22nd August 

15.1 miles 

Abol Bridge (2174.7) to Mt Katahdin (2189.8)

There was no way I was going to be late. The all you can eat buffet breakfast started at 7am. Like Pavloffs dog I was salivating outside the restaurant at 6.55am. At exactly 7am I was treated to yogurt, granola, coffee, bagels and a very large bowl of fruit. But I had other places on my mind.

A group of 4 tired hikers left their campsite on the Appalachian Trail for the last time. Ahead was the long and sometimes steep climb up Mt Katahdin. I led the way at a fair pace which left us all dripping in sweat.


We registered at the ranger station near the Katahdin Stream campground. Several other thru hikers were on their way to the summit. The ranger station offered thru hikers the opportunity to store unwanted gear and borrow a daypack for the climb of Mount Katahdin. Many took up the offer but I chose to carry my fully loaded backpack.


The first mile it so of the climb was very easy. All the other hikers set off at a pace that an ultra marathon runner would have been proud of. Enthusiasm overtook their physical ability as I caught up to them once the climbing started.

Climbing Mt Katahdin was just that, a climb. Trekking poles were of little value as I needed both arms to haul myself up, over and through the rocky obstacles. This was no longer hiking, it was rock scrambling. I’m lucky the weather wasn’t too bad or this would be a seriously dangerous mountain.


As we climbed higher the warm and humid weather made way for cold and cloudy. Progress was slow due to the steep climb, in parts there were handholds, railings and even steps in places. Climbing to the top of this mountain isn’t easy, many day hikers had to turn around before the summit due to its difficulties.


After about 3000ft of climbing the trail followed a rather easy summit ridge. Loads of delicate alpine plants survived in what could only be described as a harsh environment.


Thumper and I approached the summit. Our emotions were getting the better of us. With such low visibility I looked at my gps. A quarter mile from the summit I let a very emotional Thumper go ahead. I stopped and gathered my thoughts.

With less than 100 feet of visibility I heard the summit before I could see it. A group of hikers were crowded around a small wooden sign that many a hiker has visualised. I reached the top of Mt Katahdin. I just hiked the Appalachian Trail.


I did a good job to fight off the tears. With the trail complete I tried to take in what I had done for the last 129 days. I felt strangely numb. Devoid of feelings. I was neither happy nor sad. My feelings were more towards the future. What’s next? Has this trail changed me? Have any of the trails changed me? Reflection like this shouldn’t take place on the summit of Mt Katahdin. They should take place days, weeks and months later. I’m a Triple Crowner now, a Triple Crown hiker.


Some people hike this trail and will never hike a long trail again. Others are hooked. I’m hooked. There will be more trails for me. I’ll be cycling and hiking the most amazing places on the planet. I just hiked the Appalachian Trail.

56 Responses

  1. Mike M

    You did it! Awright! Well done, mate! You’re a Triple Crowner!

    Like I said yesterday, I’d be proud to hike with you, Brad.

    Good on you, mate! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Mike M, Riverside, CA

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you again Mike. Stay tuned, more hiking and cycling planned.

      Reply
  2. Cheri Mattes

    Congrats! I have so enjoyed and been inspired by your long hikes. And bike rides.

    Reply
  3. leggypeggy

    Great news Brad. Who knew when we said goodbye to you in Sydney those years ago that you would have done all three major hikes and MORE. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re amazing.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Cheers Peggy, it was never part of the plan. Life is great like that.

      Reply
  4. Connie

    Thanks for letting us all follow along. Especially appreciated your photos of frogs, turtles, mushrooms and the occasional wildflower. A beautiful journey!

    Reply
  5. Carolyn McAlear

    I’ve been following your adventures since you hiked the PCT. Then it was the beauties and challenges of the CDT. And now, the AT. Well done, Brad!!!!

    Reply
  6. Bret

    Extremely happy for you mr triple crowned!! Sadly I didn’t finish my PCT. Only 745 miles. Maybe I can finish in sections. Just moved to central Oregon and trying to build a house. To much to do to stay focused. If you’re in the central Oregon area look me up for a hike😄.
    Bret fidler
    Bonedaddyhikes.com

    Reply
  7. Cathy Wright

    Great accomplishment Brad….Triple Crown hiker!!! I love reading your blog, no matter where you go, but I do love the hiking trips the most! Now get some rest!! LOL

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you Kathy, more hiking and cycling in the future. Yes, I need rest, very tired.

      Reply
  8. Craig

    Congratulations on the Triple Crown. Everyday I looked forward to seeing your progress, your great pictures, and the great insight into what it takes to totally devote yourself to a goal. I’ve never followed anyone through a journey like this. Thank you so much and can’t wait till your next endevour.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Wow, thanks for the kind words. Bit of a rest then back to the adventure.

      Reply
  9. sgmdwk

    Congratulations on your triple crown. I can’t wait to see what adventure faces you next.

    Reply
  10. Teri

    I’ve been following you since the PCT. Congrats on the triple crown. Awesome awesome accomplishment.

    Reply
  11. Bob Jaworski

    Way to Go, and Most Sincere Congratulations Brad. It has been very rewarding to me to follow your journeys. Bob

    Reply
  12. Ross

    Started reading your posts when you started the PCT and have read every one since. Let me step out of the shadow and congratulate you on your triple crown! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next.

    Reply
  13. Anne

    Congratulations again Brad! Thank you so much for sharing with us your experience on the AT, including the harsh times! And: 3 times BIG bravo for the triple crowner! Looking forward to reading your next adventures, whereever it might be 🙂 CHEERS! .-D

    Reply
  14. crazybikedream

    Congrats Brad, been following you since CDT. Love your blog. Put the Arizona Trail in your list someday 800 miles of beauty. All my best and congrats again, you are an inspiration !!!

    Reply
  15. Delawhere??

    Congrats! I’ve been reading your blog since your PCT days. I check for updates frequently, and enjoy every post. You’re very inspirational. Keep living life to its fullest, and I can’t wait to read about your next adventure.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you, definitely living life to the fullest, more adventures coming soon

      Reply
  16. Heather

    Congratulations, Brad! I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for being an inspiration to so many of us. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

    Reply
  17. Meg

    Congrats Brad on your Triple Crown accomplishment!! I’ve tuned in to your life since the PCT and have so much enjoyed your beautiful photography and writings. You’ve inspired me to get out and enjoy nature more.
    Looking forward to what your next adventure and challenge will be! 🙂

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks Meg, great to hear that you are getting out to enjoy nature a bit more. I love being in nature

      Reply
  18. PackmanPete

    Congrats. Best triple crown blog out there. Great pics. You really should put it in book form. I know. Big project. It’s been a pleasure following along and best of luck on your future adventures.

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thank you so much. I’d love to find time to write a book, maybe it will happen

      Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      Hi Patrick, I think I’ll be back on the bike. I’m busy resting and planning my next trip. Cheers.

      Reply

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