Locations: Stratton Motel (Stratton, ME)
I hiked six miles to the road quickly. The mosquitoes woke me with bites on the forehead, and Sourball kept me up with his talking. I buried myself in my sleeping bag but he kept telling me facts about the trail and Maine. As a third generation thru-hiker and trail maintainer he had plenty of facts about the entire history of the trail, from the 1930’s to present. I made it to the highway at about 9:00am. I cleaned my legs, arms, and face before hitchhiking, hoping that I would have more luck if I were cleaner. The first car that passed slowed on the shoulder. Two camp counselors were scouting lakes for a canoeing trip and they stopped to pick me up. Both had hiked parts of the AT.
They took me to the Stratton Motel where Don, the owner and operator, showed me to the hiker hostel. It had a kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms. It was homey and I decided to take a full zero day.
The Following Day – Stratton Motel (Stratton, ME)
Chores. I went through the hiker box that Don had received. Don offered to hold my food while I hiked the 35 mile section so I didn’t have to carry it all. I think I will take him up on his offer. Ketchup and Heavy Foot arrived today. They are SOBO’s taking the trail as slowly as I am. They are undoubtedly hippies, reborn in the new millennium. They have long hair, goatees, and wear headbands like Willie Nelson. I drank and played chess with them most of the night. They had dropped out of high school many years ago and had decided to hike the trail to find direction in their life. They both kept journals and plan to publish a compilation of their journal entries when they complete the trail. They asked my permission to include me in their journal, and I consented.