Day 118- 7/7/17 Up Katahdin to the Finish! Total miles 2189.8! I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to write this final post. Maybe the excitement, or the chaos, or maybe I’m just so happy to be it’s my family and I’m soaking it all in, maybe I’m not ready to close the book on this journey like I thought I was.
Friday morning I couldn’t sleep I was wide awake at 4am and beyond excited to climb mount Katahdin. I had literally walked 2,184 miles to get to this point. This journey had many ups and many downs and I was literally about to tackle my last up. Everyone got up around 4:45 and began to pack our camp for the last time.
Around 5:15 freight train and I had dropped out packs off at he ranger station and hit the trail at a blazing pace. The first mile flew by and the 2nd wasn’t slow either. The other miles were more technical miles through boulder fields with lots of rock climbing. It was awesome! I love this sort of hiking. The slow, tedious, very precise type of hiking combined with climbing.
I was having a blast climbing up this mountain. Around 7:30 or so out of the clouds and fog I saw it. I saw the iconic finish sign on top of mount Katahdin. It was a very surreal feeling, 2,189 miles and I was just steps away from the end of this journey. Most people run across the rocks in pure excitement and adrenaline. I calmly walked to the sign knowing that one of the greatest adventures of my life was coming to an end…..
I’m thankful. I’m thankful for this journey, this trail, this adventure, I’m thankful for where it led me, not the beautiful state of Maine or the incredible mount Katahdin, but it led me closer to God. I had days where I struggled and days where I thrived. I wasn’t not perfect I lived the best I could on the trail but I stumbled often spiritually and physically. Even when I stumbled God was there. I couldn’t count the times God provided for me on this trail. Weather it be needing something and literally within minutes a hiker would be like hey want this and it be exactly what I need, or when finances felt tight God always solved the problem. Or when I felt out numbered and alone on the trail God sent me someone to hike with and to talk to.
I’m thankful that a scary, crazy journey like this one isn’t so scary and crazy when I rely on God. I’m thankful for those who supported me, prayed for me, encouraged me, kept track of me, and those who just love on me from afar. I’m not listing everyone because I don’t think I could actually make the proper list but you all know who you are and I am thankful for y’all! This trip would not have been possible without you. I’m thankful for a church that supported my mission, it sounded crazy and insane and very non traditional for missions and Hull Baptist didn’t hesitate to get involved! I’m very blessed to have grown up in the church I did!
I’m thankful for those I hiked with a long the way. Some I hiked with for minutes, others days, and few for weeks. For a while I hiked solo not really knowing how to make new hiking partners on the trail, kind of late in the trail. This was by far the hardest time I had on the trail. Being lonely in the woods for days on end broke me down and crushed me. I had to really dig deep to continue on solo. Luckily this time didn’t last long. I’m thankful for the many different, unique, crazy, and incredible people that I met. Many of you touched my life in a way you’ll never know. Thank you!
So anyway I walked up to the sign touched it and I became a through hiker. Bright and early I touched that iconic sign first for the day and the journey was over, but it’s not. I’m still connected with so many and following the journey of other hikers I met. They say the AT becomes part of you and as I continue to wake up by 4:30 every morning I say that they are right. I might have finished but the Appalachian trail, it’s people, and culture will always be part of me.
My last days on the trail were challenging, rewarding, and some of the best days I could have asked for. I’m gonna miss the trail life but the memories I’m taking away will last forever and I’m very happy to be back with those I love. Thank you for following my blog and keeping up with me. You’ll never know how encouraging it is to see that people care.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. – Psalm 34:4-5