Started the day with a small fire at our campsite, we intended to have a lazy morning but the bugs got the best of us even with a fire so we were up and out. It was another lovely day on trail. The terrain remained gradual and easy-going. We stopped for lunch at Nahmakanta Steam lean-to and ran into the hiker we had met on day 3 who was doing a YOYO, he had just finished Katahdin and was headed back south. We met some other SOBOs and section hikers. There were lots of little beaches to swim today which was fortunate since it was a very hot 87 degrees. We also tanked up on spring water at Potaywadjo Spring (Eric carried an additional 2 liters for the final stretch). We just can’t resist the crisp clean spring water of Maine. We decided to set up camp early at an amazing little spot in Antlers campground. We heard there would be some rain in the evening so we set up our tarp for the impending rain storm and will test that out. We enjoyed the sounds of the loons on the lake in the evening. It was fun to hear the several different calls including the wail, tremolo, yodel and hoot.
Good thing we have a good tent! A massive system rolled through in the morning dropping rain fast and hard. It was about 6:30am when we realized our crocs were floating under the vestibule in about 2 inches of water. Our tent felt like a waterbed but was able to be grounded again as the water slowly seeped into the soft ground soon once the rain slowed down. We were tricked into a false sense of security when we found the flattest spot which was near a very slight incline, however we are thankful our amazing NEMO Dagger tent kept us dry inside. Todays challenge will be drying out our tent while still meeting our mileage goal which happened to be the biggest to date (16 miles). We were lucky the rain subsided early and we took a long lunch break and were able to dry out our tent in a patch of sunlight. We also met some other SOBO thru-hikers, Inferno and Honey Bullet, who were doing the same. Technically they are flip-flop hikers. Both started in Georgia and completed 200 miles of trail to Clingman’s Dome. Based on personal preference to chase good weather, they opted spend the summer in New England and head southbound for the remainder of their thru-hike to finish Clingman’s Dome, the highest point on trail.
Ended the day at East Branch lean-to.
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