September 15: mile 1969: Rangely Hiker Hut Hostel 

I woke up early and kicked into gear to make the meet up in Rangely.  Hiking alone is still pretty cool but is at times lonely.  Luckily the terrain is pretty easy and fairly flat.  I’m just not making the speed that I used to.  It’s partly due to the tangles of tree roots that continue to inhabit the trail in Maine.  More significant is that I’m just not as strong.  I had the naive assumption that I would get stronger and stronger on this trail.  That was true to a point, but then my strength peaked and started going down.  All of my upper body muscle is long gone.  My feet are in shambles, and my over all endurance is fading.  I hope I can hang on to the end.

I hiked in the sun around some alpine lakes and up and over some modest mountains.  I finally got the sixteen miles in at 745, almost an hour after dark.  My head lamp ran out of juice and I had to do the last mile in the dark on a descent.  Not cool.  I had to place each foot and test before putting weight down.  Add extra batteries to the list of survival gear.  I made it to the road and I hiked the quarter mile to a hippy hostel called the Hiker Hut.  The place is off the grid and runs off of solar lights.  I got in there and asked if they’d seen Dancing Bear or Dove.  They said yeah that they had rolled in the night before and would be back in shortly after a twenty mile reverse slack pack.  In other words, they are now twenty miles ahead of me.  When they got there we agreed that there would be no reasonable way that I could catch up.  So they shuttled ahead in the morning and I resolved to hike out in the morning.  It looks like I’m alone again.  I’ll have to decide if that works or possibly wait for the hobbits or the Gravity/stick crew to catch up. Food for thought.  Happy trails.

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