I'm writing this message from the Hostel in Stratton Maine (Mile 1986). I'm not quite sure how, but I have managed to make it past most of "Southern Maine". There is not a square inch on my body that doesn't hurt right now. I have one more big mountain tomorrow (Bigelow Mountain), and then I actually get a break from the climbs until the end at Katahdin. It is impossible to do big miles through Maine and I am glad that I was 2 days ahead in New Hampshire. I've been able to add those days in giving me shorter days of hiking. In a few more days I'll be in Monson, the last town before the "100 mile wilderness". Then all I'll have is the finish up Katahdin. As bummed as I'll be to go back to "real life", I absolutely cannot take any more hiking and will be so glad to be done. I don't know how anyone can want to do this trail more than once. I have my reasons for doing this...and once finished, I don't plan on ever doing it again.
On a positive note, I'm still hiking with Michael and it's made the days go a little faster. Yesterday I hiked up and over Saddleback Mountain...probably the best above-treeline hike in Maine. Tomorrow I will hit the 2000 mile mark too, so I'm pretty pumped about that. Last night from the summit of Sugarloaf, I could actually see Katahdin 198 miles away...It definitely got me excited.
Gonna go and enjoy my short half day now. Hope everyone is well back home. Can't wait to see you all.