Projected Katahdin day: July 15. If the weather looks bad for the 15th, I’ll have to figure out a way to get up there on the 14th without being able to check into my shelter space but still have it when I come down. But I’m hoping the weather’s going to be fine. The Mountain Forecast is looking good for the 15th—clear, but windy.
And the quasi-zero at Katahdin on the 14th will give me a day to walk around and adjust to the new conditions (more rocks, more bugs, lower humidity, lower temperature, different state). I’ll probably hike a bit to stretch my legs. I might even take a few steps up the Hunt Trail (the one I’ll be using) just to check the terrain. I don’t have much magical thinking about Katahdin at this point; I used all that up on Springer. (And I’m happy for my magical finish to be at the ATC Headquarters, where I get to celebrate with and thank the people who are responsible for anybody having the AT at all.) Katahdin is another big, tall, scary mountain that’s between me and the rest of the walking. That could change, of course, when I’m looking up at it—and up and up and up.
Travel: I hope the car service actually does come to get me at 8:30 on Friday morning. If not, I’ll adapt. Then it’s out the door around 10ish, drive up past Boston or someplace, crash somewhere, then get up sometime and drive the rest of the way to Bangor on Saturday morning. Get to Bangor, turn in the car, find a taxi (I hope; it’s an airport, after all), find a mailbox to send home my GPS (unless the rental car has one), get to the Cyr bus station, hope they have space on the Cyr bus, take the Cyr bus 60 miles to Medway, hope the AT Lodge shuttle picks me up at Medway at 7:30, then woosh! Off to the AT Lodge hostel for a night of potential nervousing among fellow hikers.
Bugs: Everything’s soaked to death in permethrin. I have bug clothes. We’ll see how it goes.
Pack: It’s heavy. But I don’t think it’s quite Springer heavy. I’m planning to pick up 2 days of food at Abol Bridge store if I can (or at least grab a sandwich there). Then the HMW.
Maildrops: As of yesterday, the gear I shipped to Millinocket last week still hasn’t shown up in online tracking. This has me nervous, given that one of the things I shipped was my tent. Fingers crossed!
Internet, email, and phone: Maine is supposed to suck. There may be long chunks with no updates; it could be weeks. Don’t worry; I’m perfectly fine. If I’d needed a rescue, I’d have phone service again and you’d already know about it. ;D
Projected end date: I have no clue. Just like before, it could be three days or three weeks or three months. But if it’s not three days or three weeks, then I’ll aim for October 15, expect October 31, and not be surprised with November 15. (And if I somehow miraculously were to finish by October 15, then yes, maybe I could still have continued NOBO and hoped that the Katahdin weather on that one day, October 15, would have been good. But I’m not that much of a longshot person, and the odds of me getting up there in time were very low. My odds of finishing are much higher now.)
Gratitude: Thank you all, so much. I’m beyond grateful for all the help and support I’ve gotten. What a long, strange trip it’s been, eh? I’m beyond thrilled to be hiking with you. 🙂