Plan, Then Adapt
It’s four days until we leave for Katahdin. We picked Memorial Day weekend as our start date almost a year ago. We made reservations for Katahdin Stream Campground in January as soon as the reservation system opened. Then winter came to New England and decided to stay for a while. A long while. So the probability that the Hunt Trail to the summit is open next weekend diminishes every day. We are ready, but is Katahdin?
As Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley”. Or to quote a more modern philosopher of the human condition, Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face.”
I suspect this is only the first of many punches that the AT will throw our way. The key now and in the future is to assess and adapt. This won’t be the first time.
Our “new” plan is to go to Katahdin Springs next weekend as we originally scheduled. We will enjoy Baxter State Park even if we can’t summit Katahdin. We’ll then hang in Millinocket for a while to wait out the opening, and then start on our way. This is plan”B”.
A further wrinkle… I have to go off-trail a couple of times for a leadership course I’m facilitating. This was another “change of plans”. I didn’t plan on anything interfering with our trip, but when this wonderful opportunity came along, I had to take it. I need to be in Philadelphia for three 2-day sessions in June, July, and September. At first, August looked clear – but then Ian got us tickets to the Phish concert in Philly so we have to be there every month this summer. Fortunately we are slowly walking in that direction so it should get easier.
All of that explanation is to indicate that we need to be out of the 100-mile wilderness in time to get to Philadelphia in June, and therefore can’t hang in Millinocket for too long. So if Katahdin doesn’t open, plan “C” is to head south from the Katahdin Springs campground and to come back and summit Katahdin at a later date.
Plan “C” is very disappointing on an emotional level. We’ve spent a year thinking about that sign on the summit and that being the start of our journey. It will be painful to have to change plans. It hurts to get “punched in the face”, even metaphorically. But we’ll survive, press on, and try to be ready for the next swing the AT decides to take at us.
Now I think I’ll go through my pack for the millionth time….. FOUR DAYS!!!!
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Looks like y’all ducked the first punch. Nice job on the hike. I was following along vicariously through the SPOT tracker.