Mile 2075.4 – Mile 2189.8
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.