Journal 175-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Friday–August 13, 2021
Trail Day–175
Trail Mile–-10.0/1,975.4
Location–Roaring Brook Campground, Baxter State Park, then to Abol Bridge Campground

Mount Katahdin


While in Millinocket the other evening, what a wonderful surprise, my dear hiking friends of many years were in town, Jojosmiley & Nomad ’98 Burley. Great seeing them both once more!

Jojosmiley and Nimblewill

The hike ahead of us today will be short mileage-wise, but very long timewise, only ten miles from (here at) Katahdin Stream Campground, up and over Mount Katahdin, then across the notorious Knife Edge, up and down the near-vertical Chimney, the final (again near-vertical) ascent of Pamola, the spirit mountain, then the never-ending descent to Roaring Brook Campground. A light breakfast and as daylight approaches, with just enough early morning light, we shoulder our packs and are hiking before five-thirty. First stop is by the bronze memorial with the thought-provoking quote by Percival Proctor Baxter (P.P.B.). I’ll close this day’s entry with those words.

The Hunt Trail starts out easy enough for the first mile or so, but as the climb begins, come the rocks and roots. Above treeline the roots give it up but the rocks and boulders move in to totally inundate the trail. At one point in the climb, up through a near-vertical wall of solid rock, steel pegs and rungs have been strategically placed for hand- and foot-holds. Here, the climbing turns agonizingly slow. Hand-over-hand gets us further up the mountain. Don’t look down old man! I tell myself. Finally, on a wide shelf at the start of what is known as the Katahdin Tablelands I pause–and look. Once again I’ve been blessed with what could only be described as a perfect hiking (say climbing) day. Whisps of cirrus clouds, the least haze. What indescribable panorama, the vast, unspoiled forests, ponds, lakes and streams–and more and more glorious mountains to the horizon beyond. The climb has been exhausting (and hell-for-scary) but the reward for the effort–priceless!

Slider and I are here to be with and to share in the joy Nathan Switchback Wright will soon experience as he approaches the summit, there to stand atop the old sawhorse by the last white blaze, which marks the end of the Appalachian Trail here on sky-high Mount Katahdin–the end of Switchback‘s successful 19-year quest to section-hike the AT. And what a moment of excitement and jubilation–CONGRATULATIONS SWITCHBACK!

Switchback finishing the A.T.

Though the white blazes end here on Baxter Peak, the mountains do not. For, as one looks to the north are there legion-upon-legion of mountains. In the far distance, the pinnacle that is Mount Chase, and in the forefront, the Chimney and Pamola.

It is true, the AT thru-hiker can experience the feeling of euphoric accomplishment right here on the summit, by the last AT white blaze. But to those of us who ever pan the horizon, who look wide-eyed off and into the hazy blue–the driving force of wanderlust down deep within remains unsated. And so, we go on.

And today Switchback, Slider, & Nimblewill venture on–across the Knife Edge, over the Chimney & Pamola, and down to Roaring Brook.

It’s been one amazing and incredible day, 15-hours, 10,000+ feet of near-vertical ascent and descent. It’s dark when we finally arrive, to be greeted by Ranger Theo at the Ranger’s Cabin, Roaring Brook.


Man is born to die.
His works are short lived.
Buildings crumble, mountains decay.
Wealth vanishes
but Katahdin in all its glory will forever remain
the mountain of the people of Maine.

21 Comments on “Journal 175-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

  1. Nimblewill, Switchback and Slider,
    Great seeing your photos on top of Mt Katahdin!

    I will be back to try this again!

    Big Bite from Houston


  2. Congratulations Enjoyed the journal entries and shared your wisdom with my children. Thank you for taking time to let us be a part of your journey. You Da Man!! Also wanted give a shout to all your support team members You are truly blessed to have so many close friends!! Simply amazing!


  3. Congrats on your epic accomplishment! You are an inspiration to all of us in so many ways. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe. Hike on brother!


  4. Nimblewill, what a joy to see you on top of Katahdin! Seeing your pictures on that gorgeous sunny day makes me want to be there, too. I am so thankful for the time we shared on the trail in May.


  5. What a blessed journey my friend. May Jesus continue to guide you on many more🙏🏼🕊🏔. Peacewalker


  6. Yeeeehaaaaah❣️Nimble Will Nomad❣️Congratulations, praise the Lord, you reached your dream, and then some 👍👍 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻❣️ So happy for you 🙂 And you have a passel of new memories to cherish, how fantastic. Now you also have a boundless supply for new poetry, as you reflect on your journey and friendships from this. God bless you BIG, Nimble Will❣️Glory to His Name❣️ 🥰


  7. You climbers are a wonder to couch potatoes like me. You make life interesting for the rest of us. It was interesting to listen to your stories when at Rebecca’s in Monson.


  8. I’m confused?? Are you at the end already ?

    On Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 7:33 AM Nimblewill Nomad wrote:

    > nimblewillnomad posted: “Sponsors Journals Itinerary Gear List > Friday–August 13, 2021Trail Day–175Trail > Mile–-10.0/1,975.4Location–Roaring Brook Campground, Baxter State Park, > then to Abol Bridge Campground While in Millinocket the other evening, > what a wonderful ” >


    • Gary, Nimblewill Flipflopped. Nathan And I picked him up about 15 miles shy of Connecticut so that he could summit in more desireable weather. He is now heading southbound on his AT hike and had 641 miles to go when we left him in Monson, Maine. He is moving right along!


  9. Nimble will I am so proud of you. Some people I know had their doubts ,but I knew with out a doubt you would be there next to that iconic sign on the summit of katahdin . Way to go my old friend.
    Later Au Sable Mike… Just another day in Paradise…


  10. Congratulations to Switchback for completing the AT. And congratulations to Nimblewill Nomad for conquering Katahdin (again), Knife Edge and Pamola Peak.


  11. Congratulations!!!!!!!! Job well done. I’ve enjoyed following your journey. Thank you for sharing.

    Keep on hiking!!


  12. I have enjoyed the hike through you. So proud of your accomplishment. Congratulations!


  13. Absolutely Amazing! I have followed your journey…..anxious to read your message every day. For many years, exploring the AT has been on my bucket list. I lived in CA, near Yosemite and also in Colorado where I fell in love with hiking. For the past 36 years, I have lived on Long Island, NY. Children and business obligations have kept me from this endeavor. The latest obstacle was a lymphoma diagnosis and surgery last fall….but with the grace of God, it looks like that is in the rearview mirror. So at 63, I am excited to plan more chapters. A couple years of gaining my strength back and training, I should be good to go….Although I will admit, I am a little intimidated with the thought of climbing Katahdin….but one step at a time…..and not looking down….lol Thank you for sharing your journey… are truly an inspiration!!!


  14. CONGRATULATIONS Sunny! Being the young man you are… to you and Nathan on the summit of Mt Katahdin! I can only imagine the elation you had on the peak one more time. What a journey with just a little ways to go. Congratulations to all!

    Thanks to all the friends that were there for you along the way.

    Cgull (get the edge)


  15. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your journey and giving us gray hairs motivation and confidence to keep on hiking!


  16. Congratulations👏Nimblewill! You did it! What an inspiration to all of us young& old alike.Thank you so much for sharing this incredible journey with us.
    May our Lord continue to bless you.🤗💓


  17. I have followed your journey since John’s Mountain. Congratulation, you are an inspiration and someone I will think of everytime I walk in the woods.


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