Through most of my trip on the Appalachian Trail I have had cell phone reception every few days. In the wilderness I had no reception. That was fine for most of the time until we changed our summit date several times and we couldn’t let Alison know. The Troverts had a friend make reservations at the Katahdin Stream Campground in Baxter State Park. But we didn’t know if Alison and Beth (Swartzendruber who is a college friend of mine who came to vacation in Maine and see me summit) had a place to stay. We had the opportunity to camp with some friends at KSC and we decided to change the reservation to Alison’s name, but we couldn’t get ahold of her. We left her a couple of messages as we held up the phone while standing on a gravel pit near Abol Bridge. Park Ranger Jonathon helped us figure out that there was cell signal up there. He was talking to everyone as they entered Baxter to make sure that there were enough spaces for everyone to camp. September 25th was a really popular date to summit because the weather was going to be nice.
We finally gave up trying to call her and hoped everything would work out. X and I started hiking and N went back to the store to charge his phone. A few minutes into our hike N came running up and said Alison had shown up at the store. Wow! So, she didn’t get our messages, but she came anyway. We told her the new plans and she slack packed us for the last 10 miles into KSG.
The last 10 miles were very pleasant and we took our time, enjoying the streams and sunshine and the last real day on the trail. It was very nice to have smooth trail for most of the day. It is quite surreal. It was nice to have everything figured out with Alison as well.
We got to the campground around 4pm and Alison and Beth were waiting at a picnic table. It is very nice to have a picnic table again after many miles without them at shelters. We signed in at the ranger station and I was number 537 of the northbound thru-hikers this year. I guess last year there were 585 total for the year. They will definitely surpass that. I wonder how many south bounders will finish too.
Bed time was around 7:30pm as per usual with expectation that we wouldn’t sleep well because of the KATAHDIN SUMMIT TOMORROW!!