August 14, 1998

8/14/98 Hurd Brook Lean-to

19.5 miles (2142.0 total)

Yesterday I saw Katahdin for the first time. Just looked like one more mountain to climb to me. As I thought about it, Katahdin isn’t as important as the people it allowed me to meet along the way. I’ll climb it, hopefully with some of my thru-hiker friends. I think it will be a sad ending because of all of us going our separate ways and entering the regular world. But also joy at completing such a grueling journey in an el niƱo year.

Almost there and we're full of smile

The walk up along Rainbow Stream had to be some of the best views of the water. Lots of falls, chutes, and flumes. But the trail itself was treacherous, much like those in the south. Part of it would have been impassable in the rain. Walked alongside Rainbow Lake for over 5 miles. Large rocks in the water near shore reminded me of whales. Just missed a float plane take off. A nice day, weather wise, not too hot with some breezes.

Cutting across the beautiful Rainbow Ledges

Was surprised to meet Eric and Tortoise & Hare’s mom on top of Rainbow Ledges. Eric did some crazy cross-country car trip to surprise Hare. They ended up walking south to camp at the lake with the girls.

At the Hand Brook lean-to, met Leif’s mom, Mountain Mama. They make a pair. We all sit around and compare plans, both for the next few days and beyond. Got a 10+ day tomorrow, then 7+ to the Summit on Sunday. Hope it doesn’t rain like forecasted.