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Katadin Adventure

Discussion in 'Travel Forum' started by Deacon, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    Maine's tallest mountain is Katadin in Baxter State Park. The peak, best known for being the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, is ranked by National Geographic as the second best summit hike in the world.

    It's not a climb to take casually. The trail is called a scramble. You thread your way over rough granite glacial boulders following small blue markers painted on the rocks. This past July I climbed the mount with my two son-in-law's and my ten year old grandson.

    We left at sun-up, registered our climb and began the trip to the mountain at 7 am. We followed a rough rocky path. The three mile hike from the parking area to the trail head prepared us for the tougher parts ahead. We quickly learned to watch each step so we wouldn't twist or break an ankle. By the time we got to the trailhead my grandson was tired, hot and worn out. I gave him a bit of grandfatherly encouragement and upward on we went.

    As we began the accent the rocks grew larger and larger. Our eyes were focused on the each step rather than the beautiful scenery around us. By the time we hit the tree line I was exhausted. My grandson, who had a tough time on the first portion of the trail was doing well. We reached the top of Cathedral Trail at 2:45. It was another half-mile to the top of the mountain. My grandson and I decided to head back taking a two mile detour down the gently sloping Hamlin Ridge, while my sons-in-law continued their climb to the summit.

    The ridge while not steep was deceptively rugged. It took us quite a while to traverse the short rocky ridge. We hadn’t seen a single person since we left the mountain top. The sun was beginning to set but there was a full moon and we'd use my IPad as a flashlight if it was needed.

    But I was exhausted; now my grandson was encouraging me. With about three miles to go, I took a ten minute break and then we hiked onward. The trail was getting dark. I looked in my backpack for our light and realized the IPod had fallen out during the break. We couldn't go back so we continued on without it. Darkness finally closed in and the trail became hard to follow. Rather than loose our way we decided to bed down for the night.

    My grandson needed some assurance that things were okay. We counted our blessings. We were not lost, we only ran out of daylight; we were not hurt; and we knew where we were, only about two miles from the Ranger Station. We were concerned about our family worrying about us but we couldn't contact them. So we snuggled up together and had a shivery night sleeping in the forest. There were no bugs, no bears, no spooky noises, God overshadowed us. Our back packs were our pillows and we spent the night sleeping on a soft flat rock on the trail.

    By 4:30 dawn was breaking and we walked the last few miles to the Ranger Station, arriving there at 5:15. The Ranger was awake and knew exactly who we were; he cancelled the search party that would have been sent out later that morning.

    What was the take-a-way lesson?

    1. Stay on the path. It may be tough and rugged but it leads to safety and rest.

    2. When things are dark it is easy to go astray, walk in the light.

    3. Encouragement can be given by anyone.

    4. Grandpa shouldn’t climb mountains!
    #1 Deacon, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  2. Rolfe

    Rolfe Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    May 17, 2014
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    Appalachian Trail. Thumbsup