Stratton, Maine : I’m hiking, Part 1

Again. Have to.
Sept. 16 is the ending date of my Appalachian Trail thru hike and last year has proved itself to be a massive propellant toward two-heeled action. So, shoving aside the calls to work, play, and deal with things here and really working the “No” response ended up with me carving out five days in mid September to walk Maine’s majestic segment of that National Scenic Trail.
I’ll be backpacking 46 miles north over four 4,000 and six 3,000 footers. That’s all of Map 6 on the AT in Maine Map and Guide.
While driving on Route 27 I see Avery Peak’s abandoned tower from twenty miles away.
This is the first artifact of Trail life that greeted me as I pulled into the parking lot of the local hiker hangout, the Stratton Motel. P1000004 The light tonight is cold and clear. It’s almost Canada out there.
I’m walking alone, or at least expect to.  It is at once a thrilling and frightening anticipation. So much can happen, and it’s me and the Force steering the Polish Hulk along this week. I expect that there will not be many of us backpacking. Simply walking and  sleeping in the woods is not happening in this culture. There is just all too much pulling at us that keeps our routines in place.

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