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  1. #1
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    :banana Katahdin – the end game

    So, when I get to Katahdin (hopefully in August), what is the end game? The simple plan is that I finish the trail on Katahdin and my wife and daughter drive up from Boston to pick me up - but the devil is in the details.

    My current idea is to stay at Hurd Brook Lean-to (or Abol Bridge Campground or Abol Pines Campground) on day K-2, hike to the Birches or Katahdin Stream Campground (KSC) on day K-1, hike and summit Katahdin on day K-0 then return to KSC for overnight.

    You can reserve spaces at KSC by phone (207-723-5140) or on line (https://reservation.baxterstatepark.org/reserve , if it works). The reality – there is little/no cell phone reception in Baxter State Park so you have to call ahead from Monson to check on availability and make a reservation (or you can take your chances and just show up at KSC). I figure that it may take me 8-9 days to get from Monson to KSC which may make getting the reservation date(s) right.

    Since car access to Baxter State Park is limited, day use parking may not be available for my pick up. I can hike out to Abol Bridge for a pick up. I may be able to get a ride to Millinocket from other campers since most people leaving the Park are heading there. Starting in September a shuttle comes to the KSC at about 4 PM on most days.

    I carry a SPOT device so my wife and daughter can track me and see where I am. They’ll be able to see me pop out of the 100 Mile Wilderness and make my way into Baxter State Park and to KSC.

    My thought is for my wife and daughter to drive from Boston to Millinocket (340 miles/5.5 hours) on day K-0 while I summit. I somehow get to Millinocket then or the next day. We return to Boston after staying in Millinocket overnight.


    Can you make KSC reservations at the AT Visitor Center in Monson?

    Where is there reliable cell phone service from Monson –> Abol Bridge –> KSC -> Millinocket?

    What is the wisdom for setting up a pick up?

    How do we coordinate this without reliable cell phone service?


    Most of my information comes from:

    The A.T. Guide, Guthook Guide

    https://baxterinfo.wordpress.com/201...hdin-for-2018/

    https://i0.wp.com/www.baxterstatepar...ches.png?ssl=1

    I didn’t find a lot of practical info here on WB.


    Yes, as always, I’m over thinking this, but there’s got to be some plan for them.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18 NOBO AT halfway

  2. #2
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    We entered the Hundred Mile planning to stay at the Birches the night before Katahdin. But then because of two days of nasty weather preceding our summit day, we were worried the Birches would be full if a couple of days worth of hikers were bottling up waiting on a clear day. I found I had service with Verizon to call Baxter the day before from a hilltop somewhere between White House Landing and Rainbow Lake Campsite, probably around mile 2155-2160? I don't remember which mountain, just that it overlooked a lake and would have had a great view of Katahdin except that most of the mountain was socked in rain clouds. The line was busy the first couple times I tried it, but once I got someone, it was super easy to make a reservation for the following night.

    It turned out only 6 of the 10 spots were full at the Birches, but we enjoyed the chance to stay dry in our private little shelter at Katahdin stream because it poured all night long, and it was only $5 more per person ($30 for one shared site at KSC vs $10/person for the Birches). The next morning we had a nice early start and an absolutely gorgeous summit day.

    Getting back to Millinocket was a bit tricky. We signed up for the shuttle and arrived in time for its scheduled departure, but it never came. The ranger was super vague when we asked her, going on and on like: "Well, they usually come at this time, and I did radio to my colleague at the gate that we had people signed up. But they have to radio the hostel in Millinocket, and I still haven't heard back from her if she's heard back from them. She might not be in her truck with the radio. But, sometimes they don't come at all. But don't worry, they'll probably come. But, you know, if you can get a hitch, I'd recommend doing that."

    After sitting around for over two hours, all seven or eight of us who had signed up for the shuttle eventually did get a hitch back to Millinocket with fellow thrus whose families had come to pick them up.

