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Too much time on a Greyhound bus can make you crazy.  For instance, I met a 55 year old guy that bought a 60 day bus pass and has been travelling all over the country and still has two weeks left.  He asked me if I had heard of the "mile high club", and proceeded to tell me that he had joined the "greyhound club" with a 21 year old drug addict from Texas and now they are going to buy a boat together down in Florida.  Add to that the fact the the internet has not been working and you've got one fun filled trip across the Eastern U.S.
Right now I'm in Bangor, Maine enjoying a 6 hour layover until I get back on the bus and head up towards Millinocket for the night and then onto Baxter State Park in the morning to make a summit attempt of Maine's highest peak, Mt. Katahdin at 5,267 feet.  By the way it is the toughest climb on the whole Appalachian Trail.
Excitment is definitely starting to build, I honestly haven't done a lot of planning for this trip, so a lot of it has been last minute stuff.  I figured that I had the gear and the AT is much closer to towns that the PCT, so it will be easier to wing it.  I'm carrying about 6 days of food to take me through the 100 mile wilderness, the most remote section of the trail (nothing like getting all the tough stuff over in the beginning when the adrenaline will be at its highest) and I definitely think that my pack could be lighter.
My interactions with Cassandra went pretty well, she now has her stuff and is responsible for the van for awhile.  She made it pretty clear that this isn't just a time of separation, and we signed the first round of divorce papers to start the official process.  It definitely brings up a lot of thoughts and questions, but God knows whats going on and is faithful in all circumstances.  I am looking forward to the time with Him, just communing in His creation.  Life is a journey, everything that happens is an opportunity to learn and grow.  Just when I think i've got it figured out, it becomes very obvious to me that I have no clue what's going on.  I love Cassandra, I hope she knows that, and I wish her the best in her season of "freedom".
I'll be staying at the AT Lodge tonight and heading out in the morning.  This will probably be my last post for awhile and I will gladly hand off the duties to Rich again.  I'll be calling from towns and giving him updates that he will hopefully be posting.  Please forgive me for not being as good of a journaler as Cassandra.  If you really want to know how the trail is going, or what's on my mind, you have an open invitation to come visit or even hike a portion with me.
Speaking of, Eric, fellow SOBO from the PCT last year is hiking northbound and we will hopefully be crossing paths in the next couple of weeks, I'm really excited to see him and I'm going to force him to sit down and talk for a little bit and not just race by like he does all the other hikers out there.

One last note:
I love this opportunity to be out hiking again, especially given the circumstances, but my heart is not dead set on finishing.  If God shows me that its time to leave the trail, or if something comes up, I will not be disappointed.  Does this mean that I plan to not make it the whole way?  No, I'm still going to give it my best effort, but this journey is not just about the trail, its about healing, understanding and growing.  Lately, hiking is one thing that has brought me the most peace, no offense to all the amazing friends and family that God has surrounded me with, I am eternally grateful, you don't know how much your friendship means to me
 


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