Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine
When I first went to Baxter
State Park I was about five. I wanted to climb the peak
with my father and siblings. Reminded that I was small and
not likely to make it, I was insistent on joining the hike.
As a result, we never made the top. As a teenager, I was
offered another chance. This time I made it and the
experience was life-changing. I became fascinated with
mountains, mountaineering and all things wilderness. When I
was 16, I summited with my best friend Ed Cody and there we
made plans to visit the Rockies the next summer when we
both could drive.
Mount Katahdin is a most beautiful mountain that stands alone in the north woods of Maine. It reaches 5267 feet and is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. While definitely surrounded by eastern forests, lakes and bogs, it seems almost like a western mountain with its rugged features.
After he was unable to convince the legislature to make Katahdin into a park, former Maine Governor Percival Baxter bought it himself and gave it to the people of Maine "to be forever left in its wild state." In 1941, he wrote:
"Katadhin stands above the surrounding plain unique in grandeur and glory. The works of man are short-lived. Monuments decay, buildings crumble and wealth vanishes, but Katadhin in its massive grandeur will forever remain the mountain of the people of Maine. Throughout the ages it will stand as an inspiration to the men and women of this state."
It was such an inspiration to me.