Day 152 – Mt. Katahdin!

Abol bridge to Mt. Katahdin – 15.1 miles (plus 5.1 mile hike back to parking lot)

2185.3 / 0.0

So I guess my trip all boils down to this final day.  Everything I have been doing, working for, thinking about, etc for the last 5 months is on this mountain I’m sure.  It just builds up to one last day.  And it was a short day, but it couldn’t have went better.  We were up around 4:30 am because we still had to hike 10 miles BEFORE we got a chance to hike Katahdin.  As I said, the campsites were all full being that it was a weekend.  The 10 miles were breeze though, we were able to do them by 8 am.

We arrived at the ranger station and dropped our packs off.  We are able to pick up loaner packs to do a quick day hike up the mountain.  None of us will need our stoves, sleeping bags, tents etc.  Ran into Sole Power checking in, and hiked with him and Fresh.  We were exhausted, but flying up the mountain.  We passed huge groups of people, nothing could slow us down.  We did get stuck in some lines as the hike became a lot more technical, the boulder section right before the table top.  Could not have asked for better weather, although a bit cold, it was very sunny out.

Immediately after clmbing above treeline, the views were stunning,  We were surrounded by pointy rocky mountains that seemed to tower over the valley below.  The boulders became huge, and there was some rebar set into the rock to help out.  Once on the tabletop, we ran into the 4 girls I had hiked with previously, on their way back.  I chastised them for leaving the mountain so early (it was 10 am) as I wanted a big ol group of homeless hikers to hang out with at top.  They let us know that Gandalf and them were only a couple hundred yards ahead.  Fresh started running.

We ran into Gandalf and Goat right before the summit.  Mind you, I had hiked with these guys on and off since Hot Springs, North Carolina.  Almost 2000 miles on and off.  It was so good to see them once more before the trip ended, especially to get to summit with them.  Once on top, we ran into Figgy and Kamikaze, who I actually havent seen since Virginia.  A great group to be on top with!  I thought I would get emotional, but that did not happen yet, we took a ton of pictures with the sign, Figgy and some others brought beer and champaign up, and I had a couple drinks to celebrate.

This was it!

Afterwards we were invited out to Moosehead lake to party.  Lobsters, boats, drinks, thru hikers, good times!

Thank you all for keeping up with me!

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Day 151 – Maine

Rainbow river lean-to to Abol Pines campsite – 15.0 miles

15.1 / 2170.2

Tomorrow is the last day. It’s crazy to think, my trip will be at an end in less than 24 hours. Tonight will be the last night I spend outdoors.  Sad.  Yet beautiful.  We had the opportunity to camp out at Abol Pines campsite, right next to a beautiful view of Katahdin, on the river Thereau himself canoed to on his way to summit.  This is the great wilderness.  Today we were turned around at Abol, the campsites surrounding Katahdin were full.  It looks like to summit tomorrow, we must hike 10 miles first.  I’m ok with this, too excited to care.

We ran into Sole Power around 4 pm, after not seeing him since Viriginia.  We all look quite homeless now, and he is no better.  He actually wore the same shirt, and it is horrible.  I believe this was what the Derelicte campaign of Zoolander was all about.  We sat around, having a couple beers and just looking out at the river, all of us in disbelief that our trip ends tomorrow.  How have 5 months slipped by so fast?

We have been informed from one of the ridge runners that most of our friends are at the campsite and are summiting tomorrow.  I would love to run into the likes of Gandalf, Kamikaze, Figgy etc.  Tomorrow will be a good day!

 

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Day 150 – Maine

Cooper Brooke Falls Lean-to to Rainbow Stream Lean-to – 29.6 miles
2155.2 / 30.1

Huge day!  Almost 30 miles, forgot what that was like.  It’s a beautifully painful feeling. We were able to crush 15.7 miles by 12:30, it’s always good to get the majority of them done early, because you don’t really feel like continuing your hike after dinner, after dark, etc.  You CAN, but ugh.  Waking up in the morning after a 30 is rarely fun.  Especially after not sleeping well.  So for lunch, after doing 16 miles our attitude was pretty good.  We took a long lunch, taking our shoes off, trying to dry our socks etc.  We had a couple of river crossings to do before lunch.  Maine does not have bridges on most rivers, instead you must navigate your way across rivers, staying dry if you can, although you are usually up to your knees in water.

After lunch was a different story.  The terrain became once again difficult.  We were not able to do as many miles as fast as previously.  Add to that the weather changed for the worse.  We had been getting afternoon storms as of late and today was no different.  Except todays storm packed a powerful punch!  I saw it off in the distant, an anvil cloud, one you could tell just by looking at it, that it had a powerful updraft.  I thought we would be fine, it looked 3-4 hours off to the distance.  1 hour later I was listening to thunder and cursing.  We made it to a shelter with 8 miles to go to make 29 miles.  Mind you we had already traveled 21 miles by now, tired and it was 4:30 pm.  We could hear and feel the storm approach, I knew it would be a big one, but we left anyways.

And we began to climb the one mountain we had left, just a 1000 ft climb, but currently in a lightning storm.  Lightning started striking very close, scaring us.  Then the rain started.  It was just sprinkling when we spotted a cave.   Big enough for 4 people Ha!  How is that for luck.  Got in instead of hiking thru it, thankfully.  It started hailing almost immediately.  Not quite golf ball size, but a large marble.  We had a safety meeting and I took a short video of the weather to show off with.  :).  It stopped and we were on our way.

