The Triple Crown

Day 161 (9/18/19)
Miles – 9.9
Total miles – 2170.8

The morning was very cold when we woke. When we dropped our packs off at the ranger station, the thermometer read 32° inside the porch. From there we set off up Katahdin. It was 6:30 in the morning. Yes it was cold, but it was a perfectly clear. Only visible clouds were far-off in the distance. This is something we have been hoping and praying for this day. It has come true! There is only five and a half miles to the top. The trail started off at a good grade and after a few miles we hit the ridge. That was when it got interesting. We had to climb up very steep rocks with rebar steps and handles. It was strenuous and challenging. We climbed up and over rocks for the next mile until reaching the tablelands, a large flat area below the peak. The kids hiked on ahead of us to the summit. Mama and Papa Raven arrived at the summit at 10:35. The Raven family has officially completed Triple Crown: PCT in 2015, CDT in 2017, and now the AT in 2019. Sketch, another thru-hiker finishing his triple crown, had been up there for several hours. What else was Sketch doing up there so long . . . sketching and painting. Sketch is an amazing artist from Japan. We have known him since our PCT hike in 2015. It was a privilege to complete our Triple Crown with him on the same day! All and all there were about 15 people in the summit. Some were day hikers but Great Scott, Ghost, Crazy Glue, Cold Foot, Camel, and another women we cannot remember her name were completing their AT journey. After eating and taking a bunch of pictures, we started down. The best moment for us was when a raven decided to fly into the background of our photographs. We came up The Hunt trail and we decided to go down The Abol trail. We found the the Abol trail was steeper than the Hunt trail but had very few large rocks to climb down. Most of it was smaller loose rock that was not difficult to climb down. Several hours later we arrived at Abol Campground. From there we started the two mile road walk. Within five minutes down the road, a Baxter State Park truck stopped and gave us a ride. We were back to our packs by 3:00. By 4:00 we were headed to Millinocket and our room for the night. There are no words to describe what a great day it was for us. The strenuous summitting of Katahdin at the end of the Appalachian Trail is the most perfect way to end this equally strenuous trail. After renting a car, we will head to Boston for a plane flight home on Sunday. On the way down we will take a detour to Alton Bay, New Hampshire to visit our dear friend Batch, a fellow thru hiker, Worlds War II bombardier veteran, D-Day survivor. We hiked with him in 1996, on our first PCT hike. We cannot wait to see him and his wife Mary. After we are home a bit we will write a wrap up and tell how The Ravens are coping being home. As we always say, the most difficult part of any thru hike is going home. It can be a very difficult process for many. However, there are those that seem to fit right back into main stream society with no problems. Papa Raven is one of those, and Mama Raven is one that struggles. Nonetheless in a few weeks we will write one more blog to officially wrap up our Appalachian Trail adventure.

18 thoughts on “The Triple Crown

  1. Way to go you guys. What an amazing, beautiful, inspiring time you must have had. See you when you get home. Please tell Batch I said HI. Yes I’m still here, just 3 weeks more.
    Linda P.


  2. Fabulous accomplishment Ravens!!👍🏼🥁 The AT is one tough trail. The picture of the raven almost brings tears. It HAS to be more than coincidence.
    It’s a salute to your spirits and your grit.
    Thank you for your incredible photos and faithful journaling.
    Are you going to Nevada City to receive your Triple Crown honors?


  3. Congratulations on your finish of the AT and becoming Triple Crowners!! No small feat and lots of persistence. Silver here in Florida I hiked around you on the CDT in 2017 and visited the injured girl hiker with you in Chama. I will return to the PCT next season to finish the portion of that trail I missed this year due to snow. That will complete my triple Triple. Then probably some shorter trails and a respite from the long ones although I could see doing them again at some point. Enjoy your trip back home and although it is a bit premature I wonder if another trail beckons your presence. Again congratulations and best wishes.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Thank you for taking us along again on your adventure. You’re an incredible family, and I’ve enjoyed reading your daily blogs. Now I’ve read the triple crown through your eyes and lens!


  5. Congratulations on your epic accomplishment! Your trip has been one for the ages… I (and countless others, no doubt) have enjoyed your journey, step by step, for months on end. We have lived vicariously through your trials and tribulations, watching a family live and grow in a world we can only dream about.
    I enjoyed your month by minute walk through the seasons and I know that it will live inside you all for eternity! Now – take a break. Have something to eat. And don’t get too depressed.Relive those special moments of this and ALL your thru hikes and enjoy. You (we) have something special in our memories.
    Triple Crown Family. Pretty darn special, if you ask me.
    Big Bear


  6. Congratulations Raven Family! Triple Crowners! I am so excited for you! I have been following your blog since early on the PCT. I have been section hiking the PCT and the year you did the PCT, I think I missed meeting you only by a day or two. It has been wonderful following you on all three trails, I have learned so much from you and have loved all your pictures. I have prayed for you in troubled times, Bling’s broken leg, Papa Raven’s emergency surgery. You are quite an amazing family! As a reader, it is like reading a great book that you never want to end. Best wishes adjusting back to the real world, I know how I feel after just a section hike, I can’t imagine after the whole trail! Best wishes to you all and thank you so much for sharing your life on the trail! I hope we hear more from you later down the trail!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Words cannot express the feeling I had reading this adventure with The Ravens! Such an accomplishment through all the trials and tribulations along the way. Sounds like this AT is NO JOKE! I am so proud of all four of you for sticking through all the pain, suffering and misery and endless rain! What a trail like no other. Our Lord was shining down on you four today with rays of sunshine, clear skies for hundreds of miles, and that beautiful Raven who graced you from above. What a tribute to the family! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us hikers, friends, readers and followers. There was not a day that I missed and look forward to hearing your follow-up words of wisdom. Now, get some well-deserved rest, breath and reflect. You have done it and are now TRIPLE CROWNER’S! Wow, that amazing! Love to you all….Godspeed


  8. Congrats Ravens! Hard to believe I met you near the start when I gave you the chips for trail magic as I hiked south on the Aquaduct in So Cal. Great job. I really like that last picture of the kids!


    • Another Grand Adventure!! Of course we love the photo with The Raven. Enjoy your time with Batch. Hoping for an hot shower and easy reentry for you all xo


  9. You and your family are lucky to have each other with the same passion!
    Mitch (Steve F’s brother) aka Fisher King ‘89
    P. S. Love the beard.
    P. P. S. Wish I had known you were passing through and would have come by with some ice cream by the Bear Mountain Bridge.


  10. Hi Ravens,

    Congratulations to all of you. The Triple Crown- what an amazing fete. And to do it as a family is all the more Incredible! I can’t even imagine the memories and stories that you will be able to share for the rest of your lives. We have so enjoyed your blog . The stories and pictures always gave us a small glimpse of what it was like to be there. Thank you! We still have such fond memories of picking you up at Old Station and being able to spend an evening together as part of your journey on the PCT. We love you all and wish you the best.

    Dave and Marji Thomsen


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