Day 143. It’s hard to reflect all the emotions flooding my mind throughout the day in tonight’s update. After everything I’ve seen and accomplished these past 5 months, I simply don’t have the words to describe how important today was to me. Since I’ll be in Millinocket tomorrow, today was my last full day and night inside the Appalachian Trail. And that was tough to accept.
I stayed up late into the night watching the sun set and stars shimmer from our beautiful campsite on Rainbow Lake (photo above). Since it was a long and hot day of walking in this wilderness, and I’ll be back in civilization tomorrow … I wanted to savor the moment as long as possible. I sat there for hours after everyone else went to bed, the only sound being fish jumping and loons calling to each other from the middle of the lake. It was peaceful and perfect.
Although the trail was tougher today, it was an enjoyable difficulty. The rocks, roots, and mud were tough to avoid as I meandered for miles and miles around Nahmakanta Lake, Rainbow Lake, and the streams connecting the two. But, it was made easier by the majestic lakefront scenery and epic views of Katahdin getting closer and closer.
There was a small hike up Nesuntabunt Mountain, but again, nothing difficult. Even Happy would have welcomed that 500 foot climb in elevation, especially given the awesome view at the top (photo below).
Tomorrow is a short 8 miles to Abol Bridge Campground, where some of my group’s patents are waiting (Honey, Moon, and Rose). After some food (I hear a Subway party sub is on its way), we’ll continue on and finish the final 10 miles to the base of Katahdin. The weather forecast and a chat with Park Rangers will decide what happens next. Climb tomorrow in the rain? Wait until Monday, hoping to hike between thunderstorms? Or maybe even wait until Tuesday, in hopes of the weather clearing up completely? We shall see.
Hello Neiman (Sharkbait)!
- Start Mile: 2142.6
- Start Time: 07:00
- End Mile: 2168.0
- End Time: 18:20
- Miles Hiked: 25.4
- Miles to Go: 22.9
- Lodging: Rainbow Lake Stealth Tentsite