2021-08-03 at 07:40 #8534Udar GromovKeymaster
05:53 – an early start. The weather is stormy. Strong wind rattles the hammock tarp. Tarp is serving like a sail. During the night I woke up only once – at 01:20. The night was not completely dark probably from the moon hidden behind the clouds.
06:51 – everything is packed, and I am ready to go. It makes sense to start matching right away to find a place with less wind, more sun and wait when the real appetite will kick in.
08:46 – 09:50 – 3.5 mi completed – I am at Rainbow Spring campsite. Here there is a good spring bubbling into a large puddle and then captured into a pipe to merge with the lake. Excellent water. Also, there is a picnic table at a central camp spot. Just a few yards into the forest there is no wind, and this is my perfect spot to take a break. Someone left here salt and pepper shakers, water bottle and even folding Swiss Army knife. I will hide the knife under a big flat rock to pick up later, on the way back. Now it is time for breakfast – spring water with Grape Nuts and dried fruits. Also, I need to fix a loose cord on one of my sandals. Yesterday a stick torn one of the laces out, and now I need to put it back into plastic end piece. I did it, but in a few days, I would notice that the whole plastic end piece is gone without making sandals less wearable. So far, I have met 9 people in 6 parties. By the end of the day, I will lose count. It would be over 30 people on the trail all going North bound. Today I already did 3.5 mi. In another 10 mi I can reach the goal of my todays trip Wadleigh shelter.
10:30 I am 12.7 mi away from the Abol Bridge.
After several miles along the Rainbow Lake, trail begin to turn South and down. Trail goes close to the streams and smaller lakes. I can hear woodpeckers that emphasize the silence. The views of the opposite lake shore are calming and reassuring.
11:22 – I have reached my next rest stop – Rainbow Stream Shelter. At this point I already completed 7 mi. Only 8.1 more mi to the next shelter – Wadleigh Stream Lean-to. But more immediate goal is reaching the road on the Northern Woods section of AT. That is a continuation of Jo Mary Road where I was hiking in May 2021. That is 2.4 mi away. There is no one here at the shelter. I take a swim in a Rainbow Stream.
12:32 trail here continues to go down along the Rainbow Brook. Water takes whatever is soft, and trees are falling down the sharp embankment losing the footing. Yet sometimes, the river is confined into a narrow stone channel that reminds of a man-maid structure.
A tittle further down I have met a crew of 4 workman who were using ropes and levers to move giant boulders to facilitate brook crossing. At this moment they were just starting, but I will see the results of their labor tomorrow on the way back to the shelter.
13:05 – the road. I have reached the road on the Northern Woods side of the trail. Let it be an easier trail ahead.
I am crossing the bridge over Bean Stream. The top boards are in miserable state, but structurally the bridge is solid. Right in front of my eyes a military-type green truck crossed the bridge back and forth. Now it is someone’s private property and owners are staying at a campground at Jo Mary Lake.
13:15 – 9.3 mi completed today. I am sitting on the edge of the bridge. Road splits here after the bridge. There are signs to Debsconeag Trail that is not a part of AT. There is a life on other side of the forest. Now there is a temptation to take a road instead of a trail. But my though was – it is better to “suffer” now and take the easy road later (tomorrow, perhaps).
The next section of the trail looks completely innocent, as if it is going along the river. But soon the trail begins to climb up and falls through an endless entanglement of tree roots and boulders. You keep asking why, why, why did they do it this way? Who put the trail through such a rollercoaster? I was not ready for the hard work, for the challenges of the trail that this 2.5 mi section offered.
14:18 a tough going around Crescent Pond. What looked like an innocent walk along the river turned into a tough up and down ordeal with a senseless walk around the pond.
