Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hike 2.0 day 2 and 3

Hike 2.0 Day 2
We woke up with the sun to a great view of the field. I was excited to have my Mountain House scrambled eggs with bacon. Donnie was less then impressed! Donnie was really ready to get going and try again. Unfortunately the damage had been done to his body. He was peppy and we talked to Don on the phone and figured out what was wrong with our packs. We fixed that problem. The packs felt ten pounds lighter. We had the weight to much on our shoulders instead of on our waist. We had camped at our first stopping point on Hike 1.0. So we were at Old Ferry Road, so we have nicknamed the next leg the Fairy road. It had seemed like all would be better if we crossed the road to that “fairy path. Well as we began walking we really felt that way. The woods were just beautiful. Dogwoods were bright white throughout the woods. There were hundreds of purple flowers through out the area, mixed with red, yellow and pink flowers. It was just lovely. The sun was shining down through the tress in beautiful sun beams. The tiny leaves on the trees seemed to just be waving good morning to us. We saw large patches of soft looking moss covered patches. Just a quarter mile in we came to a huge bridge going over a nice sized creek. The white and tan rocks with bubbling water just flowing.

We continued just walking the path, again the woods opened up to a nice field as we crossed it we found a strip of woods with a babbling brook running through. Donnie stopped and splashed the water all over his face and washed his hair out in it. The water was so crisp and clear. It felt amazing. I had him wet a bandana for me and I was able to wash my gritty sweaty face. We also wet our hats to cool us off. It was heating up and our water was getting low. I asked Donnie to fill his bottle. We should have filled everything. Note to self if ever on a hike again take no chances fill water bottles whenever there is beautiful, clear, cold water!! We passed the second field and headed back into the woods. Now we were heading towards Duncan Lake and a water source.

We got into the woods and found ourselves by a muddy, icky creek bed. One side being about 3 feet higher up… So I had to put one foot up and the next level and have Donnie push my backpack to give me the ummph to make it up. Only problem was at first I just couldn’t force myself to move. I counted 1…2….No wait! Okay I can do this. So we counted again and on 3 this time he pushed, I tried to avoid face planting and I made it. He just steps right up…

We start on some of the very steep hills at this point. Another thing I learned is that going up hill is very tiring; going down hill really can hurt and wear on your knees. We followed a road, that was part of the trail and it also led to an old cemetery. Along the road you can still see trenches that were from the Civil War. We investigated the cemetery and found old headstones from the Civil War.

We sat to have lunch, I asked to Donnie to pull out the water from the creek, he had not filled the bottle. So we now had about 1 cup of water. So we ate our applesauce and moved on in the search for water. We came to the area that was suppose to be the lake, we never saw the lake. We had learned from Hike 1.0 it is not worth going off trail to try to find water so we carried on. At the end of one section of trail we came to a road where someone had left 3 gallon jugs of water. We are still unsure whether those were meant for hikers or not. We didn’t take any because we worried it might be someone else’s water source…We should have taken a little!

We came to a creek thank goodness. It was a really nice fast flowing creek. So we moved down to it and started filling jugs with water. We added the tabs to make the water safe. Although I would have drank it fresh! We boiled some for lunch and as that water boiled we took off our shoes and put them into the cold water. It felt amazing! To bad the rocks at this creek were so sharp or I would have left my shoes off.
I realized this was the perfect time to get the ziplock bag of my snake clothes out! I pulled out bar of body soap and then my underwear thank goodness I didn’t get them out all the way yet. This would be the moment a group of bike riders decided to come out of the woods right where we are! So once it cleared I got to work on cleaning my clothes. I hung them on a branch. Donnie was very quiet, we start eating and his attitude is so different. I am not sure what is wrong. So we gather up our things and move on. We now hit some of the steepest trails yet. One minute I am ready to fall forward as we walk up hills then we a carefully walking down steep hills praying that we don’t slip and slide all the way down. Going downhill I am taking such baby steps I feel like I will never get to the bottom.

We take a small break where Donnie is very intense. I just get frustrated and move along.
Finally after 9.5 miles we see the tents through the trees.