But that stopped us for too long, it was dark when we arrived to the campsite, the shelter full, the campsite completely full, we were soaked and now had to set up our tents on uneven ground.  Oh well, we did a huge day and survived the storm of the summer!  Plus we have 30 miles left, I can’t complain when my trip is this close to over.  Once the storm ended we were able to finish climbing our one mountain and were rewarded with one of the most breathtaking views of the summer.  Katahdin in the distance, storm clouds on the horizon.  We were able to see many beautiful views of the mountain we had been chasing all summer.  It is finally coming to a close, I can see the end.

 

 

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Day 149 – Maine

Sorry I have not posted until now!  I have summited (I’ll get to that in a later post), traveling around Maine to various islands, houses etc.  Have not had internet til today so bear with me.  Thanks!

Gulf Hagas Stream to Cooper Brooke Falls Lean-to – 22.1 miles
2125.6 / 59.7

I forgot how good it feels to put up big miles. I’m at the dopest shelter (swimming hole, waterfall, Brooke, best privy ever) and it’s been a cruisy day. It was hard getting started as it was raining when we woke up. I stayed in my tent til 7 and got up when it finished raining. Hit the road at 7:45. At first the going was tough, we had 4 mountains with 5000 ft elevation to climb. But we made pretty good time.

We ate every couple miles which helped with the energy and every time we took a break it started raining which helped with the time. :). Before we knew it we were 9 miles to the top of White Cap, the last big mountain until Katahdin. We had lunch and started a faster pace. The rest of the day was pretty much downhill and easy terrain. We made the remaining 13 miles in 6 hours ish with an hour break.

Some great views of lakes and ponds. I’ve loved Maine and I really like this section. Sad to think there are only 59 miles left. But my mind has started to wander to what I’ll be doing in real life again.

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Day 148 – Maine

Long Pond Stream to Gulf Hagas stream – 18.0 miles
2103.5 / 81.8

Another rough day. I started feeling better and was out of camp at 7:30. We climbed up and over 4 mountains today. The first one was 2000 ft but we were pretty quick. My stomach started turning towards lunch again, and I’ve been in rough shape since. I’ll spare the details.

It was beautiful hiking and the sun was out. I was able to dry all my wet stuff from last night relatively quickly on big open rocks in the sun with views of the valley. Ran into a ridiculous amount of people today also. I think we’ve seen 60 people and we’ve only gone 30 miles. It’s a good section of trail so I can see why it’s so popular.

So many fresh wild blueberries!

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Day 147 – Maine

Leeman Brooke lean-to to Long Pond Stream – 11.3 miles
2085.1 / 100.2

Woke up after what seemed like 15 hours feeling well rested but still uneasy. Hit the privy a couple more times and tried to get going. Got on the trail around 8:30. At first it was slow going, I was pretty dehydrated and still sick and didn’t really eat anything yesterday. I was impressed that I could eat breakfast but it was tough.

The terrain was pretty easy, we had a couple rivers to ford and it was raining on and off all day. The rocks were super slippery and I fell for the 25th time. The 100 mile wilderness doesn’t seem very wildernessy. I’ve seen 31 people in the first 15 miles. Very crowded.

We were able to set up our tents between the down pours, and even got a fire going in between, to dry our socks and shoes. Were stealth camping at the river so should be great background noise for a good night sleep.

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Day 146 – Maine

Monson Maine to the very first shelter – 3.0 miles
2073.8 / 111.5

Dying all day. I could barely eat any breakfast I was just queezy. It took me like 2.5 hours to pack up. We thought maybe we just have noro so if so it should only last 24/48 hours. We can make it a short day.

Once we started we were seriously hurting. It took us quite a while to manage 3 miles. I felt like throwing up the entire time.

We got to the shelter and I set up my tent at 12:30. I stayed in it from 1 pm til 7 the next morning. Had to get up a couple times to run to the privy. Ugh. No pictures sorry!

Hopefully will feel better soon!

Day 145 – Maine

West branch of Piscataquis river to Monson Maine – 12.0 miles
2070.8 / 114.5

Woke up at 5:30 on the dot because it’s a town day! I love town days. Food showers and laundry oh my. It was a super cruisy 12 miles and we were to town by 11 am. I got breakfast lunch and dinner. My last resupply! Called my parents as this will be my last day with service.

Tomorrow I venture into the 100 mile wilderness. Which is actually today because I wrote nothing yesterday. Mind boggling right?

Finally caught Noro. Dying. Throwing up and the runs all night. Gonna be a nice 3.5 mile day today when I feel better.

Wish me luck!

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Day 144 – Maine

Pleasant Pond Lean-to to West Branch of Piscataquis River – 19 miles
2058.8 / 126.5

Today was a long day, but much easier terrain. We had 3 river fords, all requiring shoes off, and a couple thigh deep.

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We climbed 2 mountains with TONS of blueberries on them!

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The rest was pretty flat but very muddy, I was soaked all day and we decided to end the day and stealth by the river 3 miles short.

Beat Johnson.

Day 143 – Maine

Pierce Pond Lean-to to Pleasant Pond Lean-to – 9.7 miles
2039.8 / 145.5

Breakfast at Tim Harrison’s. 3 miles to Caratunk. Hot tub, chicken tenders, beer. 5.7 to shelter. Thunderstorm at 2:30, rained over an hour. Another thunderstorm.

Haha sorry I actually wrote a long one about this and deleted it. So that’s what we all get to read! Holla!

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