It’s my birthday! To celebrate, we are going into Andover, ME, for lunch and ice cream. I hopped out of my tent at the Frye Notch Lean-to to a “happy birthday” from Tandem! We both packed, and I had a good breakfast of Pop Tart, granola bar, and a pair of Carnation Breakfast Essentials. French vanilla is my favorite flavor.
It was 4.5 miles, mostly downhill, to East B Hill Road where we arrived and started our hitch at 10:15. A total of two cars came by going toward Andover and neither picked us up. Two more NOBO through hikers came up to the road to join us, decreasing our odds of a vehicle stopping. They agreed to lay back while we hitched.
After 30 minutes, a car came along from the direction of Andover and asked if we needed a ride. We said yes. Her car and trunk were full of gear from a rained out campout, and her five year old was in a car seat in the back. We helped move stuff around and squeezed in the front and back seats with our packs in our laps.
She was so excited to be taking AT thru hikers into a town. It was an eight mile drive on a narrow paved road. We talked about our hike, their rained out campout, and her son Jeremy. She was a giggly person, so it was easy to make her laugh.
We arrived at the main and only intersection in Andover and were offered her leftover camping food. We accepted and got blueberries, dried apricots, apples, beers, pudding cups, bread, string cheese, and granola bars. Trail magic!
We said our goodbyes and sat down in the grass by the road to enjoy the beer and some of the fruit that wasn’t very easy to add to our food bags. After packing the rest of the food in our packs, we headed over to Mills Market and settled in a booth. We both ordered bacon cheeseburgers with veggies and homemade fries. Everything was fantastic! We charged our phones inside and batteries outside.
We saw other thru hikers come in the market, including Ragnar. He was there to get beer and pasta for the Pine Ellis Hostel. A lot of hikers were in town to stay overnight and use the hostel for slack packing from Rangeley. I enjoyed my birthday lunch and got a Moxie soda and a Wonder Cake from Ragnar for it.
We finished lunch, paid up, and went next door to the General Store for ice cream. I got soft swirl ice cream on a cone turned upside down in a cup with Reese’s and Heath Bar crumbles mixed in. While we were eating our birthday treats, Mio and Mombo came by from the Tree Ellis Hostel to say hello and get restock foods and beer. They told us they are slack packing as far north that they can.
Our plan is to stay in Rangeley and use the three day, 49 mile slack pack plan from Rangeley to Flagstaff via the Farmhouse Hostel. We finished the ice cream, and Mio gave me a Coke cap code for my birthday. Tandem and I wandered over to the road to hitch back to the AT. We got lucky, and the owner of The Barn hostel, who Tandem had met earlier, was headed to our road crossing to pick up another hiker who is staying with them.
We got dropped and thanked him for the lift, then hiked our full stomachs up 1,400 feet on Wyman Mountain in 4.7 miles. Along the way, I hiked alone with my music and caught a stormy sun ray picture on top of the mountain.
We arrived at the Hall Mountain Lean-to at 19:00 and found no one there, so we decided to stay in the shelter with our pads and bags. I applied bug spray and wrote the blog update for yesterday.
It had been a great birthday, and now we were by ourselves for the first time in a shelter! We hiked 10.5 miles today in the morning and finished in the afternoon.