I'm no stranger to Maine. I've been to Maine several times before; I've gone camping here, swam in the lakes, skied on Maine's mountains. I've come to Maine and had wonderful times. I thought Maine and I were old friends.
Which is why I was so bewildered when Maine tried to kill me.
Maine tried to kill me repeatedly every single day from the moment I entered the state. I just don't understand it.
We awoke on August 22, still in New Hampshire, and has been the norm, Subaru and I were the first ones out on the trail. As the day went on, we leap-frogged back and forth with Carbon, So-Way, Lentil, Long Skirt, Code Walker and Violet.
Beautiful views from the top of Mt Success where we had a snack with Carbon, and then a descent to the state line. The whole gang was there when we arrived, and we took turns taking pictures with the sign. (Others figured out what we could actually pick the sign right up out of the ground and sling it over the shoulder. I contented myself by making moose antlers at the sign for a picture)
Once in Maine, the terrain grew inexplicably harder. It should have been exactly the same as it was before the sign. But no, things got wicked hard. Suddenly, we were struck by rebar in bedrock, wooden steps in the rocks, ladders, roots and rocks, rocks, rocks. The last 2 miles for the descent to Full Goose Shelter seemed ridiculously long. I was positive we had missed a sign, a trail, a turnoff. Because the last sign we saw said 2 miles and once again, it was looking like 1 mile per hour. That HAD to be wrong! But then, no, it wasn't wrong. Because we were climbing up a rocky path to the shelter. Oh no. This was rough.
Luckily, Carbon had saved us space in the shelter. We got our stuff set up and to ourselves cleaned up. Then a crowd arrived. Thru-hikers Wilson and Mother Teresa arrived with Peaches. The Professor, Dip and Sip, and Newton came next. Forrest Gump and Winterflower arrived with their dog Eddie. And then, two college orientation groups and an Outward Bound group. By the time night fell, there were a good 50 people at the shelter and campsites. Plus, a couple more arrived after dark.
Overnight, it rained pretty hard; I was so happy we had a spot in the shelter!