Others camped at the lake are also planning on summitting on the 14th, and everyone is getting pretty excited about being done. It's so hard to believe that this journey is ending soon, and yet, we are all so ready to get home. We have all lost a bit more weight than we probably needed to, and just feel like we are worn out. A good rest is what we all need, and besides that, our toes are numb, our balls of our feet are swollen and hurt, our knees hurt, especially if we have a long downhill, and my back has gotten so bony, that I have to wear a moleskin pad on my tailbone to keep my backpack from rubbing it raw. (Sorry if that was too much information!) Luckily, I had the moleskin along in case of blisters, but I never dreamed I'd be putting it there! I also had to quit wearing my shorts, because the elastic waistbands were being rubbed by the pack as well, and becoming painful. The only thing that is comfortable now is my hiking skirt, which has a flat waistband, and that is getting to be too big. Swamprat's shorts are all about to fall off of him as well, with his belt loops meeting in the middle. Keith has also lost a lot, but luckily, his clothes are still fitting, because his shorts have elastic in the waist. However, his hip belt on his pack is cinched up as tight as it can go, and is becoming too loose on him. If he stays on the trail much longer, he will require a totally new pack to be able to hike. It is clearly time to take a break.
We are also getting pretty anxious to get to Katahdin. Especially now that we had reached really level trail, we thought we might be able to get to the end of the Wilderness a day earlier than we anticipated. We would just have to see if the terrain would be kind to us.
When I woke up, I felt a bit better today, and hoped that that would steadily improve. Not long after we began hiking, we passed a view of Mt. Katahdin over the lake, and paused to admire it. It was another beautiful day.
Today we hiked mostly level trail along a really beautiful stream before a challenging climb up Nesuntabunt Mountain, where we were treated to one of the best views of Katahdin yet. It was getting closer and closer everytime we got to see it. There were three other thru-hikers there that we had not met before. They were Atlas, Cheeks, and Walk 'n Eat. They were from Maine, Houston, and Austin, and we enjoyed trading stories with them before parting and going our separate ways. They were trying to summit the day before us, and so still planned on hiking another ten miles that day! We only had two to go, thank goodness! They would be hiking in the dark.
We made our way down this mountain, and for some reason, I kept getting the feeling that we had seen this trail before. This was the first time I had felt this way on the whole hike, and I was convinced that we had somehow gotten turned around and now were hiking south. Keith finally convinced me that that was not the case. We reached the most beautiful pond, named Crescent Pond, and it was a perfect mirror. We found one of the prettiest campsites yet, and that night was the quietest night I ever remember. I never heard any animals or birds all night, just very still and quiet. I was slowly feeling better, and managed to rest on this night. We are excited, that if the trail cooperates, we could reach Abol Bridge Campground tomorrow, and come out of the 100-Mile Wilderness!