Its getting cold out there. I'm building a rock hop across the West Pleasant so that, come October, those of us still on the Trail have some relief from the near freezing water. Its usable now, with any amount of hopping talent, or two good hiking poles. You might get your feet a tad wet in the middle. Its still deep and flowing strong. Hard to get big rocks this time of year. Its like stacking ice cubes. One Mainer told me that slimy stuff on the river rocks is called Rock Snot. I thought he was pulling my leg. Not so. For real!
I'm still stationed in the Gulf. I sit at the crossing at various times of the day, listening to those treading the water. Usually they start off o.k. But then, a shriek comes, and low grunts of heavy displeasure. I wipe the grin off my face. They're numb, every last crosser.
Just the other day, I met a group of 5 from Vermont's Green Mountain Club hiking the 100. They told me they had started with ten members in Monson. Two dropped out after the first day. They were now sitting in Chairback Lean-to, waiting for three to catch up. Well, I said, going over Barren, Fourth, No name, Third, and Columbus was no easy feat.
They agreed, and a bit concerned, I headed back north, to my Gulf Hagas home, expecting to see them at the crossing before dark.
By that afternoon, I met one in the parking lot who was driving somewhere to get cell service. I told him the best place, then crossed the river.
Next morning, four of their party came through. The rest baled. I know, knees and feet.
But basically, its really cold and you need alot of food and determination.
I have one month left on this much coveted job.
On my days off, I catch up with the journal of this rewarding experience. The book Of Moose and Men,---Maine Ridgerunner, will be my compilation of true stories of thru hikers, section hikers, beaten down hikers, gear lists and wish lists, daily adventures and mishaps, Leave No Trace ethics and downright shameful behaviors, plus...drum-roll, an embedded horror story straight from the Gulf.
I expect to have it completed before Christmas.