Oct. 3, 2008

Potywadjo Spring Lean-to to Rainbow Stream Lean-to
18 miles

[Note: No more still photos available from this trip. My camera was unable to access the memory card, either to view or write new photos. I do have some movies that will be available , as I was also carrying my Flipvideo Ultra video camera . I will now always carry and extra SD card, just in case.]
Quite a decent full day out here. I was out first again, waking up at 6:30 and out by 7:15.
The path continues to be slippery, and I have saved my body several times today by quick use of my hiking poles to arrest my falls. Walking steadily, although I was wearing my rain jacket, with another woolen layer over my t-shirt, and my gloves, even in the middle of the day. I did see my shadow for the first time in a while this morning.
Here is a brief video of a wet section of the Trail this morning.

Making good time through here, arriving at Wood Rat spring by 10:45 AM, with 7 miles down. A lot of water still present in the Trail. I even took the 0.2 mile high water white blazed by-pass of a section of Nahmakanta Stream in an effort of get some relief from the deep water around this area.
I stopped at the Wadleigh Stream lean-to and had lunch , three more miles north of here.
Absolutely no need to carry any water on this trip. My practice is now to walk with an empty water bottle, and when I get thirsty, bend down, and fill it up at a spring or a stream, and either hit it with the Steripen or not, based on whether I am at a clean spring to the side of the trail or a flowing stream running through the countryside. I then drink a half to a full liter, dump the rest and keep walking. Thanks to General Lee for showing me this technique.
Just passed a southbounder named Forge. He has flip flopped and is walking south from Katahdin to Mt. Greylock in MA. I wished him good luck. He is going to need it.
There is absolutely no one out here other than thru-hikers and me. Not to imply that thru-hikers like what they are doing. Most are in the 20 mile per every day range, and really blunt about how much they are sick of backpacking. I didn’t feel that way when I came through last year, and
don’t feel that way now. The weather is not that bad out here. It has not rained much today. Where is the backpacking community in Maine these last few days?
    Nesuntabunt Mountain continued to pose a challenge to me, as I remember it did in my first trip though the 100 Mile Wilderness way back in 1993. This time, it was raining. The footpath was slippery and mucky, and I even lost the trail for a while. It was really dark on the ascent, and the wind increased and the temperature dropped as wove my way through the giant fortress like boulders that characterize the summit approach. Nearing the top, it started to sleet. At this point I had been wearing just my woolen t-shirt, but I began to get very cold on my biceps, of all places, and decided that I didn’t need to chance any hypothermia, so I put on my rain jacket , again.
What helped me through the afternoon was the unexpected appearance of Stumpknock, who caught up to me just after the water events on the top wind funnel of Nesuntabunt Mountain ( 1520’). We hiked and talked for some 6 miles, all the way to my destination of Rainbow Stream Shelter.  
It saved my butt that Stumpknock was content to walk along at what I felt was about a 2.5 mph pace. Normally, anyone off the street who tries to hike with a thru- hiker , who is at this point of their walk is steaming along, is doomed to be left in the dust . It is like trying to run along as fast as you can, and failing to jump on a roaring freight train.
Below is Stumpknock on the side of Rainbow Stream just before the Lean-to.

Stumpknock is familiar to me. I met him at the Gentian Pond shelter in Maine last year when he was accompanied by Mrs. Gorp. I also ran into him on the AT when I was backpacking with Auntie Mame and V8 in Virginia this past May. He has basically given his life over to being outdoors, having hiked the AT multiple times ( I think this might be his 6th.) He started Jan. 1 this year, fitting in 2 months off to bicycle across the US with Mrs. Gorp, as well as hitching a ride up to the Canadian border to complete the whole Vermont Long Trail .
   I ended up pending the night with the same folks as last night. I just learned that Pull-up is going to be a junior in high school. Incredible. Pull-up was reluctant to sleep on the lumpy floor here. He doesn’t have a pad.
     It is cold. Hands freezing as I type.
   I felt just about done in as I reached the ancient shelter with the baseball bat floor.   Pull-up did fine sleeping in this shelter. In the morning, he showed me how he did it, sleeping on a trash bag stuffed with leaves. Successful hikers are resourceful on a daily basis.

2 thoughts on “Oct. 3, 2008

  1. Mark / BI

    Thanks for the invite, I am sorry I could not make the plane trip that looked like a blast. The rain,cold, well I can only say I hope we don’t get that stuff this week on the Bay.
    Look forward to seeing you tomorrow and hiking the coast this weekend.

    see ya tomorrow.



  2. Hank

    Tom, You continue to amaze me. You are truly a man of nature. Grizzly Adams has nothing on you!! If I ever have to go on a trip in the woods, I want to have you there so that I will not DIE! Your pictures and writting is wonderful. PUBLISH!!


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