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Teacher & Snacktime

The Maine Event & Season Finale – Part 2 – Magic in Monson

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At the very beginning of our trail magic planning, Snacktime and I had hopes of two major setups – one at the very end of Mahoosic Notch (who wouldn’t want a cold soda and snack then!) and the other at the beginning of the 100 Mile Wilderness. We pictured ourselves settled comfortably into lawn chairs under a small umbrella relaxing and reading and awaiting fatigued hikers eager for our meager offerings (no doubt belly-crawling toward us for the final 100 ft with their raspy voices eking through parched throats their pleas of “root beer….Doritos…peanut-butter cookies”). We would provide the manna to refresh and revitalize, and in doing so shore-up their fortitude for the coming century of deprivation and struggle.

Setting up a trail magic site at the trailhead of a resupply town is not quite that effective. It would appear that most hikers are fully aware of what they’re heading toward, and go to significant effort to prepare themselves with a well-stocked pack and full belly before heading out. Go figure. Thus, the prospect of sweet and salty snacks is less appealing than at other times…to the point of redundancy in some cases. We could hardly give the stuff away! Still, we did have a few customers and of course they had stories to tell, so while our sojourn in Monson was fairly brief, we still got to meet some great folks who made it worthwhile.

Our first hiker encounter was with sectioner Panama Red and his chow-mix pup Foxy. Panama is a former thru-hiker (07) who, like most, can’t get enough of the trail and has to take boosters from time to time. His idea of taking a stroll on the AT to rejuvenate is a week in the 100 Mile Wilderness. This was Foxy’s first time out, and she seemed decidedly less enthused about the coming excursion, parking herself beside Snacktime and the bag of doggie treats and steadfastly refusing to venture away from the prospect of nummies in the cool, relaxing shade. No doggie-dummy here! But eventually she was coaxed onto the trail with Red, and they were off on their adventure.

Next we were joined by a trio of thruhikers and their Trail Angel Family. Nobos Two Ducks, Papa Bull and Abraham were coming back to the trail from a zero or two spent with Abraham’s family. Of course these guys were stuffed and sated, having just consumed an enormous lunch in preparation for heading out, and had little interest in our offerings. But they did enjoy their Magic Bags, and we got to chat a bit and hear of some of their adventures and the family’s Magical endeavors. They were some very nice folks.

We were joined twice more over the next couple of hours (again by those with little need of snack goodies). Tangerine Sage and Little Mint (from Alaska) had climbed Katahdin and the Bigelows and were looking for a good spot to get back on the trail. Kenninski from Atlanta, GA was heading out for his final section and looking forward to Katahdin and the 2000 miler status. We sent them all off with Magic Bags and cookies and our best wishes.

Playing the waiting game for hikers on this particular day was not a great idea. Snacktime and I were beyond tired after our overnight road trip (even though ONE of us had a good nap), and the heat of the day and the lack of activity were likely going to send us to Snoozeville. We needed some exercize, and decided to pack up our stuff and head down the trail ourselves for the short hike to the 100 Mile Wilderness sign (about 200 yds). It was a very pretty section of trail, much less intimidating than our overactive imaginations had anticipated, and just beyond the sign was a nice little rocky area on the edge of a lake perfect for exploring. Snacktime and I can now officially claim to have hiked some of the AT in the 100 Mile Wilderness!

We were back at the car by 3:30 pm, and had to decided what to do next. I had an idea to try to intercept another WB friend whose journal we’d been following, and about whom I’d been a tad concerned having read he’d had some falls and injuries. I wanted to meet ChinMusic in person, and be reassured that he was ok. (This gentleman had been one of the recipients of the very first Magic Bags Snacktime had made, which we’d mailed to HikerMom in VA to distribute.) His most recent TJ entry (2 days prior) said he was in Rangeley, so we anticipated his progress (badly as it turned out) and headed westward….to Caratunk.

To be continued…..

Updated 09-02-2013 at 14:19 by Teacher & Snacktime

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