Thursday, January 6, 2011


Woke up and was barely able to choke down a backpacker's meal. I will not miss these!! It stopped raining from 1am until just before we woke up. We got under way with visions of cheeseburgers dancing in our heads. We passed the Colgate group and wished them luck. It must be hard to keep a group of undergrads amped while spending 36 hours in the rain.

Duck Hole is quite pretty and the first section of the trail after was kind of dreamlike. Once we got into the thick of the day's hike, the trail was beyond gnarly. It was super-overgrown with numerous re-routes around the ever-present beaver activity. Lots of ups and downs slogging through the mud. We met 2 dudes and an Irish wolf hound filling a lean-to to the brim (in the good way, filling it with dog-ness) at Moose Pond lean-to. The meeting was right on time as we were once again struggling to stay positive (s*&t, trying not to cry) on our second day of rain.

As you can tell if you know her or from her blog, Jeanette loves dogs (I'm a big fan too) so we both soaked up the good doggy-energy and chatted with some nice guys who were doing the stetch from Placid to Long Lake as a thru-hike north to south. The guys let us know the trail ahead of us wasn't too bad and we let them know (unfortunately) that their trail ahead was pretty tough. Undaunted, they made their way south and we headed north, with slightly lighter loads.

Wanika Falls was raging. This was a place I had dreamed of getting to as soon as we started planning this hike. The additional rain fall had created a truly impressive sound. I took a moment to be there then scurried back to the main trail. This section of the trail was pretty cool with big drops down from the trail to the rocky, fast-moving creek below. One of the bridge crossings was most of the way rotted out. Only one of the three 4x4's was still standing and below it was a 15ft drop, fast-moving water and jagged rocks.

The last section was unremarkable save for one last beaver-acction re-route. Quite pretty hiking throughout this section and I would definetly recommend Wanika Falls as a cool overnight from Averyville Rd trailhead. As journey's are want to do, the last 3-4 miles seem to drag on forever! Though we were significantly happier knowing we were on the final stretch, Northville-Placid was not going to let us breeze on out.

When we dropped off our car, I walked a stretch down the trail to find a tree of solitude. I made a point to memorize what the last little bit of trail looked like before we were out so i'd know when to start running (hahaha, little did I know). Several times on the last section I was sure I would see the Element glinting in the sun just around the next corner. We also smelled campfire a few times and thought we saw a roof through the woods, such a tease!

We did finally get out. Oh the exilaration!!! It had just about completely stopped raining so we peeled off all of our wet stuff and got into the last of our dry's. My heels had sort of 'melted' from walking 30 miles over the past two days in wet socks and now looked...well to tell you the truth I'd rather skip the description. They were gross. I aired them out and we got into my car and started heading to our great reward: The lake Placid Brewery. We called our families and let them know we were alive and out. We actually made it out at least one or two days sooner then we had expected. The estimation was 10-12 miles. Once we got warmed up, the reality was more like 12 to 15.

I may come back at some point and try and sum up the trip but for now the last sentence in my journal works just fine: "What an amazing experience, the ups, the downs, the sexy lean-to's".

Day 10: 15 miles. 120 miles total

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