Friday–August 20, 2021
Location–East Flagstaff Road, then to Hostel of Maine, Carrabassett Valley, Justin & Melanie Steele, Proprietors
There are numerous benefits to simply pulling off trail in the evening and pitching for the night whenever, wherever. Reaching East Carry Pond, my planned destination for yesterday, I found the beach quite narrow, sloping right off to the water. The small stream, from which I’d planned to take water for the evening, nowhere around, and I looked around. So, I just kept truckin’ and in another mile, I reached East Carry Road. A clear-running little stream right there, flat spots for comfy camping all around. Fine place to pull off. That’s how it works; fortunate fellow! A fine night’s rest.
I break camp before six this morning and am on trail shortly after. Not much to tell you about the hike today. More bogs, and bog puncheons/bridges. Very marginal land, mostly rocks. A few nice stands of spruce, but they were never harvested, probably because the timber folks didn’t want to bust up and completely ruin their equipment.
This region through which the trail passes is vast and remote. The lakes I pass today, the shorelines all around have remained undisturbed, no cabins, no docks, nothing of man’s doing to mar Nature’s work.
Early afternoon I reach East Flagstaff Road, my destination for today.
Plans had been for Justin, Hostel of Maine, to drive the hour around to come for me, but he’d been in touch with Kevin and Mike, hikers whose car is parked right here. They’ve just finished their hike–and, as luck would have it, they’ve offered to deliver me right to Hostel of Maine’s front door–what an amazing thing! The hour’s drive done; I’m here–thanks Kevin and Mike!
I’ve been meeting hikers along the trail who’ve had nothing but kind words to say about Hostel of Maine, that it’s a really nice place. Approaching the porch, I’m promptly greeted by Justin, Hostel of Maine proprietor, and he shows me around. What a beautiful log structure. It’s kind of a (huge) B&B, but not. And I t’s not a motel or hotel. It’s a place designed and built purposely to accommodate long-distance hikers. Just a beautiful facility; nothing’s been overlooked–amazing!
I’d been craving spaghetti for supper, and not a five-minute walk from the hostel–Hug’s Italian Restaurant! So, after a soothing hot soak in Justin’s whirlpool tub, I head down to Hug’s. Right decision–a huge platter of mighty fine spaghetti, washed down with a tall frosted glass of Switchback Ale, and this old fellow has finished a mighty fine day…
It’s hard to detect good luck —
it looks so much like something you’ve earned.
(Frank A. Clark)