As the title of this post suggests, I am TWO days away from starting my thru hike. Last night, I laid wide awake, wondering what I had forgotten to plan for. It was impossible to distinguish between healthy excitement and gut-wrenching anxiety. After a few hours of rolling around in my sheets, running through scenarios in which I inevitably keeled over somewhere along the Appalachian Trail, I woke up at 4:30 AM to catch our flight (which my Uncle Dave drove us to...thanks Dave!!). The plan was to fly in to the Bangor airport around noon, but our flight from LaGuardia to Bangor was cancelled due to mechanical problems with the plane. Luckily we were got rescheduled for a Bangor flight at 6:30 tonight, in first class. Yeah. The extra layover time allowed us to burn through two $25 meal vouchers and to play with a couple of the iPads that are ubiquitous in the terminal. Literally every table has a pair of iPads attached to it. I estimate the total number of iPads in LaGuardia at well over a thousand, no joke. I wonder what kind of deal you get buying in bulk. My favorite scene of the day was a line of travelers posted up at a bar, which was of course outfitted with iPads. Some people even had their MacBooks open in front of the tablets. Gah. It's about time for me to say goodbye to such displays of technological overkill, with the exception of a few gadgets I'm taking on my hike.
So now we're sitting in the Pamola Motor Lodge in Millinocket, Maine. I don't have much to say about this state yet, since we got in around dark and we drove straight here after landing. What I do know is that Katahdin, the first mountain on my hike and the northern end of the Appalachian Trail, sits 45 minutes away. Tomorrow I'll stock up on the food I need to complete the upcoming 100-mile wilderness (more on that later), take a peek at Katahdin, and chat with the rangers in Baxter State Park. And on Thursday, I'll embark on what I hope will be a 2186-mile hike.
Commentary: In my original journal entry, I was being unclear about just who this "we" was. My mom came up to Maine to see me off! She also kept my trip on track by negotiating a rebooked flight to Bangor. We almost had to wait an entire extra day to get up to Maine. Thanks mom.