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Katahdin Summit Day! How I have longed to write those words. Our plan was to wake at 3 and be hiking by 4. The first 2 miles are somewhat easy so daybreak would start as we began the hard climb. We couldn’t sleep! At 2 we gave up and got up we packed up camp for the last time and made the walk to the ranger’s station to drop off our packs. We had borrowed 2 day packs from the rangers for the climb.
We signed in at the register at 3:10 and headed up. The first 2 miles went as planned and we soon had them behind us. The climbing soon became hand over hand and we put away the hiking poles. Once we rose above the tree line dawn began to lighten the sky. There were some steep spots and Suzie struggled to keep her composure thinking about having to climb back down. Once we were past that section we kept climbing towards the tableland. Just as we hit the tableland the sun peeked over the ridge and lit up the surrounding mountains. As we moved across the tableland all the thoughts of the struggles it took to get here came rushing in. The reality that this was almost over brought the emotions forward. As we rose above the last ridge and the sign came into view we both had tears in our eyes. We gave each other a hug and a kiss. We made the final 50 yards hand in hand and reached out to touch the sign and end the journey at 7:15 in the morning.
We took pictures and had a snack. We only stayed for 20 minutes before we headed down. Suzie’s anxiety about getting down was on both our minds and we wanted to get it behind us. About half way across the tableland we met the boys on their way up. They congratulated us as we did them and they headed on. We were soon back to the steep area and began to work our way down. Soon there was a crowd headed up and we saw several other thru hikers headed up. Suzie did great getting past the steepest part and we then began to relax and enjoy the last of the hike. We had done it! We were Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers!
We were back at the ranger’s station at 12:10, a 9 hour round trip. We were getting ready to fix something to eat when the boys made it back. Congratulations all around to Messenger, Blue Skys, Johnny Rocket, Butcher, Bobcat, and Oak. We were standing around talking and taking pictures when a guy walked up and asked if anyone needed a ride. Well how perfect was this. Bobcat asked how far south he was going and it turns out he was going all the way to New Hampshire and right by Bangor Me. We chimed in and asked if he had room for 2 more. He did and we were on the road in 15 minutes. We stopped by the camp store at Abol Bridge Campground to grab something to eat and while we were sitting outside eating our friends Will and Way from Florida walked up. They thru hiked in 08 and were up here on vacation. They saw us as they drove by and stopped. What are the odds? We chatted for a while and then headed south. Don dropped us off at the motel 6 at 4:30. We said our goodbyes to Bobcat and thanked Don for our last trail magic and that was that. What was going to take most of a day was done in 3 hours. What an amazing day. I will write some after thoughts in a day or two and of course do a gear review as well. Thanks to everyone who has followed us on this journey. It means alot to us to know you were traveling with us.

Congrats to Bob and Suzie Bowles on a Sasquatch-worthy thru hike! To check out plenty of pics from their journey click here. And to read more about their adventure click here.

Copy and paste this link to view our photos http://s1165.photobucket.com/albums/q581/myakkamules/

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