Hiking the Hundred, Part 2 of 3

Originally,  I planned to do the whole “100” with these two folks, but I had scheduled two work related gigs smack dab in the middle of what turned out to be the only week that both of them could schedule their trip, so, I now I’m hiking for a couple of days out with them, then back to Abol Bridge and the car.
On the way back I encountered TBO who was trudging his way south.  We talked again a bit.  I was astounded to hear that he paid a cab driver $160 to take him from the Bangor International Airport out to the start of the Trail in Millinocket, but it would have taken the cab driver 4 hours of out and back to do that.
Now, I’m alone.  BI and Birdlegs are headed south, and should go up and over Nesuntabunt Mountain in 6 miles, a 1600 foot blip on their relatively flat trajectory for today.   I am going to miss walking with them, and will think about them for the whole time they are out there.
Initially, it does not seem so hot and buggy today.  I hiked south this morning for 4 miles with them, passing Rainbow Lake ( “It’s big, about six miles of shoreline!)   We took a 10 AM break at the Rainbow Stream
Lean-to, one of my favorite campsites in Maine. It was there that I decided to turn back.
The trail in this 4 mile section was muddier than yesterday.  In one place there was a quarter of a mile long of mud on the Trail.  It was fun, and a challenge to try and keep my feet wet as I stepped my way through the mini-frog ponds.  I am normally pretty competent at weaving my way through, and constantly on the lookout for rocks to step on, but it was a slick log that ended all that.
I took a hard fall off a wet slimy log that was floating in a black pool of muddy water. The log rolled under my left foot and threw me off to the right side. At first I thought I was going to recover, but no, I pitched to the right and as I was going down, I imagined another broken trekking pole or worse.  I ended up bruising my right shin, right elbow, and left ankle, but it was nothing serious. I righted myself by initially stepping away from the mid-calf mud, and now had gritty, waterlogged shoes and socks.   I rinsed off the worst of the slime from my feet and legs by trudging back and forth up and down a stream that crossed the trail up ahead.  My whole right side was a smear.  Later,  I was dismayed that the fall had also dislodged my synthetic towel from the back of my pack, when it must have snagged on a underwater branch.  Gone.
I eventually covered 11 more miles when I decided to call it a day. It was only 3 PM, and I was thinking about walking all the way out when I found that the unofficial campsite at the eastern end of Rainbow Lake was empty so I decided to take it.  It was the same swimming spot that we enjoyed yesterday. I was looking forward to cooling off and washing the grime off.  That grime wouldn’t wash off, and had to be scraped away.   I went for a most refreshing dip in the exceptionally clear waters that graced this waterway.  My concerns about my tent spot being level enough were put to rest after I fell into a deep nap.
There are either all you can imagine or not that many leisure-time activities to choose from here today: sleeping,  eating ( I immediately downed a small bag of Goldfish, and mixed up some Gatorade),  reading, and writing ( happening now).  Nobody came by for the rest of the day.
One thing is can do right away is to reconstitute the dehydrated home-made chili that I’ll have for dinner tonight.
My camera is pretty much dead . The LCD screen is cracked and taped together,  I can’t get it to work on most of the modes on the dial, the shutter cover gets stuck all the time, and now it won’t focus properly.  This has happened before and the problems are to the point that I can’t depend on it anymore.  I will definitely purchase another Panasonic, as I love the quality and the aspect of the wide angle Leica lens.   Here is the only shot left from the trip I was able to salvage, a  picture of my tent at the edge of Rainbow Lake.P1050132

I still have have most of my bag of mixed nuts for more snacks.
Today , I really enjoyed  the simple routine of waking along the established path, setting up camp by the Lake,  fixing food and experiencing the enfoldment of the day.

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