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[at-l] Hundred Mile Wilderness, Day 8, Read slowly I'm going away for the weekend.

8/9/99  Rainbow Springs Tent Site

    Well, today was totally different from the last few days.  The rain 
stopped last night  and was replaced by a cold dry wind.  The temperature 
dropped to about 45 degrees.  The sun was shinning through a cloudless sky 
and we were ready to hike.  The five men who were on an annual high school 
buddies hike left early to meet two friends bringing them a case of beer to 
celebrate their success at hiking 100 miles.  We had planned to hike 12 miles 
over - according to the map - easy terraine to Rainbow Spring Tentsite.  
    We would first needed to summit Nesuntabunt Mountain.  The hike up seemed 
endless.  It twisted and turned, went up and then down and finally made it to 
the best view of Katahdin we have seen yet.  Lake Nahmakanta lay directly 
below us with a perfectly clear view of our objective right in the middle of 
the picture.  We sat on the rocks taking pictures and identifiying peaks for 
1/2 hour.  A young southbound thru hiker who left Abol Bridge this morning 
was hoping to reach the White House Hostel today.  (I think he was missing 
the point if he needed a hostel already but hike your own hike.)  A man in 
his forties accompanied a women in her eighties on a day hike from Polywog 
Spring.  She said she climbed White Cap two days ago.  Her arms trembled but 
she seemed strong and alert.  Hope I can still hike when I reach my 
    The hike down was through pine groves and ledges with frequent views to 
the north east and Katahdin.  It was a fast descent  deposting us on a road 
that crossed Polywog Stream.  As we hiked around sunny Cresent Pond a woman 
overtook us.  She is a section hiker planning on completing her 2000 trek 
tomorrow.  She has been hiking 1 month every summer for several years.  She 
moves quickly making small sure steps talking to us but not stopping.  Soon 
she is out of hearing distance.  Many bogs, bolders, roots, and frequent ups 
and downs betray the maps promise of an easy 12 miles.  During this sunny day 
we incountered many day hikers from a nearby camp and over thirty backpackers 
heading south.  
    Eventually we arived at Rainbow Stream Lean-To were we were surprised to 
find Dorothy - the section hiker who passed us 2 hours ago - eating lunch 
with her boots off and socks hanging in the sun.  We decided to stop for 
lunch and dry some of our wet clothing.  I soaked my tired feet in the cool 
stream while eating lunch.  Dorothy was eating he lunch out of a Liptonís 
Dinner Envelope.  She discovered that if you just pour boiling water into the 
envelope.  Roll up the envelop and let it simmer on its own for 10-15 mimutes 
that the meal is tasty and creates no mess to clean up.  She said it does not 
cook as well as in a pan but it is not bad.  We decided to try her technique 
at dinner tonight.
    After lunch the hike along Rainbow Lake was much easier.  We made it to 
Rainbow Spring Tentsite by 5:00 PM.  The five men who had now become seven 
were already set up in camp and had been drinking beer.  They offered us a 
can to share which we greatfully accepted.  After setting up camp we made our 
Lipton Noodles using Dorothyís method.  It worked pretty well but some of the 
flavor noodles stayed a bit crunchy.  Maybe we will let it sit longer before 
eating.  John O spent $116 for his pre packaged hiker meals - most of which 
you can eat out of the package.  I spent $64 for food for two relying on 
Liptonís and such.  The hiker meals are excellent but very pricy.
    John and I each had a swim in Rainbow Lake.  The water was warm but the 
cold wind across the lake made it hard to get out of the water.  I washed 
some socks and my smelly tee shirt and shorts.  Hopefully they will dry 
overnight.  I know my socks will have to hang from the back of my pack for a 
day or so to get totally dry.  There is a spring boiling out of the ground 
just above the lake.  Someone has put a pipe in the small pool around the 
spring to feed the water out so we can fill a pot or bottle like out of  a 
faucet. The Sun has set  It has not rained today.  Time for bed.

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