Daily Miles: 18
2021 CDT Total Miles: 370
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2443
We had a nice day off in Augusta yesterday. It is a tiny town, with everything you could want…good restaurants, a good grocery store and a post office. We even received a care package from Beardoh’s cousin, Jill, and her family…some homemade treats to eat on our day off. Thanks a bunch!
We got a ride back to the trail today with Frank and Jackie who had brought us into town the other day. They spend their summers in Augusta and were very welcoming to us. They have filled a need this summer for hikers who need to get into town. The trail comes out to a very quiet dirt road and the drive to town is about an hour, making hitching a low probability endeavor, so it is great to have Frank and Jackie who will coordinate a pick up or drop off time.
We got back to the trail around 9am and headed out. We knew from the forecast that it was supposed to rain today, but it looked like it wasn’t supposed to start until later in the afternoon. We just hoped we could get our miles done before the rain started.
The trail today was quite easy and scenic. It seems that this is a popular access point for folks going out for a few days, or for horse packing trips. We saw multiple pairs who seemed to be coming out for a short trip. We also saw two different horse packing parties. Because of the popularity, the trail is in excellent condition. It was mostly flat and just followed a river through a valley. With the low hanging clouds, it was a picturesque scene.
We were able to keep a pretty good pace all day and managed to get our miles done at a normal time, even though we started late. Although we passed many nice, empty campsites all day today, as we started to look for a place to camp, the camp spots seemed to already be taken. At one place, which had lots of space, a llama packing group seemed to use all the space. While they were tenting on one side of the trail, they set up a cooking area on the other side where there was decent sites. We had no interest in camping near their cooking area since we are in bear country, so we continued on.
We managed to find a tolerable place by 5:30pm. Just as we were starting to set up, we could feel the first raindrops. We all managed to get our shelters up before getting too wet. We ate the rest of our food for the day, cleaned up our feet and legs and decided to wait for the rain to let up before hanging our food.
The forest we are camped in has very little options for hanging our food. No wide, high branches and no big dead trees leaned over. Plus, we have the added challenge of the weight of our bags with six days of food. Mace hangs his food separately, but still with two of us, the weight of our two bags is pretty high for the small branches that extend four feet out from the trunk (recommended distance to hang so that the food is out of reach from a climbing bear). After trying one branch and breaking it off from the weight, we managed to find a dead tree that was leaning over. We were able to get the bags hung without breaking the tree. Success!
We can already tell that it is going to be a cold night. The air is very chilly and damp. We expect the rain to continue into tomorrow morning, so we are planning to wake up later than normal.