Saturday, June 13, 2020
Start/end: trailhead at Rt-3
Total mileage: 50 miles
Total elevation gain: 2,617′
After gaining permission from the area’s forest ranger, I slept out in my car on Friday night and woke up at 4:30am to prep. It was unseasonably cold, with a low of 37 and a high of perhaps 58. I was on trail at 5am, wearing gloves and a long-sleeve shirt over my typical shorts and tshirt. My hands suffered from the cold for at least the first 4 hours of my hike; any time I stopped, my hands quickly became cold and clumsy. Filtering water was uncomfortable, with the water being much warmer than the air.
Dawn light and wet plants
By noon and about halfway done, I’d pushed myself too hard too fast over the majority of the route’s elevation. I’d been pushing myself to run the uphills and that blew out my legs. I started having pain from past injuries that were flaring up with the overuse. My left leg became unable to sustain a run, and so I dropped to a quick hiking pace, which I then held to for the remainder of the miles. I soon came upon beaver-effected trail sections; the beavers had increased their real estate by creating bigger ponds which often included the trail. This slowed me down a lot, though the mosquitoes and swamp smell provided encouragement to keep moving.
After clearing that area, I was happy to get some easy walking on some old woods roads. It soon lead me out towards a quiet side road, where I had 3-4 miles of road walking. It was a welcome rest.
After the road walk, the trail dipped into the woods for another 6-8 miles before emerging onto the road again for the final 3-4 mile road walk.