I Made It


I made it! Summit time was noon on September 9, 2015. It was fantastic. A nice view wasn’t necessary. I had everything I needed, my husband, my niece and her kids, my nephew and a friend. Not only did I have all that, I was blessed with the privilege of carrying a Summit Stone honoring Blare, a fallen soldier from Lee, Maine. Carrying the stone alone was humbling enough then pair that with the finale of my journey made the day quite emotional for all of us. I would like to thank my niece Stephanie Harvie and her awesome kids Brady and Kyla for doing a last minute marathon trip from southern Maine to Millinocket and arrive at the summit before me. They waited over an hour a top the great mountain so they could welcome me.  

A huge thank you to Sean Rackley, my God son and nephew who shares my birthday for taking time to camp out the night before and do his first summit of Katahdin with me.  And for bringing in sandwiches for my hungry hiker friends. 

A huge thanks to Justin and Jessica Clukey for making lean-to reservations and especially Jess for the coordination of Justin meeting me at the Lean-tos to camp out and summit together. And for sharing the opportunity to be a part of The Summit Project for our fallen Maine heroes. It was such an honor. 

And thank you isn’t enough to my husband, who is the real unsung hero. Without his love and support this adventure would not have been possible. 

I had my own entourage.  

My summit meal was provided by my awesome Brother, Buddy and dad. We arrived about 9pm and they served shrimp salad with grilled burgers and hot dogs. Yummy. 

What a fantastic finish. 

Funniest trail adventure happened last night though. I woke up to something fury on my leg and was really scared. I said to Bruce, “OMG Bruce, wake up there is an animal rubbing on me. Be still don’t move. What do I do.” I was actually quite panicked. He calmed me down and said “its okay, you are home in your room and it’s the cat”

Now on to decompress and get back to life. 

Happy Hiking

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.