Day 164 Kathadin Stream Campground to Mt Kathadin (5.2 miles) 2189.8 miles total
Kris and I headed to Baxter State Park early this AM. Parking in the park is very tightly controlled. We had a prepaid pass that you have to use by 7AM or you lose your spot.
Next had to register with ranger at campground. They keep close track of hikers going up mountain also. I was NOBO thru-hiker number 734. When I left GA 164 days ago I was number 1391 to head north.
Got started up mountain at 7:30. Told Kris I’d be finished about 2PM so we planned to meet at 1:30.
My knee was still pretty sore but once I got moving felt better.
The climb up was very difficult in spots. Lot of rock climbing and rock scrambles.
There are lots of day hikers out here on a weekend. I was passing a lot of them and wondering what the heck some of them were doing on this approach trail when there is an easier one. Amazes me also that people actually do this for fun. That’s crazy!
Weather was partly cloudy. Thankful not wet. This could be dangerous if slippery and we all know I’m pretty good at crashing.
I was just cruising up. Day hikers could tell I was a focused, motivated thru-hiker and most offered congratulations as they got out of my way.
Coming up peak below I’m thinking that’s the summit. As I got real close, I could see a sign. I’m almost there. Got to that point and…false summit. Crap!! Got about another 3/4 mile to go but this time I can see the summit. At least I think I’m seeing summit.
Now I’m really motivated and moving because I can see people gathered and know I’m nearing summit. The old man was really flying. I’m almost through thru-hiking kept running through my head.
When I got within about 100 yds of summit I heard chant of “Pete, Pete, Pete…”. About a dozen hiker acquaintances (Goddess, P Tang, Happy Hour, Chimes, GQ, Bobo, Bubba) rooting the old dude to finish line. Got tears in my eye.
I made it. Incredible feeling of accomplishment. Spent about half hour on summit laughing, tearing up and just celebrating with friends I will probably never see again.
Said my good byes and headed back down. Came down the “easier” trail as I wanted to minimize chances of falling.
I was back down at 1PM. 5.5 hrs total. Just Pete just flew up and down.
Kris and I left from there heading towards Smugglers Notch, VT where we will spend the next week hiking…NOT!!
Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement during this adventure. I will get back to you with where to send your donations next week. I need some time to rest, heal, and reassimilate into society!
I’ll make sure to post a pic when the beard comes off.
Thanks once again for your support. Couldn’t have done it without you.