Ladies and Gentlemen…..It’s Over!

On the morning of August 6th, at 8:45 am, I made it to the top of Katahdin. It was a gorgeous day, probably the best it gets up there. I felt like I was in the sky, and the air around me seemed a brilliant blue. I got a little scared by the sketchy rock climbing I had to do, mostly because I knew coming down was going to be really dangerous (not to mention that I’m a big scare-d-cat when it comes to heights). Regardless, I made it up there in great spirits, sat by the infamous Katahdin sign, ate my last hiking meal, and looked south, feeling peaceful and satisfied.

But that was all. I’d been thinking for months now that the summit of Katahdin was going to bring out emotions in me I didn’t even know I had. I thought it was more than possible that I would cry or scream or go weak in the knees. I didn’t though. I just thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is it…..pretty.’

On my hike down, I found myself getting more and more excited with each step. I passed others on their way up and was extremely overfriendly, “How you doing? I’m doing great! Isn’t it amazing up here?!” And the sketchy rocks weren’t as scary as I thought, especially after seeing people of all shapes and sizes coming up the mountain. Including small children. I figured, if they could do it, I could too.

It wasn’t until the very end, when I was about to get back to the campground, that I got a little sentimental. I stopped, looked around at the trees, and suddenly realized how much I was going to miss them. So I expressed my gratitude, thanking them for the shade, and the protection, and for wearing the blazes to show me the way, from Georgia to Maine. That’s when it hit me, and I knew that this is one of those moments in life that will always be with me. That no one could ever take away.

And then, it was over.

5 thoughts on “Ladies and Gentlemen…..It’s Over!

  1. Absolutely phenomenal!! Well, well done, Shayla!!! 😀 Can’t wait to see you on Thursday!!!! xoxo

  2. Way to go, Kiddo! I am so inspired by you. I hope it was everything you hoped it would be, and more. What an amazing journey. And BTW, I think you butt dialed me a day or two after you finished, LOL! I hope the next 5 months are just as awesome as the past 5 have been.

  3. Hi Shay,
    Congratulations!!! It’s so good to have you back, but at the same time I can imagine the de-conditioning you must be going through. All that nature, and now back to the stress of life–work, and people who aren’t exactly in love with where they’re at in life. Maybe you can suggest they go for a little hike.

    I am so proud of you for following a dream, accepting the challenge, and and appreciating the will it took to do each. I wish that God (or your special force in life) will bless and protect you where ever your next adventure might lead you.

    Love, Lu

  4. Congratulations on a great hike well done! My daughter, Deva, finished at Mount Katahdin on August 5th and it was interesting the read about the end of your hike when we were in the area at the same time for the completion of her hike.
    Lyman Holmes,
    Machias, Maine
    Lake McDonald Lodge employee, 1970-72

    1. No kidding, Lake McDonald huh? That’s so cool. I enjoyed a delicous gatorade from your daughter on August 4th. Thanks for that. I’m sorry I never got to meet you and Deva!

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