7/31- after saying goodbye, I climbed Barren Mnt (and climbed the sketchy fire tower). I forded a few rivers and hiked near Gulf Hagas ( where there was a cooler of sodas and whoopie pies from the Pine Family!) After 20 miles, I arrived at the Carl Newhall shelter for the night.
8/1- Climbed up White Cap Mnt and got a glimpse of Katahdin! I stopped at the Copper Shelter, where TBone (another hiker who I had trail magiced in the past) gave me some food (since I was getting really low!) I went swimming in the creek out front before pushing on. A bit after I left, I started hearing thunder. Major thunder. I started hiking faster, and the trail was pretty flat, so I made it the 8 miles to Antlers Campsite in 2 hours! I set up my tent when it was sprinkling and enjoyed watching the lightning over the lake. There was a family of loons that sang beautifully at night and the next morning.
8/2- I woke up early since I was still low on food and wanted to get to Whitehouse Landing to resupply. Whitehouse Landing is the only place to resupply in the 100 mile Wilderness. Hikers must hike 1mile off the trail, blow an airhorn, and get picked up by a boat and take across the lake to a camp where you can order a burger or buy supplies. Before I left Antlers, a SOBO section hiker told me he was getting off the trail and gave me all his food! So I didn't end up going to Whitehouse Landing afterall. I went 21 easy miles, through some thunderstorms, and stayed at Rainbow Stream shelter with some section bikers who gave me more food! By now, I hadn't seen a northbound thru hikers for days and wondered if I would be summiting Katahdin alone!
8/3- my last full day on the AT. I had to go 25 miles to get to the base of Katahdin. I was making good time so I stopped at Rainbow Lake and went swimming (and shaved my legs). Atop Rainbow Ledges, I stopped and picked some blueberries. The end of the 100 mile Wilderness brings hikers out to a campground so naturally, I spent an hour eating everything I could get m hands on: burger, bag of chips, whoopie pie, and two ice creams. I then entered Baxter Park and forded the same deep rushing river twice...(first onto an island where the trail went for a mile, then back across the river to the mainland, weird I know...) other than that, the 10 miles to Katahdin Stream Campground where easily and beautiful. I made it to The Birches, a shelter for thru hikers by 6 pm. Earl Grey, Mammoth, Fig and Duck were there and we enjoyed beers around a campfire.
8/4- I woke up, and the other hikers left up Katahdin while I waited for my parents. They arrived and it started raining, so I decided to wait a day when the weather would be better and my other friends I spent the night with at Sugarloaf would be there to summit with me. My parents and I hiked a mile down the AT to Big and Little Niagra Falls and let some trail magic, then spent the night in Millinocket.
8/5- woke up at 4:30 and drove into the park. At The Birches I woke up my friends and told them I'd see them up the trail. My parents and I started hiking up Katahdin at 7, and a bit later, the groups of 8 boys caught up. I told my parents goodbye and ran up the rest of the trail. After crawling up rebar and boulders on all fours, we took a break and waited for Sun Spirit who's dad was slowing her down a bit. They caught up and all 10 of us summited together. After lots of pictures, I convinced Moose to hike down Knife Edge with me. His 11 year old little brother joined us and we had some spectacular views. My parents were waiting at the bottom (they turned around when they saw the rebar) and we went to the AT Cafe- home of the Summit Sundae. 14 scoops of ice cream, a snickers, muffin, M&Ms, banana, whipped cream and cherries. Successful eaters receive a t shirt, the bowl it came in, bumper sticker, and get their name on the wall. Moose and I tried, and after 2 hours and 20 minutes I gave up. By then it was 8:30 pm and I felt horrible, so we went back to the hotel in Millinocket for the night.