Day 126 – Change in Approach Plans

Start Milepost: 2163.5 Time: 06:47IMG_8045
End Milepost: 2184.6 Time: 14.54
Miles hiked: 21.1
Miles to go: 5.2
Weather: sunny
Temps: cold to warm, windy
Blue Side trails:
Resupply:
Overnight: The AT Lodge
Map: Click on map pin

As I left camp this morning I spoke with two hikers who had arrived last night at 20:45. I inquired about the specifics of signing into the park ranger office at Katahdin and they advised I need only show up. They planned to go the full twenty miles – all the way to Katahdin Stream campground – instead of taking the two days of ten miles that I wrote about last evening. With that input I took off.

As has happened on numerous days, I got off to a very sluggish start – at least I felt sluggish. In fact, I was clocking 2.5 MPH on some fairly gnarly trails so I was moving OK, just not feeling energetic. All the while I contemplated going the full twenty miles vice two increments of ten. First I had to overcome the sluggishness I felt. More food was the fix.

When I reached the ten mile mark at 11:30 I popped out of the forest and met Dave, husband to M’am, a hiker I passed yesterday and saw a couple of hours earlier this morning. He offered me a Coke, which I readily accepted, and remarked that he was not sure his wife would opt to go the full twenty – a decision I had already made. I thanked him for the Coke and pressed on to the Abol campground office and an associated store not far down the road from Dave. There I bought a Gatorade and Oreos, got no useful answers about the trail north, and departed.

IMG_8047A mile later at the AT kiosk I signed up for a campsite at Katahdin Stream campground – the list validated the remark at Shaw’s – only twelve hikers could camp free. As I hiked on I considered staying at the AT Lodge instead, but that required that I be at the campground by 16:00 to catch the last shuttle. And that required that I pick up my pace. So, I did and arrived at the campground just before 15:00. The trail was the best to date to hike at a 3.0 MPH rate!

Having caught the 16:00 shuttle that actually departed the ranger office at 16:30, I am staying at the AT Lodge for the night. With that I get a shower and my laundry done. A young hiker who had one buck in his wallet would do our laundry with my $3 while I moved down the street for a burger and brew. I will cool my heels at the lodge/hostel until Scamper picks me up tomorrow in the early afternoon. In the meantime, approach Day #3 is off the schedule and a rest day has been inserted. I will complete my AT hike on Wednesday.IMG_8048

I am ready to leave the trail. I suspect Scamper is ready for me to leave as well – as long as I complete the final 5.2 miles! She will join me for the first couple of miles before taking Owl trail. Both of us are ready for chilly temperatures and windy conditions.

As an aside, she and I will sleep in a lean-to on Tuesday night. She passed on experiencing a night in a hostel – even if it was in a private room. Methinks she made the right decision even if the ambient, nighttime temperatures dip into the low 30s.

IMG_8046At the campground today I met Indiana Jane who I last saw at Bear’s Den Hostel in Virginia when my brother did not have the appetite to finish his pizza.  She summited Katahdin today so she and her parents were giving away trail magic – all her leftover supplies of snacks and drinks.  I claimed two bottles of Gatorade and some cookies. They leave for home in Canada tomorrow.

It is almost 21:00 and despite being very tired, I am nowhere near my quilt – because I have nowhere to go tomorrow and no rush to get there on a schedule! Nevertheless, my supper bill has been paid so I will find my bunk and retire for the night. Breakfast will be in the AT Cafe just a few doors down – at my leisure. Tomorrow’s meals will not be trail fare…

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11 Responses to Day 126 – Change in Approach Plans

  1. Pio says:

    There’s no shame in changing plans, even on your second to last day. I stayed at the AT Lodge before summiting also. I’m proud of you. Finish strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    • JAX DAD says:

      Pio,
      Please send me your grand opening schedule when it is finialized.
      I think of you and Papa often as I place my feet on the trail. Both of you offered great conversation that I don’t get much of theses days. Keep smiling.

      Like

    • JAX DAD says:

      Pio,
      I climbed Katahdin yesterday with my son who surprised me by showing up the day prior. It made the climb more significant than it already was. So, the hike is history. Had breakfast in the AT Cafe and and headed south to warm country. Looking forward to seeing you at your opening. Stay in touch!

      Like

  2. Catherine Garossino says:

    Less than six miles to go??? Woohoo! Congratulations and savor the summit when you reach it but only as long as you want to! Well done Regis.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diane Schultheiss says:

    Congratulations 🎈. Praying for a safe and strong finish!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave says:

    I am proud to know you! My Tuesday lunch group sends their best wishes
    Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    • JAX DAD says:

      Greetings to the Tuesday group. Jack joined me today on the final summit. What a thrill for me. Scamper met us part way up the descent trail. Courtney is in non-travel status! Delighted to know you too, Dave.

      Like

  5. Laura says:

    It has been a joy (and an honor) for John and I to follow your journey!! So very excited for you to reach your goal!
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

    • JAX DAD says:

      Thank you, Laura. More to follow. Blog will be delayed while I celebrate with Scamper and Jack. Jack joined me in the final ascent and descent. I was delighted that he flew in.

      Now to find the two high schoolers who impressed me so much.

      Like

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