Today is about learning lessons from legends

Today is an unplanned zero day at Maria’s. We woke up this morning and decided our knees and feet needed a break before we tackle the upcoming two climbs.  

pic from GutHook AT app

This lady Maria is Amazing. She is 85 years old and has been taking in guests and hikers for 16 years going on 17.  She is witty, lively and feisty.Being a widow twice and outliving 3 proposals you would think that would be enough to send someone into depression. Not Maria, she is full off live and keeps on going.

Her mind is as sharp as a tack and loves to tease you. Especially Wye Knot. She is a big flirt. She teases him about being blind (which he is legally) and he gives it right back about her being deaf. She laughed and told us a story about one hiker staying here said to her, “if you don’t mind I am going to go smoke a cigarette over on the grass”. She said sure as long as it is away because it makes it hard for me to breathe. She told us afterwards that with her deafness he could have said, “if you don’t mind I am going to go over there and smoke grass”. She slapped her hands into her lap and laughed. 

Bruce and Maria


Maria telling stories


family was from Austria, the part that was taken over by Italy back in WWI. Maria is Iatlien my nationality but she claims German and Austrian roots. 

She has so many stories to share. We are so blessed to have this time with Maria. We are learning lessons from a legend. The little diddies she has for us have us rolling in stitches. 

When she started this up her kids were so afraid of her taking in strangers. But she says she has been so blessed. There are log books and albums full of pictures and photo albums from previous hikers full of gratitude. In the way winter when it is cold, depressing and lonely she pulls out her album and hiker logs and reads them. Maria only can remember a few hikers over the years that have taken advantage of her. But those are far and few between. Right now we are sitting here under the awning with a friend of hers, Lorraine and Lorraine said that in the winter Maria is so sad and gets sick but when spring comes with hiker season she gets re-energized and so happy to meet and greet us hikers. 


I said to them I wanted to grow up and be just like them. Lorraine said all I need to do is to have a good sense of humor, keep moving and be nice. Another great lesson from another legend.
Thank you Maria, we love you. 

Happy Happy


Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.