Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 253
It rained for several hours last night, but was pretty much done shortly after it got dark. When we got up, it was no surprise to see several slugs on our gear. That has been a daily thing in the last week.
We got up at 5am again, since we had a lot of miles to do and we had set a time with Beardoh’s friend, Aaron, to pick us up at 5pm.
We didn’t really want to have so many miles on our last day, but we are at the mercy of where the campsites are located, since the SHTA prohibits camping outside of the designated campsites. This is because the trail crosses so much private land. But the camps are not evenly spread out…sometimes there are two camps within a mile of each other, and sometimes there can be more than 10 miles between camps. This can make it a bit challenging to have consistent daily miles.
It was fairly warm when we started hiking, so we decided to only wear rain jackets, and not pants. Even though the wet plants on the sides of the trail would get our legs wet, we knew it would be too warm to have rain pants on.
We used our headlamps for the first half hour or so. As the daylight came, we were happy to see blue skies for our last day. We haven’t seen the sun for about five days, so it was nice to see things clearing up.
This morning, we ran into another thru-hiker (putting our count at 10 – with JJ and SweetPea tied). She mentioned that she had camped with another thru-hiker last night, but he was still in his hammock when she left camp. So, we figured JJ would win soon enough.
Today had a lot of walking on snow mobile trails, which isn’t our favorite. We did see the most wildlife today (a very low bar). We saw two deers (this was very notable, as our first deer of the trail and we have seen no deer poop on the trail) and a porcupine. Of course we saw/heard several grouse, but we have seen/heard multiple grouse every single day of the trip.
We didn’t see the thru-hiker in the hammock as we were walking, so we stopped into the camp where he had slept and we took a break. Sadly for JJ, the guy was still in his hammock and we didn’t get to meet him, so we couldn’t count him.
The miles were coming faster than we expected, so we texted Aaron and asked him to meet us at 3:30pm instead. Once we had that new deadline, we were on a mission.
The last quarter mile of the hike was on a paved road. It was a pretty exciting 1/4 mile…we ran into a guy just starting his thru-hike, so JJ won the count in the final seconds. Now he can enjoy a Blizzard all by himself. And just after that, we got some trail magic! A car driving by, stopped and asked if we were thru-hiking. When we said yes, she asked if we wanted some danishes and we said yes. Turns out, her dad (who was in the car) had just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, so they wanted to pay the trail magic forward.
The danishes were a nice treat to enjoy as we waited for Aaron to arrive. We took some photos with a Superior Hiking Trail sign near the parking lot and then just laid down as we waited for our ride.