1950’s Katahdin Trip Plan: a Wonderful Gift

Back in August, I got a message from Vianna Zimbel. She is a friend from the local endurance sports community. We both have a passion for triathlons, mountain biking, and many other outdoor activities.

She wrote:

Hi Scott- I know you have a special affinity for the AMC, and your license plate would infer Katahdin too! I have a 1952 AMC Katahdin guide book and map that I’d like to give you, if you’re interested. I’m sure the scene has evolved over 69 years! I had contacted The Book Moose in Lincoln NH to see if there was re-sale value, but because my father put our name & address on the documents, he wasn’t interested. LMK.

I wrote back confirming my love of KTAADN (Thoreau’s spelling as displayed on my plates)

I can drop off at Horst if that’s a ‘yes.’ I’m so glad these items that have been gathering dust will have a solid landing spot with you.

We made arrangements and within hours, she had swung by the shop with these incredible heirlooms.

Everything was neatly folded and packed in the same envelope that stored them for more than six decades. The contents:

  • Map of the Maine Woods
  • 1952 Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) Katahdin Section Guide to the Appalachian Trail in Maine
  • 1973 AMC White Mountain Guide Supplement, list of 4,000 footers in New England?
  • Letter from her father Joseph to his friend Chuck. This is the special part of the package. On one side is a handwritten message to his friend and on the backside is his “Tentative check list” for their Katahdin trek.

Vianna knew a bit about the story including the fact that her father was a military veteran and outdoorsman. We both chuckled when she read me the letter, including the bit about the $29.95 sleeping bag and liner. The letter isn’t dated, but based on the date of the guide, the trip was in the early to middle 1950’s. Seeing that the White Mountain info, including the list of 4,000 footers in New Hampshire was in the envelope, her father likely continued to adventure in the New England mountains.

Katahdin is a special place for me. My Mom and her family are from Aroostook County in Northern Maine. She grew up in Upper Frenchville, and during my childhood, we made many trips north to see my Mémère and Pépère. The route was I-95 north to Route 11. Between those two roads, the westward views to Katahdin became imprinted on my mind. It was the first big mountain I ever saw and has become an important part of my life. When I was an infant, my father and mother climbed it with her siblings and it’s become a generational ritual for the Roy Family.

My Mom’s youngest sister is Therese. Aunt Terry lives in Portland, and gets back to The County several times a year. Every time she drives north (and back south), she texts me a photo of the mountain.

I visited Baxter State Park on various Scout trips in the 1980’s. I made a solo trip during college. Debbie and I were engaged at the I-95 scenic viewpoint in the year 2000 on a drive north to introduce her to my Mémère. I made a solo trip to celebrate the last day of my 30’s.

We were last there during our 2017 Mountain Katahdin Family Adventure. It was awesome to climb the mountain with Debbie and our kids. I’m most certainly headed back later this year to celebrate my 50th birthday. In addition to AMC, we continue to support the Friends of Baxter State Park, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

I’m looking forward to creating more memories. I’ve never hiked the mountain in winter, so that is definitely on my bucket list. Someday, Debbie and I intend to hike the Appalachian Trail south to north and we intend to finish on Katahdin. Vianna can be assured that I will make sure her father’s mementos get passed on to another Katahdin lover in the future. After all, the mountain will be around a longer than any of us.

0 Responses to “1950’s Katahdin Trip Plan: a Wonderful Gift”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




HORST Engineering Family of Companies

Cross Spikes™ by HORST Cycling

Instagram

A final @hardrock100run update for now and it’s a bit of a bummer. @trailrunningmom stoped at Animas Forks Aid Station just shy of the 59 mile mark. Persistent nausea and the inability to eat or drink weakened her. She arrived in Ouray in this condition and even a 40 minute nap didn’t improve the situation. She is at peace with her decision to stop and it helps that she finished this beast of a race in 2017 going the other direction. I unexpectedly joined her between Ouray and Animas Forks because I didn’t want to see her go alone. We got to suffer together for eight hours and enjoyed an amazing moonlit night. In our household there is always more to learn when you miss a goal than when you hit one.
@trailrunningmom has quite a crew assembled in Ouray at the @hardrock100run We await her arrival. From the looks of the tracking she was likely suffering in the climb and dealing with the t-storms. She might have had to hunker down because her location didn’t change for a long time. Now she appears to me hammering the six plus mile descent to the LOW point in the course in Ouray at a 7,792 feet.
Riding out the latest storm in Ouray. This weather is something else. To be a Hardrocker this year is going to take extra gumption. ⛈ @trailrunningmom appears to be moving steadily (according to the tracker) but the climb to Kroger’s Canteen slowed her. She gets a lot of downhill into Ouray so let’s hope she can keep running. We are planning a longer pit stop here including a full wardrobe change. Fingers crossed she gets here by dark around 9:00 P.M. @hardrock100run
Telluride was a blur. @trailrunningmom left the aid station around 3:20pm or so. She changed her socks (needed dry ones), got some solid food, freshened up in the “latrine”, and got moving again. We met up with Amy and John and they were a big help. Even my friend Mike, a part time Telluride resident, stopped by Town Park to cheer and assist. On to Ouray…she won’t be there for five hours or so. There are serious ⛰ ⛰ in between.
@trailrunningmom came into Chapman Gulch at 11:46am but if you are tracking then you know that. She was doing fine at 18.1 miles. Little D said Mom is pacing well but wasn’t as “exuberant” as past races. A big rainstorm just blew through and the clouds are threatening again. Next up: Telluride
Back online! Here are scenes from the Chapman Gulch Aid Station @hardrock100run It was a 1.6 mile walk from Ophir Village. Awesomeness.
@hardrock100run is underway! Go @trailrunningmom !!!! 🏃🏽‍♀️ ⛰ 😊
Our kids “aged out” of the Hardblock Run but we still loved spectating the 2022 edition. The @hardrock100run course briefing and pre-race meeting are done. T-storms have been rolling through this afternoon. The excitement is building. 145 runners from 13 countries and 28 states will be aided by 350 volunteers as they tackle the iconic 102.5 mile course in the clockwise direction. Plus, we fell in love with a trailer @sasquatchcampers to replace “Herman” someday!
Camp Hardrock continues. The @hardrock100run starts at 6:00 A.M. Mountain Time on Friday. Today was the Women of Hardrock Q&A. 17 of the record 27 female entrants participated including @trailrunningmom who picked up her bib number. The excitement is building.

Follow me on Twitter

Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 449 other followers

%d bloggers like this: