Lazarus and I were up early and on the trail before 6am. He left first and I followed minutes later. The trail ran through more or less forested level terrain for 4 miles, with Rainbow Lake often visible through the trees. NoBo through hiker Pineapple passed me then slowed to chat. We ended up hiking together to Abol Bridge.
At 5 miles on the day, the AT crossed Rainbow Ledges with plenty of blueberries to pick. After a two-mile descent, we reached the vacant Hurd Brook lean-to. The last 3 miles of the day included small bumps in topography. We arrived at Abol Bridge at 10:45 am and walked a quarter mile to the Abol Bridge Campground and Store. The restaurant opened at 11am. I checked into campsite 23 and set up my tent next to Lazarus’.
The site turned out to be exceptionally beautiful with Mount Katahdin reflected in an arm of the West Branch of the Penobscot River (see photo). After setting up our tents, we walked 200 feet to the restaurant and ate lunch with Pineapple. He continued on to the Birches Campground, while Lazarus and I stayed. We met a Baxter State Park Ranger who explained the procedure for signing up for Birches early tomorrow morning. He also said that the weather forecast for the day after tomorrow (when we’ll summit Katahdin) called for a 40 percent chance of rain after 4 pm. Tomorrow we have another short day (10 miles) to Birches. Only two days left.
August 14th , 2019 - Rainbow Lake Campsite to Abol Bridge: 11.2 miles