In 1950, John Brower and his sister Lurana climbed Mount Katahdin with their mother and their father, an entomologist with the Maine Forestry Department.

The late Auburn Edmond “A.E.” Brower wanted to collect samples of rare insects that thrived around the summit.

“I was 10 and my sister was 7,” John Brower, now 75, reminisced on Friday from his home in Rome.

To mark the 65th anniversary of that climb, the brother and sister summited the mountain on Wednesday, accompanied by friends Gary and Suzanne Cole, of North Monmouth.

“We saw a few birds and not many insects up there,” said Lurana Brower McCarron, 72, of Saratoga Springs, New York.

“Most of the wildlife were people,” she said.

The Browers were raised in Augusta in a house not far from the state entomology lab on Hospital Street, attending Cony High School and the University of Maine and becoming scientists and educators.

McCarron earned a doctorate in zoology and taught biology and microbiology at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, and Brower, who earned a doctorate in entomology, was on the graduate faculty of the University of Georgia.

Currently they are retired snowbirds, returning to Rome, Maine, in the summers.

The climb up Katahdin’s Hunt Trail on Wednesday took 41/2 hours; the climb down was 30 minutes shorter. It’s 5.2 miles and more than a 4,000-foot gain in elevation.

“It was a little rougher or harder than we remembered,” Brower said. “It’s quite steep, and it goes through a lot of great big boulders where you have to scramble up between them.”

When they climbed with their parents, they took the Roaring Brook Trail.

“There weren’t crowds back in those days at all,” Brower recalled. “It wasn’t popular like it is now, and there weren’t the thru-hikers.”

This time, after asking around a little, they found themselves the oldest people at the top, which is also the terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

“There were quite a few thru-hikers there celebrating,” he said. He said one of them heard about the pair and made an announcement about it.

“They were impressed,” he said. The sister and brother were impressed too by the achievement of a 65-year-old thru-hiker.

Brower offered a summary of the hike: “None of us got hurt. We lucked out with the weather; it was just as nice as you could want it except it was a little too warm.” He also noted “a nice cool breeze at the top.”

McCarron, who hikes in the Adirondacks, said Friday her muscles were a little achy. “It really works the legs’ muscles,” she said. “Climbing the stairs up to bed and down is a little bit difficult.”

Undaunted, they are planning trips to Mount Desert Island and elsewhere in the next few weeks.

“I told my sister when we were sitting on top, ‘You know what this means, don’t you? We will have to start planning our 75th anniversary climb.’ You’ve got to have something to look forward to,” Brower said. “Maybe it will come to fruition.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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