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Top of Katahdin
So, sleep eluded me last night. The animal noise in the wall made me crazy. At 4am I awoke to find Zia packing up his stuff. I went out to pee and get my food bag off the bear line. There was a pile of wood shavings right next to my sleeping bag. I shined my headlamp up and saw two mice above my head near where the rafter and wall met! I can only assume they were making a nest. At least I was not crazy thinking it was on the inside of the shelter! Anyway, Zia decided he wanted to head out super early and summit first. I finally started stirring around 5am.
Sturdy and I headed down to the ranger station to drop off our backpacks. Around 6ish, she left me there to wait for Rei. Pretty much I sat where I spent most of the day yesterday. While I was waiting, Stonehenge and family showed up and started hiking. So did Lucky and his father.
She arrived about 7:45am. It took her longer than either of us expected, they only had one ranger at the gatehouse and that person was new. After big hugs, she donned her daypack and I put on mine, the old stinky one I borrowed from the ranger station. We headed up the trail.
This is a tough hike, uphill, gradually getting steeper, gradually getting rockier. Most of the middle was a really really fun rock scramble where you had to use your hands to climb. I am sooooo glad I had a day pack! I ran into Zia on his way down. He was first one up and did not stick around, at that time it was cold, windy and socked in! Almost four miles of climbing the trail flattens out at the Gateway. The Thoreau Stream runs right along the trail. The last part of the trail is uphill to the ridge line and along it to the right is the peak.
I was feeling very emotional the last two tenths of a mile. I passed Rei to finish fast, Swish style! Also, I think I would of been a blubbery mess walking behind her! The summit was crowded with mostly day hikers. Sturdy waited for me at the peak, her voice was the loudest! I arrived and immediately kissed the Mt Katahdin sign! I made it! Fist bumped Sturdy and the other thru-hikers sitting around. Rei showed and we sat down and we talked about the climb, the trail, the view. Rei produced an envelope from her backpack, a card from Lauren, very nice, thank you. When the Katahdin sign was free of folks, I had Rei take the pics of me up on the sign. Then Sturdy joined me as well. Lastly, a few more pics with Rei.
I was at the end of my incredible journey. I have completed something I have always wanted to do. I did something epic, something I needed to do in my crazy world. I met all kinds of people on the trail. I met many friendly folks along the trail who helped me along the way, trail magic, rides, places to stay, etc. All these strangers doing nice things for hikers is an awesome thing. In todays world where civility has gone out the window, all this gives me faith that the majority of people are nice and want to be nice to others, and hopefully respect each others beliefs. Lastly I need to thank my family and friends for all their support, no way I could of done this with out you. Yall rock!
Rei, Sturdy and I headed back down the way we came. Going down was as fun as going up! Ran into some of the Pancake Pals on their summit. Ran into Stonehenge. Lastly ran into Rabbit, yeah! At the campgrounds we grabbed our real packs, had some snacks and drinks someone had left as trail magic and headed over to where some other thru-hikers sat. Rei and I walked to the stream, I filtered some water, she soaked her feet. Blackbeard and Squeaks needed a ride to town so they joined us in Rei-s rental. We headed out of Baxter State Park and back to civilization, to the hotel. That night, eight of us, Rabbit and his partner, Zia, Sturdy, Blackbeard, Squeaks, Rei and I went out for a nice dinner! No burgers, no pizza, no all you can eat buffet! After dinner we walked down the street to a local ice cream joint and had dessert. Afterwards, I said my goodbyes to Rabbit and headed back to the hotel. As usual, I was asleep early. No plans to make to get back to the trail. No hiking goals, stretch goals and whatnot. Just a plan to buy some cotton clothing!