    We finished on a Friday and ATM's mom drove from Montreal on Saturday to pick us up. I'd plan to spend a day in Millinocket with your family when you finish if you can. It's a cute and scenic town, and the atmosphere is uniquely celebratory and bittersweet. Of course, that was probably mostly my own attitude influencing how I perceived it. But I appreciated having most of a day to wander around the town and start to process the fact that the hike was done. I wouldn't have wanted to load straight up into a car and drive away.
    Last edited by KnightErrant; 04-15-2019 at 17:38.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  3. #3

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    Yup you are overthinking it. With a potential pick up you are golden. Your wife and daughter can drive anywhere in the park, they only need a parking pass at three trail heads but they can do a pick up, they just cant officially hang out. There are parking spaces quite close to KSC and Roaring Brook where they can hang out and then just sweep by at an agreed upon time. If not you can start walking to meet them at the parking lot. If you have a good weather forecast have them pick you up at Roaring Brook so you can add in the Knife Edge and Helon Taylor trail. There is good cell coverage up above treeline so once you make it to the Gateway, give them a call and make arrangements on when you and where you want to be picked up. That will give them several hours to come get you. The only time the reserved lots may be full are in the AM. As the day goes on day hikers head out at different times and the lots open up. Depending on the parks current policy they may have to buy parking pass at Togue Pond gatehouse to officially park at the trailhead. Unless they hit a very popular weekday its pretty rare for all the reservation lots to be full.

    BTW you haven't been looking very hard to get useful info for BSP info. Hard to beat the yearly northbound and southbound threads.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    We entered the Hundred Mile planning to stay at the Birches the night before Katahdin. But then because of two days of nasty weather preceding our summit day, we were worried the Birches would be full if a couple of days worth of hikers were bottling up waiting on a clear day. I found I had service with Verizon to call Baxter the day before from a hilltop somewhere between White House Landing and Rainbow Lake Campsite, probably around mile 2155-2160? I don't remember which mountain, just that it overlooked a lake and would have had a great view of Katahdin except that most of the mountain was socked in rain clouds. The line was busy the first couple times I tried it, but once I got someone, it was super easy to make a reservation for the following night.

    It turned out only 6 of the 10 spots were full at the Birches, but we enjoyed the chance to stay dry in our private little shelter at Katahdin stream because it poured all night long, and it was only $5 more per person ($30 for one shared site at KSC vs $10/person for the Birches). The next morning we had a nice early start and an absolutely gorgeous summit day.

    Getting back to Millinocket was a bit tricky. We signed up for the shuttle and arrived in time for its scheduled departure, but it never came. The ranger was super vague when we asked her, going on and on like: "Well, they usually come at this time, and I did radio to my colleague at the gate that we had people signed up. But they have to radio the hostel in Millinocket, and I still haven't heard back from her if she's heard back from them. She might not be in her truck with the radio. But, sometimes they don't come at all. But don't worry, they'll probably come. But, you know, if you can get a hitch, I'd recommend doing that."

    After sitting around for over two hours, all seven or eight of us who had signed up for the shuttle eventually did get a hitch back to Millinocket with fellow thrus whose families had come to pick them up.

    We finished on a Friday and ATM's mom drove from Montreal on Saturday to pick us up. I'd plan to spend a day in Millinocket with your family when you finish if you can. It's a cute and scenic town, and the atmosphere is uniquely celebratory and bittersweet. Of course, that was probably mostly my own attitude influencing how I perceived it. But I appreciated having most of a day to wander around the town and start to process the fact that the hike was done. I wouldn't have wanted to load straight up into a car and drive away.

    That was probably Nesuntabunt Mountain (2018 mile 2154.6). I saw another mention that you could get a signal from there.

    Thanks, best wishes for you and ATM.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18 NOBO AT halfway

  5. #5
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    I had Verizon service on Nesuntabunt Mountain so I coordinated the final days with my wife from there. She drove from Boston to pick me up. She told them at the gate she was picking up a thru hiker at Roaring Brook and they asked how long she would be and she said probably an hour. They filled out the slip and didn't even charge the day use fee. I was waiting in the parking lot when she pulled up about 2pm.

    There was a ridgerunner keeping track of everyone entering the park at Abol Bridge. He was doing a great job making sure everyone had a place to camp and providing information on ways out other than back down to KSC, if that's what you wanted.

    Have a plan but stay flexible, it'll work out.

  6. #6

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    You have a long way to go!

    I see you've visited this:

    The Nobo’s guide to Baxter and Katahdin for 2019

    I keep it updated throughout the season, let me know if I can be of any help.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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