This past Sunday morning, Muldoon, Ruffles, another 2011 thru hiker, and I started up Katahdin Mountain around 9 o'clock. The weather when we started was sunny and you could easily see the top of the mountain. It was fairly easy initially. The further we climbed, the harder it got. Miles 3 and 4 were especially difficult because of large boulders and the steep incline that we encountered.
As we went up it got colder and windier which added to the difficulty. I was glad to have Muldoon and Ruffles leading the way! As we got within a mile of the peak, the terrain flattened out and got a little easier. The sunny skies were replaced by a heavy cloud cover. It was still windy and the temperature was dropping.
We continued on despite the weather conditions and reached Baxter Peak at 1:20 in the afternoon. There were at least 20 hikers up there including some families.
We took some fun pictures and shared a bottle of scotch compliments of Muldoon. We spent over an hour at the top while I made phone calls and sent pictures. Afterwards we started back down the mountain. In some ways the descent was just as hard as the climb up. It took us about 4 hours to reach the ranger station at the base of the mountain.
Needless to say, I was very tired and sore, but glad to have finished the last leg of my hike.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine has been something I've been thinking about for at least 10 years. With my retirement in 2010, I then had the time to pursue it. Although I may never make another long distance hike, I'm glad to have started and completed this hike that began on March 7, 2011.
I'd like to thank all my blog followers, friends, family members and fellow hikers who gave me lots of encouragement and support. Below are some pictures of my last few days and our hike up to Mt. Katahdin.
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
Beaver Pond in the 100 Mile Wilderness
French-Canadian teenagers from Quebec City who shared their dinner with me
Mount Katahdin in the background
A female moose on the AT near Crawford Pond
Mount Katahdin on a clear day (30 miles away)
A mountain lake in the 100 Mile Wilderness
Mt. Katahdin in the distance
Torch and Ruffles signing in at Mt. Katahdin trailhead
Muldoon and Torch signing in
The weather forecast for Mt. Katahdin on August 5, 2012
Making my way up to Baxter Peak
I think I can, I think I can!
I did it!!
Torch, Ruffles, and Muldoon at Baxter Peak
Torch at the top
"One pack of Ramen Noodles- $0.25
One pair of hiking poles- $69.95
One pair of hiking boots- $110.00
Climbing Mt. Katahdin on a sunny day- PRICELESS!"
(It was sunny when I started, not so much by the time I finished!)
Torch at the summit!
Descending the mountain top in the clouds