Adventure Date – June 21st
Adventure Destination – Baxter Peak, Mount Katahdin
Do you set goals for yourself? We do. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and lifetime. Jon set a lifetime goal a few years back to hike Mt. Katahdin. Every time we adventure anywhere downstate we drive past the beauty on the high way. I LOVE to hike so I was happy to help us toward this goal. We’ve worked hard to drop weight and gain muscle and endurance for this ultimate adventure. I have made the climb a few times before, not in the last ten years!
Luckily for us, my folks live right at the base of the mountain so we were able to spend the night with them in order to get an early start in the morning. After a hearty breakfast of overnight oats we left to be at the gates of Baxter State Park for their opening at 6am.
I am not a fast hiker. I never have been. LOTS of people passed us (multiple times), but I am able to hike steadily so we made it to Chimney Pond by mid morning at the same time as many of the other groups that had hit the trail at the same time as us. Chimney Pond might be one of favorite places. Ever. After a brief stop for some beautiful pictures and comradery with fellow hikers we hit the trail again knowing we still had lots of elevation ahead of us!
It was long and I was slow, but it was worth everything to watch Jon experience the hike for the first time. This was his first real big hike and I loved hearing him exclaim over the change in terrain and the breathtaking views. I had tried to explain the experience to him, but nothing can truly prepare you. As you can see the weather was absolutely perfect. Blue skies, steady breeze and low humidity.
After lunch at the top we began the long slow climb down. They always warn you to plan just as much time to climb down as it takes to go up and many people don’t heed that advice and find themselves in trouble. It actually took us longer to go down than up! Thankfully, we planned plenty of time with the added benefit of summer solstice!
As big as the smiles are in our pictures, this was hands down the hardest hike I have ever done. My lungs (I am asthmatic) screamed at the entire climb up and my knees were shot on the way down. The last two miles went on FOREVER. Seriously.
I was sore for the next couple days. Happy sore. Accomplished sore. Proud sore. Do you know the feeling? If not, I encourage you to discover it for yourself. It is worth it.