9-7-12

AT miles hiked today: 13.5
Miles to Katahdin: 5.2
Total AT miles hiked: 1298.4
Miles to complete my thruhike: 886.0

We hiked some beautiful, easy miles today. We passed some gorgeous river views and waterfalls and met Jonathan, the ridge runner I met on Springer Mountain and again at Partnership Shelter. I thought it was fitting that I should meet him here, on the day before I summit Mt. Katahdin.

Emotions and stress ran high today and Toe Knee and Eagle Eye snapped at each other. They made up, though, and Jonathan said that people invest a lot of energy and emotion into Mt Katahdin, which we have done, even though we won't be ending our hikes there. Mt Katahdin is still a very big, potentially dangerous mountain and it still means the end of the northern leg of our hikes, so it is a big deal to us, too.

We passed some gorgeous ponds and made it to Katahdin Stream Campground where we waited for Toe Knee's husband, Jim, to meet us and take us to Millinocket to a hotel room. In the meantime we saw Cow Tale who had blood and bandages on his knees and arms from a fall up there and then Dame Quixote came down with her friend. It was a great reunion and I was thrilled to see her as she completed her thruhike. She said Sparky and Stubby were hiking Katahdin with Low Gear. I hoped we might see them, but they didn't come down before Jim came and we went to town. He brought us cold Root Beer, Orange Soda and Cokes, plus nectarines, peaches, plums and greek yogurt. It was all so good.

After we checked into our hotel we went to the Appalachian Trail Lodge's Cafe and got all you can eat fried fish (halibut) and some french fries. It was very good and I ate until I was uncomfortably full. Then I read the ceiling panels with all the names of those who had completed the AT in 2012 and I knew a lot of them, which was fun, though I couldn't sign one yet. We'll be getting up at 4am tomorrow, to try to start hiking around 6am. We will see how that goes. Katahdin, here we come!