Maine – Look What You Did to Me… One Week Left!

June 26- July 3

June 26-
NERO at Shaw’s hostel- a superb establishment- great staff, friendly and personable owners, clean and well organized. Excellent resupply and their breakfast is amazing! 3 eggs, bacon, home fries and blueberry pancakes with juice and coffee – oh yes please!!

June 27 -day 117- Shaw’s hostel to Long pond shelter- 15.1 miles. Nice day, overcast and partly sunny! Forded two rivers today, I don’t waste time with my shoes, I just jump in and trudge across. The water feels great on my feet and they dry quickly. The only bad thing is that at the end of day the aroma can gag an adult bear!70 degrees and humid. 4 SOBO’s. End 2,092.6 miles. 99.4 miles to Kathadin summit!!

June 28- day 118 , Long pond shelter to Carl Newhall shelter
20.8 miles , end 2113.4 marker. Surpassed 2,100 BP miles. Sunny and warm – 78 degrees. Saw fewer white lady slippers (3) and pitcher plants flowering in a bog! Hard day- ascent (5390) and descent (4480). 3 SOBO and a group of boy scouts! Rained heavy last night 2/3” with lightning!

June 29 – Day 119. Carl Newhall to Mary Jo road stealth site – 22.8 miles, mile marker at 2, 136 – 56 miles to summit!
Woke up to sprinkles and was heavy overcast- summit 4 peaks  – last peak was whitecap above tree line and was windy, foggy and driving rain at 3,680’. Last high summit till Kathadin. The climb up continues from yesterday making it a 12 mile ascent! (3,170’ ascent, 5,160’ descent)

Terrain and trail has really gotten civilized! Saw 10-12 SOBO’s today. Had a couple insignificant showers and ended the day at leapfrog cafe for tacos! Lunatic, joker and animal were there too! Feet hurt today! Saw another 3 dozen white lady slippers and a few pink too. Clintonia and slippers just starting to bloom, bunch dogwood half blooming and viburnums too!

June 30 – Day 120- Stealth site to Wadleigh stream lean to- 2,153.8. 18 miles. Pouring rain all morning, cleared off late day. Heavy mosquitoes, roots, rocky and muddy. Still saw 2 dozen white lady slippers and Purple irises.

July 1 – Day 121- Wadleigh stream lean to Abol Bridge campsites 23.2. Mile marker 2,177.1. Fried chicken dinner, Ceaser salad and homefries-amazing!! Stay at Abol pines shelter! Sunny- 65 degrees and perfect! Saw pink and white lady slippers 24 -36! Saw Kathadin first from rainbow ledges and finally 1 bull moose!! We sat on the rainbow ledge in silence, just in awe of Kathadin maybe even a little misty eyed!

July 2- day 122, Abol pine shelter to Kathadin stream campground. 9.7 miles- in 2 hours 45 minutes. We were excited to see our families! Stop at ranger station to get thru hiker summit passes. I started at Springer # 154, renumbered at Harpers Ferry # 31 and summited # 45!

July 3- day 123, with family and dear friends we summit Kathadin! Though I was told it was tough- it was the most fitting finish the AT could give us!! Emotions ran high after completing this epic journey and though my two other tramily members- Lucky & Togs are a week behind, they finished with us in spirit! The weather was perfect- sunny and 65 degrees! As I need time to soak everything in and process my thoughts , I know I’ve made lifelong friends with some extraordinary people! Thanks for the amazing journey- Farmer, RD, Frozen, Murica, Fresh Ground, Togs and Lucky!


Maine has been more physically challenging than I initially expected. Especially the first half, it essentially left off where the Wildcats ended and were every bit the challenge of the Wildcats and the whites! The views, lakes and ponds are breath taking and the water tasted so good. As I compose my thoughts on Maine, I’m tenting on a bluff above Pierce Pond, listening to Loons sing while I spy a sky literally stuffed with bright stars! I love deep woods – especially boreal forests!

Maine is emotional to most NOBO’s. It’s the 14th state- the end of an epic journey. I feel very reflective on my trip along the way! Our tramily got separated from illness and hope upon hope we want our group of seven to make it to the summit! It’s not going to happen and we’re finally at peace with that! Lucky and Togs will rejoin the trail when they’re 100% and enjoy their finish – we’ll all summit together in spirit! A visit and reunion at Shaw’s before we started the 100 mile wilderness left no doubt we would summit separately and that was just how it was going to be!

I’ll summarize a few more items in my blog over the next few weeks! Thanks for following!


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Comments 5

  • Dennis A Turner : Jul 6th

    Thanks for the journey!! I’ve enjoyed every word. Congratulations. Well Done. DMFINO

  • Siobhan : Jul 6th


  • Beretta and Dave : Jul 6th

    Great Journey!!!
    Thanks for supporting Paws of War!!!

  • Ruth Anne Collins : Jul 6th

    Congrats! Enjoyed following along via your blog!

  • Jan : Jul 6th

    John – Great trip (fast trip) knew you’d do it and I enjoyed doing it with you through your posts. Even close enough for a picture of a moose


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