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Aug
07

Saturday

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We all felt like we were 5yrs old and it was the night before Christmas. No one slept well.

Finally morning came…err should I say 445am. We wanted to hit the 5.2 mile trail up Katahdin before the crowds of Jimmys arrived.

This was the day we had been waiting for. Five months of waiting.

We all packed up and tried to stuff poptarts down our throats for one last time. I still felt full from the steak dinner Papa Picker cooked up the night before…..mmmmm that was yummy….mmmmmm

At 530am Ryan showed up and Picker, Red Man, Nefis and I loaded up our stuff and headed to the trail head.

We were climbing by 6am.

Katahdin was alive. The sun was begining to rise sending beams of light through the trees. 4000 feet above I could see clouds shooting across the peak. It was a beautiful sight. I could hardly believe I was climbing Katahdin. Where did the time go?

I quickly got ahead of everyone as we started the climb. Ive been here before so i wanted to get to the top and have some time to myself before the others arrived. Plus I would get to see everyone finish….which would be cool.

As I hiked up I passed Snowman who was hiking up with his cousin who was 7. I yelled excitedly about Katahdin and said “ill see you at the top!”

I continued the climb and with about 2.5 miles to go I passed Papa Picker who had started around 5am. He was going to hike the last couple miles with Picker and video tape the finish. Very cool.

The next mile and half involved bouldering up the spine of Katahdin. As I climbed higher the winds increased whipping me in the face and nearly blowing me over when it gusted above 50mph.

The sun would peak in and out of the clouds and fog that shoot over the spine. At times, I was in a whiteout and couldnt see more then a couple feet in front….then moments later the fog would blow over revealing the rising sun. The sun would blind me as it rose directly in front of me. Amazing.

With one mile to go I sat down at Thoreau Springs and recalled memories of the last 2178.1 miles. Damn, how did I get here?

Hiking on I skipped over the rocks and at 753 am I crested the last ridge and saw the sign in the distance. No one was around and the sun was casting a brillant beam of light directly on the sign. It was magical. I snapped a quick picture and then ran the last 100yrds touching the sign at 756am on Aug 6th. ….completing my third thru hike which means ive covered about 7000 miles of hiking.

I screamed out KATAHDIN!!! at the top of my lungs and screamed into the valley below hoping that the others would here me.

I took out my camera but suddenly it didnt work!!!. What bad timing. Unable to take a picture i figured Id have to get Red Man and Picker to take my picture and get a copy.

For 20mins I sat at the top by myself watching the clouds dance in the rising sunlight. The wind was wicked and forced me to put on both my rainjacket and fleace coat.

I sat there thinking about all the wonderful places and the amazing people I met along the way. Thank you to all those out there that did so much for me. Without you, I never would have make it. [stay tuned, in a couple days Ill post an entry on the best trail magic].

After a bit Red Man arrived next….yelling and screaming the whole way. Nexr was Ryan and Nefis. Hifives all around.

Papa Picker soon arrived carrying the video camara. Soon Snowman and Picker popped above the last ridge hooting and hollering. Picker ran past Snowman and nearly tripping jumped up to the sign and gave it a kiss.

We all yelled and screamed and hifived and kicked back a bottle of Jack that Ryan brought up and a bottle of Chanpagne that Papa Picker brought up.

Also finishing was Hard Rock, Birch and Garage Man.

We all chilled out for as long as we could before before being forced off by the cold wind.

The way down went by quickly. Before we knew it we were below tree line and Picker and I stopped for one last break.

Sad and happy to be done. I will miss the trail deeply but I will miss the friends I made along the way the most. Damn, im going to miss these guys. Sigh….

We ended the day back at the base and Ryan brought out chairs and a cooler full of beers, and cigars. Ryan, Picker, Red Man, Nefis and Hard Rock and I kicked back and celebrated before heading into town.

Ryan had bought us a hotel room for the night so we headed back there, showered and put on fresh cotton clothes. Oh boy did that feel good….

We ended the night by eating food, drinking beer, resting in the hot tub…..ahhhhhh the end of the journey…….

Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible. It was a great journey….next….work….if I can find a job…. and then who knows….maybe the CDT in 2011…..stay tuned….

Posted: August 7, 2010 at 7:45 am





  • Sea Otter says:

    Cangrats to a grand finale and perhaps we will see you again Flow Easy on the CDT in 2011.

    You are a trail blazer in every day life.

    bern

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  • Andy says:

    How exciting! Bravo!

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  • Dan says:

    just saw someone hiked the entire amazon jungle for two years. what have you done for me lately? hahaha jk, congrats Mark! i’ll see you in philly soon hopefully!

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  • Bort says:

    What a wonderful journey. We are all proud of you. Oh and by the way, Flyn B is my mom.

    Bort

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  • Courtney says:

    Congrats. Extremely happy you made it safe and sound and in one piece. Relish the moment and hopefully see you in Philly soon.

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  • flyn b says:

    thanks BORT for giving me away-enjoyed every moment of the adventure . IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE TO MEET YOU–thanks again bort-its fun to lose your identity once inawhile-bubby flip

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  • Japhy says:

    WAHOOOOOO! Wish I could have been there with grilled cheeses. Hope to run into you soon. Best of luck with finding work unless of course you don’t want to. Hope you return home to those white blazes again at some point.

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  • Queenofharmony says:

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your trek with us. It was kind of like reading an adventure novel. I learned a lot about the AT, and am considering a thru hike in 2011. Happy trails and best wishes!

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    flyn b

    August 7th

    my heart started pounding reading you last day-congratulations and many more hikes in the future-even though i dont know you im very proud of you–flyn

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    Sea Otter

    August 7th

    Cangrats to a grand finale and perhaps we will see you again Flow Easy on the CDT in 2011.

    You are a trail blazer in every day life.

    bern

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    Andy

    August 7th

    How exciting! Bravo!

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    Dan

    August 9th

    just saw someone hiked the entire amazon jungle for two years. what have you done for me lately? hahaha jk, congrats Mark! i’ll see you in philly soon hopefully!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
    Bort

    August 9th

    What a wonderful journey. We are all proud of you. Oh and by the way, Flyn B is my mom.

    Bort

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    Courtney

    August 10th

    Congrats. Extremely happy you made it safe and sound and in one piece. Relish the moment and hopefully see you in Philly soon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
    flyn b

    August 10th

    thanks BORT for giving me away-enjoyed every moment of the adventure . IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE TO MEET YOU–thanks again bort-its fun to lose your identity once inawhile-bubby flip

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    Japhy

    August 12th

    WAHOOOOOO! Wish I could have been there with grilled cheeses. Hope to run into you soon. Best of luck with finding work unless of course you don’t want to. Hope you return home to those white blazes again at some point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
    Queenofharmony

    August 12th

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your trek with us. It was kind of like reading an adventure novel. I learned a lot about the AT, and am considering a thru hike in 2011. Happy trails and best wishes!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
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