Gorham to Minot

8-18 I wasn’t going to write but my circumstances have been interesting—to me. I bought a 200$ GPS for this leg of the journey and left Wayne, Maine with it and no map yesterday after an amble together to Tubby’s for an ice cream cone that melted in the 92 degree heat almost as efficiently as a Shubert’s would have in Chico. I got to the town of Bethel without a problem and had lunch at the Bakery Theresa had recommended and also went to the new Gem and Mineral Museum before setting my sights for Gorham where I planned to spend the night.
Unfortunately I put Gorham MAINE in the GPS instead of Gorham NEW HAMPSHIRE and it was a relatively long time before I lost faith in the GPS and believed I was indeed going south and then east when my target, I knew, was due west. When I realized my error the GPS didn’t take me back the way I had come but looped me back through Bethel so I felt a tad discouraged since I did not want to add more fossil fuel use to my staggering karmic debt.
In Gorham I saw a sign for a Hostel called The Barn and it was indeed a barn next to a lovely old Victorian B&B. Inside were Appalachian Trail flotsam and a couple of young men. I struck up a conversation with a 27 year old trail-named Hercules and we ended up going to dinner to the Pizza place together and then I took him back to the trail after swinging by the Walmart for his resupply. (I tried to find dental floss last night and found to my dismay that the only place to get it in town is the Walmart—there is no other place to shop!)
Most of my roommates were glued to the TV until about 10 pm when I went up to our common room on the second floor. That area that would have been called a hay loft in the day was now wall to wall with mattresses. I was the first to bed down but in the morning most of the beds were full. I thought I’d gotten up first but someone was in the sole bathroom for a very long time as I paced outside the door. When the door opened it was a pale young being with a prosthetic leg. I’ll be lucky to hike a few miles today and I wish all the determined through hikers a very easy day.
8-21 Amazing that this is just 3 days later!
It was a good hike back in “the Whites” even though it defeated my knees. After that I stayed the night in Calais, Vt. with my friend Joan’s daughter. Joan died of breast cancer at 42 and her daughter talked a lot about family with me. Time has just flown by since Joan died in 1988.
Next I went to Burlington, Vt. to meet up with Kyle and Guthrie. My favorite time was playing a tile game at Guthrie’s after we went skinny dipping in her pool with bats diving and weaving around our heads. I also got to visit my friend Ruby who has settled in a Little House in her daughter’s backyard with her husband Lev. They are really grounded into a luxurious garden and car-free life. We talked about what one might do with one’s life at this stage (although she is younger than I am and has her husband and regular grand-baby duties.) Through the full three days I felt really supported and even got to see Kyle in a musical, just as we had done when she was a child.
This morning I left Guthrie and drove west to Syracuse with few frivolous side trips. I was glad to be rid of the rental car even though now I’m back into the completely proletarian people-mover systems. I’m in the Greyhound Bus station that adjoins the Amtrak. Staff assured me the train will be late even though it is on time now. I dread the night. I checked on the cost of the sleeper cars… they run 180-360$ a night. I’d rather hang by my fingernails than pay that much. It’s now that my aloneness may or may not close in on me.
I loved my friend
He went away from me
There’s nothing more to say
Soft as it began
I loved my friend
Langston Hughes
8/27 On the train again after a wonderful visit with my cousin and his family. The night was miserable, as expected but even though even here the sky is smoking I’m still feeling positive and happy, here in Minot, ND. Where we have been having a very long lay-over. We leave soon. I’m going to post NOW since I’ll loose internet in about 5 minutes.


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