"Are you SURE about this one Dan???"
Brendan actually on Abol Bridge. I can't type what the actual phrase I was thinking at the time. (Above)
(Left) Daisy Pond in Baxter State Park.
Here is a picture with the Chief Ranger of Baxter State Park and two members of "the group" - Journeyman and Setback.
We went canoeing and swimming in the pond the afternoon before our ascent.
Baxter State Park is run very professionally. We learned alot from the Rangers, heard some old war stories about people getting caught on the mountain - and worse, and we got quite a few tips.
One tip we got was to leave early to beat the intense heat expected the day of our climb. Perhapse we went overboard by waking at 2 a.m. to begin our ascent. (Right)
David and Cloudwalker are FrenchCanadian brothers from the suburbs of Quebec City. They had been hiking the trail since the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.
Clyde is from Southeastern Virginia and hiked from New York State, 1/3 of the entire trail. Clyde just up and left his life in Virginia with the purpose - and met it.
Journeyman and Carmen SanDiego are a great married couple from British Columbia. Dan, Journeyman and I were all the same age - which is rare on the trail - as most people are in their early 20's just graduated from college - or retired. He and his wife Carmen SanDiego celebrated their 8th Anniversary 2 days later. They are hiking the entire trail. They are not thru-hikers though, but rather, are flip-flop hikers. They started at Harpers Ferry, WV and reached Maine. Now, they have driven back to Harpers Ferry, (headquarters of the Appalachian Trail), and are probabally somewhere's in VA right now, on their way to Georgia for Christmas.
Abol Bridge is the last hamlet prior to entering Baxter State Park. Baxter State Park, though public, is extremely restricted. Reservations - years in advance - are necessary in order to camp there.... unless of course you have hiked more than 100 miles on the Appalachian Trail - then you get two nights stay in order to climb Mt. Katahdin and the northern terminus - (i.e. start or finish, depending on your direction) - of the Appalachian Trail at Baxter Peak.
We hiked 200 miles, so we were safe.
Our campsite in Abol Bridge, along the West Branch of the Penobscot River.
(Left) The wilderness version of Slip n' Slide. This tributary, Nesowadnehunk Stream of the West Branch of the Penobscot River, which runs alongside the trail, features a rock slide in the middle of the river.
I am in the distance on the otherside of the river. "Clyde" (trailname) is in the water in the foreground.
Dan, hanging out on a rock ledge just above the treeline of Katahdin. I know, he looks like he's posing, but he didn't even know that I snapped his picture. (Left)
The Trail Group Atop Baxter Peak
Left to Right Trailnames:
Later(Brendan), David, Clyde, Relax, Journeyman, Cloudwalker, Carmen SanDiego, Setback, Late (Dan).
Late and Later (Dan and I) were a sub-group and we hiked 200 miles.
Setback and Relax were two college girls from Mississippi who were lifelong bestfriends. Since high school, they have been section hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail. In this picture, they had just completed the ENTIRE trail - Georgia to Maine. An incredible moment.
No... I didn't climb it in socks.
The Knife Edge (Above)
Dan is that little blue speck on the far peak. The Knife Edge is a mile long trail atop Katahdin to South and Chimmney Peaks. It is a peak itself with steep (deadly) sloaps on both sides.
Drink or Die (Left) It was a scorcher!