Day 136 – Hurd Brook Lean-to

25.4 miles, 60,694 steps, 403 stories climbed

2179.4/18.6 miles/left, 5,814,584 steps, 51,474 stories climbed  
Today is a very bittersweet day. I lie in my tent, writing my notes for the last time on this trail. Tomorrow, I will reach the base of Katahdin and then head into Millinocket to await Maria and then all that will remain is the final mountain.  
I heard many premature congratulations from the SoBos and section hikers out to do the 100 mile wilderness. They cheer us on and seem to be in awe of us. We fly by them, churning out 20+ mile days with ease as they struggle to reach double digits.  
I came upon a pair of young women early in the day who were resting and eating. They asked me with fatigue in their voices how much further until the summit. I had to smile as the summit was only about a 500 foot climb and a rather easy one too. I wanted to take them under my wing and protect them from all the evil mountains and trail obstacles they will soon face.  
I remembered that feeling, that unknowing and inexperienced feeling and wondering just what I had gotten myself into. Here I am now, less than 20 miles to the summit.  
I thought about one of my favorite movies today called The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. It’s a fantasy tale about the real life Baron Munchausen and all the wild tales he told. He claimed to have been swallowed by a whale and to have rode a cannonball over enemy lines and even to have flown on a hot air balloon all the way to the moon where he met the king and queen of the moon.  
The tale itself is not what I thought about but one of the underlying themes throughout the movie. Even though the timeline is linear, the main character’s age changes back and forth drastically throughout. Whenever he is having an adventure he is younger, vibrant and full of life but, whenever he is stagnant he ages quickly and the angel of death is never far behind.
I truly understand this feeling and can relate. Here I am on this great adventure and I have so much energy and such a greater appreciation for life. It has recharged the batteries. Yet, this is only part of the adventure, there is still plenty more to come.
While yes, I know for a time I will have to come back to “normal” life, and hopefully my batteries can sustain me long enough to do whatever I need to but the adventures will not stop because when they do…only a heartbeat away will be the one wanting to take what I would then be wasting. 

Katahdin in the back

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