KatahdinCampingHikingOvernight September 25, 2019
Written by LAC Guide, Quincy Oster Van Winkle
The recent LAC Katahdin expedition was a great success. We met up early Thursday, drove north to Baxter State Park and then hiked 3.5 miles up to Chimney Pond where we had reserved three lean-tos. There was lots of time to unpack, make camp, and relax by the lake. Friday was summit day and we left around 7:30 a.m. heading up the Cathedral Trail which is 1.7 miles with over 2,000 elevation gain – STEEP! Two miles of rock scramble that required focus, perseverance, using newly learned skills how to move over steep terrain by keeping your weight over our feet, using flat feet to avoid ankle sprains and not letting our bodies get too spread out when climbing because it limits visibility and lastly to communicate with those ahead and behind you – teamwork. At around 1:30 p.m. we summited and celebrated with some AT finishers we met up top. After descending the equally steep Saddle Trail we made it to camp around 4 p.m. – in time to enjoy some private time and refresh before dinner. Friday night, with our bellies full of black beans, quinoa and cheese burritos, we headed down to the lake in hopes of seeing the Milky Way. It appeared cloudy everywhere except in the cirque that held our view and to our amazement, we eventually saw the Milky Way. All in all, a perfect day.
The next morning, Saturday, we ate breakfast, packed up and headed back down to Roaring Brook, the starting point for our adventure. Along our hike, we passed a steady stream of hikers heading for the summit, hiking the same route we had all to ourselves the day before. We were thankful for our late week (non-weekend) permit and two-night stay at Chimney Pond. At Dysart’s Truck Stop and Diner in Bangor, we had lunch, giggled and air dropped photos amongst ourselves. After eating, we split ways, each of us feeling a sense of accomplishment, bathed in nature, and emboldened by new friendships.
Photos by Quincy