So this is a horrible way to get into what has truly been a delightful (more or less) span of time since I last wrote you. Ok…. So maybe I ended up in the ER.


Hold on. That’s a terrible place to start. This is better:

My wee niece and I are currently sitting in my sister’s house, with all the doors and windows open, with the breeze and the sounds of construction coming in, and the leaves rustling in the sunlight. She likes the tree right outside the door. So do I.

We were negotiating the price of a cheesy puff versus her lunch, but she has just discovered that spaghetti noodles bounce whenyoudon’tcutthemintotinypiecesbecauseyoulackforesight, and hit me in the face with a clump while waving it around in great delight. Toddlers are hilarious and terrifying. Maybe I just like watching humans do something that they have very rarely done before, because it’s usually really funny. Like kindergarteners learning that their plants grew. Or high school seniors doing physics.*


**You were excellent. It was great. I promise………. ahaha stop crying.

Your tears litter the ground like the fallen scales from this fabulous pine cone.

Let’s not discuss what I’m like when I’m doing stuff I’m inexperienced at. {#alltheterriblethings}. I totally just used those curly brackets because I love them. ……Anyways, after I last wrote you, I walked out of Monson, ME, where I had been spending some quality time. {It was so quality.}*

*I just looked up the name for curly brackets, and the only thing the Google told me people used was “curly brackets,” or “squiggly brackets.” You’re welcome.

…I was there for three days, and it feels like I met half the town. I stayed at Shaw’s, run by Poet and Hippie Chick (awesome folks, with the best wee small children) and got to spend pretty much every waking moment either playing music or listening to music being played. Or Finn dancing. Or eating food. I’d never gotten to jam with an entire circle of folks before; or played a steel drum.

Here’s another Maine fungus: Yellow-capped fly agaric. Is cousin of red fly agaric, which is (surprise!) red.

Anyways, I’m in the middle of things right now; I hate writing to you when I’m in the middle of figuring out things. As of right now, all I can do is throw trite quotes at your heads and tell you that I don’t know anything. I got into Millinocket after a spate of beautiful days and a wonderfully eventful walk across 100 miles of wilderness,

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” –John Muir

which I will have to tell you about later!

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that’s been given to us.” –Gandalf

…and hitched into town in a strange frame of mind. Sometimes I have these moments where the larger, ineffable plan is going really great, aww yissss, but in the immediate vicinity of my face, I have no clue what is going on (and everything is chaos!!) …This moment has been going on for a really, really long time; where all you can do is what is in front of you to do; and let the rest of the world be what it will be. Anyways, I came into town thinking I’d have to wait on shoes, and then some weather generated by the hurricane system, which would let a small wound on my back heal.


Turns out when your body is inhabited by billions of wee tiny flesh-eating prokaryotes, instead of healing they start eating your flesh**.

**That’s MRSA, to you.

1) Good thing I was in a town with a hospital instead of the middle of the woods in northern Maine  2) Good thing we went and got that taken care of before they were all up in my blood, people (though for a moment we def thought they were, dearie me.) On a wonderful side note, Roger and Kathy Hahn (trail angels whose house I stayed at in November, then again when I hitched north in the spring) wandered***

***purposefully drove

into town for the Trail’s End festival; so right around the time I realized that my problems were actually probably quite problematic… Kathy didn’t help Jamie with festival things like she had planned. Instead, she drove me up to hospital and then took me all over to get drugs. 3) I love those two humans with all my bedraggled, germ-ridden little heart.  Then, they offered to ferry me to Concord on their way to family, and sisterski picked me up from there. (If I had a penny for every time someone like those two has turned up and decided to help in incredible ways, I would have so. many. pennies. So much trail karma to keep giving, my people. I love you all. ❤ )


“…I want to use the time it takes.

Time is important to me now, I tell myself.

Not that it should pass quickly or slowly, but only be time, be something I live inside and fill with physical things and activities that I can divide it up by, so that it grows distinct to me and does not vanish when I am not looking.”  -Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses

So now, I’m here. On massive doses of antibiotics, and waiting for this to heal.

One of the hikers coming through Millinocket, on learning I’d been sitting in the shadow of Katahdin for a ver long time: That flippin’ sucks!!!! …Nah. I’m ok. None of this time is wasted, y’all. I ain’t running a race here: the IAT is bigger than that. It’s in the millions of years these mountains took to split apart; and the stories of thousands of people from all different walks of life that I would never otherwise have a chance to meet; and the long times I get to spend alone in the winter freezing my face because everyone else out here is intelligent, all right, and goes inside when it’s cold.

It’s tough being a doofuswad. I’ll see y’all on the trails in a couple of weeks.


“At last Frodo spoke: ‘Did you hear me calling, Master [Tom], or was it just chance that brought you at that moment?’

Tom stirred like a man shaken out of a pleasant dream. ‘Eh, what?’ said he. ‘Did I hear you calling? Nay, I did not hear: I was busy singing. Just chance brought me then, if chance you call it. It was no plan of mine, though I was waiting for you. We heard news of you, and learned that you were wandering. We guessed you’d come ere long down to the water: all paths lead that way.’ “

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

This is what to do when you’re trapped in town. Eat donuts and look up quotations.

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible,

then they seem improbable,
and then,
when we summon the will,

They soon become inevitable.”

-Christopher Reeves


  1. Amber says:

    Anne Anne Anne Anne Anne wow flesh eating bacteria wow damn glad you got to the ER and got the drugs please eradicate those germs soon and don’t let them eat you up

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Magoo says:

    Holy Crap, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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