I Made It!

Well, after waiting for better weather in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park, the Princess and I returned to Millinocket late Saturday and I climbed Mount Katahdin on Sunday morning to finish my AT thru-hike. I have thru-hiked the AT! It’s something I’ve thought about for a long, long time and now seems like a dream. It’s hard to believe I actually did it and the reality of it will probably take a while to sink in.

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I woke up at 4:40 a.m. Sunday morning and got my clothing and gear together, then went to the Appalachian Trail Cafe for breakfast at 5:00. After breakfast I drove out to Baxter State Park and started climbing Mount Katahdin at 6:35. I didn’t finish until 12:40, so it took me a little over six hours to get up and back down. Believe it or not, it took me longer to get down than to climb up. I reached the summit just after 9:00, took a short break to get photos, have a ceremony for Shorty, and eat a couple of PB&J’s. Then I started the slow descent back to the trailhead in Katahdin Stream Campground, where I had parked the car.

The trail started out fairly normal and then hit a long, long stretch of boulders that seemed to climb straight up. It was a somewhat technical climb and required finding good placement for your hands and feet to get up the rocks. After the boulder scramble there was a more flat stretch called the tableland, then a slightly steeper climb to the summit. The distance to the summit is 5.3 miles (one way) with a 4200 foot gain in elevation. I believe that’s the longest single climb on the AT by about 1000 feet. It’s definitely a ‘grand finale’.

After I finished I drove back to Millinocket to pick up Princess who was waiting patiently at the hotel. Then we went back to the Appalachian Trail Cafe and I had lunch, signed the ceiling tile that all thru-hikers sign, and picked up a few AT souvenirs.

Now we’re heading back to Virginia and I’m really looking forward to getting home. I have at least one more post to write about the trip, so please stay tuned.

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About The Man in My Shoes

Since retiring in 2012 I am enjoying the freedom of being able to make my own decisions about how I spend my time and am taking advantage of the opportunities that I have to spend more time with my family, explore, learn, and pursue my dreams and goals. I look forward to writing about these pursuits and hope you enjoy reading about them.
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21 Responses to I Made It!

  1. Doug Dowdy says:

    Tim,

    Congratulations again!! Sounds like a really nice ending and of course, Job well done!

    Doug

  2. writer77 says:

    This wonderful achievement will stay with you for your lifetime, bringing with it some great memories! Congratulations!!

  3. Loneoak says:

    Congratulations sir

  4. David Hansen says:

    Wow Tim. Congratulations. You did it. It has been great to participate vicariously through the blog. Thanks for staying on that.

    Look forward to seeing you back here, catching up and watching you eat a whole pizza!

    Best,

    Dave

    David J. Hansen, J.D.

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  5. Lyndsay sacre says:

    Fantastic news Tim . Well done, I want to hear about how it is going home after the first elation of having succeeded and enjoying the home comforts.

  6. Annette says:

    I am thrilled that you have fulfilled your longtime goal and with such a great spirit all the way. I can hardly wait until we can sit down and hear all your stories from the “Man in My Shoes.”

  7. Tara Miller says:

    Congratulations, Tim!

    • Thank you very much, Tara. I would like to talk to you in the next day or so. Your comments, and Bob’s, were a real inspiration to me. I thought a lot about what he wrote, especially as I hiked through the Whites. Take care, Walker

  8. Jeff Morgan says:

    Hi Walker,

    Much like the day that Miss Jackie provided some Trail Magic for you at Wind Gap, I was on the AT, climbing out of Palmerton north towards Little Gap where she was again being a Trail Angel, and we both were hoping that we were sharing the trail with you as you climbed Katahdin.

    Congrats and Great Job!

    Jeff

  9. Brian Horseman says:

    Congratulations! Walker on your accomplishment. I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with your progress on your outstanding blog. Pigpen should be summiting Katahdin in a week or so and we’re looking forward to his return. I’m glad I got to hike a couple of weeks with him and share a small part of his experience. Wish you and your princess all the best. Happy Trails,

    Brian Horseman

  10. MarySue Curran says:

    Congratulaions, Tim. Job very well done. Thank you again for your blogs. Loved reading your blogs each morning–and thank you, too, Cathy, for filling in when necessary! It is so great to (via Jackie) know someone who has completed this feat. Again, congratulations.

  11. Hey Walker, I’ve been following your journey since before you stepped foot on the AT. From a section hiker who one day dreams of completing a thru hike, my heartfelt congratulations! Thank you for sharing your experience. — No Poles

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