Nearly 20 years ago, I saw this sign while hiking northbound on the Appalachian Trail that directed me

(via a blue-blazed Trail) in to the town of Monson, Maine.

Here’s how it looked back then with the fall foilage near peak and my hiking companion Harry

(Delta Force) contemplating the two mile side hike to town.

I spent two nights in Monson at Shaw’s Boarding House before hiking the 100 Mile

Wilderness, and another night here after I summited Katahdin.   Mr. and Mrs. Shaw ran the

hostel and were incredibly kind.  Each day they served up generous helpings of food

at breakfast ($5) and dinner ($8).

When Mr. Shaw found out that I hadn’t photographed a moose on the hike, he immediately

loaded me in to his truck and took me down the road where – sure enough – a moose stood

grazing near a stream.

Unfortunately, Mr. Shaw died a few years ago and Mrs. Shaw passed away this spring.  Both are

greatly missed by The A.T. community.

I was hiking in Maine last week and went by their house once again.  It looked much like it did when I passed

thru on the A.T. nearly 20 years ago – but this time a “For Sale” sign hung in the front yard.

The Shaw’s hosted thousands of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers since they opened their doors to hikers in the

1970’s and it is truly the end of an era.

Bless you Mr. & Mrs. Shaw