Sunday–August 1, 2021
Location–Begin at spur trail–Mile 2094, hike southbound, end at ME-15, then to Shaw’s Hiker Hostel, Monson, Maine, Jarrod Poet & Kimberly Hippie Chick Hester, Proprietors
It’s great to be back in Monson again. Wonderful memories, but a sad time reliving them. My dear friend, Sydney Pie Lady Pratt, passed away in 2015. Her lovely old home/hostel is once again a private residence. And Shaw’s Boarding House, now Shaw’s Hiker Hostel, a fine tradition since 1977, that tradition being carried on by Poet & Hippy Chick–yet, and at the same time, I miss the Shaws, Keith & Pat. Keith passed on in 2004, Pat, recently. So, yes, definitely a melancholy time.
I met Poet & Hippy Chick a few years ago. They’d attended Billy Goat Day in Florida. So, good to see them again and to see the great success they’re having with their hostel here!
Nathan and I are able to get on trail 15 miles north of Monson. Kimm drove us up a wide paved road, then a narrow paved road, and finally a rutted gravel road, up the mountain to a dead end parking area. From there, a spur trail gets us on up to AT Mile 2094 where we head southbound.
Turns out a long, difficult go of it–up-mountain, down-mountain, a fair amount of hand-over-hand up, shinny & skid down. Plenty of rocks, off-camber boulders, plus corrugated root tread. Over eleven hours on trail to cover the 15 miles. But the ruggedness also brings unequaled beauty. A visual jolt, the forest here compared to further south. Birch, fir, spruce, waterfalls, the delightful high-mountain ponds, beaver. And the loon, I hear the unmistakable beckoning call of the loon, a sure sign I’m in the north woods.
Some of us are drawn to mountains
the way the moon draws the tide.
Both the great forests and the mountains live in my bones.
They have taught me, humbled me, purified me and changed me.