Stryker and I are in Maine. Boy, what a trip. So, we get to Denver for the 0105 flight thinking that that would be a good time to fly. Wrong. The flight was packed. Then- Jamie says, “Well, let’s put it out to the universe that you’re going to have a great trip.” Five minutes later, Stryker and I were upgraded to FIRST CLASS. To top it of off, we were seated by an ol’ OCS grad that had served in Vietnam. He was very receptive to Strykes and even gave up his blanket so Stryker could have some ‘extra’ cushion.
The landing was a bit exciting, but by flight two from Philly, Stryker had assimilated and there was absolutely no problem (upgraded again to our own row).
Bangor, ME-the last time I was here was when I returned from Afghanistan in 2010.
Initial impression of Maine: It’s very green with every kind of tree (except palm, Rob-smart ass).
Tonight we are staying in Millinocket, a town from yesterday that’s still hanging on by a string. It was explained to me that in the early 2000’s the ‘mill’ in Millinocket closed for good. A relatively prosperous little town had zero economy overnight. There’s a sign in the middle of town thanking the citizens for over 100 years of faithful service.
We are staying at the Appalachian Trail Lodge-owned and operated by the ‘Ol’ man’ who checked me in, arranged our food drop 63 miles into the 100 mile wilderness, explained the rules of the establishment, and then showed me to my room. The Ol’ man is another war hero who sports a faded tattoo from yesterday of a Purple Heart on his left, upper arm from a battle long ago in Vietnam. When Stryker and I came out of our room on our way to explore this dusty old town, he was armpit deep in the engine of an old Volkswagen van. I chuckled inside when I noticed his braided pigtail running down his back in contrast to otherwise bird’s nest of a hairdo.