Maybe it was because yesterday had been so flat and easy. I really thought it was going to be easy until we reached Katahdin. I never should have fallen for it. Maine does that; the bait and switch. And I had fallen for it once again.
It began in the morning when I got my period early. Not that THAT was Maine's fault. But being out in the woods at that time is just not the most comfortable thing in the world.
The day started out mildly enough. It was flat, but boggy en route to Nahmakanta Stream Campsite, our original destination for yesterday. We rock hopped across a river crossing and up a metal ladder. Then things got really muddy.
While walking across a bog bridge, I slipped on the wet wood and fell with my right foot in the mud, up past my boot. The mud was like quicksand; it took me about 90 seconds of wiggling my leg back and forth to overcome the suction and pull my leg *pop* out of the mud.
So now my right foot was ensconced in a ball of mud; down my boot, up my shin, all around my boot and in the treads. I made it a point to slow down over the bog bridges, especially now that my right foot was all the more slippery from the mud.
A while later, we were crossing another mud pit, this one without the benefit of a bog bridge. We had to rock hop. I took it slow and easy, testing the rocks carefully. Which worked well. Until I came to a rock that was just a little more slanted than the others. My slippery right foot slipped right off the slanted surface and I landed, luckily not in the mud, but on the rock, right on my butt. With my left foot buried in the mud up to mid shin.
Once again, it took a lot of rocking and wiggling to get my leg out, and I needed Subaru to lend a hand for some leverage. So now both feet resembled muddy soccer balls. Great.
We stopped for some food and I took the opportunity to bang out my boots, wring out my socks, and wipe off my legs. An older couple passed us by, telling us about the rocky, rooty, roller coaster-y day ahead of us. Great.
A few miles later on, as the temperatures climbed into the low 80's, we passed by Nahamakanta Lake and a sandy beach. "Let's jump in." I said. So we were able to rinse off our muddy legs and arms and let our wet socks and boots dry in the sun. It was nice.
I'm so glad we took that dip in the lake. It was a nice bright spot in an otherwise arduous day.
We pushed past Wadleigh Stream Lean To where the rest of the crew was eating and began the climb up Nesuntabunt Mountain. The climb was only 750 feet in absolute elevation gain. But the trail was so disarmingly windy and indirect, that by the time we reached the summit, we had climbed probably 1500 feet to go 750. "Are you kidding me?" we said at the top. And we had another snack.
The descent was more of the same. In order to go down, we went up. And we once again we went down about 1400 feet do descend 750 feet. Stupid Maine!
We then crossed a gravel road,where we saw Grizzly's brother who was picking up the rest of the crew to head to Millenocket for the night. Subaru and I were pushing on. We continued to climb along the roots, the rocks, the relentless ups and downs. I ran out of water 1 mile before Pollywog Stream, as we did not find the previous water source. I got a couple sips from Subaru's bottle and then put the ipod on to distract myself for the mile to the stream. Axl Rose makes everything go a little faster!
After getting some water at the stream, we crossed another road and then started a rocky climb to Rainbow Stream Lean To. The lean to was rather dreary and wet, with a "baseball bat" sleeping platform (made of small diameter logs so it was uneven instead of flat). Once again, we stopped for a break but didn't stay.
After the tricky crossing on a log of Rainbow Stream, we continued along the river for 4 miles. We could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Oh, great. Now, we were going to get rained on! We hurried along, trying to beat the rain. I slipped on a root at the top of a hill and slid to the bottom of the hill on my butt.
"That's it!" I screamed. "I'm so sick of this stupid trail! I've had it. I want to punch this stupid trail right in the face!"
Now, despite what Subaru may tell you, I did not have outbursts like that on a daily basis. Generally only one breakdown a month or so. And never to the extreme of today's outburst. I mean, I just said I wanted to punch the trail in the face!
But this time, rather than reprimanding me to calm down, Subaru just turned to me with tired eyes and said. "I know. I was thinking the exact same thing." Then turned and kept walking.
In actuality, I didn't really know where the trail's face even was to punch it. Probably at the summit of Katahdin. So I just had to keep going.
Luckily, we reached Rainbow Lake Campsite without rain. We got our tents set up, got some water, and headed down to the lake for a much deserved swim and wash up. We had dinner before it got dark, and all snuggled in our tents before the skies opened up at night. Fell asleep to the sound of rain on the tent and loons calling over the lake.
I was so ready to be done.