Story of thru-hiking the AT | Appalachian Trail

Excerpt from “Transformed on the Trail” ~ By Jim T. Ryan

View of Mount Katahdin across South Twin Lake.
View of Mount Katahdin across South Twin Lake.

Here is an account from a hiker who completed his thru-hike on the AT.  It is very well written and quite emotional.  The story, that ends in Maine, of course, is accompanied by some great photos from many stops along the hike from Georgia to Maine.  Read the excepts below and then click thru to the entire article, if you like.  Feel free to leave a comment, below!


“The day is cold, yet the Maine sun beats down on your neck. You’ve been walking for hours, the last of it over and around boulders the size of dump trucks at times. The sweat beads down, running under the moss-like months of beard growth.

Six months of walking and so much landscape has passed underfoot, brushed past your face, torn at your clothes, bogged your socks and boots. You’re on your third pair of hiking shoes, the predecessors stripped of their usefulness by the mountains of Tennessee, shredded by the rocky remains of the last ice age in Pennsylvania.”

from Harrisburg Magazine

“You’re exhausted, yet you climb the peak in front of you. You can’t wait to be done with this meandering existence. But you dread its end. What next? Where do you go from here?

You just keep walking. There it is. Baxter Peak, the pinnacle of Mount Katahdin. You can see the sign. Adrenaline kicks in, and you begin sprinting the final football field only to stop to wait for the companions behind you. You made them a promise to finish together. You’ll keep it. You’ll finish the 2,186 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) together.”

“For anyone with a bit of wilderness in their blood, thru-hiking the AT is the first long-distance notch in the hiking stick. But finishing the trail is a remote accomplishment. Only about 20 percent of those who set out ever actually finish the hike in a single year. Many quit before they’re out of the first state.”

“My favorite area – the most beautiful area – is probably Tennessee. In Hampton, Tenn., there’s a stretch where you hike along a stream. It’s just absolutely beautiful. The trail is right next to the stream, and it’s flowing. You start at a waterfall. It was a place where I wish I just could’ve camped for a week,” Reardon says.

“He chokes-up with emotion, reliving the final day of his trek. Summitting Katahdin isn’t just a story. He relives it.”


More from Harrisburg Magazine

Sasquatch Sightings | Bigfoot / Pomoola | Mt Katahdin Maine

Sasquatch / Pomoola Sightings in Maine

Photo of pomoola or injun devil in Maine. Is this a squatch?
Photo of a Maine Bigfoot from summer of 2013 – Grant Brook Road. photo: copyright TPasanen 2013

The local Native Americans (the Abenaki) called Bigfoot, Pomoola, long before the white man came to mid-Maine. It is often described as a “large, manlike creature with red fur.”

(all photos subject to copyright)

Summer/Autumn 2013: My brother lives in Medway, Maine and spends a great deal of time in the north Maine woods. Hunting, fishing and working; he spends a majority of his time in the broad wilderness area around Mount Katahdin. He was driving along the Grant Brook Road (map below) and saw this… Bigfoot or Pomoola or Sasquatch or… Whatever it is. Unfortunately, he didn’t have his camera so this was only taken with his phone.

He said, “It ran off.  I’m sure it wasn’t a stump but, not exactly sure what it was.  All I know is it looked like bigfoot to me.”

Three close-ups of the shot:                 The Finding Bigfoot Shop

Mid-Maine Sasquatch or Injun Devil. Photo of a squatch in Maine.
Close up of the Maine Bigfoot or Pomoola on Grant Brook Road. photo: Tim Pasanen

Pomoola zoomed photograph.  Do you think it is a squatch?
Depixelated close up of Sasquatch in Maine – pic from Grant Brook Road – 2013

Maine Injun Devil or Pomoola is the local Sasquatch.  On the hunt for a squatch!
Picasa “Heatmap” version of the Maine Bigfoot photographed by Tim Pasanen.

This was shot northwest of Millinocket, Maine in the Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness area. Just a bit south of Baxter State Park.

Is this bigfoot in Maine?
Zoomed in version of Tim Pasanen’s photograph of Bigfoot in Maine. Can it be a squatch, tho?

It sure looks like, something. And, I did a bit of research with the links, below and found that the “wild men” of Maine were very often described as having red hair, which this one obviously does.

My brother’s boss and avid Maine outdoorsman , Jim Stanley, says, “I know it was a squatch.  I’ve see two together within a mile from where this pic was taken.   We are currently working with game cams.”

Here are some other photos from the area taken by Stanley.

Location of recent Maine Bigfoot sighting:

Pomoola or Injun Devil - Maine's Sasquatch.
Sasquatch sightings in Maine. Historic bigfoot or Pomoola encounters.

If you have photos, videos, stories about the Maine Bigfoot or “Pomoola” please email

Pomoola sounds slightly reminiscent of the word Pamola which is known to have been a legendary bird spirit that appeared in local Abenaki mythology. This spirit causes cold weather and was believed to be the local “God of Thunder.”  The word, Pamola, is still quite prevalent in the area of Millinocket and Katahdin.  The next peak along the knife’s edge from Mount Katahdin’s summit is “Pamola Peak.”  There is the Pamola Motor Lodge in town.  And let’s not forget Pamola Xtra Pale Ale from the Baxter Brewing Co. in Lewiston, Maine.  Obviously, quite a powerful word from the native tongue to have survived with such common usage to this day.

We, also, came across this great article online at the Bigfoot Encounters website.  We didn’t know there were so many documented cases!  The Native Americans called Bigfoot, Pomoola, long before the white man came to mid-Maine. Read from the website…

“The first sightings of the 1800’s that were reported and documented in the State of Maine occurred in and around the Mt. Katahdin area, what is now Piscataquis County, Maine and is located north-northwest nearby communities of Millinocket and Moosehead Lake region. The famous Appalachian Trail ends in beautiful Baxter Park at the highest elevation of just over 5200 ft., atop of Mount Katahdin.
The source of these reports came from a book titled “Camping Out” The book was published in 1873 and was authored by C.A. Stevens, published by The John C. Winston Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The original copy of this ancient book is owned by Chris and Amy Julian who have graciously shared the information in their book.

There are at least 6 stories of encounters with large man-like creatures, which the Indians called “Pomoola.”  It was also known as “Injun Devil.”

The book mentions the death of a trapper years before. He had been ripped apart and at the time it was thought to be a mountain lion. Who knows? The point that got the Julian’s attention was the fact that the body had been beaten against a tree trunk. Chris Julian went on to say, “I have heard mention that the book was fiction. I am not sure I agree considering the detail and the year it was written. I have checked many facts and to me these are factual accounts, -it’s a diary.””

Here is the complete Maine Sasquatch Sightings list!

Maine Bigfoot Society on Facebook

Baxter State Park | North Maine Woods

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