An update but hopefully not yet the end…
Here we are…. We made it to the base of the “Great Mountain”, revered and respected by the native Americans. What a sight. Everyone so excited to finish and family and friends made it all the way from California to meet us. We had pushed a number of days all near 20 miles to make our goal and schedule. We have been hiking for 164 days! All so much to put together and process. We have awoken a dream set in motion 20 years ago! And so so so much more….
However as we know there are always the unknowns in all our planning and preparations. Of course the most powerful of those is the weather and natural forces of the Earth. The weather was predicted to rain with thunderstorms and high winds. We considered waiting, but the weather looked the same for the rest of the weekend, so we knew we didn’t have time on our side. We also started at Springer Mountain, Georgia in the rain so we found it fitting.
We started up Katahdin in the rain which varied between light rain and mass downpours. The trail was a river, but again we had experienced this for much of the trail, so no problem. The girls were in great spirits and climbing the rock scrambles and ready to move toward the summit, although they were starting to get a bit cold and were sopping wet. We made it above treeline and the winds were stronger. We were pulling ourselves up and over the slippery metal rungs (the girls favorite part) and trying to hide in between rocks to shelter as we waited for the next one in line. Still moving forward and thinking we should probably make a decision before the next 2 miles of all above treeline open exposure, we were greeted by a ranger. The rangers were in the process of 2 rescues, a dislocation and a group stuck out over night. The ranger knew the girls as they had completed their Junior Ranger packets with him the evening before. He was surprised at their determination and how far they had come up the mountain in the rains yet told us to turn around due to the forecast of predicted increasing high winds and thunderstorms.
We made it! We told the girls … as far as we can go. This would be our summit. They sang the songs they wanted to sing on the summit and were overwhelmed with tears and sad faces. We knew the options of returning the next day were the same. We came down, tried to celebrate and left the mountain with an overwhelming feeling of defeat. As if we were not complete. Continuing to check the weather throughout the days, there was not point to stay near the mountain for the week.
The let down, sad faces and tears have lead us to make the decision to try to return next week when the weather is suppose to be better. What an accomplishment the girls have made and we want them to see and feel that. So… the story will continue and we will head back to Katahdin when the weather is supposed to be better and attempt our summit again. Pray for good weather😊☀️
We are so incredibly grateful for all the donations and support that’re coming in! We could not have made this amazing adventure happen without you all. Thank you for being part of our journey. The girls keep asking if they have met their goals of $2000 for each of their organizations. This is part of their completion as well. I will try to find out during the next 2 days off and update them and you all. We are so proud and humbled by the whole experience!
I will be sending the back posts of the states that didn’t download this week and will update you on our return to California (sorry we will be late for the start of school😏). We will hope to greet you all in person to share our journey in September.
With so much gratitude
We will hike on….
Jamie and Malone Family