Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Start: Rainbow Stream Lean-to
End: Abol Bridge
Miles: 15.0 (+0.5 at campground)
Elevation gained/lost: 1549’/1972′
Listening to: Alcatraz versus the Knights of Crystalia by Brandon Sanderson.
I was up at 6am and on trail by 7am, despite me leaving a number of tasks for the morning.
Today’s terrain was pretty smooth. I hiked by Rainbow Lake. I climbed up to the Rainbow Ledges (1517′) which had a great view of Katadin. I also passed by Hurd Brook Lean-to before making it to Golden Rd and Abol Bridge by around 1pm.
Abol Bridge is quite a hub of activity. They have a small private campground that doesn’t have electricity, except for the store/restaurant and the bathhouse. There is also a small state campground across the road. The store offers tubing, which I’m considering trying.
I struggled to get myself to stop. It’s only another ~10 miles to get to the Birches. I could hike it in less than 5 hours. But I decided to stop, eat, do laundry, let my feet rest, and (try to) relax. The campground charges an exorbitant amount for their cabins ($75/double occupancy, $30/EAP), especially considering they don’t have electricity or plumbing. But I made the decision and I’m trying to relax into it. This trip has made me more anxious in some ways, as there’s little room for error, with no service and no support if things go wrong.
I’m also feeling the pressure of the other thru-hikers, as they rush towards their finish. It’s hard to see trail families and not want to be a part of their togetherness. I feel very lonely, probably due to so many days without familiar human contact.
I’m debating whether I’ll camp out at Katadin Streams/The Birches tomorrow or whether I’ll push through and climb Katadin tomorrow. The ranger I talked to said if I sign up in the morning, I shouldn’t have a problem getting a spot. I think I’m going to get up early, and get a spot in the Birches and then see if I have enough time and energy for Katadin in the same day. At least the ranger says that tomorrow and Friday should be nice weather days!