Starting Location: Abol Bridge
Destination: The Birches Campsite
Total Miles: 2177.7
What a day! Very short on miles, but with a mere 10 miles between Abol Bridge and the final campsite tonight in Baxter State Park at the foot of Katahdin, we had plenty of time to enjoy the sights along the way and soak in another beautiful day in the Maine wilderness.
Following a stream that meandered its way ever closer to the Big K, we took long breaks to sit on the giant slabs of granite and watch the water rush over Big Niagara Falls and Little Niagara Falls before arriving at Daicey Pond, where Camel, Leki-less and I shoved off from shore for our 2nd canoe ride in 4 days. Right above us, Baxter Peak—the tallest of Katahdin’s summits—loomed large. As much as we enjoyed ourselves, I don’t think it really set in with any of us that tomorrow this would all be coming to an end.
For some forehead-slapping reason, I decided to ditch my socks today and go barefoot in my sandals, reasoning that the short, easy miles would be a good opportunity to let my puppies get a taste of fresh air in the summer heat. Wow, was that an awful idea. The accumulation of grit in the seatbelt-like webbing of my sandals made for some nasty open abrasions in the skin on top of my feet, all in the span of a few short hours. How quickly it happened was amazing. An afternoon of duct taped feet was in order.
Shoving off from Daicey Pond, it was only 2 short miles to the thru-hiker only campsite known as The Birches where we’re spending this final night on trail. Captain Hook’s family had arrived early to greet us with a Mt. Katahdin Eve pre-celebration spread and campfire.
Staring into the campfire well past hiker midnight with Camel and the Camera Crew seemed like the perfect way to spend the final night on trail, the conversation slowly dwindling into a reflective quiet.