Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Mountain Climbed

Just arrived home around 10 P.M tonight.  Muldoon and I camped last night in Stratton, ME and then left this morning around 8 A.M.  It was a long drive back, but I was glad to be heading home.

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."
-Ursula LeGuin
 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

 Almost there!

 I think I can, I think I can!

 I did it!!
 Torch, Ruffles, and Muldoon at Baxter Peak

 Torch at the top

 Sign says:
"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

Rugged descent


  1. Congratulations on completing your hike on the Appalachian Trail! We are all very proud of your outstanding accomplishment. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks. Love, B&B

  2. How exciting to have made the whole trip! We are so proud of you and hope you have time to rest and enjoy this great feat. We have thoroughly enjoyed the posts and pictures on your journey. Love, Kristi and Jason Cowan and the kids

  3. We knew you had it in you! You were a sure thing in our book. It’s amazing what you have been able to accomplish.
    You have learned a lot about yourself, a lot from nature, and also a lot from fellow hikers who come from a wide range of backgrounds. The sharing of knowledge and experiences among all enriches everyone.
    What an amazing adventure!
    Love Renee, David, Tyler and Bryce

  4. Way to go go Torch!! The sights you've seen, the people you've met, and the adventures you've had will live with you the rest of your life. We can't wait to hear your stories.

    Rick & Peg

  5. It must have been great to see what you have seen off the beaten path, a chance to meet good people, and pushing yourself to travel futher then most people would have traveled in there car. Congratulations on your journey of life experences. We are proud to say you are our uncle and all you have accomplished.
    Love Craig, Christina, and Christian

  6. Dave: Just read your final post and those from your family and want to add our congratulations on a great accomplishment! You inspired all of us 60-plus folks to follow our dreams no matter what. Congratulations! Jane and Ron