It is a great feeling to know The Parker Family is making our way towards Maine! Greg, bless his heart, wins the award for the longest travel. He came in from San Diego, flying first to Denver, then Philadelphia and on into Bangor. He was waiting for us with open arms when Geoff and I arrived in Bangor.
Our flight was over an hour late leaving Ft. Lauderdale. We flew to New York and had a tight connection into Bangor. We arrived 15 minutes before our flight was due to leave. I had already checked to find out if we missed our connection if we could not get another plane until 8:30 PM. Our luck held out, there were mechanical problems with the plane and it was delayed, giving us enough time to catch it.
As Geoffrey and I flew into Bangor he said “look out the window Pam, there is Mt. Katahdin.” My first response was, “holy cow, I can see the Knife’s Edge from here!”
Driving from Bangor to Millinocket we already started to feel the release of being in the country. It was a little remarkable that we drove on Interstate 95 from Bangor to Millinocket. We drive Interstate 95 most every day in Florida. In the distance we continued to catch a glimpse of the mountain!!
When we finally arrived at the Big Moose Inn, we knew that we had officially reached the country. All three cell phones reported “No Service”. My first thought was, “really, are you kidding me?” When I opened my Ipad and got the message “No Service” I knew it was for real – I am in the woods and have no connection to the world outside!!
The rest of the Parker clan will arrive today from Vermont. They will have no problem finding us, the Parker’s Climb banner is hoisted between two white birch trees – It looks awesome in front of our cabin!!
Last night we had dinner at the Big Moose Lounge. It was a happening place with every seat filled. A large group of beautiful college girls arrived, about 24 in total, and apparently they are going on a rafting trip in the morning! They were seated in a private patio area for dinner and I knew instantly I had to share Parker’s Climb with them.
After dinner I decided it was time to give our ladies from Colby College an introduction to Parker’s Climb. So I entered their patio area and introduced myself. They gave me full attention and I invited them to join us on Thursday morning for our climb up Katahdin. It would be awesome if they joined us.
I handed out Parker’s Climb business cards to the girls and told them that Mt. Katahdin is our first official Parker’s Climb. I explained that in 313 days we will start our climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro and that we are doing this to help raise awareness and funding for Parkinson’s disease research. I told them that we will reach the summit on Geoffrey’s 57th birthday, and he will be 51/2 years into his diagnosis with PD. One girl asked if Geoff was here with me, and I told them Geoff is the handsome guy sitting in the restaurant.
As I handed out business cards one young lady spoke up and said, “my grandfather had Parkinson’s disease”. I assured her that the Parker’s are making this climb for him too! There was so much energy in this room of Colby College girls. I said, “hold on, there is someone here I want you to meet, it is my husband Geoffrey”.
I ran back to our table and said “Geoffrey, come with me, I have a room full of ladies who are dying to meet you!!”. He first shook his head as if I had lost my mind. As he followed me into the room, the entire group of girls let out a loud “wooooo hooooooo!” I said “I told you he was the best looking guy in the restaurant!!”
I guess I could best describe this scene as a room filled with so much estrogen that Mr. Parker was immediately transferred back to his college days. Geoff walked in and said, “If I were back in college, this would be a dream come true!” There was immediate laughter, and great comments from the girls wishing us success up the mountain!
What a great first night in the woods. Geoffrey, Greg and I sat along the water’s edge after dinner, looking at the full moon that shined brightly over Millinocket Lake. It is an eerie feeling knowing that there is a mightily big mountain lurking in the distance. A day from now we will start up the mountain – our first Parker’s Climb. To me each step feels like the first step in finding the cure for Parkinson’s disease.
We are a long way from the top – On Thursday we get to test out our climbing endurance. Our climb will take roughly 8 hours up and 2 hours down. I think we are ready, and the mountain awaits!!
*This post is dedicated to The Big Moose Inn and the Beautiful Girls from Colby College*