Wadleigh Stream Lean-to [mile 1056.6; SOBO 38.2]
Another broiling day! It must be July! (It’s still July, right?)
Guess what? There in my crappy little stealth site that wasn’t actually big enough for my tent, ten feet up from the lakeshore, I slept like a log. Well, a log that woke up a lot. But I had deep dreams, and the ground was soft. Once I woke up and saw stars through my tent flap (after I found my glasses). I guess the intermission caffeine is finally out of my system. A great, great night.
The morning was blessedly cooler, which was a big relief. But—big but—it was horrifically humid. The air felt liquid. The sky was gray, and toward midmorning it spat down a light drizzle that never penetrated the leaf cover and did nothing to relieve the humidity. And in fact, the sun came out afterward, and the rest of the day was bright and blistering, just like the last few have been.
The trail went a looooong way around Rainbow Lake. The ground was its tricksy self (up-down-roots-rocks), but with a new feature: mud bogs! When the trail would dip down toward the lake, it would vanish under a wide swathe of black mud. Deep black mud. Sometimes there were logs or rocks to cross on, but it was still grimy walking. Maine, in fact, has been the filthiest state yet.
The bugs were tolerable for a while, but after the rain the mosquitoes started snacking on me in clusters. I had to break down and DEET myself. It was too hot for the bug suit, but that bug head net was invaluable. (By the way, I ran into Billie and M, the newlyweds, this afternoon, and they both had on bug suits that they bought at the Abol Bridge store. LOL. Billie said the bugs were nearly a deal breaker for her.)
There were some climbs today! OK, not huge climbs. But more elevation gain than I’ve gotten recently, with the one notable exception. Maine likes rock stairways.
In all the up and down and lakes and ponds and mud, I didn’t see any moose. But apparently the moose like to use the trail as a toilet! Moose poop everywhere. It looks like giant piles of rabbit pellets. (The shuttle driver, OleMan, described it that way.) I could have passed twenty moose, though. My head was down and I had the iPod on.
That iPod is great (if a bit twitchy). It’s a pain in the butt to have to keep adjusting the volume, and several hours of music today drained half the battery. That could be a problem, but we’ll figure it out. All I know is that I did 14 miles today, in Maine, which is rough terrain. Yes, my feet hurt quite a bit, but I could ignore it a bit better. Also, my mental hamsters kept yapping, but they faded into the background.
Billie and M are here at the shelter… er, lean-to, they call them here. So is It’s All Small Stuff, another flipflopper who drove into Katahdin Stream Campground with us. He’d already done Katahdin, so he was a day ahead. There—I’ve finally managed to catch up to somebody. 🙂
Regarding the water: I woke up realizing that it’s not the most dire situation. A lot of hikers refuse to treat their water at all, and apparently hikers who treat get sick as often as hikers who don’t. And it’s too hot to ration. The possibility of contracting something uncomfortable but treatable doesn’t outweigh the probability of a much more serious heat issue. And I’ve got some skills now. I’ll extend my tablets as much as I can and save water where I can, and turn it over to the universe and hope for the best. Nothing I can do anyway! Oh, and the book says that the hostel in Monson, Shaw’s, carries Aqua Mira. We’ll see!
I think that’s about it. Oh, one bit of trivia: The sun now rises at 4 AM and sets at about 8. That’s an hour ealier than I’m used to, in both directions. I must have jumped so far east that I’m nearer the far edge of the time zone. Weird! I should get up at 4, but I can’t make myself do it.
And that really is all. Tomorrow I’ll have to decide about White House Landing. I’ll probably skip it.