Here we be, a-trekkin.

Dearest, darlingest family and popsicles,

Here we are again.

Me, writing to you in my journal and eating cinnamon toast.

You, doing heaven knows what, but reading this.

Looking north(west?) from Deasey Mountain. This IAT stuff sure is nice.

Hallo! I am sitting on a carpet, instead of outside in the snow that is melting off the eaves. I realize this often happens, me writing you from inside. I am sorry. I will endeavor to be better in the future. But this time, it’s because I’ve been kidnapped by northern Mainers.


There I was, walking down the IAT like any ole hiker person. There it was: a low-pressure system with some nice snowfall and winds from the north like we been thinking about for months.  I don’t know how many of you have been waltzing through wee bits of snow like that before, but all I could think as I pushed my face to the winds and trudged into the snowbits that were smacking my eyeballs (ouch) was… well… Mostly for the first 6 miles in the morning I was all, “yay this ain’t so bad for a wee morning walk.”

Then (the IAT section I was on is in sight of roads) I saw they were letting schoolchildren out early, and the wind was all against my face, and I was all:

Ok, self. The main reason you’re still out is because 1) You live in a tent, and 2) You know there’s a restaurant in two miles that lets pitiful hikers like you camp in the back of it, that’s got great hot foods. And I bet they’ll let you sleep inside, because you are going to go in and eat foods and not feel like walking into the winds for the rest of the afternoon.

Then, I walked some more, occasionally being happy that my head and feet and everything were warm. This is what you get, Sail.

I eventually walked into the restaurant (this was a couple days ago), and lo and behold! There was a human who said, “Yo, you looking for a place to spend the night inside, my parents have got a room upstairs. Come home with us.” …Now here I am. Lazing about. Eating cinnamon toasts, spending time with these good people, and taking cough medicines. They have informed me that I must tell people:

This is what happens when you walk over Katahdin and come into northern Maine. Folks hear you coughing and bring you in out of the storm, and tell you they won’t let you out of their house until that cough is settled; then they’ll kick me out, if I fit through the door. (They may have to roll me.)*

*Really the word they used was, “kidnap,” but I hope you are all all right if I have put it into my own words.

So. Rumor in the wind is that they have just closed the border crossing in Houlton today, completely, on both the Canadian and US sides; which is something folks here say has not happened before (to this extent). I am several days out from the IAT crossing in Fort Fairfield. For now I am just sitting, being warm, reading “Rocket Men” (the epic story of the first men on the moon), and writing to you.

Take care of yourselves, and each other.





  1. Garrett Gundlach SJ says:

    I love sentences that include both the words “darling” and “popsicle”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. blueskysailor says:

    YOU ARE GONNA BE ALRIGHT! It was my great pleasure to spend a week with you in mid-October. What fun, hiking on the AT and climbing Katahdin! But I’ve been concerned for your safety for some time. So while I was with you I wanted to learn more about your plans — and yes — see that you’d thought this latest leg of your trip through. I wanted to know that you’d be OK. No guarantees, but a good chance. As you’ve said yourself, “Book Smart doesn’t mean Street Smart.” I came away with a better picture of you. You DO realize the hazards you will face. You HAVE prepared and researched to find the safest way to do this. You DO have the good judgement to always have an escape plan. BUT BEYOND THAT — you will probably hate me for this analogy — You are just sooo lovable that like an orphaned puppy, at the first sign of trouble, people just seem to appear out of nowhere. They want to take you in, take care of you, provide whatever you need until they can safely send you on your way. This may be your greatest asset. You know it’s true! So, when I dropped you at the beginning of the IAT, I had the peace of knowing that you are gonna be okay. I’m still praying for you though, that God continues to provide you with Trail Angels. — Rick


    1. Sail Away says:

      An orphaned puppy….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. blueskysailor says:

        A strong independent orphaned puppy if you like… still lovable.


      2. blueskysailor says:

        Haha! Okay, a bit of a poetic stretch, but who doesn’t immediately like a puppy, or Anne.


  3. NaiveTest says:

    Hey Sail, Hoping for the best for you as you journey north! Last saw you on Bromley as I snuck a little extra water into your water bottle for before walking off with the sunrise. I had hoped you’d catch up again, but it wasn’t to be.

    I’m now heading south, freaking out about a potential 1/2 inch of snow in the smokies.

    P.S. couldn’t hold onto the name Yakuza.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sail Away says:

      Aaaaaaaaa snowwws! Haha, I followed for a while, creepily reading your entries in the logs. I’m so glad you commented!! Hullo. <3. Send me an emails? Or address yo I'll send you post and a leaf or something


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