Rebekah at the Lakeshore House Pub and Lodge was awesome and let us (Houdini, Banjo, and myself) hold a party at her place for other thru hikers. For a few weeks now, Chesty and Roadhouse have been telling people to make sure to be in Monson on the 20th so we can have a final bash before we all head into the 100 Mile Wilderness, summit, and all go our own ways after the trail, and to celebrate Chesty's 28th birthday.
We went to the grocery store 12 miles away to do our last resupply of the trip and to pick up food and supplies for the party.
When we got back in town, a bunch more hikers were getting in. We went back to the BBQ place we went to for dinner last night, Grille Master General's, which is an old tow behind home that was converted into a BBQ pit. Had lunch there, then headed back to Lakeshore House and set up for the party. Banjo and I took the kayaks out on Lake Hebron for a while. I stayed out longer and paddled around most of the lake. When I was going around a large island, I saw a bunch of loons swimming. I paddled near two of them, and as I got close, they dove under water. I paddled to the middle of where they were, expecting them to come back up there, but they didn't. Mysterious, but cool birds!
I ended up coming within about 7 feet of another loon and got to see it up close. It was an awesome looking bird and was making its typical loud noises. When it made its loud screeching sort of noise, you could hear it carry and echo into the forest for a ways.
After a few hours, I paddled back in and it was about time to party. It was a great time spending the evening with lots of people I've seen along the trail, and some who I've never seen or have only run into briefly. There was a lot of reminiscing of good and even bad times had on the trail over the past 2000+ miles. I can already tell it's going to be different going from the life I've been living over the past 5+ months, to whatever is next.
The 100 Mile Wilderness is next, then a few miles to Katahdin, and it's over. Not sure what my cell coverage is going to be like through this more remote area. I will post comments and pictures as I can.
Excited to see how things over the next week go!