I slept like a baby last night, deep in the woods, on Lake Millinocket. The only noise to be heard was the squeaking of the antique bed I slept in, each time Geoffrey or I turned. I awoke to the sound of a sea plane flying over and landing in Lake Ambejijus which surrounds us on the other side.
What a wonderful day we had in Millinocket today. We started out at The Pellatier Restaurant for open-faced turkey sandwiches. I learned during lunch that Geoffrey’s mother’s sister, was married to a Pellatier. It is a small world and I have to wonder if these Pellatier’s were some relation, since Geoffrey’s mother Evelyn was from Maine.
I was quite excited to connect to the world again with wireless service, and I did my post to the blog from the restaurant. I have traveled to many places around the globe without losing wireless service, so it is a bazaar feeling to be un-connected. Now I understand why they say here in Maine, “you are no longer in the USA, you are in Maine”!
I felt like a politician today, going all over Millinocket to spread the news of Parker’s Climb. It started out early this morning as Geoff and Greg were hanging up the Parker’s Climb banner. Three guys across the drive were loading up the Colby College girls for their white water rafting trip and I heard one say “huh, Parker’s Climb”. I ran right over with business cards and told them all about our quest to climb their Mount Katahdin as the first Parker’s Climb and in 312 days to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money to help cure Parkinson’s disease. To my surprise and excitement, Jason Lee, one of the white water rafting guides pulled a $20 dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to me as a donation. Do you know how that felt? It was exhilarating!!
We later went to the Millinocket Chamber of Commerce where I met Alice Morgan. She was a delight and shared some great stories about her wonderful town. When I told her about Parker’s Climb she suggested that we go to meet Marsha Donahue, owner of The Night Light Gallery. Marsha recently did an article for the Bangor News about women climbing Mount Katahdin. The article is titled; Women Show Off Vintage Finery On Mount Katahdin. The photo was of the six women who climbed the mountain and they were all dressed in long, vintage dresses. I am sure you can view it on the Internet.
Marsha Donahue was a delight. Her gallery is just amazing and we must go back on Friday to purchase something to remind us of Mount Katahdin. I think one of her pastels would be quite fitting. We went on to stop at the Millinocket Radio Station where I left business cards and asked if they would mention us on the radio. The announcer said it would not be today as they were broadcasting the baseball game. I am hoping to get mentioned tomorrow!!
It started raining around noon and while we know the area is desperate for rain (the forest is on fire alert) we sure hope it will give us a dry day tomorrow. It has now been raining hard for more than 2 hours, so we are going to have slick, mud covered trails at best!!
Because of the rain, I decided i must have a pair of rain slicker pants to cover my slacks tomorrow. We were sent to The Katahdin General Store. I found just what I needed even though I am really, really hoping I will not need them. Each person we asks about tomorrow weather gives us a different prediction. We have heard from 30% to 90% chance of rain, and a couple of” it will clear by noon and you will have a beautiful summit!” I am going with the latter forecasts.
As we checked out at The Katahdin General Store, I gave our business card to the gentleman helping us. I explained that we are climbing his mountain tomorrow and Mt. Kilimanjaro next year for Parkinson’s Disease. He just gave me “that look” and I immediately knew, somewhere PD had touched his life. He went on to tell me that his father had also had Parkinson’s disease, and he wished us great success with our climb! I assured him that we are doing this climb for his father too. He was touched – I could just tell – it is a look I now recognize!
We have made a lot of new friends today in Millinocket, Maine. But I want to finish today with a story about another two friends, George and Kumi. I have known George for many years. He has helped manufacture my jewelry elements and packaging for almost as long as I have been in the business.
When I told George and Kumi about Parker’s Climb, he was just moved beyond words. He wrote me long letters about his young childhood friend in Baltimore who has been diagnosed with PD, some years ago. I now know the story of George and Kimi meeting and falling in love and within 60 days of meeting, they were married. George and Kumi have a love story that reminds me much of Geoffrey and I. It is so wonderful to know a couple that are as much in love today as when they met. Their’s is a true love!
I also learned that George has climbed Mount Katahdin twice. Once across the Knife’s Edge and down the Chimney! George also spent seven summers in Maine so he is quite fond of this beautiful state. George sent me the most remarkable photo of his last climb up Mt. Katahdin. I share that with you tonight. When I saw the photo I told Kumi I understand why she fell in love with George so fast- he was one handsome gentleman! And he still is!
*Tonight our post is dedicated to our friends George and Kumi. Thank you for your friendship and your support for Parker’s Climb! Your generous contribution is going to help us find our cure and tomorrow when we climb Mount Katahdin it is in your honor and for your childhood friend George!*
Pam & Geoffrey