15:00 Trail here gains elevation from 700 to above 1100 feet and even higher after going almost completely around the Crescent Pond. But the nice carrot at the end of the climb is one to two bars of LTE signal – Yes! I can transmit my location, do my Spanish lesson, check the weather, and plan my next 24 hours. They removed the rain from Friday and Saturday, and now nights will be 9°C warm or cold. Very good! So far, I have met 15(11) people(groups). After that point it will be too many to count, and I would lose the count. But total would be around 30 people – very high number for these wild acres.
15:23 I am on the road again. Grossing the same road for the second time. Now I will be climbing up to the top Nesuntabunt Mountain from 1000 to 1500 feet. But this time it will be much easier as the climb is clearly marked on the map. You know you need to work a bit, and when the climb is expected – it is less difficult.
15:45 first opening and first good view on Nahmakanta Lake and even on Katahdin. If you are a North-bounder – your goal would be about 35 miles away.
16:06 – I am at Nesuntabunt Mountain – 1560 ft. There is good strong signal here. I see an email from Schwab – yesterday – June 30 my last lot of Ruger (RGR) sold at $88.88. Amazing. I love this stock. I own their gun. It is easy to invest into the stuff you know and love.
The spot with an open view is a bit off the mount marker, but worth a few steps off the trail.
16:32 Now it will be all down to the shelter. I am covered with orange scent to protect from the bugs. Orange peels are in my shirt, in my cap, smothered on my legs. There is an anecdotal evidence that this method works.
17:42 – Wadleigh Stream Lean-to. I am here, but this is a gray, uncomfortable place. It is dark. It is too close to the trail. Water in the brook almost dead. I do not want to stay here. Let me drop the backpack and go search a spot at the lake. It could not be too far away. I decided to follow dry riverbed that should bring me to the lake. Sound simple. But the further I go, the less visible the river becomes. My path is blocked by tree trunks and nasty overgrowth. I am looking at GPS – I am still far from the lake, but now I am not sure if I would be able to retrace my steps. Why did I turn off GPS recording at the shelter? Finally, the river disappears completely. My way forward is blocked by impenetrable brush. And there is no sign of the lake. River or brook simply disappears. I must turn back.
Watching steps on the sand, and broken twigs, and using my short-term memory I retreat. Yes, I found the trail ok, and now I would continue to go South-bound further away from the shelter as I see trail will touch the lake a bit further down. I go along for a about 9 more minutes and . . .
18:13 – I see a modest sign – Sand Beach and Spring. That is the spot. Yes. It is a true sand lake beach. I will take a plunge right now – before my body cooled off. Water is nice and clean. I am completely alone. And I even see a picnic table 50 yards from me right on the shore.
I explore a bit and what a luck – another score – there are 2 spots close together among clearing in the trees and brush. I will be taking this fantastic spot. Full speed ahead.
18:50 – It took me about 25 minutes to go back to the shelter and bring my backpack. It is a half-mile 10 min one-way track to pick by backpack and return to the sand beach on Lake Nahmakanta. Now I have about 2 hours before dark to do all my camping and dinner preparations.
19:07 – hammock is hanging – very fitting distance between trees. Trees’ girth are of a perfect for hammock straps. Even a weak LTE signal is here – what a spot!
19:48 – I put a mosquito net and gloves while cooking my dinner. The only thing I did not find was a spring. Maybe it is dried out? So, instead, I collected water right from the lake and boiled it for dinner and for the tea.
20:08 – dinner will be ready soon – Patagonia Provisions Red Bean Chili. How much more convenient everything becomes with a table! My back is pleasantly tired, and it is resting.
20:51 the sun set was at 20:29. I am done with dinner – it is time for tea with a Lärabar.
21:22 – it is dark now. I replaced batteries in a headlamp, and it is light now. Swiping mosquitos away. Bullfrogs are audible from the water. I packed everything into the backpack. Overnight rain is not expected, but you never know. This night will be comfortable +13°C. There is a minimal headache. And I can sit on my behind even on a soft sand. Nice. That it is it for today. Climb into my cocoon for a good night sleep.
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