Monday, August 27, 2012

First look at Katahdin

... from 179.8 trail miles away (on Avery Peak in the Bigelow Range), here she is:

... and a closer look, via 10x telephoto lens:

Sunday, August 19, 2012:

Needless to say, it was a crystal clear day.  Everybody that reached the Bigelow peaks raved about the views.  They were even better than yesterday's because of the clear skies.

It was a long, strenuous hike today, getting back to Avery Peak from the north - from East Flagstaff Road, but as I told one hiker who asked 'is it worth it?' as he trudged up the 2800' climb from the road: "I'd climb twice as far to see these views".

Best of all, I met some special people today - connections from many months ago.  I met the gentleman who took my photo beside the first white blaze and plaque at Mile Zero - the summit of Springer Mountain - "Night Walker", at right here in this shot taken at the viewpoint in the west end of Little Bigelow ridge.  He's being paid by the ATC to take detailed GPS measurements of the trail with some expensive equipment.  He was just starting out when I met him down there - spent a lot of time initializing his GPS while we talked.  He made it north to Erwin, TN, got sick, took some time off, and then flipped up to Katahdin and is now working his way south with his sophisticated GPS unit complete with two-foot-high overhead antenna.

With him are Terranauta (sorry that she's in such deep shade) and Mandela, who started together at Springer on March 1st but who I seem to have missed down south.  They hiked north to the Partnership Shelter, Marion, VA, took a pre-planned three month break so Mandela could work a good-paying summer job at the Smithsonian in DC, and are now working their way south from Katahdin.  They have already met 28 people up north who they knew from their southern leg in the spring, including Johannes (who they met around Damascus) and Kit Fox and Man Cub (who they met on Blood Mountain).  I may well meet all three of these pictured folk again in the fall as I head north from Daleville, VA.

Great hike, great views, great weather, great people.  What a wonderful twelve hours on the trail!


Here's the map of today's hike and a link to more photos:

AT Day 209 - Little Bigelow at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Maine

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