I woke up this morning to the sound of rain on the shelter roof. So the Rooster didn't crow as early this morning. I did my morning chores mostly from my sleeping bag. I curled up and waited for a break in the rain. When it came, I put on my rain jacket and rain pants, since it was a cold one, and I was off for my 1.8-mile hike to the road into Rangeley. I waited for a hitch at an inopportune spot, then I decided to walk to a better spot. When I wasn't looking, a guy in an industrial van pulled up and offered a ride. He dropped me off at the diner, so I of course dug in to an omelet and coffee. I walked around the surprisingly large village, locating the movie theater I had dreamt about. To my dismay, Man of Steel was not on the marquee. I had underestimated just how small a movie theater could be. Disappointed, I decided I would not be staying in Rangeley tonight. I still stopped by the library to use the internet, where the guy that runs the local hiker hut offered to drive me back to the trail. I told him that sounded like a plan, and he said he'd be rolling out in about an hour. That's enough time for some fast food, I thought to myself. I was right, and soon I had a veggie burger with salty, salty fries and no idea where the hiker hut man would be found. I aimlessly walked the street, confident I would pass his car. I was right, and I hopped in his truck next to a northbound thru-hiker named AJ. He had started in mid-April, making him the fastest hiker I've encountered. He's been pulling 30-milers for like a month. No matter how confident you are, there is always someone faster.
Back at the trailhead, I decided I would hike the easy 9.4 miles to the next lean-to. The ground was basically one big puddle, but the journey was unremarkable and pretty easy. I made it to the shelter having taken zero pictures on the day. I've got to remember to take pictures in towns! The good news is that there's a couple thru-hiking with their puppy named Stella. I love hanging out with people at shelters, hanging out with puppies takes it to a whole other level. I got her so excited that she peed a little. I am such a dog person. The mosquitoes are biting so I'm climbing in to my bag.