Words have fallen, now, far short of the gratitude I would like to express. Our relationship has also grown from hiker-trail angel to that of lifelong friends, and it will be such a pleasure to be able to keep in contact after our hike is complete. I really hope we can persuade them to come and stay with us in Colorado.
In the wake of the recent movie theater tragedy, Jess and I have found ourselves full of our first dose of culture shock. On the trail, every person we've met cares about the other hikers and we have become a part of a community where complete strangers help one another. Hikers are not alone out here. NoBo's and SoBo's share information along the trail about what's coming up, parts to look out for and how the water sources are. Day hikers have asked us how we are and if we could use any fresh food. We all make sure that everyone is taken care of when it comes to first aid; sharing vitamin I (ibuprofen), band-aids, antibiotic ointment, moleskin and anything else a hiker may need. It comes as a great surprise that there are people out there who wish others harm, and for no reason at all. If only life could be as hiking the Appalachian Trail is. Out here we realize we're all on common ground, have the same basic needs and abilities to offer much needed help to one another.
Many people we've helped (or vice versa) we chanced meeting. They were only there for a matter of minutes, hours. We will probably never see any of them again but we feel them in the next successful step that we take. A step that we may not have been able to take without that help. Much of the success of our hike now Jess and I will owe to our new friends. We couldn't have afforded to stay in Rangeley and Jess couldn't have carried her pack any further. This easily could have been the end of our thru hike but instead is another step in the path. I will be forever grateful.
Day 1 of slackpacking, we found this awesome beach on the shore of Sabbath Day Pond, just south of Sabbath Day Pond Lean-to.
|Jess coming down a section that's just before Moody Mountain|
|There could be quite the waterfall here when it rains!|
Jess's shoulder is getting better and we'll be on our way soon after our visit to the ocean. Also, I cut the beard off last night and got my hair cut today. It's like a vacation from our vacation!