Orignally Posted on allwomansalltrail.com; you can find the link here
Day 1, Katahdin to Katahdin Stream Campground, 10.4 miles
It’s hard to even begin to describe hiking up Mount Katahdin. It’s hard – like harder than I ever remember reading or hearing about. It starts off nice and slow. You walk along the beauty of Katahdin Stream, catch a glimpse of the falls, pass over a couple of streams, and then starts your never ending scramble and boulder hopping. For a short girl, it was tough. I’m 5’2” and have longer legs but it was hard.
Once I got above tree line the wind greeted you like no other. As soon as you thought you escaped, it nearly pushed you over. It was hard enough trying to balance without the wind. Once you thought you’d reach the top of what you could see, you get a nice 1.6 mile climb to the official summit. The summit itself was great and the views were indescribable. However, my legs were so fatigued towards the end. My quads hurt from pushing myself over rocks. I thought going up was worse but the climb back down was much easier to slide on your bottom down the rocks.
Also some things to mention I was unsure of:
You can borrow a loaner pack and keep your actual pack inside of the office/cabin of the rangers. No worrying about your stuff getting stolen. You get your permit once you check in with the AT lodge, which I would recommend. Near campsite 19 are bear cables to hang your food.
I hiked with Badger, Jayla, and Coulter who I offered to share my site with and planned to hike to the next camp spot with. I also met Mille and Alex who are SOBOs as well. All in all I’m exhausted and hopeful for a great night of sleep and also not mad that I kinda feel like the cool kids out here.
Day 2, Katahdin Stream to Hurd Brook Lean-To (100 Mile Wilderness), 13.4 miles
Early morning Badger decided to head home due to IT band/knee soreness and feeling a little sick.
Alex met us at camp and we hiked out as a group of 4. Alex is a recent undergraduate from Albany, New York with a strict timeline of 4 months to hike the whole trail.
Jayla and Coulter are a married couple from Georgia/Colorado in their late twenties who are attempting to thru hike. Jayla is a nurse and Coulter is a counselor.
It was a nice company to enjoy walking with Jayla, Coulter, and Alex. We stayed together for a majority of the day hiking into Abol’s Campground for lunch break. I fueled up on some ice cream, Gatorade, and bug spray.
My legs were tired from scrambling up to Katahdin but we easily made it into the 100 mile wilderness and to the lean-to.
Immediately upon walking up the the lean-to, we met Caribou, JukeBox, Broadway. Caribou felt her time was short and was using her time to hike the trail with her son, dear friend, and her cat, Marigold.
I think if I was to do it over again I would have stayed at Abol’s to freshen up, eat more food, and do fewer miles.
Day 3, Hurd Brook Lean-To to Rainbow Stream, 11.5 miles
I woke up before Coulter and Jayla but Alex was already up. Alex headed off and that was the last we saw of him.
I hiked alone for a majority of the day. I climbed up to Rainbow Ledge and got a beautiful view of Katadhin and managed to grab a cell phone signal to talk to my parents. The flies were bad.
Shortly after, I got my first sighting of Rainbow Lake, which I knew I’d really enjoy Maine.
I hiked a majority of the day alone. I passed some Nobo section hikers who warned me of the muddy trail ahead. I also walked a little with a guy who was staying in a cabin off of Rainbow Lake that knew next to nothing about the Appalachian Trail, which appalled me.
I got to the lean-to earlier than most. I set up my tent and had hoped Jayla and Coulter would soon catch up, which they did a little later. We enjoyed sitting around the fire eating dinner, listening to the stream, and chatting.
Day 4, Rainbow Stream to Nahmakanta Lean-To, 13.9 miles
I woke up around 6:30 and wasn’t sure if Jayla and Coulter had left yet. I didn’t think I saw their tent on the hill but also thought I could have missed it.
I ran into them at Wadleigh Lean-to for lunch. A little bit later we ran into some much needed trail magic from Wonderlost who is supporting Garberry and Critter SOBO hikers.