Just before the 4th, Rob, Sweeney and I were up with friends rafting near Baxter State Park. Though the camping weather was overly moist, the rafting was a blast. That night Rob and I set our sights on peak bagging Katahdin.
We were heading out around 8 when our friend Ben showed up and we all drove off into Baxter. The hike began under cloudy skies into dense fog up from Abol campground. We quickly rose above treeline where the trail followed a rock slide and led us up one of the steepest continual ascent we’ve encountered since Great Gulf.
We summitted the nearly 4000 vertical gain in two hours flat. On the way up we’d decided to loop the hike by descending via the AT to expedite our trip.
Heading down the AT was definitely the right choice as we were awarded great views and stopped briefly to chat with an early season thru-hiker. I pulled my phone out to snap photos only a few times as we made our way down.
We made the 9 mile loop in 4.5 hours but were still 2.2 miles from our car, which put us back at the rafting lodge a little later than we’d anticipated. Rob jogged and we speed walked to the car, very satisfied to have finally hiked Katahdin.