September 5, 2000

Katahdin Stream Campground, ME 13 Miles Hiked Today 2162 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Erik and Ulcer at Daicey Pond I've neglected as of late to describe my days. Basically, its been fairly flat with climbs of less that 1000 feet, highs in the 60's, lows in the 40's, lots of ponds and lakes, and very few people. Two nights ago it rained, even though it looked quite clear, and our stuff got wet. The bivy did well for being in a six hour rain but it has a small leak near the feet. Yesterday we dried everything out after getting to the lean-to.

Today we finished the "100 Mile Wilderness." What a joke. While there are no paved roads for 100 miles, we did cross 15 dirt or gravel roads, one railroad, near one "neighborhood," past a huge logging machine, under several seaplanes, under one helicopter, under two military jets, and saw no cool wildlife. It was still pretty, though.

Just as we exited the wilderness, I turned and saw a bald eagle soaring over the Penobscot River. As we got closer to the river I was able to see it clearly as one time it soared right overhead about 100 feet in the air. It was beautiful and to my thinking a good omen. We also saw some deer today as well as passed by some great waterfalls.

View of Katahdin from Daicey PondAt Daicey Pond, where we had to check in with the rangers, we met an amateur photographer. He took several pictures of Ulcer and I with Katahdin in the background over the pond. He promised to get prints made (of slides) and mail them to us. We found out there (at the ranger station) that it is supposed to be 30 - 35 degrees tonight here and at the summit up to 20 degrees colder. We've opted not to ascend tonight in the dark and instead go in the morning. Wind chills at the summit were -36 degrees this morning. Ouch.

Right now I'm kind of nervous about getting to the end. The actual mountain doesn't bother me, I've climbed higher, just being finished does. It doesn't seem real, as if the end isn't really here. Its been so long in coming its hard to grasp that its only 5.2 miles away and 4000 feet up. I guess it will sink in tomorrow.

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