After spending the night at Jim's, he offered to take Gin Gin and I back to the trail head. Right before we reached the trail head, Jim suddenly stopped the car and pointed to the right. Across a small pond stood a moose, basking in the morning sun! After hearing so many moose and not actually seeing one, I finally got my first moose sighting. It may have been in a car, but hey I still saw one!
We finally returned to the trail after spending almost 48 more hours in town than we wanted. I wasn't complaining, though. Despite frustrations with my returned mail drop, the last couple of days were some of my favorite! Gin Gin and I walked into the woods on a cool morning.
After the intensity of most of the trail in Maine to this point, the next couple of days looked pretty tame. The climbs were short and gradual, and I really enjoyed this change. The foliage continued to dazzle. Each day the leaves shined brighter than the previous day. Yellows, oranges, peaches, and fiery reds lit up the canopy above me, with the deep blue of a cloudless sky providing a perfect complement.
Soon, we reached Pleasant Pond and stopped for a lunch break. The mid-day sun warmed our skin. Conversation again revolved around dreams and life after the trail. In this moment, it seemed like I had reached a fading twilight of my time on the trail. The trail was now mostly memories and it was bittersweet. The thing about twilight, though, is that it's the most beautiful part of the day. It's a moment you want to linger in, enjoy fully. While I drifted in and out of sleep, Gin Gin created a heart out of pebbles. In the middle she scribed, "Maine." This icon was entirely fitting. We sat in silence for some time, listening to the waves lap the shore. We didn't want to leave, but eventually something that forces all hikers to move crept in. We had to poop!
The rest of the day's hike, like the morning, went by peacefully. The terrain remained gentle. The red squirrels chattered loudly and threw pine cones down from the trees while birds serenaded our steps. In the late dusk, we approached a pond. Gin Gin was about 50 feet in front of me. Suddenly a huge crashing breaks the silence. Bean's dad had described a moose as a bulldozer in the forest, but this was two of three moose! Since it was getting dark, we couldn't see them. Not knowing where the moose were running I yelled out, "Get behind a tree!" I jumped behind a large oak, but there were no sizable trees near Gin Gin. She ran back up the hill, and together we sought refuge from the moose. After the forest quieted, we tentatively continued onward. My ears were tuned to any noise that might sound like a moose. After a stressful mile, we made it to the shelter for the night.
The next day started with a climb up Moxie Bald Mountain. The flat, open rock slabs reminded me of Baldpate and Bemis. The summit was quite windy, but we found a hollow in a rock where we could enjoy the views out of the wind. That fading twilight feeling again crept up on me. This time, instead of reflecting and sitting in silence, we played music that I attempted to dance to. On the AT, there are no social norms you feel obligated to adhere to, and it's incredibly liberating. I felt free to be myself without fear of judgment. I could dance silly dances, burst out in random song, express how tired or frustrated or fearful I felt.
We descended Moxie Bald Mountain and pitched our tents next to a river we had to ford. The next morning, the sun lit of the peaks of the trees. Colors! Everywhere colors! We forded the river and began the day's walk. We took a short break on the shores of Lake Hebron and watched an osprey catch a bird in flight. So freaking cool. We then walked the short distance to Monson, the last town on the trail. After Monson, the Hundred Mile Wilderness started, with Katahdin at the north end of the wilderness.
I am a filmmaker. I am an adventurer. I believe in children. My friends are obsessed with my beard. I am obsessed with beer. I want to embrace and fully live this life I’m blessed with. I want to be known as someone who loves deeply.
On May 16, 2017 I set out on my dream, the adventure of a lifetime: a 2,189.8 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. I want to push people to live their dreams and pursue their passions.