Monday August 9th, 2021, 0600-1030
Dream Lake to Rt 2, then Gorham, SOBO AT mm 298.3
2300 gain, 4154 loss
I’d set myself up for sort of a nero into town. Then again, 10 miles out here can take all day. The trail was very overgrown and had some more steep ups and downs, but not anything near as severe as the past few days. The further I went, the more like an actual trail it became. By the last few miles, I was cruising on some pretty smooth tread. I talked on the phone to some family members, which helped pass the time even faster.The last mile was on a road, across a dam, and to the highway. I stopped to wait for the shuttle to the hostel, where I heard the unmistakable sounds of chickens. There was a flock in the forest, just rummaging about. I quickly dug out a bag of trail mix…which I’d carried for 78 miles…and used it to call them close. Suddenly I was surrounded by about 15 black chucks, both hens and roosters. It was almost too easy to grab a few…they were very tame, eating out of my hand. The roosters got a little upset when I picked up a few of the hens but shortly realized that I only wanted a few cuddles. This was a great way to start off my town stop, a reward for making it this far. I love selfies with chickens!
Paul, owner of the Libby Inn and Barn hostel picked me up, showed me the ropes at the place, and I got straight to doing town chores. First I had to dry and set-up my tent, since I opted to go that route instead of a bunk. The beds were mostly upstairs in a big loft, similar to the Maine Roadhouse. I found the loft pretty stuffy and close-quarters, so I was glad for the space and privacy of my tent. The place had a lovely lawn out back…yet right next to a train crossing…something to be aware of. I had a lot of cleaning to do, followed by scrounging for some food. I was able to get most of my resupply out of the amazing hiker box. I also sent away my broken stove for repair/replacement and got my 2 ordered items, a new stove and merino buff. For lunch/dinner, I got a foot long subway meal that cost almost $15! Everything was super expensive in this town (except for tenting at the hostel).
I went back to the hostel to hang out with tons of hikers, even meeting a few SOBO’s. Toe Jam, a flip-flopper, shared his idea to slack pack the next section, which sounded like a great plan. The trail does a bunch of s-curves through the area, making it possible for the town to serve as a base-camp for a few days. I wish that I could say that I got to take it easy this first day in town but it seemed like a never-ending chore. I didn’t get to bed until midnight. ugh. An early morning and another big day awaited.