9/15, Day 139, Katahdin Stream Campsite to Mt Katahdin, 5.2 miles
What an ending! We anticipated a rugged trail, but it was more brutal than we expected. As we wound our way out of the campground a camper ran over to give us granola bars left from his hike the previous day, warning us that we would be “using muscles that we didn’t know we had”.
We continued up the mountain. The weather report said 20% chance of showers, probably in the afternoon. The sky was perfectly clear now.
We climbed up to an area small boulders and slab rocks. We had to climb over and around the rocks. We figured we had been in training for this in recent weeks. As we got higher the boulders got bigger and the climbs steeper. Now we were climbing through the boulder field we had seen below Hunt Ridge. We found another large boulder field near the top of the ridge that required us to climb up by pulling with our hands.
Finally we crested the ridge to find the Tablelands. It is nearly flat, beautiful trail for most of the next mile through open alpine tundra. We were greeted with the familiar signs to stay on the trail and off the tender plant life above treeline.
We climbed to Baxter Peak. What a reception! Most of the other 16 thru hikers were already there and we got a standing ovation as we headed for the sign we have seen in so many pictures. Mt Katahdin, the end of a very long journey.