Wednesday , June 2, 2010
Woke up sometime before 5:30 a.m. to the sound of rustling plastic.
Mouse! In my food!
I scrambled and pulled everything out to see what damage had been done. Thankfully not much. There were two holes chewed through two different bags of dried fruit and nuts. Maxwell did not move once. My little ratter. I put everything in a spare garbage bag near my head. When I looked up the little culprit was in front of me and headed back for seconds. It ran when I reached for my pack. Cute little bugger.
Up and headed around 7:00 a.m. Today was a grueling one. I hiked 11.5 miles, according to my map, from the Hurd Shelter to the Rainbow Streams Lean-to. We walked through a multitude of ever-changing forest realities. The bugs were out and thick. I wore mosquito netting all day and sweated.
Stopped mid-day to rearrange gear. My pack is heavy heavy. Maxwell got the first aid kit and his rain jacket to carry. Little pack dog. I decided to drop some gear. An easy decision. I left soaked pink Nike sweatpants neatly folded on a downed tree. Good-bye 10-lbs of dead weight.
The rest of the afternoon I leap-frogged with Limp Along. Back and forth. The two miles prior to reaching the lean-to was all mud, gnarly tree roots and swarms of insects. Limp Along sat down on a rock and I continued on ahead. At one point, I looked out through the trees to the lake on my right hearing voices on the water. Was I hallucinating? A canoe with two men in it paced me and then it paddled off, disappearing. I paid it little mind. I focused on picking my way carefully, steadily along the rooty trail.
The light was disappearing. I was in a haze. Then suddenly a gray shining rectangle appeared in my line of sight. I blinked twice wondering if it was a mirage. I tamped down that feeling of excitement and relief as I approached, just in case. It was the lean-to. Relief. I thought back to the moose, seen earlier in the afternoon crossing the shallower open water, and smiled.
Distance: about 11.5 miles
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