Additionally, the college kids were up talking all night. I grumbled to myself "Do they HAVE to talk constantly?" Then I thought about it: they are 17-19 years old, away from home for the first time, with a bunch of people they don't know but hope to get to know to build their base of friends in college, and at that age where EVERYTHING is cause for drama. Yes. They DO have to talk constantly! I need to just deal with it.
Of course, I would have preferred they didn't talk constantly when they got up at 2am. And got ready to go at 3am. And left a bunch of the faster hikers to take the tarps down and clean up the breakfast stuff and catch up with the rest of the group. A task that could probably have been done easily in 20 minutes or so. But not when you are talking constantly. They got the gear together and rolled out about 4:30am. Good lord!
We got up shortly afterward, since we had been up for hours, anyway.
The walk into Stratton was damp, but the sun came out and dried things out. The climb wasn't the steepest or hardest, but one of the root-iest so far. Once again, the state of Maine was trying to kill me!
We got to the road and caught a ride from a fellow Mass-hole who also had a place in Maine. He dropped us off in town.
Now, for a town as small as Stratton, I was sure surprised at how busy it was (probably the holiday weekend) The White Wolf Inn was booked. The Stratton Motel was booked. The Plaza Hotel was booked. The Spillover Hotel was booked. Luckily, a local resident recommended the Diamond Corner B&B. Technically, it wasn't open. But L.E., the owner, said she'd open it for a couple of hikers if we didn't mind some dust. Hey, we are hikers! Dust doesn't bother us!
So, accommodations taken care of, we headed over to the Stratton Diner for the "hollow leg breakfast". Polished that off no problem! Then we spent the rest of the day doing laundry, drying out the tents, showering, relaxing, reading, and eating.
We spent some time hanging out with L.E., who was in the process of cooking 22 pies! She was really a cool person. She was the owner of a bed and breakfast, wrote columns for area newspapers, had a couple books out, had a pastry business, an official Maine tour guide, and a ski instructor! Talk about creating an eclectic life just filled with the things she loved. She immediately became one of my idols.
We had dinner at the White Wolf Inn, which was really good, but REALLY SLOW!! I was almost crazy with hunger by the time we ate. Good thing the food was delicious.
To bed early...big day tomorrow!