We have made it to Sugar bay. We walk out towards one of the sites and normally campers at LBL are great the people at Sugar Bay were not. They looked at us like aliens invading their world. So we were like okay and just went and found a site. Then we found out bad news. We had misread the amenities page this campground had no water! Donnie was not a fan of the thought of drinking lake water. I would have boiled, treated it and been fine. So as the evening goes on Donnie finally tells me how much pain he is in and that he is does not think he can go on at this time. My emotions took a huge nose dive. I was mad. I want to finish this. But I also know if the same thing had happened to me I would need to quit and I would hope he would not make me feel to bad about it. I did make him feel pretty bad. I cried a lot. I would love to have just moved on. But I do not believe a 37 mile hike alone would have been a wise idea. I wasn’t ready to go home yet. We posted a note at the bathroom asking for a ride to any of the campgrounds with water. But as I said the campers at Sugar Bay were not the kindest around. We went ahead and ate one more meal using some water then we were careful with the rest of the water to make sure we had enough for the next morning’s breakfast. I had planned on trying again to get a ride the nest day. As we slept, or tried, I watched Donnie struggling. I wanted to do this as a great memory. Not as something where he was miserable. He was now miserable. He kept trying to get through and make me feel better. But he was done and nothing could make me feel better. I decided laying there; I would call Don in the morning to come get us. That was not an easy decision for me. So then I was able to just enjoy the moon beaming into our tent. I would write my complaints about the bad campers more, but I will not waste my time typing any more about them!
That was the end to day 2

Hike 2.0 Day 3
I woke up ready to hike. Oh yeah we are not hiking….so bummed. I evaluated our water and made breakfast. I knew if we were still there at lunch we would have to use lake water. I called Don he was not able to come so My Mom and Dad came to the rescue. Donnie and I cleaned up our campsite and the one next to us. People are very messy at the back country campsites. I don’t leave a campsite dirty..EVER. I had a hard time not going around cleaning the whole campground. We made a fire to warm us up a little it was a cool breezy morning on the lake. I decided to just kind of relax while waiting for them to come. Donnie and I had some really good conversations waiting.I also walked over to the point we left the trail. I prayed and took a picture of my end spot because I will return!

When Mom and Dad got there we asked to them to take us to retrieve our gear. So down Old Ferry road we headed again. I had to tell them the story of peeing my pants over the snake, because I had to walk that path again. My dad came with me down the trail. I grabbed a big walking stick to take with me. Once I got to the section where the snake had been I started sweeping it as I walked to the bridge. Back and for the so the snake couldn’t get me this time. Whew no snake. I poked the stick around our bundle under the bridge. No animal seemed to skitter away. I used the stick to pull out the bundle. Then I carefully picked it up went back on to the bridge. I loaded all of the gear into my emptied out backpack. Dad and I stood admiring the beautiful creek for a few minutes. It was still flowing in parts. One section was a deep green pool with little silver minnows swimming around. The sun shining into the water was mesmerizing. Finally we headed back. Again I started swinging my stick on the grassy path. When what do I see at my feet. The snake, of course. It was laying a few inches on the path looking very dead. It had not been there earlier though. So I poked at it and it was Not dead it hissed at me. I did not pee this time I just gently nudged it off the path. I could not believe that snake tried to get me again!!
We made it back to the North Welcome Center; I went inside to return the dollar with the bite out of it. Well the lady at the welcome center tried not to accept it! I told her I got it from here on Saturday! She reluctantly took it after some snipping about it. I then noticed candy bars behind the counter and bought 2 with my $20. The women tucked the torn dollar into my change!! I was mad. Note to self, return torn bills right away!
Mom and Dad took us the scenic way home. We stopped at a Country Ham store. I was bad and bought BACON!! It was so good. We also stopped to see my Great Grandfather and Grandmothers grave. I don’t get down there very often, so I was happy to see it. It was nice to visit with my parents on the ride home. We finally arrived home, ending North South Trail Hike 2.0.

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