I woke up early and checked my phone – it hadn’t happened yet. Or at least he hadn’t sent it. (I have surprisingly good cell coverage in the Hundred Mile Wilderness).
I broke camp and ate a quick breakfast. Greyhound and I were excited. In two days, we’d be done hiking the AT. This theme dominated our conversation the entire day.
We left camp at 7:30am and started heading north. We were making great time. Any future thru-hikers should know that, despite the seemingly easy elevation profile in the HMW, the trail is still very difficult. But this section was easy! It was the “red carpet where you both can stroll north, side by side” that we were promised by a Southbounder two days ago.
It was only 9:10am and we found ourselves stopping for an extended break – we had come across the best trail magic spread either of us had encountered. Here were, in the middle of the HMW, and a past thru-hiker (Giggles) and her boyfriend had set up the most elaborate spread ever.
They used a private road to get to the AT then hiked in all of their gear and trail magic supplies. Apparently, we had just missed breakfast – we insisted she not restart the grill. Greyhound and I ended up gorging ourselves on Oreos, grapes and Mountain Dew. It was truly a pleasant surprise and substantially lifted my spirits. Hell, we were only two days away from the finish line!
We took off from Jo-Mary road at 10:30am – unfortunately, the trail didn’t cooperate. Despite the flat elevation profile, the trail was rocky and rooty as ever. We stopped at 12:15pm by the edge of Jo-Mary Lake and cooked a hot lunch. We rock-hopped to a boulder twenty yards from shore and ate there, perched like two of the most uncomfortable birds ever. Greyhound quickly noticed our boulder island was covered with wild blueberry bushes – we snacked like kings!
We made it back to shore and suited up – we still had many more miles to cover. We drank crystal-clear water straight from the earth at Potaywadjo Spring Lean-to at 2:30pm and emerge onto the shores of Pemadumcock Lake at 3:00pm.
My phone started pinging – I had service again for the first time since checking my phone upon waking up this morning. It happened.
Black Santa summited Katahdin. And here we were, some 48 miles behind. I sent a congratulatory text and was able to view that awesome mountain for the first time with my own eyes. We were both elated for him – and for the prospect of calling ourselves thru-hikers in 48 short hours. We left Pemadumcock Lake at 4:00pm reinvigorated and ready to finish this thing strong.
We paused briefly on the shores of Nahmakanta Lake before attempting our summit of Nesuntabunt Mountain at dusk. Greyhound utilized my cell coverage to chat with her mother while I hiked ahead. I hiked up Nesuntabunt in the dark. When it got a little too dark, I paused and waited for Greyhound.
I was tired and so was she – we plopped down on a ledge and decided to cowboy camp. We were both sore and extremely tired. We were ready for this hike to be over. We silently cooked dinner and fell asleep under the stars.