We got up, packed up our wet tents, ate, and hit the trail. Though it had stopped raining, there was still water dripping from the trees, so I had a chance to try out my home made pack cover. Worked very well, but was very hot against my back! We got water at the spring next to the lake, enjoying the beautiful early morning sunshine on the water.
The last 10 miles of the 100 mile wilderness did not let up. We really had to work for every mile. It wasn't steep, there were no big climbs. But the roots! Man did we have roots to negotiate. So many times during the day, I thought "Really? This is the best we can do for trail maintenance?"
A few weeks back, we had been hiking with Kokopelli, a hiker who attempted a thru-hike in 2012, but got injured 50 miles before Katahdin. I can totally see how that would happen. It's like somebody in charge of trail maintenance is TRYING to injure people!
See what I mean?
Subaru came walking up and said "Did a squirrel just throw a pine cone at you?"
Yes. Yes he did. And now he's scuttling down the tree trunk, chattering at me in an angry fashion.
"Okay!" I yelled. "I'm going! I'm going!" And then I impaled him with my trekking pole and killed him.
Just kidding. I turned around and walked away.
It's not enough that Maine has tried to kill me with its rocks and its roots and its crevices and its steep inclines and even steeper descents, its streams to ford and to rock hop over on slippery, slippery rocks, with its ledges and loose gravel. No, now Maine is sending squirrels after me. Thank God I'm getting out of the wilderness today!
We stopped for a break at the shelter, a mere 7 miles from our campsite. It had taken us twice as long to get here as we expected it to. And right before the shelter, we had this stream to cross:
Luckily for us, we reached the store moments before the clouds opened up and the downpour started. My dad had reached the store about 10 minutes before we did. So at least our timing was good. We got in the car and headed toward Millenocket for a shower and some food.
Originally, we had planned on summiting on September 13. But we were both completely exhausted. I felt like I was all ribs and clavicle; Subaru looked like a scarecrow. We decided to take a zero day and rest up for the summit.