Home Forums 03 AT 2021-07-02 FR – from Nahmakanta Lake to Tumbledown Dick Trail

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    Udar Gromov
    Keymaster

    Woke up in the middle of the night as I felt moisture on my face. It is a strong wind and a super tiny drizzle. IT is possible that strong wind picks up moisture from the lake surface and carries it onshore. Anyway, I need to lower the whole hammock structure much closer to the ground to reduce the wind impact and make a better use of rainfly. I tucked everything underneath the tiny covered arear. I am lowering rainfly almost to the ground. Still, wind is strong and nasty. I am discovering this side of camping on the shores of a large lakes. A vast open lake surface allows wind to gain strength and velocity. An interesting lesson to learn. But you go a few yards into the forest, and wind is tamed by the trees and the brush.
    06:40 – first pictures of the day. Dark gray morning, but it is warm 10-11°C. No overnight water damage to my stuff. Good. I can see that now weather shows 40% chance of rain for both Sat and Sun. My next hiking section is 2.8 mi of a flat trail along the lake. Today I should reach Tumbledown Dick trail and I will turn back toward the car. The decision is to keep going with the backpack to the road and then return using forest roads. That way, I do not need to climb over Nesuntabunt Mountain again.
    I have many layers of clothing on. It is cold to sit and it is perfect to hike.
    08:33 – trail goes really close to the lake shore. Sometimes it jumps right on the lake sands. Sometimes it goes parallel to the lake on a broken-down trail, and temptation is to take to a smooth beach sand.
    09:05 – 09:24 – take a break. I am cutting my nails. Only now I would begin to remove extra layers.
    09:46 – 10:52 I have reached an interesting junction. This is an Eastern tip of the Nahmakanta Lake where it eventually turns into Nahmakanta Stream. Here they have a table, a firepit, nice water access and even a toilet. OK, this will be my breakfast spot – Nahmakanta South End campsites.
    While using a small container filled at home with olive oil, I discovered in it contains all kinds of plastic garbage including “Do not eat” absorbent packet that keeps moisture out of food and leather products. Apparently, Lira used it to store small plastic pieces and I took it without looking inside. Not the most pleasant discovery.
    11:00 – crossing the road one more time. This time at the mouth of Nahmakanta Stream. Nice solid bridge over the stream goes toward Debsconeag Backcountry Trail and some sporting camps. This road will be an interesting alternative to explore a shortcut from AT at Nahmakanta to AT at Rainbow Lake.
    11:15 – drop my backpack in the woods and start marching the last section of the trail. With me I only have cameras, a gun, and walking sticks. Here I met a Northbound through hiker from New Zealand who lives in New Jersey now. Strangely, he is the first human encounter today after a very “crowded” yesterday.
    11:46 – 11:56 – a key moment – 100-mile wilderness is done by me. 48H after starting on June 30 from Abol Bridge. I have reach Tumbledown Dick trail off AT. That is where I made a turn last trip at 14:05 on Monday, May 31, 2021. I completed the 100-mile wilderness in 3 trips starting at 15:00 on July 30, 2019, from Monson. Almost 2 years later I have completed the entire section after spending $15 + $16 = $31 for parking or using private roads. To be fair, I took entire 2020 – all 5 trips to complete Vermont (VT) section of AT.
    Now I will turn back to the car. Total distance to the car can be estimated as a sum of 7.4 mi on June 30, 15.3 mi on July 1 and 3.6 mi today. Total is 26.3 mi. Plus, on my way back I will take a longer, but easier way using local roads. Counting miles back, it will be 12.5 mi today to Rainbow Stream shelter and 15.3 – 0.6 (climb to local mount to get a signal) = 14.7 mi on July 3. Total miles back will be 27.2. Total over all miles in 4 days – over 50 mi on a mixed terrain.
    As soon as I turned back, I’ve met Max – the south-bound though hiker whom I have met at Hurd shelter on June 30. He is just started and is planning to make it all the way to Georgia. He is only the second person met today.
    12:24 – back at the road. Grab my backpack and continue on the road. Not a single car in my direction.
    13:39 – I walked about 3 mi to the main road. The side road where I came from marked as Nahmakanta Stream Rd. If I turn left, I will eventually get to unmanned checkpoint on Jo Mary Rd. I am turning right towards the dead end of the road.
    14:26 – complete 5 mi on the road. My average speed on the road 3.1 mph. No cars in my direction. I would have to do the whole road section on my own feet. There is a slight pain under left knee. All I need to do is just give it a few minutes rest. I am sitting on my behind on the road. A brook is audible somewhere behind the trees.
    15:28 – Another 2.5 mi completed. Right at the moment when I was approaching AT, the New Jersey hiker from New Zealand was emerging from the woods. So, for a few hundred yards we were walking together. He – to continue the route, I was just climbing to get a signal. The weather update shows no rain tomorrow at least till 3PM, but overall, 40% chance of rain on Sat and 70% on Sun.
    Now I will have an easy 1.4 mile down the road to a yesterday’s bridge.
    16:00 exactly on the hour I stepped on the bridge that I was crossing at 13:15 PM yesterday. Here are last pictures of the day. Now, there is 2.5 mi to the shelter. It will be a gradual uphill climb.
    While walking the last section of the trail to the shelter I’ve once again met the volunteer’s crew finishing their work on the trail. By this time, they completed the brook crossing made from boulders. It is a lot of hard work for such a small section of the trail.
    17:15 – I am at the Rainbow Brook Shelter. There are many tents around already. Most hiker are South-bound adventures just starting the trail. And no one took any spots inside the shelter.
    17:52 – despite the cold weather, I still took a dive into the brook. It is very nice. It gives you the boost, cleans the body and now you are ready to enjoy usual camping chores more vigorously.
    18:37 – the fire is burning. My water is boiling. My NZ fiend is done with food and cleaning his teeth. He is an out of work musician and took to the trail because there is no work. Two more sturdy North-bounders (Pork Chop and one other) took 2 spots in the shelter to the right of me. They are drying their clothes above fire.
    For firewood I found bunches of cut small trees a little way away from the shelter. More and more hikers are arriving, but they are spreading around in their tents. There is no shortage of good spots.

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