So. I think I have a new favorite hostel. 😀 (I say that for most of them, lol.)
There are two kinds of hostels on the AT—or, rather, those two are at the extreme ends, and everything falls on a sliding scale somewhere in the middle. There are the dumpy, loved places that are falling down, need work, well swept but well worn, where the priority is clearly the hikers over the property. And there are the picture perfect, magazine-type places, with lots of comforts but that tend to prioritize their property investment over the hikers. There’s nothing wrong with the latter; it’s just an observation that these places exist. Examples of the former: Glencliff, Shaws. The latter: 19E, Rattle River, Top of Georgia. I’ve come to realize that I like the seedy, hiker-friendly ones the best. Not coincidentally, they tend to be run by former thru-hikers. (The hotel-type ones are courting other outdoor types, as well.) Thru-hikers have pretty low standards; thosr higher-standard places tend to have a lot of rules that don’t mesh well with what thru-hikers need, pragmatically speaking.
This Caratunk B&B is one of the homey, comfy, gently used ones, and Paul (PCT x2, AT, many others) is amazing. No bells, no whistles, but bring your pack inside and make yourself at home.
Hiking today was magical. That whole area by Pierce Pond was one of those Maine places I wanted to spend time with, but after a night stealthings in a creepy little spot, I had 7 miles to hike and a canoe to catch! (Frogs +5, I’m not even kidding!)
I got to the Kennebec by 9:30, and there was a line 12 deep for the canoe. But listen! While we were waiting (Little Blade was there, whom I met at the Half Gallon, and Aria from Virginia), three eagles started to duke it out over the river! It was amazing! I took a pic of one of them perched in a pine tree, but you probably can’t see him. The canoe guy said they’re after his dog.
And here I am. No phone service, but they let me use their land line to make my arrangements with Shaws—my last town stop. I’ll take a full zero there to get ready for the Hundred Mile Wilderness.
My resupply is here! I supplemented with some stuff from the hostel.
And I think we’re good to go. I probably won’t have phone service until Wednesday, so expect a gap.
Oh! And when I went to recharge my headlamp, the entire recharging piece has pulled entirely out of the headlamp. Unexpected! Honestly, Black Diamond has been less than stellar this hike. The thing still takes regular batteries, though, so I’ll be going old school for the last couple of weeks.
The resupply here has Crocs. I’m trying to resist the urge to buy them. Sure, there are a couple of fords and two hostels to go, but do I want to add the weight for the Hundred? I’m trying to resist! (I have Sealskinz for the fords.)
Nero day! I think I’ll eat some ice cream.