Mile 2075.4 – Mile 2189.8

Mile 2091.1

This morning I entered the 100 wilderness. I can’t believe I’m here. I mean, I can but this is the last week before Katahdin. I’ll be finished in a week. 

I packed 5 days worth of food. My parents sent me a food resupply. I’m so glad because the options in the small town of Monson aren’t great and super expensive. I’ll be hiking 18 mile days the first two days and then closer to 22 mile days the last three.

I definitely thought the terrain would instantly get easier or something. That wasn’t the case today. It was really rocky and rooty and filled with quick ups and downs.

I forded my first river today. It was up over my knees and I did it barefoot. It made me a little nervous – especially since my pack is so good heavy right now.

Mile 2108.6

My second day in the 100 mile wilderness was a lot better than the first. I actually ran into Tupelo Honey early in the afternoon and continued to hike with her all day. We’re tented next to a brook. 

I forded another river today. This time the water was only ankle deep but the rocks were a lot smaller so it was pretty painful on my bare feet.

Mile 2127.3

Today was one of my most favorite days in Maine so far. The weather was perfect, I slept so well the night before, I got a to see Katahdin from a distance, and the terrain finally let up. 

Tomorrow TH and I plan to do about 22 miles. I’m confident we can.

We’re camped next to Crawford Pond. The sunset was beautiful.

I’ll definitely miss waking up in the woods. I sleep so soundly out here. 

Mile 2149.4

The 100 mile wilderness feels a lot like my first week in Georgia. Everyone’s pack is insanely huge (filled with food), there’s plenty of people passing me, and there’s lots of people hanging out at each shelter. Everyone is moving so quickly and energy is high.

I got a beautiful view of Katahdin today. 

I cannot wait to to climb that mountain and I cannot wait to be finished. I cannot wait to be with Duane, my family, Stretch, and my best friends. It’s time. And I’m tired.

I looked at that mountain today with excitement – excitement for the finish line and excitement for the next thing in my life. I’m just really ready for the next thing.

Oh! I saw a moose today in the woods and it was huge! I couldn’t believe how big. It almost looked like a mythical creature.

Mile 2174.5 

I had my longest day today, 25 miles. The reward was I got to see Duane at the end of the long day. He flew in, took a bus, and then a shuttle to the road to meet me.

Mile 2184.5

Today I hiked with Duane and Tupelo to the campsite at the bottom of the mountain. It was a pretty easy and level hike. I just can’t believe how warm it is. 

Tomorrow is my last day on the trail. I’m not exactly sure how to feel. I feel excited and sad and tired and anxious and a lot of other things too. 

I guess, I mostly just really want to get up there and touch that sign. I just really want to see that sign.

Mile 2189.8

The day started off early. Duane and I both woke around 5am and had plans to meet Tupelo and Skip at 6am. It was the first time ever on trail that I saw everyone else around us up and moving at 5:30am as well. 

We began the hike up Katahdin at 6:20am with Tupelo right in front of us. It started off as a really gradual climb but soon boulders appeared and we were climbing and pushing off rocks with our legs and grabbing roots to hoist ourselves up. 

When I had only about a mile left, I started to get impatient. I just really wanted to be at the top and the climb was exhausting me. 

For a moment, the clouds broke and I saw the glimpse of that famous Katahdin sign. Right then, I booked it as fast as I could up the rest of that mountain. Once I got to that sign, I put my hand on top of it and yelled “YES!”. Haha. Almost immediately after I started crying and hugged Duane as hard as I could. 

It was beyond relieving and overwhelming to be up there, right beside that summit sign. 

It still hasn’t hit me. I kind of feel like I’m just taking a zero or some quick time off. I know mentally that I’m not but subconsciously I think my body doesn’t. 

It almost feels like a dream. The last week went by so very quickly. 

This hike has meant more to me than I can accurately describe. It’s been miserable, beautiful, annoying, surprising, forgiving and beyond humbling. My body has taken me just about 2,200 miles – over mountains, through cow pastures, into and through small towns, on top of fire towers in the middle of the wilderness, up wet and slick boulders, and over roots and jagged rocks. This constant day dream of mine is finally complete and it’ll take awhile to set in. But man, I’m so glad I did it. 

I’m not sure the writer but saw this on a poster awhile back and it really resonated with me (email address on the bottom of the poster is [email protected]) –

“The Appalachian Trail –

More than just a footpath from Georgia to Maine. It’s a rock scramble, a puddle-jumper, a green-tunnel, a life-changer. It teaches you that fun isn’t always easy and hard never means quit. Sometimes you feel like it’s breaking you down, but you push through and discover that its actually building you up. Making you stronger. Tougher and hungrier than you’ve ever been in your life. It’s Jacob’s Ladder, the Smokies, the Whites, and the Bigelows. It’s gaps in the south and notches in the north. It gives you a mountain top all to yourself. Or a shelter filled with friends. And it gives you simplicity. It makes you realize that angels don’t always have wings. Sometimes they have sodas and sandwiches. And that there are still a lot of really good people in the world and you want to be counted as one of them. At the end of each day you are more exhausted, dirty, and alive than you ever have been before. It is truly an Adventure of a Lifetime but the THE adventure of a lifetime. It’s doesn’t stop there. There is just the beginning. It has prepared you. So go for it… ”

Thank you all for reading each post along the way and commenting and sending good vibes and thinking of me. It’s appreciated so much and I truly think if I didn’t have those comments and well wishes, it would have been so much harder to keep going. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Welllll. That’s that. Stinker, out.

