Day 180

Day 180 – September 3 – 19.4 miles –  White House Landing to Rainbow Lake Camping Area

Elevation Change: 4327 feet

Our day started off with a homemade breakfast.  Sunflower seeds with a Blue Jay on the side, just like grandma used to make!

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Ok, not really.  It was scrambled eggs, bacon, an English muffin, orange juice, coffee, and all you can eat blueberry pancakes.

Everything was really good.  We wound up having two servings of pancakes.  We could have kept eating them, but the owners were working so hard that we felt badly about asking for any more.

I had asked the owners the other day what they did in the winter.  They said it was just as busy as the summer.  The flagpole on their property was part of a very popular snowmobiling trail.  Folks would drive across the frozen lake on their snowmobiles and use their place as a home base.

They didn’t get much time off, but it looked like they enjoyed it.  They had been doing it 17 years, so I hope the like it.

The Tramily, as well as Sierra Mist and Sleepy Bear, milled about in the dining area and sipped our coffee while we waited for a ride back to the trail.

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Soon, the Tramily was on the boat making our way back to the trail.

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Stoat
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Stoat and Straps 

We got back on trail around 9:30.  We had a fairly big day planned, so we got right down to business.

A little while into the hike Stoat had to stop at a nearby privy.  He had jalapenos on his pizza and was now paying the price.

After that not so brief pit stop, we came to a great view of  Nhamakanta Lake.  we stopped to take a few pictures and then hiked on.

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After going around the lake, we began a short climb to the top of Nesuntabunt Mountain.

At the top we had a great view of Katahdin.

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The Tramily was there, as well as Sierra Mist and Sleepy Bear.  We spent a little time hanging out and enjoying the view.

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During the next ten miles not much happened.  We mainly passed a lot of small streams and ponds.  Every time we passed a pond, we kept an eye out for moose. We had been seeing their tracks and scat for days, but we hadn’t seen one yet.  After passing countless prime moose sighting areas, we were convinced that the rangers came out at night and spread moose scat everywhere to create the illusion of the existence of moose.  To help boost tourism in the parks.

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Towards the end of the day, it became clear that it could start raining very hard any minute.  We hit the gas.  The trail, as it had been all day, was fairly flat but had a ton of tree roots on it.  That didn’t matter, we went into Thru Hiker mode and pounded out the miles.  We hiked the last four miles in just under a hour.

We made it to the campsite right before the skies opened up.  Thankfully, we had enough time to set up our shelters before it really started coming down hard.

When there was a lull in the rain, everyone made their way over to the nearby spring to gather water for cooking.  The spring, located on the shore of Rainbow lake, was crystal clear.  The water was cold and delicious.  I can see why bottled water from Maine has become so popular.

The rain began coming down in sheets again, and everyone returned to their shelters.  I was really hungry and didn’t want to wait for the rain to stop.  So, I did something I had never done before, and usually frowned upon.  I cooked under my rain tarp and hammock.

Cooking in / near your tent / hammock is not recommended because it can transfer the scent of food onto your gear.  Not the best thing to do when bears are around.  Today was an exception.  It’s the last time I will use it on the trail.  Tomorrow night we will be sleeping in a Lean-to in Baxter State Park.  By the time the following night comes, we will be off the Appalachian Trail.

It’s hard to believe we are here.  Tomorrow will be our last full day on the AT.  As excited as we all are to reach Katahdin, I don’t think any of us are ready for the adventure to end.

 

26.3 miles to go

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