21st August

11.4 miles

(2163.3) to Abol Bridge 2174.7

We were lethargic in the morning. It was hard to get moving but when we started hiking the trail was quite easy. The miles moved along quickly.


Thumper and I were hungry and completely out of food when we crested a small alpine slope. Blueberries. Sweet, ripe blueberries covered the slopes next to the trail. We dropped our packs and with sounds of ‘oooo and ahhhh’ we picked and ate blueberries until the sweet sugars filled our muscles. We lingered maybe 20 minutes. It was like being in an all you can eat buffet.


We hiked for about an hour with boundless energy before slowly running out of energy again. But it didn’t matter too much, we were close to a place called Abol Bridge. When we arrived it was straight to the restaurant. Our eyes were much bigger than our stomach. The sugary Dr Pepper tasted better than ever. Much later it was the taste of an ice cold beer. The serving of poutine was massive. Poutine is a Canadian specialty that consists of French fries drizzled with gravy and melted cheese curds. Just what a hungry hiker needed. And then there were the second and third courses.


The end of the trail, Mt Katahdin was visible from Abol Bridge. We could have stocked up on food and tried to climb to the top late today but with our energy levels so low it was not a prudent choice. We paid to set up camp next to the river and shower, do some laundry and eat. All the while the solar eclipse happened overhead. The moon only covered the sun by about 30%, which was not so impressive.


I ate some more and watched the sunset over the river with a cold beer in my hand. The trail had beaten me and almost broken me. Tomorrow it ends. Tomorrow I will be able to say, ‘I hiked the Appalachian Trail’.


10 Responses

  1. Kelly Hikes

    You have amazed me, intrigued me and kept me waiting for your daily blog of life and adventure on the AT. Thank you Shepard for allowing us to follow along, to hear your true story, not some watered down version but truly all the pain, suffering and misery that goes along with the true beauty of hiking a long distant trail. May your adventure spirit carry forward and inspire many to get their feet dusty and dirty. Godspeed my friend and may you always be protected, as you protected others. You are a true hero in many ways. Love always, GG

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you fir the kind words. I’ve read several blogs over the years that make thru hiking sound too easy. I try my best to write what it’s really like, the good, the bad and the ugly.

      Reply
  2. Tumblefoot / Anna Hikes on FB

    So glad you guys got to Abol for food! Gear Rat & I shared our snacks w you when you were low & I was hoping it got you through ok. I thought about the possibility of blueberries & huckleberries too ✔😎🍒🍇
    You’ve probably already summited, so congrats! Hope you had a clear day for views & enjoyed it as much as I did!
    I look forward to following your adventure to Argentina- a place I’ve always wanted to go 😃

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you so much, I forgot your names when writing my blog post, sorry about that. We are very grateful for the snacks, it made our day. The blueberries were also great.

      Reply
  3. Roy

    Brad , you will never know how much enjoyment I have gotten reading of your hikes last few years….I find it amazing that you have hiked thousands of miles with no major injuries, just a few minor medical problems..

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks Roy, still more jokes planned for the future. I’ve been lucky with nothing major

      Reply
  4. SoCalMike

    What’s interesting is that you are already finished, but I’m reading about something that happened last week before you finished. So, I can’t say, “get there! You’re almost there”, because you ARE there!

    Looking forward to the final installment!

    Mike M, Riverside, CA

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Yes, the joys of no service with AT&T until I get back to the civilised world. Must admit it is great to be disconnected for a while.

      Reply
  5. Karen

    I have also been following you since the PCT. Thanks for sharing “the good, the bad and the ugly” throughout your days. I hope there is another adventure in the making, but feel free to take a restful break first! (just kidding) Any spoiler alerts would be great!

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you Karen. Yes I’ll be taking a break for a while but it won’t really be a break as I’ll be doing lots of writing, video editing and a competing a few courses. Loads of adventures planned to restart real soon and a few surprises on the horizon. Stay tuned.

      Reply

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