Sunday, September 6, 2015

Better late...?

I know, "It's been over a month now when are you going to write a blog?", is a phrase I've been getting for a while already.
I've been too busy either working, taking care of other things, or riding my bike since we got home to write...
Here we goat...

On July 29th 2015 Daniel and I summited Mt. Katahdin, ending our journey on the Appalachian Trail.
142 days, 2189.2 miles, we toiled through rain, shine, snow, mud, and rocks.

July 27th
After a super flat day through the hundred mile wilderness, we accomplished our last 20 mile day, when we stopped at the very last shelter outside of Baxter state park.
The shelter had one of the prettier hollows of the trail surrounding it, a stream could be heard from a little way off, and it also had plenty of tent sites.
We saw Katahdin for the first time on the rainbow ledges, a few miles before, were there was a fantastic amount of blueberries.
We ate blueberries by the pint, until we were forced off the mountain by an approaching thunderstorm.

The two days beforehand we had done 17-18 miles by 2:00 pm, and simply cut the days short, so that we wouldn't beat Mom and Dad to Katahdin.
The terrain was super easy, and the weather 3/4 of the time was with us.
Overall, we found that the Hundred Mile "Wilderness" was a lot of overhype.
While there are less people, there was still a feeling of civilization around the area.
The sign at the start of it warns all who enter the wilderness must have 10 days worth of food to make it through.
We did it in 5 days, with 2 of those days being cut short (with 5 days of food).

 July 28th
21 miles of trail remained between us and the summit of Katahdin
17 of those miles were done by 11:00 am.
We stopped by the Abol Bridge camp store for our final resupply, and, more importantly, a cup of coffee,
and took off from there at a pace of three and a half miles an hour.
We met a section hiker on his 17th and final year, and had the pleasure of finishing with him the next day.

Daniel was UBERexited, and was pushing me every time I deigned to slow down.
However, we did suffer a minor delay when Daniel fell in to a river and lost his trekking pole.
after a while of splashing about, he managed to find it a little ways down stream caught in some rocks.

Mom and Dad hadn't even finished setting up camp when we arrived to Katahdin Stream campsite, where Mom was a little less than pleased to be hugged by a sweat drenched hiker, who hadn't bathed in six days.

We could have summited the 28th, but we decided that an early start the next day would be better.

July 29th
It was a later start than what I really wanted, but it was a good morning none the less.
We had a hot breakfast of sausage, eggs, and real coffee, to mark the accession.
Dad was going to be accompanying us on our climb up Katahdin, while Mom was satisfied with just going as far as Katahdin Falls.

It was a great morning to be hiking, it was cool with a slight breeze, and hardly a cloud in the sky.
Without our full packs on, the climbs were easy (for us),
I felt kind of bad when we kept getting too far ahead of Dad, and had to let him catch up, when finally two people passed us and Daniel, who had been chomping at the bit all morning, couldn't take it anymore, and Dad told us to keep going on without him.

Katahdin proved to be the most technical climb of the trail, I don't think it was the hardest of them all, It was however, the most beautiful of them all.
It was the hardest in that it had the most boulders to climb, with no easy way around.
Rebar was set minimally in a few parts of the climb.

During our ascent we met several more thru-hikers that had only just caught up with us, two of them were twins them selves, although, not to each other.

And at long last, we reached the top.
On my part,there was no great feeling of triumph from reaching the top.
There was no grief about leaving the trail behind, or a feeling of a great achievement, just a feeling of "Oh, This is over... Now what?"
It was an odd feeling of a nonchalant achievement.

Although, the Knife's edge felt like a totally different trail.
It felt like we had wandered off the AT and on to another trail.
It was weird to follow blue blazes for the first time without any thought about having to go back.

I'm ending this post a little prematurely, but I've put it off to long.
Okay, does that satisfy you? No?
That's what I thought...
Ask me lots of questions in the comments below, and I'll try to answer them in a much more timely manner this time.
Pictures can be found here!

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