 

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Comments 28

  • D : Sep 27th

    That’s that. Glad to have you back. Time for lots of snacks and freshening up your pack. You never slacked! How about that? Nicely done, Stinker.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Glad to BE back. Love, love, love you.

      Reply
  • Clara : Sep 27th

    ✌🏼

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      ✌🏻✌🏻

      Reply
  • Jim Rudloff : Sep 27th

    Followed your trek the entire way, and it was awesome to read. Congratulations! BTW … you underestimate yourself as a writer. Your unvarnished revelations were pitch perfect. And the photos … excellent! Really felt like I was there. So also a “thank you” for sharing your experience with us!

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Well, thank you. I appreciate your support and kind comments throughout this hike.

      Reply
  • Sandy Welter : Sep 27th

    Just happened upon your last post on my fb page. Congratulations. You are an inspiration.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Aw, thank you.

      Reply
  • Todd Nettleton : Sep 27th

    Loved following along through your dad’s Facebook posts, and through your writing and photos. Congratulations! Awesome accomplishment.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thank you so much, Todd!

      Reply
  • David Odell : Sep 27th

    Congratulations on finishing your AT hike. Enjoyed your excellent journal. David Odell AT71 PCT72 CDT77

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thanks, David!

      Reply
  • Kerry : Sep 27th

    You did it, my friend. I’m so proud of you.

    You saw a moose, too! I’m jealous.

    I can’t wait to have you home. Jess and I are always talking about how we feel incomplete without you <3

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thanks, Kberry. I appreciate your texts and phone calls during my hike. It was seriously so helpful and encouraging.

      Reply
  • Chris (Beth's Mom) : Sep 27th

    Congratulations!!! Beautiful photos, inspiring words, and a dream come true for you. Thanks for sharing it all. Love the photo of you on the sign. I think you need to frame that one.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thank you Chris. You are so kind. Thank you for your support from the very beginning and for the funds towards my sleeping bag. It lasted throughout my entire hike. I appreciate your support throughout this process and throughout my entire hike.

      Reply
  • Nell Ruedin : Sep 27th

    Congratulations!!!!! YOU did it!

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thanks, Nell!

      Reply
  • Scott Brown : Sep 28th

    Anna,

    I’ve craved your updates for the past 4 months. You’ve completed something that the longer I’m around…the more I want to do. I was fortunate that your Dad, a fellow Freddie, got me stuck on your posts. Well Done! Congratulations! That just doesn’t seem like enough, but will have to do.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thank you, Scott. Thank you for your comment, support, and congratulations.

      Reply
  • Monica : Sep 28th

    Congratulations!! You did it! It has been so much fun reading your blog & seeing your photos. From what your Dad has told us the picture we’ve seen are just a drop 💧 in a bucket. I think you need to do a coffe table book of your experience.

    You are so brave, courageous, energetic and talented. So proud of you.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thanks, Monica. I appreciate your support throughout this hike. It was very kind and super thoughtful of you.

      Reply
  • Joshua Johnson : Sep 29th

    Congrats – you did it! Thanks for sharing your story and good luck on your next journey.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thank you, Joshua!

      Reply
  • Catherine Fiorta (Cahill) from KHS : Oct 2nd

    Hey Anna! This is kinda random, but I came across one of your posts on my newsfeed awhile back, and I thought I’d check out your blog. Always interested in humans doing amazing things! Anyways, I saw that you recently finished the AT and wanted to send you a quick note.

    I really enjoyed following your adventure. You beautifully captured your journey into body, mind and spirit through your honest posts and stunning pictures. Not being a thru-hiker myself, it really opened my eyes to “what it takes” to accomplish…. from the dangers or falling to the real fear of running out of supplies. Your tales of trail magic warmed my heart and reminded me that there are still kind people out there who will graciously give with nothing to gain. I was also moved by how real your posts were – describing some of the lonely times, female struggles with body image, and how hard it was to send Stretch home.

    Congratulations on completing such an incredible journey, and one of your life goals! You will cherish this chapter of your life always. I hope you’re enjoying some well-deserved R&R and spending time with your family and Stretch. Seriously, you go girl! What an amazing accomplishment!

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thanks, Catherine! Such a kind comment. I appreciate your support so much.

      Reply
  • Jaynn : Oct 3rd

    CONGRATULATIONS! I followed every post and am crying for you now! Now go love on Stretch and take time for you to celebrate you! Thank you for sharing your journey!!!

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Oct 5th

      Thank you so much! Stretch and I have had lots of snuggles and walks already!

      Reply

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