the main road and sat on a bench for a while. All of the hikers were walking around with their head lamps on.
While in Andover I stayed at the Pine Ellis Hiker Hostel. It was a pretty cool place. David and his mother-in law Eline ran the place. They were both great and very accomodating of my World Cup needs:)
We met Rob and his son Johnathan there. They are NOBOS who have been hiking the trail 1 month a year since 2005 and are about to wrap up their last section to finish the trail. They were lots if fun and Rob bought us all breakfast in the morning they left! Very cool people.
I was able to get a haircut and beard buzz from David which I the cleaned up with a razor. I was very happy about that!
David also gave me some silver polish so I could give my moon goddess pendant a much needed cleaning.
I was able go watch both World Cup final games:-)
There were basically only 2 places to eat and only 1 place to buy a very limited selection of groceries. I heard from NOBO’s the food options get better further south. This is good because I am living on power bars and very pricey ones at that.
We met a few other NOBO’s there. Some were ok. I appreciate advice on which hostels to stay or not stay at, trail advice etc. but some North Bounders are a little cocky, and try to tell you everything you are going to feel, do and experience and everything you are experiencing right now because they have experienced it all. Not so wild about that. I’ll have my own experiences thanks. oh don’t even try to tell them Maine will be difficult!!!.
Overall it was a very, very fun stay. I really enjoyed some rec time with the gang!!!
I am a day behind the group now and have to play catch up again.
My stay in Stratton was relatively uneventful. I was locked up in my hotel room watching World Cup for most of it. I did go out to dinner and tried both of the 2 local restaurants. I did laundry and picked up some supplies and food.
These small towns haven’t seemed to hear of Dr. Bonners soap yet. I’ll give it 1 or 2 more towns before having some mailed to me. All natural soap is essential in the woods, not just for cleaning myself but dishes, water bottles, everything.
I ran into Mother Goose on my way out of town and she said her knees were bothering her so she was going to skip ahead to Rangely. I hope her knees feel better. She also said Brooky, Flora and Fauna were just a few hours ahead back on the trail after a night off. Would be great to catch up with them!
A beard or a backpack are immediate giveaways you are a distance hiker.
This is good as I am not necessarilly the most socially outgoing person. It is an immediate conversation starter. Through being identified as a hiker I have met many people. Town locals, section hikers, veteran trail hikers. Everyone wants to start a conversation with you. It’s amazing.
On the trail or in town kids eyes light up when they see you. “Are you a thru-Hiker?” When you answer yes they have a flood of excited questions. “Where are you from?”, “How long have you been out?” Always finished with “(very excitedly) I hope you make it!!! ” Shit kid I hope so too!!! (Oops did I just curse;))
Who cuts hair in these towns? No barber shop. I guess its probably Martha or something in her kitchen. Gotta get the secret handshake I’m getting kinda scruffy which is fine when you can shower every day but in the woods ill take clean cut. Of course then I won’t be easily identified as a thru-hiker without my pack. Hmmm….
Some of these towns just “had an ATM put in last year. It was a big event.” How far are these people driving to do their banking? How much fossil fuel does taking 20$ cash out if the bank burn?
Why do race horses have to pee so bad?
I don’t eat sweets but something about these small towns makes me crave ice cream. I had a bowl of Maine Black Bear Cherry that was incredible.