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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Appalachian Trail

Finally, Katahdin

Dover thru-hiker completes amazing 2,175-mile journey

By FRANK BODANI
Daily Record/Sunday News


ALONG THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL — He stepped out of the thick tangle of shrubs and pines and into a strange, cold world.

Winds blew 25 mph and more.

Wispy, white clouds blew right through Smiling Joe McMaster and then disappeared, like haunting ghosts. He was so high in the mountains, above the tree line even, that clouds actually blew below him.

The Dover hiker pulled himself over boulders and walked through a giant field of rocks. He brushed past small clumps of red and green grasses and tiny white flowers, the only things that seemed to live on this blustery mountain in central Maine.

It was cold enough — on Aug. 17 — to numb hands and sting ears on the top of Mount Katahdin, the 5,267-foot-high peak that marks the final steps of the Appalachian Trail.

McMaster pushed up one last hill and then he was there, at the wooden sign that greets those who have hiked all 2,175 miles of the Trail from Georgia.
Click here to read the full Appalachian Trail article.