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Summit day. Got up early & started hiking 5:23. Mack & 2-Speed left a few
minutes ahead of me. The first part was pretty easy. An easy grade uphill
along a stream. After crossing a bridge over the stream, the trail got
steeper. A Brit & German girl passed me. After a while, I met the Brit
coming downhill. I knew he couldn't have summitted. He told me that he fear
of heights kept him from climbing any further. This worried me as I have a
fear of heights.
I soon reached the steep part that the Brit had problem with. Large
boulders that you had to scramble over. Several sections were so steep and
the handholds & toeholds so limited that there steel rungs & steps embedded
in the rock. I kept climbing. I didn't have too much problem with heights
on the way up. I worried about going down. After a while, I reached the
Tablelands portion of the trail. Here, I was able to take out my hiking
poles & hike again. No more scrambling.
At the beginning of the morning, the sky was clear. It was getting cloudier
as the time went on. It was also getting windier.
I kept checking my altimeter watch for my progress to the summit. What
looked like the summit wasn't. It was actually much closer. Soon, in the
clouds, I could make out the A-frame Katahdin sign of the summit. My
emotions then started getting to me. I started yelling 'Yes, Yes' real
loud. My eyes started tearing up. I couldn't see very well. I was tripping
over some small rocks. I kept reminding myself to get it together. I did.
As I neared the summit, I could see Mack & 2-Speed already there. As I
walked up, I was congratulated by both of them. I thanked them as I walked
past them & grabbed the sign. I was looking away from them. It was such an
emotional moment for me. When I managed to get a grip on my emotions, I was
able to turn around & face them. I got hugs & high 5's from them.
They had been on the summit for about an hour. It was very cool & extremely
windy. They took a series of pictures of me by the summit sign. We also got
someone to take some pictures of the three of us.
They were getting cold. We started going downhill. I asked if they would
stay me on the way down. They said they would. We kept meeting other
thru-hikers heading up as we headed down.
When we got to the steep section, we downclimbed through it. The wind was
pushing around. It once blew me off balance & I fell between a gap between
2 rocks. I was able to catch myself without any injury. It scared me when
Eventually, we hit the easier section. After hiking w/ Mack & 2-Speed for a
while, I told them to go on. They left me. I walked my leisurely pace the
rest of the way down. I passed Katahdin Falls. I took a picture of it.
Didn't take one on the way up. When I was on the easier section, I tripped
one last time. I was able to catch myself without falling.
It would have been embarrassing to fall in the easiest section.
When I got back to the picnic area, Mack, 2-Speed, Shadow, Joe, & Tori were
there. They cheered & clapped as I showed up @ 12:45. I joined them.
I had a scheduled 4 pm shuttle from the park to Bangor. We were very early.
We tried to find a Ranger to radio our shuttle driver. We weren't
successful. We found a day-hiker who gave us ride to Millinocket. Once
there, we at a late lunch & caught our shuttle.
The shuttle dropped Mack off at his hotel. He dropped the rest of us @ the
Holiday Inn. 2-Speed & Beercan were picked up by a thru-hiker, Tin Cup, who
lived in Bangor.
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