04 May 25 SA – it is a lakes and streams country

Summary: hike from Antlers Camp north toward Nahmakanta Stream and Lake and camp at Wadleigh Stream shelter

05:31 I woke up thinking it is a late morning due to a bright light outside. But it was only 5:30AM. The birds are singing. Powerful wind operates somewhere in the distance.

When lowering the food bag, the string holding the bag ripped, and the food bag fell to the ground. I will replace the iffy string with a paracord for the next trip.

07:20 – I am all assembled and ready to go. Very good vibes. Weather is cooperating. The body is adapting nicely. The plan for today is mainly flat 13.7 miles of hiking along various bodies of water.

08:04 – the trail goes along the Lower Jo Mary Lake with crystal clear water and sun reflecting from the surface. I’ve met a super-fast North Bounder who is planning to reach Katahdin tomorrow if they open Baxter Park. He is doing 25 mi a day on average. He will be the only person on the trail I’ve met today. It is warm enough to shed the windbreaker.

08:27 the 0.9 mi side trail to Potaywadjo Ridge is still marked and visible on the ground, but it is hard to imagine who has time and energy to venture into a side trip here?

09:24 -10:00 – 3.4 mi completed and 10.1 mi to go – I am at Potaywadjo Spring shelter.  Here I spent the rainy night of May 30-31, 2021. I consume an apple, but there is no appetite yet.  And I continue to shed layers of clothing.

10:06 – crossing a road, but the is no road on the map? All right, on AllTrails map the is a dashes path that named Tirio Access Rd. (private). It is unclear what is Tirio.

10:16 – an exit to Pemadumcook Lake shore with a fine view of Katahdin.  Some show streaks are still visible on the summit. With a slight but steady cell signal, I can notify about my whereabouts, and even send some pictures.

11:16 another road crosses the AT. It definitely being used, although there is some grass growing on the road. The road passes very close to a little side trail that leads to the very North-West extremity on Pemadumcook Lake (Mahar Landing – 0.2 mi).

Here the trail becomes very hard to follow. The impression is that someone intentionally was confusing the hikers with false bypasses and stocked branches and intentionally destroyed trail blazes.  Six times in total I had to open the GPS map and see where the trail is, and I never had to do it previously.  Very strange.

12:12 crossing what apparently is Tumbledown Dick Stream. For hikers’ convenience it has a metal stairs contraption to climb on the embankment – just like in a park. And it looks so out of place here in the wild.

12:24 I am at Nahmakanta Stream shelter. On my map it is marked as a camp. Apparently, it is new, conveniently located off the trail and a good place to relax

13:57 – chased by the swarms of bugs, I am at the Tumbledown Dick side trail. I took this trail on May 31, 2021, to get back to Jo Mary Rd. and after 6 more road miles to get back to the car. This time I take a brief rest here to swim and to take care of sore skin on my thumbs. Water entry and exit are not pleasant. The river bottom is dark, murky and full of boulders and fallen trees.  The water itself is great and refreshing. The water flow is strong and powerful.  Upon clumsy exit, I dry my feet completely, apply some skin cream and then put my sock back on. The skin on thumbs also needs to get used to an unusual load of this multi-hour hike. The important rule I learned over many hiking trips is not to ignore the aches and pains but learn from them and adjust.

15:06 – yet another road crosses AT. This is Nahmakanta Stream Rd. that leads to 4th Debsconeag Rd. There is a sturdy well-maintained bridge across Nahmakanta Stream here.  The parking here accommodates 5-7 cars and only 1 car is here now. This road is used by campers on Fourth Debsconeag Lake for great boating and fishing. I covered this section of the trail on July 2, 2021, when I finally completed the 100-mile wilderness in 3 trips.

15:16 I am on the banks of Nahmakanta Lake, but I can hear there are some fishermen related sounds, and I decided to keep going. Last time I used picnic tables here and had a great breakfast on July 2, 2021.  Sign shows that I have 2.5 more mi to go today.

15:33 somewhere along the trail right after the gravel beach I sit on the ground with no other purpose than simply to rest. I did not even take the backpack off.  My back is just leaning against the backpack.  The idea for tonight is to eat on the shore but sleep in the shelter.

16:40 Instead of a smooth sailing along the Nahmakanta Lake shore, the trail in the best of AT traditions swerves away from the shore, climbs and climbs up in an intricate pattern from about 650′ to about 850′, and makes you to blame the fate, and the trail blazers, the bugs, and everything.  But there is a tiny glimpse of a view to the lake below at one point.

17:04 the hike is ending at Wadleigh Stream shelter after tiring 13.76 mi of walking. I will prepare the sleeping quarters here as there is a chance of rain at 7AM tomorrow morning, but I will try my luck to find the picnic table on the shore of the lake where I stayed 3 years ago. I pack all the food and clothes that I might need and go back searching for an exit to the lake.  It is not easy to find. Last time it was a clear Sand Beach and Spring sign, but now there are no signs, and the path is blocked by water and other overgrowth. With GPS I managed to find a way onto the beach, but the tables are gone and bugs simply merciless.  I do a super quick dip into the water, change my clothes and almost run back to the shelter.

19:08 I am alone here, and preparations are well under way.  The campfire is burning brightly, the food (Green Lentil Soup) is being prepared, the tea is ready and standing aside cooling down, the phone is charging, the legs are resting. And the bug situation is much better here. Lonely mosquitos are here but they just assessing the situation and do not attack “en masse”. There is no cell signal here.  Water in Wadleigh Stream is clean, transparent and easy to collect. This time it doesn’t seem as gloomy as 3 years ago.  Sun helps the overall picture.

19:34 There are two important things to remember: to drink a lot of water to compensate for water lost on the trail and to organize the suitable pillow out of unused clothes. When you are in a hammock, you do not need a pillow, but on the flat floor of the shelter the pillow is an extremely important component of a good sleep at night.

20:21 Fire is burning. I am lying down on the shelter’s floor. Ultimate experience. Everything is quiet. I am completely alone. My head is comfortably leaning against the shelter’s back wall. I came out to the brook to wash my face and my dusty glasses. Just in case, I am wearing a mosquito net and gloves. One or two mosquitoes circling around, but lazily. Tonight appears to be much warmer than 2 previous nights, and additional there is a complete stillness, no wind. Here at the shelter, I have 3 walls and a campfire is going on well in front of me.  The trip still goes according to plan.  About 14 mi or less remains to walk. Plus 31 miles to bike back. I just consumed a lot of water, and my headache seems to be calming down.

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)

Navigate through the List

  1. 01 May 2024 preparations for the trip (2024/05/22)
  2. 02 May 23, TH - substitute Frenchtown Rd. hiking with driving - smart (2024/05/23)
  3. 03 May 24, FR - 15 mi of hiking from 6AM till 5:30PM (2024/05/24)
  4. 04 May 25 SA - it is a lakes and streams country (2024/05/25)
  5. 05 May 26 SU - Does the path to Golden Rd. exists? (2024/05/26)
  6. 06 May 27 MO - the magic and anxiety of the last miles to the car (2024/05/27)
  7. 07 May 2024 - Final thoughts (2024/05/28)

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