Day 134 – East Branch Lean-to

20.7 miles, 56,217 steps, 511 stories climbed

2130.2/67.8 miles/left, 5,697,320 steps, 50,866 stories climbed
  My legs felt refreshed today. I think the low miles of the past few days has helped them find their pace again. I was moving really well today, even with all the breaks and climbs.
  I planned on doing this 20+ miler today to try and get to the base of Katahdin on Saturday so I’ll be all cleaned up and town chores done by the time Maria gets in on Sunday.  

 Today, there was a good amount of climbing though and I thought it might be a bit rougher than it was.
  It started off pretty flat and it took me no time at all to get to the camp I had originally planned on staying last night a little more than four miles in. Right after the camp was a river to ford, there was a path of rocks to hop across and I attempted to make it without taking the boots off but I underestimated the slipperiness of the rocks and slipped in. Squish, squish on and started the climb up White Cap Mountain.  
  White Cap is the last real mountain before Katahdin. As I stood at the top of it I sat and relaxed and looked into the distance. You’re supposed to be able to get your first view of Katahdin from here but the sky was too hazy. White Cap is the last 3k+ footer and after this I won’t even go over 2k feet again. The elevation profile the rest of the way is almost a straight line with a few small blips here and there. There is but one challenge remaining.
  I came across Forest on the descent from White Cap and we sat for a bit talking about how it’s almost over ad we took a minute to be in awe of the moment.  
  I look in the logbooks and see a mixture of messages, the NoBos all reminiscing and being in disbelief of the light at the end of the tunnel suddenly being so bright while the SoBos talk about those early difficult and painful days and question whether they might make it.
I make more of an effort to talk to the SoBos now that I have more time, I try to motivate them and tell them how it’ll get easier and tell them how I struggled in the beginning and how far I’ve come and they will too.
I can’t believe the end is near.

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