A week after our tri-state trip, we decided to highpoint Maine and also New Brunswick, the nearest Canadian province. Maine marked the last state within reasonable driving distance of Boston.

 

 

 

 

Highpoint: Mount Carleton
Province
: New Brunswick
Height: 2690 ft
Highpoint #: 1 (for Canada)
Date: 8/16/2002
Trails: Mount Carleton Trail
Distance: 5.6 miles roundtrip
Vertical Gain: 900 ft
Time Taken: 4 hours
Weather: 80s, warm and buggy.
Group: JO & BC
Comments: We left Boston at about 7:00pm on Thursday night and drove straight through to Mt. Carleton Provincial Park. We were thinking of finding somewhere to camp out, but there was a gate preventing us from entering the park, so as it was already 2:30am, it was yet another night sleeping in JOs car. It was pretty humid, so we cracked the windows a bit. Big mistake. BC awoke at about 5:00, and found himself itching all over. After a dome light was turned on, we saw several hundred extremely tiny flies eating us alive. We spent the next 2 hours killing as many of these microscopic bugs as we could, and starting up the car to turn on the A/C every so often when it got too muggy in the car. At 7:00 the gate was opened and we were greeted by a very friendly and beautiful female ranger who had an endearing accent. The hike was uneventful, but enjoyable. BC got a little nauseous later on in the hike, but we just attributed it to not having slept or ate in the last day or so. After grabbing a snack at the summit, we thundered down the mountain and headed back to Maine.

 

 

BC at the trailhead for Mount Carleton.

 

 

The firetower at the summit of Mount Carleton.

 

 

Looking east on the way back down from the summit.

 

Highpoint: Katahdin (Baxter Peak)
State: Maine
Height: 5267 ft.
Highpoint #: 24
Date: 8/17/2002
Trails: Helen Taylor Trail to Knife Edge Trail on the way up, Saddle Trail to Chimney Pond Trail on the way down
Distance: 10 miles roundtrip.
Vertical Gain: 4200 ft
Time Taken: 11.5 hours
Weather: 90s. hot and cloudy.
Group: JO & BC
Comments: After completing our successful highpointing adventure in New Brunswick, we drove back across the Canadian border (where our car was searched again!) and stayed at a motel near Katahdin. We woke up at 4am and drove to the park entrance where cars were already lined up. The park opens at 5am and only lets a certain number of people in. After the gates opened, we drove down a long dirt road to the trailhead. It was 4.5 miles to the top along the knife-edge trail we were taking. We headed out from the Roaring Brook campground up an aggressive slope. After about 1.2 miles we got our first view of the huge ridge before us. Pretty high, this was the west side of Katahdin. The path continued straight up to the top of the main range, along a smaller ridge. This was a steep trail of class 2 scrambling. When we got above tree line, the trail became even steeper, with some very strenuous sections. When we finally emerged on top of the range, we could see in front of us the entire knife-edge trail that went along the rim of Katahdin, over to Baxter Peak on the other side of the circle. There was some class 4 climbing right at the get go, in a steep notch between Pamola and the rest of the Knife-Edge which was pretty cool. The trail followed the top of the range up and down over loosely piled rocks. The Knife-Edge itself had some precarious sections, which were terrifically exposed, with really steep drops on both sides of a couple thousand feet. Eventually we made our way to the summit, but by then we were running out of water. It was a hot day, and BC was mowing through his water, and JO lent him one of his bottles. We were nearly out when we reached the top. There were excellent 360-degree views all over the place. What an awesome place. This is certainly better than Mitchell and Rogers. Katahdin is now our favorite. We took our pictures, rested a bit (we were very beat), and headed back down. Some friendly climbers suggested that we take the 5.5-mile Saddle Trail down since this was easier and we wouldn't have to traverse the Knife-Edge again. The trail continued on down the backside of the range and headed over to a saddle. At the midpoint of the saddle, the trail headed straight down the slope, eliminating the entire vertical in one shot. This was miserable. It was hot, we had no water, there were bugs everywhere, and there was loose dirt on the steep rock we were standing on. We cascaded, along with the rocks we stepped on, down the mountain and eventually entered the tree line again and began our long traverse over to Roaring Brook. We stopped at a pond so BC could fill his water bottles, which he did even though we had no way to treat it. BC reasoned, Oh well, giardia sucks, but collapsing from dehydrations sucks even more. Giardia is a parasitic infection that comes from drinking untreated water. With this water and some Gatorade that some other friendly hikers gave us, we were able to get back to our car around 6pm. This was a long hiking day. From there, we decided that our best option was just to drive home. We hit some small bumps along the dirt road back to the park entrance, and when we got back into town, the front left tire decided to deflate. Fortunately, we had a spare, and BC knew what he was doing, and we were back on the road in no time. JO drove all the way back at 65 mph (don't want to push the spare) which meant we didn't get back until 1:30am or so. However, with the help of Vivarin, it was no problem. With Maine done, we had finally completed New England, the eastern seaboard, and the entire South (except for Texas if you count that as in the South). Katahdin was a very worthy end to our highpointing season.

 

 

 

Looking up Pamola Ridge, with the Knife-Edge in the background, extending towards the summit.

 

 

BC taking a rest about three quarters of the way up Pamola.

 

 

Taking a break on top of Pamola, with people visible ascending the Knife-Edge in the background.

 

 

Baxter Peak, the true summit of Mount Katahdin, from the top of Pamola.

 

 

BC walking the tightrope on the Knife-Edge Trail. Its a loooooooong way down on either side.

 

 

JO near the end of the Knife-Edge Trail, about a half-mile away from the summit.

 

 

Remember when I said it was a long way down? If you look down one side of the Knife-Edge, this is the view.

 

 

JO triumphant at the summit of Katahdin. This is the endpoint of the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail

 

 

A less triumphant and more exhausted BC at the summit.

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