On Saturday, August 18, Ben and Spencer hiked a wopping 31 miles in yet another day of cold rain reaching Monson, Maine just after 7:00 P.M. (At several peaks along the way, they got their first glimpse of Mt. Katahdin.) They were so very glad Shaw's Lodging had a vacancy and wasted no time in getting cleaned up in time to go eat some supper. Needless to say, all their clothes were soaked and in great need of a visit with the washing machine. What to do? What to do?
Well, the wonderful owners / operators of Shaw's Lodging, Dawn and Sue, had the perfect solution and invited Ben and Spencer to a closet within the lodge where "extra" clothes are stored. Ben and Spencer quickly accepted the offer to "borrow" a shirt / sweater and britches so they would be presentable at a nearby restaurant as well as warm. For all of you who know Ben and Spencer, you can only imagine how this impromptu selection of clothes quickly went from let's look our best... to hey! let's see how creative we can be!!! Oh my...from Spencer's description, it sounds like the two were quite a pair...Let's just say that they were so "colorful" and "misfitted" that Dawn and Sue could not pass up the opportunity for a photo session before the guys departed for the restaurant. It sounds memorable, doesn't it? Hopefully, visitors of this blogspot will eventually have access to the photos as well. This, we've all gotta see!!
So what was the BIG surprise in Monson for these two hikers? It was a special dinner at the Lake Shore House Eatery compliments of Mr. Tom Wells and Mr. Jim Sherrer and their staff at Design Development in Raleigh, NC. (This is the architectural firm with which Spencer was employed during the summer of 2006. Obviously, Spencer wasn't employed there this summer because he decided to take a little hike from Georgia to Maine instead!!) The guys had told me they were planning to eat there (AT thru-hikers' favorite); however, they were elated upon learning someone else was picking up their tab. Thank you to the Design Development Staff for the scrumpdillyumptious meal you furnished Ben and Spencer. They said that the food (lobster rolls and steak and cheese wraps) were fabulous and they enjoyed it so very much. At least they were "dressed" for the occasion. ;-)
All of the "Trail Angels for the summer of 2007" have been so wonderful to these fellows! You ALL have certainly had an integral part in making this mission so successful for them whether you met them on / off the AT, bought them a meal(s), furnished their lodging, sent them a package, supplemented their expenses, planted Trail Magic or initiated it, made phone calls, sent e-mails, or from home kept them in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much from the boys' families. We are all most appreciative of your kindness and generosity.
As far as Sunday, August 19 goes, Ben and Spencer feel the need to stick around Shaw's Lodging long enough to check-out the Sunday breakfast spread. They hear it's fantastic! (I love the AT "networking" that obviously takes place up and down the Trail. It's great!) Their plan is to hike 20 or so miles on Sunday. When asked about the weather forecast, Spencer reported that the next several days should be cool, yet clear. Sounds great!
Unless Ben and Spencer are given access to a personal computer while in Monson, they probably will not be able to post a blog themselves until after their completion of the AT. Their families will keep everyone posted. I'm taking Spencer's laptop with me to Maine this week. So, hopefully they can post a blog as soon as possible upon their completion of the AT but before we depart from Portland.
Zoe (Spencer's Mom)