The epic journey of a sibling pair as they trek 2,181 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachia Trail.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The End: Katahdin's Peak

As Hansel and Gretel climbed their way up Katahdin with Mom and Dad, they discussed how it's kind of stupid that a lame sign is THE thing that signifies the completion of their 2,181 mile adventure.  It seems rather arbitrary to say "you have to get to this sign and then you're done."

"We signed in.  It's not like being on top of the mountain is going to be anything great," they said.  They were kind of poo-pooing it the whole way.  At that point, they were both just so tired and ready to be done with the Trail.  That's not to say it hadn't been the adventure of a life time, they were just ready for it to be over.  With that kind of attitude going up, neither of them were really prepared for the emotions that erupted out of them when that "arbitrary sign" came into view.

"We finally got there and, I have to tell you," Hansel said, "it was NOT an arbitrary end point and this sign was one of the most meaningful things in my life.  I can't even express the emotions that just flew through my body and I can't even explain why this piece of wood with writing on it elicited all these emotions.  [Gretel] and I just gave each other a hug and both of us just cried for like five minutes.  And everyone around us started crying too.  Mom and Dad were crying.  It really was like nothing I have ever experienced before."

It's not every day that a hiker completely the Appalachian Trail, but it's even less likely that a pair of siblings finish the Trail together.  Throughout their journey, people have wondered if Hansel and Gretel were married or dating, and they are always confused when their interactions never really match either of those statuses.  When the on-lookers realize that Hansel and Gretel are in fact brother and sister, the response is always so positive.  It must be refreshing to see that a set of siblings could be such good friends.  Having finished this adventure through the physical, psychological, and emotional hardship, there was something truly magical in the embrace that Hansel and Gretel shared at the top of that mountain.  This really was the moment of a life time.  They had done it!  And they had done it together!

True sibling love

2,181 miles with Froggie and Black Bear (the little animals they are holding)

Mom, Hansel, Gretel and Two Bad pretending to be asleep on the sign.

Not only did Hansel and Gretel climb the mountain, also climbed the sign!

Hansel posing like the cover on the AT Guide Book (click here to view)


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