1861 miles on the Appalachian Trail
South Crocker and North Crocker are far less difficult than I anticipated: some rocks, a small view, with lots of dirt trail past the summit.
We summit North Crocker around lunch and waver on hitching into Stratton versus hiking up the next mountain range. When we reach the road, we find Monty and his father, whom we’d run into several times since Gorham, attempting to hitch a ride. Car after car passes them by.
So, we decide to help. The three of us jump in front of the two men, obscuring them from view, and stick out our thumbs. The third car stops for us, and the five of us squeeze in.
We get dropped off at the Stratton gas station, which has surprisingly well priced food. A whole crowd of hikers sits outside the shop along a couple picnic tables.
As we enjoy lunch, an orange shirted man on a bike passes by. “Would you like a tattoo?"
He holds out a pack of Maine AT tattoos. We each take one.
Disciple and Halo, whom I’d met in Georgia, take us back to the trail that afternoon.
For the first time in days, we camp before dark, hiking only a mile from the parking lot to Cranberry Stream Campsite. The three of us put on our tattoos, relishing today’s much-needed morale boost.