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Day 4 L.L.Bean AT Relay Team 41

Today was day 4 of what was supposed to be a 3 day hike. Day one we didn't really hike. We just hiked in a mile and set up camp a day early so we didn't have to travel 3-4 hours then set off hiking. Even with that we were still a day and a quarter from our finish line. The morning brought decision making. Do we tap out early at the next road crossing or do we stretch our food and continue forward?

Since we didn't have any cell service we could only make what-if plans. So we hiked off not quite knowing what we were going to do. The morning was cooler than the last two, a breath of fresh air. On our way up Pleasant Mountain we stopped for a brief break and just happened to notice we had a signal. We sent word out to loved ones who were waiting patiently to hear that we were okay. Hubbies tend to worry. And to find out if anyone was available to help extract us. The climb to the summit was easy and enjoyable. Our first open top of any significance at almost 2,500 feet. It was slightly overcast and a gently breeze that was a welcomed treat.

Still concerned about our plans we hashed over ideas back and forth with each other. At the moment the only choice was to hike on because we didn't think to make a decision back when we had cell service. So we hiked on. With only 4 miles into our day we stopped for a lunch break. We were lucky girls. We had a signal again. This time we had decided there was no way we wanted to hike in the dark descending Moxie Bald Mountain. We started texting family and friends to find out what our options were. As we were talking about a hiker we knew who was getting dropped off where we wanted to leave the trail at, it dawned on me, "Hey, why don't we just call for a shuttle?" And that's what we did.

Paul at the Caratunk House arranged for us to be picked up at Moxie Pond Parking lot. What was so great about it was his willingness to pick us up even after he learned we have no way to pay him. I only had a debit card and Stacey didn't have quite enough cash. Paul's response when I said we didn't have the funds was, "No worries, I trust everyone out here on the trail." How incredible is that?

With the worry off our shoulders we enjoyed every step of the last 2.5 miles left of our journey. I still felt like we failed. But once at the extraction point where we arrived over an hour early, sitting on the rocks surrounded by such beauty, I realized how could that be considered a failure.

It was an awesome experience to hike with Stacey. The outside is so much better when shared with a friend. There are 18.5 miles left of our section and we are already making plans to go get them. Failure is only a mindset. You can use uncompleted goals as a stumbling block to knock you down or you can use them to gain strength, experience, and wisdom. I say stumble, as long as you fall forward you are making progress.

Now go escape!

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