Monday, August 1, 2016

AT 2016 -> Days 113-125 (7/19-7/31) (miles 1,970-2,189) The End!

Mount Katahdin, mile 2,189

After 125 days, 14 states, and 2,189 miles this journey has ended.  Mount Katahdin was the perfect finale to the Appalachian Trail, a truly unique and special place.  The same can be said for the entire trail through Maine.

So that's that, 4,840 miles walked in the last 17 months.  From the southern California desert to the passes of the high Sierra, the Cascade volcanoes to the hardwood forests of northern Georgia, the farming valleys of Virginia to the lakes of Maine.  

There has been a lot of talk about overcrowding on both the AT and PCT in recent years, and this is certainly true compared to historical numbers.  But I found that if you're a faster-than-average hiker, you will get through the main "herd" of people in the first couple weeks on trail.  After that it's easy to find some solitude.  Maybe I was just lucky....but after about mile 500 on both hikes I never felt like there were a lot of other thru-hikers around.  On the PCT I seemingly had northern California and Oregon to myself, same goes for the mid-Atlantic states on the AT.  

Photos from the final section:

View from top of Saddleback Mtn, mile 1,974

Looking up to Saddleback Junior

Mile 2,000

Pierce Pond

Canoe ferry across Kennebec River, mile 2,038

Start of the "100 Mile Wilderness"

Chairback Mtn, 100 Mile Wilderness

Early morning at Lake Pemadumcook, 100 Mile Wilderness

Sunset at campsite along Sand Lake, 100 Mile Wilderness

View of Mount Katahdin from Abol Bridge, mile 2,174

Halfway up Mount Katahdin climb

Fun section of Mount Katahdin climb

Mount Katahdin ascent

Springer 3/29/16 & Katahdin 7/31/16