9/16

I did it! All the way from Springer, Georgia, folks!

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The climb was awesome. I left my trekking poles on the side of the trail halfway up because they were just getting in the way during all the boulder scrambling. The morning was rainy but by 10am it had cleared and thankfully we weren’t climbing on slick rocks. I’m still sporting this cold so breathing is hard and I had to take it slow climbing up Maine’s highest peak. 😉

We were above tree line for over two miles and it felt like walking on mars. It was really windy with wind chill in the thirties. As I crossed the tableland, a flat section on the climb, that’s fairly easy, I started to realize what I was actually doing, instead of solely focusing on my foot and hand placement. I am finishing the trip of a lifetime. I’m summitting Katahdin. I’ve been walking toward this one peak for six months. This is it! This is the end!

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After some more steep rock climbing, I got within view of the sign. Carpenter was right in front of me. There were six or seven other thru hikers at the top and they started hooting and hollering. I got to within 15 feet of the sign and started crying tears of joy. It was incredible. I hugged that dirty, old sign and then my hiking partner. We made it!

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We took a bunch of pictures on the top and had a snack and everyone called their moms. “Guess where I am, mama? On top of Katahdin!!”

Oh, what a wonderful world and a wonderful journey. I can’t even really comprehend fully what it all means to me right now. I’m so happy.

The hike down was rough on my knees and I slid down lots of rocks and boulders on my butt. It was strange going down a mountain the same way I came up. First time I’ve done that on the trail. I knew what was coming. And I retrieved my trekking poles. At the bottom we were greeted by other hikers and hiker families. We got a ride to Millinocket from Codewalker’s mom. Now Jabberwocky, Carpenter and I are sharing a hotel room and making plans for getting home.

Thank you readers for reading about my journey and for all the comments. I read every single one and they really helped give me a boost when I was down and needed it. I’ll do some post trail blogging too if you’re interested in keeping up with my reintegration to society.

Wow, just wow.

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9/16

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