Yesterday was the big day for Ad-Cane and Team comprised of Cane, David W., Paul A., Daren R., and myself.  To make the long story short at this time, we got up at 4 am, got into Baxter State Park at 6:05 am, cooked and ate our breakfast at the parking lot in Katahdin Stream Campground (the base of Mt. Katahdin – known as the Big K).  We checked the weather forecast and it looked to be in our favor.  It must be our day to summit!!!!  We began our hiking at 7:45 am.  We made a good progress for first 1.1 miles in 45 minutes – relatively easy and gentle slope of the trail.  We cheered and said to each other – 4.1 miles to go!!!!!

We went over from small-sized to medium-sized boulders on the trail and we continued to make a good progress.  Gradually, we encountered large-sized boulders which required us to scramble and climb.  We were doing well until we got on the shoulder of the Big K – within our sight of the summit!!!!  To our surprise, the wind was howling – nearing blowing us off the trail!  We took a quick break for snack/drink.  We resumed climbing, but we saw the marker on the slab – 2 miles to the summit.  I looked at my watch and to my dismay, it was 11:45 am.  My team came up to me and looked at the marker and my watch.  After discussing among ourselves and conversing with two park rangers who were approaching us as they were scrambling to the summit, we decided to abandon our attempt to summit due to 1) unsafe condition (gust wind – it was topped out at 35 mph yesterday!!!!  The top speed of wind last week was cloaked at 21 mph.),

Sep 21
78% PM
35 mph
78% humidity

2) limited amount of the daylight available (sunset – 6:36 pm and with approximately 1.5 hour per one mile to scramble/climb – 6 hours for 4 miles one way, 30 minutes at summit, 6 hours back to the base = 12.5 hours),

Millinocket, Maine – Sunrise Sunset Calendar

and 3) safety of our team (hike into the darkness on the unfamiliar trail is not ideal).  Cane was pretty crushed by our decision, so were the team including myself.  😦 😦  Safety is number one for all of us, so we must play it wise and not push to the summit.  I said to the Big K, “SEE YOU LATER, BIG K!!!!!!”  Cane said the same thing a few minutes later when he finally accepted that it was not our day to conquer the Big K.  We all arrived at the base by 4:10 pm and greeted by our family, friends, and loved ones.  We were thankful that all of us made it safely and in one piece.  *sigh*  Cane and I discussed and decided that even though we have until 26-September to make another attempt, but the diminishing amount of the daylight available is not in our favor.  We decided to hold off the last hurrah of conquering the Big K and completely remaining 2 miles of our AT journey to June or July 2014 – long amount of daylight available and favorable weather condition.  We are proud with ourselves and our team for pouring all in what we tried and our family, friends, and loved ones for their steadfast support.  I am going to leave you with some quotes:

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live. -Henry David Thoreau

Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours. –Les Brown

Yesterday is but today’s memory, tomorrow is today’s dream. -Kahlil Gibran

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. -Jesse Owens