Breakfast was 7am at Shaw’s the other hostel in town, so at 6.30 I emerged visited the loo then stepped our side to gauge the weather it was cold so I grabbed my puffy and set off up town.
Once there I walked into the hostel it was a hive of activity , there were 4 large tables laid up,filled with family faces. I grabbed a large cup of coffee and sat at an empty table . I was immediately joined by the commander and low gear we gave our order the choice being scrambled or fried eggs and how you wanted them cooked. It was a fairly slick operation as 40 starving hikers got fed and with freshly cooked eggs.
My plate arrived 3 fried eggs a mound of bacon and fried potatoes that were cooked to perfection in-other words bloody good
I dug in, in between top ups of coffee and orange juice. I could have more if we wanted. but we still had pancakes to come so I waited . A plate stacked high with freshly cooked blueberry pancakes was then set on the table.
The pancakes were huge and 1/2 ” thick. People tended to smear them with butter stack another on top then pour over the maple syrup so I copied and they were so bloody good. I ate 6 deciding that was plenty so a few more cups of coffee and I was done and all for $9 Bloody great value.
I went to say good bye to all my trail family so we all took photos. before I made my way back to my hostel and begin the process of packing.
Sunshine , Snail, Mousetrap and Peach
I unpacked it all first them repacked up I gave a bag of Doritos and Ritz biscuits to another hiker and my remaining beer to Bilbo.
I grabbed my water and cheese from the fridge, put my old shoes to be recycled and I was ready
I lifted up my pack Omg this is fucking heavy as it’s got 7 days worth of food in it and 2 litres of water.
I struggled down the stairs and dropped it on to the back of the waiting car ,( The hostel offers a free shuttle back to the trail head)
Okay Snailtrainer have you got everything? The owner said.
I bloody well hope so I replied.
We were moving. Monson is a really lovely town and i enjoyed my stay with you. I told the owner .
She was really pleased and asked why I chose it . so I explained.
We are here. I thanked her and retrieved my pack and slowly hoisted it up onto my back.
Omg I winced ,well it can only get lighter I laughed to myself waved goodbye and set off down the trail . I hadn’t gone far when I felt that something wasn’t right with my left shoe. could be a wrinkle in.my sock. so I stopped smoothed out my socks . dropped several vit-Is and continued on my way again I hadn’t gone far when I ran into Truck. she was flip flopping but she screaked when I said my name.
Fame at last I laughed.
She had been hiking a while with Dan & Beth Magic and Red so we gossiped for a good ten minutes.
I pushed on but the beginning of the trail was littered with roots that really twisted my shoes hurting my feet ..and these shoes were new do didn’t have any give yet. so my feet were being hurt so a few. obscenities filled the air . At last the roots faded out. and i came to a sign telling me that in was now entering the 100 mile wilderness and that I should be prepared. or I should turn back.
my heavy pack reminded me that i was prepared. so.i laughed to myself. took.the obligatory photo.and marched on
By mid morning I had passed about a dozen beautiful lakes and the sun was now beginning to shine. I now began to climb and was soon on large slabs of rock but these were made of slate. as I climbed I began to see several sea planes I presumed. they were going to the festival in Monson. I pushed on. and soon arrived a beautiful river that dropped in tone gorge far below . Sat here were Peanut and Poppins. hey guys I said . They had just finished their lunch and were beginning to move
See you later Snail. they called as they vanished into the woods.
I took some photos before continuing on . I followed the river for some time before splitting away near a beaver dam
I crossed over just behind the dam then I was on boards . I bounced over the boards. as they zig zagged through the forest emerging on the opposite bank of the Beaver pond . Perfect for moose but not today . as I walked I scoured the marshes , but nought. The trail then took a sharp right, back into the forest and shortly I was climbing again on the huge slate slabs
It wasn’t long before I was rewarded with amazing views of the water meadow and beaver pond below
It was now hot, the slabs radiating the heat upwards . phew but with my new shoes I had more confidence with the grip and was able race across them .
Soon I was joined by the river , This made me think that a water crossing must be coming up. Luckily is was a fairly shallow ford but i still removed my shoes.
I followed the river for almost 30 minutes until I caught Peanuts and Poppins , I walked with them for a while until we reached the next crossing
There was a girl halfway across and on the other bank were mousetrap and sunshine. I waved to them then removed my pack and started to remove my shoes and socks . hung them high on my pack ,put my phone in the brain along with my Mp3 player Put on my flip flops then i was ready.
I joked with Poppins I’m starting with two flip flops see if I finish with two.
As I slid into the water i slipped on the rocks and almost fell over. Good start I thought. I grabbed the rope and inched my way over using my pole to balance.
Hurrah over . I sat on a rock and ate an apple my feet dried then watched Poppins come across followed by peanut. So-hum and kaleidoscope arrived and Kaleidoscope seemed to just walk across.
I put on.my socks and shoes said see you all up the trail and marched on up the trail
I wanted to get to the next shelter which was about 6 miles away and it was now 2 pm and who knows whats in front . I pushed on popping a boiled sweet into my mouth trying to make it last as long as I could . Well it helped pass the time . I came to another beaver pond and the trail had been rerouted but was confusing . but I managed to navigate around . sadly no beavers .
The rest of the after noon I crossed stream after steam with the occasional river,the clarity of the river water always amazes me
Once across I began to climb then immediately descended . but I was now on chunks of rock that i struggle to walk over .Several river crossings later Poppins and Peanut cruise past me shortly followed by Kaleidoscope and So-hum .
Where are you heading snail? they asked
Trying for the shelter i replied
We are going to camp just past the river .
Okay I said I see how I feel!
I exited out onto a road. and followed them until they disappeared from view
I crossed another river and decided to water up. As I climbed up i noticed several hikers and their tents
“Hi guys ” I said and hiked on until I noticed kaleidoscope and So-hum in a great spot down by the river.
Great spot i shouted , see you tomorrow guys.
I continued on passing several other nice spots until i came to a third . No this will do me .it was 5.30 and I had done 15 miles.
I put up my tent made a brew. and as dinner was cooking hung my bag
miles left. 99