With the exception of getting to text Amy once I was without service the last three days of my hike. I decided it would be best to combine them.
Friday, July 21st was a long day of 30 miles. It wasn’t difficult with climbing, but it was very painful. Since it got hot and I sweat profusely my hip belt and straps on my pack produced some severe chafing.
The day also had a lot of rocks, roots and mud. Every time I would slip or trip enough my pack would shift I would be gritting my teeth.
Plus 30 miles made for a long day. It was getting dark when I got to camp. Everyone that was there was already in their sleeping bag and I still had to cook supper.
Saturday, July 22nd I did another long day of 25 miles.
I got up at 4:20 and got an early start. The first 15 miles were more of the same with rocks, roots and the pain from the chafing. It was flat though.
At mile 15 there is a campground store and restaurant. This is the point you come out of the 100 Mile Wilderness. I did the 100 Mile Wilderness in four and a half days. I stopped to get something to eat and Cheez, Coyote and French Dip were all there.
Cheez and Coyote stayed there to camp as they have family coming that is going to summit with them on Monday.
After eating French Dip and I hiked on for the final ten miles to Birches Campsite at the base of Mt Katahdin. This hike was super flat and easy.
There are four of us here that will be summiting. French Dip, Down Cow and Sarge. There are other hikers summiting Mt Katahdin as there are everyday. People come here to climb this mountain from many places. They aren’t here because of the Appalachian Trail. The four of us are the only AT through hikers tomorrow.
I will be the 152nd AT through hiker to finish this year. When I went through the AT Center in Harpers Ferry West Virginia I was the 175th. So I passed a few people.
It was hard to get to sleep last night. When I did I slept well. Maybe I couldn’t sleep because of how bad I smell. Hot temperatures, profuse sweating with no shower since Monday don’t make a good combination.
I got up at 4:20 and was hiking by 5:45 with tons of adrenaline. The hike was easy and hard at the same time. The only things I carried in my pack were food for the day, first aid kit, rain jacket and guide book. I felt like I could fly.
The hike was easy because of the adrenaline. It was hard, but no harder than anything I’ve already done.
When I got to the top there was already half a dozen hikers there. Among them were the three men I camped with last night. French Dip, Sarge and Down Cow. They clapped and cheered as I summited. I cried.
After I composed myself French Dip took my picture. The pose was important because that’s the same pose that Timber and Engineer posted when they finished. I expect the same from Maple Syrup when he recovers and finishes.
I came down the mountain on a different and “easier ” trail. This easier was still hard. I went back to the ranger station and got the rest of my gear and put it in my pack and started walking down the gravel road out of Baxter State Park. I put my thumb out to the first vehicle that came by and Jay and his wife Lindsay picked me up and drove me all the way to Millinocket.
I will have one last post after I get home. There are many emotions right now. This was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
I met a lot of great people on the trail. To many to remember and mention.