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I wrote a post (Blog Entry) on Sunday, 6.4.17 (Knowing I would have no chance on Monday) … I hit post and my l-o-n-g entry disappeared ūüôĀ ¬†So today, June 6th, I will try to re-cap and bring you up to date on my adventure.

6.4.17

A day of dread and a day for new beginnings.

Tomorrow will make the 1st anniversary of my husband’s passing. ¬†I both dread this day and look forward to a new beginning for myself. ¬†My husband (Charlie) was the one person that gave me the self-confidence ¬†to do this trek. ¬†He said, “If anyone can do this, you can.” ¬†We had planned to do it together and then he got sick (Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma). ¬†While he was sick we talked at length about equipment, the challenges, and the risks I would take. ¬†His support means the world to me.

The 5th, of every month, brings extra tears. ¬†I planned my hike for the 5th to give me something to celebrate … something to feel good about … some else significance on this date other than the death of my husband. ¬†I will always celebrate my husband, he will always be with me, I will love him until the day I die ¬†Death doesn’t steal that from you … but it steals so much more! ¬†My life.

So tomorrow, June 5th I will take back what death stole and begin a new day, a new celebration, a new beginning.

6.5.17

Here I come Katahdin Summit!

A van load of SOBO thru hikers piled into a van … some tired from lack of sleep, some feeling nauseated, all quiet … all because of the anxiously anticipated the summit ahead.

I had watch plenty of videos, read blogs, talked to several friends that had completed the AT … I took a class … I did all I could to prepare for this summit. ¬†There is NO preparing!! ¬†The weather, the wind gusts, the fog, the climb, the heights! ¬†I’m a fast walker … I did great … I began to move above tree line, I thought to myself, I got this … I’m more that halfway there. ¬†I kept going, the edges of the mountain moved closer in … leaving me feeling like if one strong wind hit, I’d be blown off the mountain, but I kept going. ¬†I pushed myself even when I wanted to go back down. ¬†I kept telling myself, “everyone else is doing it, you’re just scare and fear doesn’t kill anyone.” ¬†So I pushed on. ¬†I crawled, I slid on my belly, I slid on my butt, I rolled … what ever it took to get to the next level and keep heading for the summit. ¬†The higher I went, the more I realized, what goes up must come down … it scared me to death! ¬†Now let the winds gust harder, the fog roll in, see someone almost slip¬†and fall OFF the mountain side … I was leaving that mountain! ¬†If you look at a picture of Katahdin, you’ll see the highest peak … that’s where the sign is that everyone takes their picture. ¬†You then see a long dip ( flat but rocky area) and then you see a little lower peak. ¬†I was one climb below that peak. ¬†I had one more steep climb … 200 more feet to the top and I would have been able to summit. ¬†But I couldn’t do it … I thought if I was even able to get the rest of the way up, I’d never be able to get down. ¬†I wanted a group to help me down … three hikers said they’d get me down. ¬†And they did … quick¬†and easy. I was so mad¬†at myself … coming down was fast, not scary, and easy. ¬†I wished I pushed on.

I spoke to the group I was¬†decending ¬†with about my disappointment and my regrets. ¬†I talk to several other hikers … each said the same thing … “Hike your own hike” … “You did the technical part, you did it close enough.” ¬†I just couldn’t shake the feeling, “But I didn’t summit.” ¬†One of the hikers asked if I was going to quit. ¬†I said I’m going to become the first No-Mountains Thru Hiker … No, I’m not quitting!

So I began to try to figure out how to get back to Katahdin to summit. ¬†I couldn’t stay an extra day due to food constraints and because I buddied-up ( my summit partner said I made the right decision to decend when I did, it started to rain right after I left and it was scary for him, an experienced climber). ¬†Together we decide we’d hike the 100 mile wilderness and once I reached Monson, Maine, I’d rent a car, drive back to Katahdin, summit ( or at the least, attempt it again) and then drive back to Monson.

6.7.17

I woke up cold … I don’t like cold! ¬†I woke up sore, bruised, skinned up, and blistered … and yet ready to hit the trail. ¬†We had a plan and we were ready to accomplaish it. ¬†So we dressed, ate, packed and headed out to hike the trail.

It was beautiful, hard, hot, wet, scary and fun. ¬†But we were exhausted and our aches and pains made it even that more difficult. ¬†We talked about our why (we each were doing this crazy hike), what would happen if we quit, what we planned to do after the hike. ¬†We knew to never stop on a bad day. ¬†We talked about our future plans, our desires, our life (Sully (trail name) is 23). ¬†I told him I must be crazy cause I’m a beach girl taking a long walk in the woods. ¬†That I’ve spent years trying to get back to FL and now here I am in the woods for 6months (I must be crazy).

I fell while crossing a river (waste down soaked) and kept going, Sully had blisters on his shoulders from his pack, we kept going, both of us had blistered feet, we kept going. ¬†We kept going and going and going but we never seem to get to our next camp site. ¬†After 12.5 miles of hiking we hit a road and decided that if we saw a car, we’re flagging it down and begging for a ride to town. ¬†We stunk, our bodies were aching and our feet felt like chopped meat. Of course we never expected to see a car on this old logging road. ¬†So we kept walking. ¬†Not 5 minutes later, a beautiful blue car came towards us. ¬†Without thinking and believing we’d not see another, we waved until the car stopped.

Doug, the car’s owner, was happy to give us a ride … and he did right back to Millinocket. ¬†Yea US!! ¬†We were happy and relieved.

Are we quitting… not just yet. ¬†The plan is to take a zero day … rest and heal. ¬†I will go back to Katahdin and attempt to summit again on 6.9. ¬†We’ll rest again and make the decision as to whether we go back to the Abol area where we left off and continue.

We’ve learned a lot in past two days, we’ve accomplished a lot, too. ¬†Maybe not everything we wanted, but we’re proud of our successes thus far. ¬†The question now is … is this what we really want. ¬†Will this adventure be as fulfilling as we imagined. ¬†We definitely have some soul searching to do. ¬†We won’t quit … but we my change our minds.

Keep you posted!

 

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Comments 1

  • Certificate : Jun 9th

    Your story touched me, Major League, because my story is very similar. A year ago I lost my husband three weeks after his diagnosis of a metastatic neuroendocrine cancer of unknown origin. My dread day is the 9th of every month. We shared 44 years of wonderful memories. You and I both know how hard it is to pick yourself up and start a ‘new’ life, so I applaud you! You are out there and trying! May all your hiking dreams come true!

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