After a peaceful night at the Inn, we were up bright and early to head back to the trailhead in Baxter State Park. We said goodbye to Eric’s Dad and we are looking to meeting him again in a few weeks. Our goal for the 100 Mile Wilderness is to go slow and enjoy the beauty and tranquility around us.
The trail meandered along a river for the majority of hike until we arrived at Abol Bridge. Abol Bridge is the last point on the trail before entering the 100 Mile Wilderness which is almost completely remote from the outside world. There are no areas to re-supply food, limited cell service and the roads are dirt access roads. We enjoyed some sandwiches and ice cream (our last fresh meal) then continued southbound into the 100 Mile Wilderness. To our surprise, we passed dozens of NOBO (northbound) hikers coming to an end to their thru-hike with the plan to summit of Katahdin (our starting point). Many started their journey in February to get here ahead of the hiker “bubble” that would have started at the more favorable time of year (March-April). We also met a YOYO hiker (he hiked the trail north from Georgia and then after Katahdin he will immediately turn around and head all the way back to Georgia).
The terrain at the start of the 100 Mile Wilderness was much easier, with rolling hills and long flat stretches’. We also enjoyed some crisp cold water at what Hayley has dubbed the “fairy spring”, a natural spring coming from the ground.
Set up camp Hurd Brook lean-to near a picturesque pond which included the haunting calls of the Loon. Enjoyed some time swinging in hammock and resting our legs.
We got a late start this morning and were on trail by 9am. The easy terrain continued with minimal climbs over Rainbow Ledges which offered some nice views and we took some time to swim in Rainbow Lake. Took a long lunch at the lake watching the Loons whom Hayley named Spoon and Baby Spoon.
Even though the terrain is fairly calm, we both had some good falls but we always managed to pick ourselves and continue hiking southbound. After seeing so many NOBO hikers the day prior, we were surprised to see very few today. We felt the weight of our packs keenly since we had to carry 10 days worth of food. This will be the longest stretch without access to a re-supply so heavy packs won’t be common in future. We are both looking forward to that time.
At Rainbow Springs Lean-to we started a small, smoky fire to keep the bugs from relentlessly attacking us. The fire allowed us to enjoy some time in the hammock and our Mountain House treat of Mac and Cheese dinner in a somewhat peaceful setting. We expect to feel the wrath of the mosquitos for a while since the terrain is fairly low lying.
Rain came in about 10pm with thunder and lightning, heavy at times and winds picked up. Our tent did well and we stayed dry. As we continued our journey south, late morning as tree rain continued to fall. The day started out gray but we welcomed the sun around 2pm. Terrain has been more of same… beautiful, vast, green and fairly easy going. It is definitely a nice way to ease into a long distance hike and build your strength.
Heard loons throughout morning from Nesuntabunt Mountain. This included stunning views of lakes and gorges. We love walking through the pine trees surrounding everything with electric green moss covering pine needle beds.
Followed the trail around Nahmakana Lake for several miles and enjoyed some time splashing in the water. We cruised into camp, keeping our mileage low as we continue to build our trail legs. Enjoyed peaceful campsite on south shore of Nahmakana Lake. Since we arrived at camp so early, we were able to have a massive fire. Hayley attempted to wash clothing in the lake but still can’t get rid of the hiker smell.
Enjoyed an incredible sunset…minus the bugs. Those bug nets are starting to come in handy and our skin is constantly covered in deet, dirt and sweat. We a peaceful night by fire reading from the Kindle and looking up at the starry night sky.
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