Day 18 – Back to Rocks and Roots

Today I was on the trail by 6am for a long day. I planned to stay at the Rainbow Lake Lean-to, a 21-mile hike. The day started with a level trail for 2 miles, followed by a 300-foot climb-then a descent to the Potaywadjo Lean-to where I met 4 day hikers. The trail stayed flat for the next 7 miles but with lots of roots and rocks. Can you find the trail in the photo? It’s in the middle.

The AT then descended a bit to the Wadleigh Stream Lean-to where I met 15 women on a day hike. I gained 900 feet of elevation to Nesuntanunt Mountain, which had a view of Mount Katahdin. The trail descended following a creek. I crossed the creek on a logging road bridge, then hiked uphill to the Rainbow Lake Lean-to. When I arrived, I realized I had misread the guidebook. It was the Rainbow Stream Lean-to. The spot wasn’t appealing so I hiked on to the Rainbow Lake Campsite.

I again misread the guidebook, thinking I needed to walk 2 miles but it was really 4 miles. I finally arrived at the Rainbow Lake Campsite at 5:45pm, tired but not exhausted. I quickly got dinner going, set up my tent and had a dip in the lake. The lower part of my left leg is swollen (shin splints?). I hope tomorrow’s short day (12 miles) to Abol Bridge will help my foot. Only three days left!

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