Saturday, September 1, 2012

Monson, ME to Katahdin

I'm not sure how time is passing so quickly- we summitted almost two weeks ago?

I realized I never did my typical week report for the last week of the trail. So here we are.

Leaving Monson, we were carrying 6 days worth of food.  We scheduled ourselves to do 20 miles a day, and that would bring us to the base of Katahdin. We hiked 10 miles out of Monson and were on track.

waterfall on the first day in the wilderness
The next day was a little tougher terrain than we expected, and we only got 18 miles in before we had to call it a little early because of impending thunder storms.  We were lucky enough to get our stealth camp spot all set up and dinner finished before it started actually raining.  The next morning, we had another stroke of luck that we packed up all of our stuff and started hiking before the rain hit again. It continued to rain allll day long. Like our shoes and socks were so completely soaked there was no point in avoiding puddles.  In some parts of the trail, we were walking in ankle or calf deep water. Oh well.

The rain put us behind schedule, but we also had all the mountains out of the way.  The second half of the 100 mile wilderness (which is neither) is super flat.  The rest of the week, the rain held off and we were able to easily get 22+ miles in by 5pm.

We really enjoyed being able to hike fast again.  Katahdin was getting closer and closer, and we were getting so excited to meet my dad and finish the hike.

Oh! One really fun part: We came upon some trail maintainers that were clipping branches back and repainting some white blazes.  Beau stopped and asked if I would be able to paint a blaze. Check this out!

At several points in the wilderness, there is a view of Katahdin.  Here is the view of only 10 trail miles to the base of the mountain.  At this point, we had just left the wilderness and were about to enter Baxter State Park.

Originally, the plan was to meet my dad at the base of Katahdin in the morning.  We figured out that we would be making good enough time that we could actually go into town and meet him the evening before we summited.  It was great to be able to get good food and clean clothes before summiting the Big K.

The morning of. This counts as my summit, right?
We had an amazingly clear day on Katahdin.  I see a lot of people's photos from their summit and it's super cold, rainy, or misty.  We lucked out. It was a great temperature and we could see in all directions our entire hike.  We loved having my dad be able to share this experience with us! He later admitted that he cried more than I did at the top.

So, what's next? Getting back into real life. Becoming productive members of society.  I start work on Tuesday back at Don's Johns- but this time in accounting.  Beau started school this week and is looking for a job as well.

As far as blogging, I still have a lot of thru hike topics I'd like to cover.  I plan on reviewing the gear we used for others who may be planning a future thru hike.  I also would like to discuss post trail adjustments and random other things that come to mind.  Mostly, we'll go back to the "this is what we've been doing!" posts.  But I'm sure, whether I want it to or not, the Appalachian Trail will continue to be a reoccurring theme for the rest of my life.

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