Saturday, 9/26

Yesterday when leaving Baxter State Park Jodi and I made it a point to
ask the ranger what time we would have to be at the gate in order to
be sure to be able to park at Katahdin Stream Campground (KSC). The
ranger told us that KSC would not fill up, that at this time of year
the only lot that filled up is Roaring Brook. Well, that was great
news, as I had been thinking we would have to be up at 4:00am and
sitting in line when the gate opened at 5:00. Instead I set the alarm
on my phone for 4:45, and we were in town at the diner when it opened
at 5:00 for breakfast. By 6:00 we were approaching the gate to Baxter
State Park when suddenly we had to stop because there was a huge line
of cars ahead of us. It was well past 7:00 when we finally got to the
gate, only to find that all of the trailheads for the various trails
up Katahdin were all full! So much for what we had been told yesterday
afternoon. We were also told that we could not park somewhere else and
walk to the Hunt Trail (that’s the route the AT follows) trailhead, as
the purpose of limiting parking is to limit the number of hikers on
the mountain, and thus we could not climb Katahdin today.

Disappointed, but with no options, we turned around and drove back to
town. Our only choice is to go back tomorrow and try again. The
weather today is absolutely perfect, clear and dry and cool. Tomorrow
there is an 80% chance of rain, and it may very well be a miserable
day up on the mountain. In fact, there is a chance it may be a Class 4
day, which means all trails will be closed and we may not be allowed
to climb the mountain. I sure hope that is not the case, as we have to
leave here Monday morning. Jodi has work scheduled the rest of the

This sure isn’t how I envisioned my hike ending. If we end up not
being able to climb tomorrow I am still going to call this a
thru-hike. I have been up Katahdin twice before, the last time just
over a year ago, so it’s not like I will have skipped climbing the
mountain, but I sure would prefer to get up there tomorrow.

Allen F. Freeman