Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 200
It rained overnight and we stayed dry in our hammocks. Even after spending 14 hours laying in our hammocks, we didn’t feel creaky…a definite advantage for the hammocks.
We decided to get up a bit later today, figuring we could save ourselves a bit of time hiking in the rain. The rain had stopped while we packed up, but we knew it was coming back, and that the plants around the trail would be wet, so we all put on our rain gear in anticipation of getting wet.
The trail started off right away with a new section of trail as we entered Gooseberry Falls State Park. The trail was nice and built up with clay. It was nice walking when there wasn’t rain, but when it was actively raining, the clay would turn to mud and stick to our shoes and poles. Luckily there were frequent small wooden bridges where we could scrape the mud off the bottoms of our shoes.
Today’s trail (especially in the morning) felt like the flattest section of the trail so far. It was good timing, because the trail could be quite slippery with the rain and some of the steep downhills would require some patience to make it down safely.
The rain stopped by 11am, and then it just stayed grey with low clouds for the rest of the day. It kept looking like it was going to rain, but at most we had a bit of misting. The temperature today was significantly lower than the past few days. On one bridge this morning that we crossed, someone had hung up a thermometer…it showed 60 degrees which was great so we didn’t feel overheated in our rain gear.
For awhile we hiked along the Gooseberry River. It seemed like all the rivers we passed today were swollen and really churned up. All our water sources today looked like muddy water. We started putting JJ’s lemon drop hard candies into our water bottles to help improve the taste of the water.
Most of the day was pretty quiet on the trail. We didn’t see anyone for the first half of the day, and then we saw several section hikers (two guys we had seen yesterday on trail and we ran into them in a parking lot where they had been brought back to their car).
This afternoon, once we had left the state park, it seemed like the trail went through a lot of private land. There were loads of signs about not camping or walking off trail. It felt like we were entering a hostile environment.
This idea seemed to be reinforced at the end of the day when we got to a spot where there was a property owner who had revoked access to their land for the trail to cross. So, the trail is there, but it is closed. For now they have rerouted the trail around on roads.
For us, the problem was that we were planning to camp right before the closed section. This meant that we could hike as planned today, but tomorrow we will not be able to continue hiking the trail south. Instead, we will have to backtrack just over a mile to a road where we will then start the road walk detour. We were glad to be able to camp at the Silver Creek campsite, because there were no other options nearby…just too bad that the trail is at the whim of multiple private landowners.
We are looking forward to finally having cooler temperatures for sleeping tonight. The humidity has also dropped a lot, so we shouldn’t feel so clammy in our hammocks.