Friday, March 18, 2016

Day 158: The End is Near!

August 12: It rained most of the night but stopped by morning. The tree snot, however, would continue to fall a bit longer, but it wasn't too bad.

I wanted to get an early 6:00 start but I delayed my departure a half hour or so because the sun had such trouble burning through the clouds and it wasn't light enough to take any photos. It was still on a dark side when I finally left, but was quickly brightening by that point.

The weather was persistently overcast obscuring views of Katahdin, although I did get a small peak of the top across this lake. That ridgeline above the clouds, it's Katahdin!

The trail was largely flat but unlike yesterday, I didn't make good time over it due to all of the roots, rocks and mud. Perhaps the overnight rain ruined the trail, but it was absolutely awful today.

The weather stayed overcast and depression for most of the day, obscuring viewpoints of Katahdin in the distance. Late in the day it started burning off and turned into a more joyful walk, but even then Katahdin stayed elusively in the clouds. I wondered which thru-hikers were hiking up it today. Undoubtedly, there were some. They definitely didn't get any views, though, which has got to be a little disappointing after coming so far.

Since weather forecasts looked promising, I stopped to camp between shelters at the Rainbow Lake Campsite and was dismayed to see what seemed like a dozen or two people who had already set up camp. It was going to be crowded here! I was tempted to push on and find somewhere else to camp, but it was nearing sunset and I wanted to be near a location with a view of the sky, and the edge of Rainbow Lake had a very nice view of the sky.

I set up camp, next to the trail at a slightly open area where the AT crossed the path to the lake a hundred feet away. It wasn't ideal ground, slightly sloped, but it's all that was available.

The reason I was so insistent on camping at or near a good view of the sky was because of the Perseid Meteor Shower which was expected to peak tonight. The skies had cleared up nicely and I was far away from cities, small and large alike. The nigh-time skies are spectacular and I wanted to take full advantage of it during the meteor shower. =)

I went to sleep at my normal time but at around 2:00 in the morning, I woke up and quietly walked out to the edge of the lake. A couple of people were already there, and I asked how the meteor shower was going.

"It's amazing!" they gushed. Talking didn't feel like the right thing to do, though, and we quickly fell silent and just enjoyed the views. They soon left and I was by myself again.

The meteor shower was absolutely wonderful! From my edge at the lake, the horizon was wide open towards the north which isn't the ideal direction to face, but I was still seeing a shooting star or two every minute. Swoosh! Swoosh!

I watched for about a half hour before slinking back to my campsite. I did need some sleep, after all. Even through the small hole in the tree canopy where I camped I could still see the occasional shooting star, so I would watch that small window to the sky whenever I woke up during the night. I slept well. =)

Somewhere out there, a trail maintainer is laughing at us.
The trail was bad! Bad, I tell you! Flat, but bad!

Several of us stop for a quick snack break at this shelter--just in case it decided to rain. (But it didn't!)
Young Blood admires the view from Nesuntabunt Mountain.

Got the canoes at this pond, but I couldn't find any paddles. Oh, well!

The Rainbow Stream Lean-to is unusual for its floor.....
It's got a 'baseball bat' floor! Which is fine, I suppose, if you have a lot of padding. It's more problematic for people like me that don't carry a pad to sleep on. =) Just another reason not to use the shelter tonight!
This is me nearing the end of my 2015 thru-hike.
I was pretty excited to find this little log, because
I remembered it from my previous thru-hike!
This is my nearing the end of my 2003 thru-hike.
Can you spot any differences? =)

This is Good Man, who I met for the first time at the Rainbow Stream Lean-to mere minutes before this photo was taken. He has an unusual way of carrying water... by attaching them to his trekking poles! It seems like it would be awkward to me, making the trekking poles top-heavy and weird to use, but I'm not going to criticize. Nope.... if he could hike all of the way from Springer Mountain to here with water bottles arranged like that, it obviously works for him! But I was fascinated with it because it was so different than anything I'd ever seen before.
Young Blood gives his feet a soak.
The trail follows alongside Rainbow Lake for quite a while and late in the day, the sun came out again! Katahdin, however, stubbornly refused to come out to play. That's Katahdin hiding in those clouds. It's big enough that it generates its own weather system!

Sunset over Rainbow Lake.... get ready for the Perseid Meteor Shower!


Sudoku Crazy said...

Well, either the log shrunk or you grew over the years...
It's been wonderful reading about your adventures again, Ryan!
Sudoku Crazy

MoonshineOverKY said...

Exactly Sudoku Crazy! I keep trying to figure out how that's possible! Enjoy reading your blogs, GT. Will be sad when it comes to an end... until I can write my own for my thru-hike... which is (hopefully) in my near future!

Ryan said...

Or maybe it had been moved at some point for some reason. Things don't line up completely, but it's not like you find loads of these things all over the place either! And after that many years, I'd expect exactly that sort of wear and tear after all this time.

-- Ryan

Mary said...

There must have been a lot of dirt pile-up (there must be a technical term for that!) over the past 12 years for that totem pole to "shrink" so much! The totem pole looks much worse for wear! You've held up much better, Ryan!

Anonymous said...

Lose the fanny pack, young man!