Location: Hurd Brook Lean To
Today the adventure began. The first words that come to mind to describe the day are rain, rain, rain. The trail was flooded. Many times I’d walk the very edge of the marked trail to avoid the troughs that have formed on the trail. I expect the same trail conditions tomorrow.
I forded three rivers today. One ford was intact, another only partially and a third not at all. The rains have caused water levels to rise and made the stream flow more rapid. At the third stream, I made my own path up the bank of the river to get away from the heavy rapids. I found a calmer spot to cross but unfortunately it was waist deep. I managed to cross, with my pants, socks, and boots completely soaked. I poured the water from my boots, but I think it would be dangerous to ford barefoot. I might roll a rock onto my toes or jam my foot into a crevice. It was quite a shock to feel that Maine river water.
I didn’t meet anyone today. I only saw two people. Two young men, about my age, were hiking back to Katahdin Stream Campground. One of the two looked completely defeated. He said, ‘I see why people call this a mental challenge.’ He was already fed up with the rain and the bugs. They both planned to wait out the rains before beginning the trail.
In Elbow Pond, I saw a bull moose. He had a small rack. He was wading in the water that came up to his shoulders and haunches. He dunked his head for a minute at a time to escape the bugs. With his muscular body above the water’s surface, he looked like one of the boulders he waded among. He sent out a small wake with every step he took.
I am slightly ahead of schedule. I was supposed to sleep at Abol Bridge. Now I’m alone in the 100 miles wild, sleeping along in the lean-to.