Saturday, June 3, 2017

Day 8: Burma Road to St. Ignace

June 3, 2017

Ed's foot was a tiny bit better today, but still nowhere near hike-worthy. I headed southwest on Burma Road, walking the first stretch. I was clad head-to-toe in my bug suit. Last night I kept waking up and feeling like I had a tick on me, so I wasn't taking chances anymore.

I jogged the next few sections as well, which were all in lovely pine forests and featured lots of rolling hills. It was just lovely. The trail ran by Brevoort Lake, which was quite pretty.

Then more snafus. After a lovely picnic lunch, I headed east on a 4.9-mile stretch that ended at Castle Rock Road. I wanted to take my pack so I had plenty of water, but at the last minute I decided not to. Well, the mapping for this section is very poor. This segment does NOT end at Castle Rock Road, as indicated on the map. It just parallels it -- from atop a really steep hill. 

Ed was on the road, at the bottom of the hill, and we were yelling back and forth trying to figure out what was going on. Eventually we figured it out and realized I had to continue hiking the next segment, which was another 3.4 miles. I was low on water, but at least it wasn't hot out.

Ed drove ahead, parked the car, and met me on the trail about .5 miles in to replenish my depleted water supply. From there it was 6.3 miles to St. Ignace and Straits State Park. Since the day's total was +27 miles, we decided I'd hike to the northern edge of the city and stop there, a move that would cut 2-3 miles.

So that's what I did. And thus ended our first foray on the North Country National Scenic Trail! We had a fantastic experience (except for the tick I found in my bed tonight -- so I wasn't imagining it last night!), and are anxious to explore more of this phenomenal trail.

Snowshoe and Cheese Ed

Day 7: Pine River Campground to Naomikong Overlook

June 1, 2017

Today started out great. The morning was cool and sunny. Ed and I headed north along the trail, and we were an hour or two in when we met Bill Courtois, a trail angel who was freshening up blazes. We chatted for a while, then pushed on.

After meeting Bill, the trail got lumpy and bumpy -- sort of like a farm field. This really bothered the bottoms of our feet. The scenery was beautiful, though. The forecast was for a sunny, warm day, but by late morning the clouds moved in and the wind picked up. It began sprinkling on and off.

For the next few hours I kept putting on and off my rain pants and backpack cover. It was really annoying. Every time it seemed like it was ready to really dump on us and I suited up, the weather would change within the next 5-10 minutes. Oh, well.

We did get to tape a Beer Mile video for Tim's Hash House Harriers group, so that was fun.

Around the time we hit H-28 in the mid-afternoon, Ed was hurting. Both of his feet were quite sore from our high mileage. Then he twisted his ankle. That did him in. I had him wait with our packs where the trail crossed Salt Point Road, and then I jogged the last 5.2 miles to our car, parked at Naomikong Overlook. 

Luckily the trail was pretty runnable, so I made good time -- just over an hour. I picked up Ed, who decided he probably couldn't finish the next/last two days of hiking. So we grabbed my car, parked at Pine River Campground, and took both cars to our motel in St. Ignace.

This was totally a bummer, as was finding a few ticks on us and in the car. UGH.

Snowshoe and Cheese Ed