June 30, 2014

Trail Update: Mile 246.8; Andover, ME

Ahh ... civilization once again. Coming into towns have been a big part of our encouragement while we are hiking. It's nice being able to shower and clean your clothes. It's also great to plop down on a bed instead of setting up a tent and blowing up a sleeping pad. I have developed an intense appreciation for civilization and all the things I can't have while I'm in the woods. For example, being able to eat raw, healthy foods that I can't carry with me. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to eat the biggest, vibrant salad ever! 

Although, I must confess that it doesn't take very long for the mountains to call me back. I never thought I would miss being out in the wilderness after spending so much time out there . . . but I do. I miss the stillness and the sounds of nature. I miss the smells of the trees and the waters. I miss the simple life of waking up with the sun and going down with the moon. 

The trail since Rangeley has been great. We have had absolutely beautiful weather and the terrain has been pretty kind to our muscles and joints. (except for the 2 big wipe-outs Dad and I had) Stacey is feeling much better. The bugs have not been bad and we haven't hiked through any bogs! YAY! We've seen lots of frogs, snakes, squirrels and chipmunks; a few birds beavers, grouse, and loons; and one snapping turtle. Still no moose. We are seeing more and more Northbounders who have been informing us about what's ahead. We are all getting anxious about "the whites," but are thrilled for the views. Mom, stop googling and freaking yourself out. We will persevere!   

We got a hitch from local into Andover, ME. It's is a very small town much like Monson and Stratton. We are staying at the Pine Ellis Hiker Lodge. It's kind of quirky, but full of character. The owner's ex-son-in-law showed us around and informed us of all the rules of the hostel. He's a Native American Indian form the Mayan tribe. I told him that I was currently reading a book about the Lakota tribe. He slowly turned around and grabbed a flute that was made from the Lakota. As he started playing it I thought about how awesome it was going to be pick his brain and learn all about his culture! Well so far I've learned that he believes Maine is the perfect state to die in because it only costs $25 for a pine box and someone to come cry at your funeral. While doing our laundry in his make shift garage I saw a huge pile of Moose scat. He is the infamous moose poo jewelry maker!! Apparently, there are people that actually pay money for a moose nugget necklace. Hey, to each his own, right?? Oh, he just walked by me and asked if I wanted to learn how to play the flute. Awesome. 

Other than that, it's been a typical town day. We've ate breakfast and lunch at the only restaurant. We resupplied at the restaurant. We picked up our care packages (thanks Momma, Lex, Mum T and John). We washed our clothes and hung them on the clothes line to dry. Now, we are all RELAXING. Stacey is e-mailing gear companies to tell them about how their products are holding up. Tuck is reviewing the elevation change in the White Mountains (yikes!). Dad is chatting with some fellow hikers. While I am keeping all of you sweet readers informed!

We are slack-packing tomorrow and staying one more night in Andover. I hope everyone back home is having a great day. Thanks for following our journey and encouraging us along the way. The East Tennessee tribe will continue to carry on! 

Happy Trails, 


  1. ET4 Team - "Whenever you feel weak, remember the things that made you STRONG. Whenever you start to doubt yourself, remember those who believe in YOU."
    Take care, God bless and may the sun be on your backs.
    Lots of love, Mum T

  2. Love you! Miss you big time!