2021-07-28 at 13:17 #8532Udar GromovKeymaster
05:43 – very early wake up in a hammock inside the shelter. Many hikers in the tents are already up or even gone on the trail. My night companions also are up and quickly left at 6 and 6:08 AM.
I still have 2 nights in the wild remaining. The idea is to drive to the section in Carrabassett Valley that I skipped back in September 2018.
06:48 – I am on the move. Retracing the hike of July 1 in an opposite direction.
08:33 – 3.4 mi completed. I am back at Rainbow spring campsite. My calculations show that Rainbow shelter is about 14.4 mi from Abol Bridge that make it a very good milestone for a 30-mile mark to Katahdin. The coveted picnic table is occupied by a swarm of teenagers, but I approached the busy site and extracted my folding knife that I deposited 2 days ago. I replenish my water from the spring. The immediate plan is to hike 2.3 mi to a side trail for Rainbow Mountain (1,501′). On the map it is marked as 1.1 mi one way deviation. I need to get the signal and clarify the weather for tonight and tomorrow. What the rain will dictate?
09:34 – I am ready to start on a side trail to Rainbow Mountain. The sign here shows only 0.75 mi. I hide the backpack behind a huge rock and climb up with my sticks only.
09:37 – 09:56 – 0.6 mi hike to the top of Rainbow Mountain.
10:00 there is a signal here! It took me almost 20 minutes to cover 0.6 mi. It is possible that the trail goes a bit further, but I am at a large open space on bold rocks. I have a view and I have got a cell signal. Perfect. And I just crossed back to map page 12 of the AT brochure. Now I can see all the hiking miles to the car on one page. I asked Lira to send me images of the maps of the area that I would like to hike tomorrow. However, weather forecast calls for rain starting at 9PM today (SAT) and goes nonstop with a 50% rain probability figure for SUN. Even worse for Stratton, ME (160 miles or 3H 27 min) where rain starts at 4PM today and probability of rain tomorrow 60%. It is not looking good.
10:35- 10:51 go down – back to AT. This side trail is rarely visited. Plenty of grasses hanging over the trail, but trail is marked and passable.
I am overtaking the noisy teenage group. They are most likely on a slow move from my picnic table at Rainbow Spring to some unknows destination. They move slow, they take group pictures, they make stops at every opportunity. Again, most likely the chaperones shifted responsibility of go and break decisions to the group members to develop a sense of self-reliance.
11:43 – 12:32 – I am at my hidden Rainbow Camp site at the Eastern point of Rainbow Lake. Here will be my breakfast spot with spring water, my cereal mix, and nuts.
13:24 – 13:57 I am at the top on The Ledges – elevation about 1,500′. I am sitting right on the stony ledges a bit off the trail, but oncoming hikers thinks that I must be on the trail, and they are going towards me. I keep re-directing them back to the trail with a vague hand gesture. There are 6.1 more miles remains to the car. The rain is not scheduled to stop at least until 1PM tomorrow. I am starting to think to go home instead of staying two more nights on the trail. Also, I am registering a distinct pain under my left knee. I would have to start moving more carefully and deliberately. The down track potentially be even more painful for these muscles.
14:03 – 15:20 – 2.3 mi hike from Ledges to Hurd Brook shelter.
Here I talk to a couple of day-hikers from CT. Yesterday they did Katahdin and today decided to do even more hiking. They mention that they saw only 2 cars at the trail start – their own car and one more with NY plates. That is strange. And where is my car then?
The pain under the left knee is slowly settling in and disappearing.
15:25 – start the last section of the hike – 3.1 mi. It is up and down descent from the shelter to the car. I am a bit nervous – what if the car is not there? What should be my next steps? It is Saturday evening of July 4 weekend. And everything will be closed to seek help. On one more young guy that was going up recalled seeing only 2 cars parked on the road.
Finally, at 16:17 two hiker girls going up are confirming that yes, there are 3 not 2 cars parked on the road at the trailhead. And, yes, one of the cars has a velo-rack.
16:45 – I am in the car. Total hike today – 15.1 mi including one way 0.6 mi deviation to Rainbow hill.
17:15 – text to Lita as soon as I am in a reliable signal area – my ETA will be 22:00
17:42 – one of the last pictures of the trip – yes, it is a 75 MPH speed limit around Bangor section of the interstate 95.
Rain starts 100 mi before Boston. Then intensifies. And almost all the way to Boston a torrential rain was pounding the road.
21:57 – ODO 682.7 +13°C – when I arrived the rain magically stopped giving me opportunity to get out of the can high and dry. The expression seemed fitting for the situation at the time , but later I’ve looked up the meaning of expression “high and dry”. It means “to leave someone in a difficult situation without any help”.
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