Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's All Downhill From Maine: Part 6 - The Best Worst Breakfast Ever

The strangest thing I could ever imagine was happening...Paul was trying to wake me up. Even I struggled to sit up and remember where I was, I realized just how odd the whole situation was. Normal is me lying awake all night while Paul snores peacefully like a bear in the tent next to mine. I understood that I had finally found the magic elixir that could enable me to sleep like a baby while backpacking: Hike straight up a mountain all day, and then get lost in the dark and hike back down until 2am in the morning, knowing that you are running low on food and water, and you are about 10 miles behind where you need to be to get resupplied...and the phones aren't working...yup, that put me right to sleep.
Once I was awake and for the first time, saw where we were, I was a little bit excited. There was a road in sight, and a car was going quickly away from us, leaving a large cloud of dust behind. Yes, we were close. I realized that we had ended up camping on a overgrown dirt side road that was used for snowmobiles in the winter. I quickly fixed my last cup of coffee and considered just how much oatmeal I could eat, in the event that we might still have to hike out of here.

It was touch and go for a bit, but Paul finally walked until his phone worked and we found somebody that would come pick us up. It would cost $100, but at that point, the money wasn't the thing. We waited 2 hours for an "immediate" pickup, which means something different in Maine than it means in Florida. I think it means they are coming when they are good and ready. We drove back in almost total silence with a young man that said that he and his father ran the hotel where we would be staying. By silence, I mean that all attempts by Paul to engage him in conversation were met with a stone wall. Until....he heard Paul and I talking about something he knew, then suddenly he talked non-stop the rest of the way to the hotel...I still haven't quite figured that out, but I'm guessing Mainer's like to take your measure before they decide if you're worth talking to.
The Sterling Inn, our warm place with a bed for the night, was not known for loving backpackers. They preferred the Bed and Breakfast crowd, the only problem being that there wasn't such a crowd around and they were sitting right near the Appalachian Trail, so there were plenty of backpackers needing a place to resupply and shower. In fact, if there was a singlular fact I knew about the Sterling, it was that everyone griped about the included breakfast, being just cold food, nothing cooked. I will say this, nobody that complained was a hiker. I had fruit, muffins, cold cereal and all the coffee I could drink...I was a happy guy and so was Paul.
The Sterling Inn had gotten smart about one thing...hikers need to get food they can take on the trail and they had a nice little store of just the kind of stuff we wanted. All in all, these guys saved us, and that really was one of the better breakfasts on the trip...but there was one that topped everything I'd ever had before....

1 comment:

  1. Shuttlers are straight from heaven. I actually rode with the guy mentioned in Bill Bryson's book once in N. Georgia--Wes Wisson.