Day 21: Antlers to Rainbow Spring

Just as the mosquitoes had chased us into camp, when morning came they were there to chase us out. We moved quickly, covered in our rain gear even though it wasn't raining. But the early morning heated up sweating us out of our protective layers. We were tired. We longed for silence and the privilege of standing still. We were also hungry and running low on snacks. Having to conserve snacks and have low morale is a recipe for disaster. So we longed for trail magic like we never have before.

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Milo met Kirra, a southbound thru pup. She was beautiful. He was excited for her company and her owner even shared a few treats with him. There haven’t been a whole lot of other dogs out here and especially not friendly ones. Kirra was sweet and as excited to see us as we were to see her. We talked awhile with her owner before we both decided it was time to keep pushing. We said goodbye and that we hoped to run into them again down trail! They had southern Maine in front of them and we had Katahdin.

We kept hiking and realized we were getting close to White House Landing, a hiker friendly cabin that acts as both a resupply, meals and overnight stay for hikers. Signs hung on the trunk of trees noting the side trail to the lake. At the end of the trail supposedly was a dock where you radioed White House Landing to come pick you up and they would arrive with a boat to take you to the cabin. Since we weren’t staying the night, we decided to continue on. We almost could not believe how “grown up” we felt by turning down a chance at real food and choosing to stick to our original plan.

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Trail was steady and we were able to move quickly but we had little motivation. We had no exciting snacks waiting for us at lunch. We had no places we could stop and enjoy a quick break. And worst of all it was hot. The sticky kind of hot. We also were out of bug spray. As we neared a gravel road, we saw people sitting at a campsite with a stacked picnic table.

“Garbelly and Critter!” They yelled before we had a chance to recognize the group. It was Tom, Marie and Zeb from Monson.

We walked over fully taking in all the snacks they had spread out on the table.

“Go ahead help yourselves!”

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It was just what we needed. We grabbed some snacks and a cold soda each. We chatted with them for a little bit before we realized we had stayed for over an hour. With plenty of miles left, we said our goodbyes, even if it was a bit of a Garbelly Goodbye. Trail led us around Nahmantka lake and up Nesuntabunt Mountain. On the other side we took off cruising down and then up towards Rainbow Spring our stopping point for the night.

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The shelter was right on trail, but since it was full, we decided to set up our tent, which we did most nights. We were starting to run into more and more people. Camp each night was beginning to become crowded.

We set up our tent on a pine needle bed. As we made dinner, the lightest rain started to fall. It rained all night but it was soothing and cooled everything down. The buzz of the mosquitoes even fell to a whisper.

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