Go for launch

Millinocket, ME, AT Lodge, AT NOBO mile 2,180.1, Tuesday August 5, 2014 — Lies, damn lies and statistics? Wrong! It’s really lies, damn lies and weather forecasts.

Where have all the T-storms gone? Not here. No time passing.

Today dawned cloud free and has remained so all day. I feel like an idiot to have missed another opportunity to put the cherry on top of this most excellent adventure.

The forecast for tomorrow is now for clear weather. Therefore I’ve decided that we attack at dawn come hell or high water. It’s Katahdin or bust ’cause I am about to bust just sitting around here twiddling my thumbs. The hostel is a nice place, that’s not the issue.

Of course I am psyched. Let’s rock and roll kiddies. It’s time.

Now for other news. Sadly Millinocket is another small town drifting toward oblivion. It’s paper mills have closed taking its middle class down in the process. Deferred maintenance and for sale signs characteristically define Main Street in what has become a hiker town trend.

It is sad that the theories of Adam Smith and Darwin are evident one more time. In Smith’s case, the prosperity always seems to accrue to someone else or elsewhere. At least the hiking community brings in a few bucks.

Some of the businesses look like the owners left in a hurry. Names remain on marquees. It looks like they might be open, except they aren’t. Potemkin would be proud.

This town supports its troops. Communities like this have been sending their sons, and now their daughters, to defend our nation’s interests on muddy fields for centuries as monuments to their service attest. It’s ironic that no one seems to have defended them in the hour of their need.





Outside. The desperation is evident.

Inside. Working harder didn’t solve the problem.









15 thoughts on “Go for launch

    • Should be about a three/four hour climb. Let’s estimate 11 a.m. EDT. You can safely toast success by mid-afternoon. (Remember I have to get down in one piece.)

  1. Wow, has progress really taken us forward. I grew up in little places like that.

    Lighting candles and bonfires for ya. In my line we wished blue skies and tail winds, I will leave off the winds part for you.

    Go for it.

  2. Sad towns like that are all over the country.

    You have a 30% chance of rain. Do some bobbing and weaving. You’ll stay pretty dry.

    Cheers to you reaching your goal!

  3. So sad to see Millinocket, like Monson, has degraded even further. Such an irony; a state rich in wild beauty yet amid the grandeur you’ve got the sad testament you so clearly portray in your photos.

  4. Jim,
    Wow ! Enjoy the climb ——peak experience —— and descent tomorrow.

    Thanks for pointing out the hollowing out of some of the small towns you passed thru. They present in real time the lost dreams , failures and hopelessness we do our best to keep hidden from pubic view. I feel for all the people affected by this transition.

    Take a few days off.
    I can’t wait to here what your next challenge will include.

    Happy Trails,
    Bob H./

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